I am a bit of an audiophile. If the music sucks me in, I’ll forgive a lot about a game. But sadly, the music in these Zelda games has never spoken to me, and I would consider the music to be one of the major weaknesses of the series, and one of the main reasons why I can’t connect with the games.
My next biggest complaint is the lack of guidance for the player on the user experience. On the one hand, they hold your hand on absolutely basic stuff with Navi, for instance, on how to move Link and how to jump. But then when you’re locked into a dungeon, they don’t help you at all when you actually need help. I was stuck for hours and hours not knowing what to do, quitting the game after trying everything I could think of doing, over and over and over. Do they provide a hint, or any kind of help from Navi? No. Not even a “Hey Listen, you dumbass, you can use your stick to light it on fire, even though that’s a mechanic that we haven’t introduced to you”. In games like Talos Principle (I’m assuming, since I haven’t played that particular one, but I’ve played others like Portal and Braid), you’re given mechanics and principles that are then used in different ways in other places, so it all seems logical. In Zelda games, I just feel like they don’t care about the user experience at all.
How about that village in Twilight Princess? I spent hours trying to figure out, what am I supposed to do? Why can’t I fish? What am I doing wrong? If I’m not supposed to fish, then why did they put all these hints around the village about fishing? Where am I supposed to go next? Maybe I need a tool I don’t have? Again, like Ocarina of Time, just hours and hours wasted just running around trying to try random things with no guidance from the game on what I’m stuck on, and plenty of guidance on absolutely everything else that I don’t need to know about, because I already play games. I know how to move Link Forward by pushing the stick on the wiimote, I can figure that out on my own, but I need to know what I’m supposed to do next.