The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom drops on Friday and is apparently the bee’s knees. But why spend money on a new game when you have perfectly good versions of the same experience broken up across multiple completely different games right now? That’s right, you can enjoy all of Tears of the Kingdom’s signature mechanics – Ultrahand, Fuse, Ascend, and Recall – without dropping $70 bucks (or its future sale price of $68.75). All you have to do is dig up a few games, kick your imagination into overdrive, and ignore everyone talking about how great Zelda is to enjoy an approximation of the Link’s latest adventure.
Who Needs Ultrahand When You Have Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts
As cool as Tears of the Kingdom’s Ultrahand mechanic looks, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts let players slap together random parts to make vehicles before it was cool. Carts, planes, and everything in between could be constructed to overcome challenges in similarly inventive ways. I also recommend just bolting guns to everything to solve problems in a more straightforward fashion.
If you don’t believe me, you can watch us prove you wrong in our ongoing Super Replay of the entire game.
Who Needs Fuse When You Have Dead Island 2
A plethora of video games let you combine anything that isn’t bolted to the ground to make custom weapons, but Dead Island 2 towers above the rest for being the most recent one. Sure, you have to visit a workbench and can’t craft weapons on the fly like in Tears of the Kingdom, but I’m pretty sure Link can’t tie batteries to adhesives to make sick electric Wolverine claws. Probably.
Who Needs Recall When You Have Singularity
Remember Singularity? That underrated shooter where you used a cool time manipulation glove to do cool time manipulation stuff? It probably deserved more love than it got for letting players rewind and fast-forward objects through time, among other fun tricks. Okay, you got me. This is really just a Singularity appreciation post. Please give us a sequel, Activision.
Who Needs Ascend When You Have… Dark Void?
Look, it was hard to find an analog for this one but Ascend largely boils down to rocketing yourself in a vertical direction. That’s, like, Dark Void’s whole deal. Although protagonist “Nathan Drake With A Jetpack” probably couldn’t phase through ceilings and mountains unless the game self-destructed, he can indeed fly upwards around those things, which, unlike Link, means he’s not in danger of getting trapped inside of a rock or something. Point to Dark Void.
Who Needs A Massive Open-World Adventure Set In Hyrule When You Have Immortals Fenyx Rising
Telling you to just play Breath of the Wild itself would be cheating, so I went with the next best
ripoff thing. Ubisoft’s Greek-flavored facsimile of BOTW hits a lot of the same notes, from letting you climb nearly everything to its similar take on physics-based puzzle-solving to gliding all over the place. The only downside is that characters speak much, much more often, but there’s a magical button on your remote that solves this problem.
As a bonus, all of these games sans Singularity are playable on Xbox Series X/S, which is key because you’ll need to quickly swap between them using the Quick Resume feature. Do this fast enough, and these five games eventually blur into a budget-friendly hodgepodge resembling the year’s hottest release. Also, play Singularity. Have fun!