darkjak

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Wii U / Switch

Recommended Posts

Well, we've done it. We freed the land of Hyrule from malice and evil incarnate having found about 380 Koroks alongside 112 shrines. Now, at long last, have we put on the shrine radar and having an extra adventure as we scour the land for the remaining 8 shrines.

Putting that aside, I want to reflect on this Zelda game and the series as a whole.

First of all, I have to get my disappointments out of the way which mainly have to do with the lack of certain things. For example, Tingle was not present nor were there any Zelda-like horror areas (Not a Poe in sights!?). I also was not able to fish nor dive, which also felt a bit strange in relation to the rest of the series. This is a minor list of annoyances and I fully understand things change when building a new Zelda game from the ground up.

It is clear that the development team had a long and hard thought about how to redefine The Legend of Zelda whilst also paying homage to its vast legacy. It almost feels like the original Zelda game, but with references to all the other games thrown in there in a 3D open world. And what an open world it is! Though the things you discover in the world might get stale at a certain point, the actual adventuring through the world is worth it to me. The variety in the various areas is enough for me to enjoy sniffing around in looking for treasure and whatnot, but, as stated, once you are at a comfortable level weapon and rupee wise all you can hope to find is a Korok or a shrine, but those things become mere collectibles rather than worthwhile discoveries. 

The shrines especially are more often than not quite easy, so they end up as more of a formality rather than an interesting dungeon like experience. Those kind of experiences I have found more outside of the shrines than inside. Going through a sandstorm following the signs of statues, getting balls on a plateau during a crazy thunderstorm, getting lost in a maze, etc. The actual journey in this game, breathing in the WILD air, gives this game a special kind of feeling I haven't felt since The Windwaker, and if it had unique dungeons it would have been so much sweeter.

The Divine Beasts are pretty cool though, but again a tad easy as well as the bosses who were generic as all fuck. The races along with their beasts and the problems they had felt really genuine and their villages and towns were quite well crafted. I especially liked the Gerudo Town with the mysterious Yiga clan hideout nearby with the latter being very eerie and mysterious. The connections between the races and their shared history was really well conveyed as well.

Having sinked in more than 215 hours, it is hard to put into words the journey we made. Thinking about it, it feels like an experience running through the wild for large amounts of time, fighting enemies and finding treasure, with some story and interaction with characters mixed in here and there. In that regard, the game definitely lives up to its subtitle, as the wild was definitely the star of the show. They even went as far as stripping the game from an iconic overworld theme!

That's one more thing I need to talk about; the music. Most of it does the job and complements the different areas or the situation you find yourself in, like fighting a guardian, but I must say that overall there is a lack of quintessential Zelda music to me, which isn't unique to Breath of the Wild. I have the same feeling about Skyward Sword. However, I always welcome change and experimentation within the franchise, so I am not complaining. I particularly enjoyed the music in the Korok Forest and, of course, the Rito Village what with it being a remix of Dragon Roost Island.

In regards to the Zelda timeline, I have looked at some videos and heard about the official placement, and goshdarnit Nintendo is a genius in how posited this game. They've basically cemented certain aspects of the lore whilst also putting the focus on letting the fans develop their own theories (which of course the community has never shied away from). The land of Hyrule is filled to the brim with ruins and stories open to interpretation, which is what makes it so fun to speculate.

All in all, the weapon systems was fun, as was experimenting with the physics system through the different runes. I am a bit disappointed by the variety of enemies, but the slightly improved AI and the challenge the Lynels and Guardians could pose when you're unprepared make up for that. 

The graphics are absolutely stunning, and taking in the world while standing on a peak or riding on your horse were rewards in and of itself.

Alright, I started out cohesively, but now I'm just writing down whatever comes to mind :laughing:

I'll just leave it here with a final message: I am proud they had the guts to go grand with Zelda, and I am happy they have laid a great new foundation for The Legend of Zelda to build forward upon. Fingers crossed for a Majora's Mask-esque bat shit, yet slightly depressing Zelda game!

 

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just saw this video and I think this guy makes some great points here comparing Breath of the Wild to Skyward sword. I figured some of you would find it interesting:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm nearing 300 hours on this game and I have yet to find the final 3 shrines, hahaha.

I know one has to do with the sphere in Kakariko Village, but for the life of me I have no idea how to kickstart the chain of events there. Then there are two more left and I honestly have no clue. I think I'll enjoy roaming around the vast map in areas not close to another shrine with my radar on for now.

As for the DLC, I have finished all except the one where you power up the Master Sword. I enjoyed helping out Kaz and seeing the new cutscenes, but I must say that I found the reward a little bit lackluster. And driving around Hyrule with the sound of a monotone motorcycle does not come near riding on my mighty steed.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been thinking on a potential sequel, and what I would like to see it from it (apart from just more of everything). 

The weapon system is something that has split people, though I am a firm fan of the breaking weapons. It forces you to adapt and improvise, and means that even now - 100s of hours into the game - I can still find myself in trouble if I'm not careful.

But I still think the option to retain some weapons would be great for feeling progression, and the material system seems to me like an underused feature that would suit it perfectly. For example being able to create resins from monster parts, that when applied lengthen the life of a weapon. 

Better yet would be the ability to greatly enhance the durability of weapon (say at a blacksmith) that would essentially make the weapon permanent. It would require cash and specific materials, and would allow you to upgrade as well. As a trade off you could have this process remove any special buffs the weapon has, reducing it down to base damage, and forcing you to choose whether it's worth enhancing the weapon for long term benefit or use it now and take advantage of the +10 damage buff.

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, LazyBoy said:

I've been thinking on a potential sequel, and what I would like to see it from it (apart from just more of everything). 

The weapon system is something that has split people, though I am a firm fan of the breaking weapons. It forces you to adapt and improvise, and means that even now - 100s of hours into the game - I can still find myself in trouble if I'm not careful.

But I still think the option to retain some weapons would be great for feeling progression, and the material system seems to me like an underused feature that would suit it perfectly. For example being able to create resins from monster parts, that when applied lengthen the life of a weapon. 

Better yet would be the ability to greatly enhance the durability of weapon (say at a blacksmith) that would essentially make the weapon permanent. It would require cash and specific materials, and would allow you to upgrade as well. As a trade off you could have this process remove any special buffs the weapon has, reducing it down to base damage, and forcing you to choose whether it's worth enhancing the weapon for long term benefit or use it now and take advantage of the +10 damage buff.

Thoughts?

I'm also firmly in the camp that enjoyed the breakable weapons aspect, it introduced a whole new dimension to play. I loved swapping between the various weapons to suit the baddie you're facing. It's tricky because as soon as you introduce permanent weapons then you lose any point to hunting and collecting breakable ones, even with the debuffs you mentioned. I'm of the opinion that frankly, Nintendo nailed it with that aspect. I don't really think it needs improving because like I said any permanence makes the whole system pointless.

The sense of progression is a lot more organic than most games. You aren't filling up a progress bar and reaching level 32 or whatever. Peer from the NVC podcast once described the game as a quest for confidence, and I think that's pretty on point, you're slowly getting stronger as the game progresses and it's up to you when you want to finish it. That said I do think a slightly better sense of progression in terms of the items you're given would help. I love the go anywhere, have your own adventure to the game and would hope they keep it for the sequel but I do think they could introduce 2 or 3 mandatory story beats that you have to do. Those could then provide you with unique items for the rest of the game.

But then again the beauty of BOTW's openworld is you're given all the tools at the very beginning and nothing is beyond you once you leave the Plateau, so being given unique items that change the gameplay might go against that. It's a tricky balance to strike, they certainly went fully in one direction with BOTW and maybe a half way point between that and Skyward Sword wouldn't work as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm definitely in favour of unbreakable weapons - I'd like to get back that feeling from Wind Waker, when every so often you knew you'd strengthened your sword.

 

I'd also like augmentations for your tunic.  For example, a fire gem that meant you could now resist heat, and the equivalent for cold etc.  Occasionally adding on gems would be better than brewing up potions or changing outfits, in my opinion.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't mind the breakable weapons but I think they broke a bit too fast and it sometimes left you with just about nothing to get rid of the enemies long enough to escape. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Ronnie said:

The sense of progression is a lot more organic than most games. You aren't filling up a progress bar and reaching level 32 or whatever. Peer from the NVC podcast once described the game as a quest for confidence, and I think that's pretty on point, you're slowly getting stronger as the game progresses and it's up to you when you want to finish it. That said I do think a slightly better sense of progression in terms of the items you're given would help. I love the go anywhere, have your own adventure to the game and would hope they keep it for the sequel but I do think they could introduce 2 or 3 mandatory story beats that you have to do. Those could then provide you with unique items for the rest of the game.

Mandatory anything goes against the brilliance of the new direction for me. More optional/story elements yes absolutely, but you should have a sense that everything is stumbled across or found.

Quest for confidence sounds like it could have been the subtitle for one the Phillips CDI games. But it's a solid summary, and for me highlights what the game needs more of which is different challenges. A cave or two dotted around the world would really ask the player how confident they are, not knowing how deep it goes or what lies in wait. 

Smoke arrows needed for the sequel.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, LazyBoy said:

Mandatory anything goes against the brilliance of the new direction for me. More optional/story elements yes absolutely, but you should have a sense that everything is stumbled across or found.

I'm just thinking of ways to appease fans who wanted more storyline in the game. I think they can achieve a mix of being able to adventure in any direction, stumble on whatever you want, but also needing to reach certain checkpoints to progress the main story. Think things like the Master Sword in BOTW, nothing major or earth shattering but some place where you can have a few cutscenes and character interactions that help more the narrative along. I thought the memories were a good substitute for cutscenes in the last game but they probably can't use that same system again for the next one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the weapons, having some way of strengthening them, in hyrule warriors they had some thing where you merged two weapons together? So maybe you could take weaponry to be repaired by a black smith or w/e in exchange for money/items. as for upgrading the weapons, having something like gloves maybe, in addition to the other clothing, that could be upgraded by completing certain quests (like have a fire shrine that becomes increasingly difficult, each time you complete it your fire gloves are powered up so when you wear fire gloves with fire based weapons they do more damage or don't get worn down?

I would have liked more quests like that one linked to the glowing orb quest with the sheikahs (being vague on purpose) where you have a number of steps to do to unlock shrines... but have those shrines maybe more substantial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A whetstone item, ala Monster Hunter, that enabled weapons to last longer would’ve been a good addition.

Edited by Kav
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's too late for me to watch now but I'm looking forward to watching this tomorrow.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 2/27/2019 at 10:20 PM, Hero-of-Time said:

It's too late for me to watch now but I'm looking forward to watching this tomorrow.

 

An hour long review for a 2 year old game?! 

Edited by Rob3008

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Rob3008 said:

An hour long review for a 2 year old game?! 

Have you not watched any of his videos before? He's not your typical YouTube reviewer you acts fast to get reviews out to score hits. He takes his time and provides a more critical look to the game he plays and analyzes it outside of the zeitgeist.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Rob3008 His video's a more critiques/evaluations of the game design and are, by far, the best long form critiques in the entire industry. There's no bias, just a deep look at the game and level designs. He stays away from comments like " I don't like this so it's bad" and instead focuses on analysying why certain decisions were made, and the impact they have on the end user.

I would highly (HIGHLY) recommend viewing his review series on the 3D Mario titles (which start with 64 and go up to 3DW) and his Zelda series critique. They've changed the way I view those games completely.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now