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The wait is nearly over. The game is being detailed left and right by the media,… the amiibo have been announced,… and the Nintendo Switch is imminent… The Legend of Zelda series has been a special one for Nintendo fans since it began and the next chapter starts on March 3rd, 2017.
A hero's tale begins anew. Open your eyes and see what is true.
Fun Facts: Vast open world where you could go find the end of the game within 15 minutes… but you won't survive it. Weapons have stats and durability. Climb pretty much anything you want. Eat and cook to regain health. Full voice-acting for all except Link
Lets use this thread to discuss the game on the Nintendo Switch. To help hold the tide of the wait, here are some beautiful screenshots and links for your perusal.
Ran into a bear just now. I've got a friend that had a real life encounter with a bear whilst hiking some time ago, and since then mentions of bears have become a running joke to mock him with for some crazy reason. Anyway so I figured I'd take a photo of the bear. For the compendium and of course to share with said friend.
Asshole bear attacks me. Well that's it. You wanna go bear? Let's go. This is so awesome! I'm fighting a bear!
I put about 10 arrows into him. It just makes him mad. Close combat it is. I draw my sword and prepare to become one with the Triforce.
Freed my third Divine Beast yesterday (Bird/Rito Village). Not as good as the first one I did, but better than the second. Though probably the easiest and most-straightforward of the three.
Spent the whole rest of the day exploring the wintry northwest, and just had an awesome time. There are so many secrets everywhere! Special shout-out to the Shrine Quests, a lot of the ways in which you complete those missions are brilliant.
Were your first two the Elephant and the Camel, and in that order? Don't tell me what yours were if it was different because while I think I know the other two beasts, I guess I just wanted confirmation of if we're doing things in the same order or not.
I feel like the order I'm doing them in is partially just driven by my girlfriend noticing something in her game and me just coming upon a character by chance.
So I ran into one of those evil ninja people while I was holding a chicken and things got interesting fast. They hit the chicken while trying to hit me and angry chickens made short work of them while I watched from a safe distance.
Guys, please stop posting stuff (screenshots etc.) to Facebook as well. I know I can just unfollow people, but I'd prefer not to do that. Because I'll forget to follow you again once all this Zelda stuff dies down. Thanks.
So I'm hours and hours deep into this game and I still love it as much as I did at the start. I have a few minor niggles, but there's no question this is a 5-Star, hall of fame type game. Like, if I was running the Video Game Hall of Fame, I'd already consider this a worthy inclusion. We could induct it this year. To hell with the Test of Time, it's that good.
I'm willing to give this a full 10.0 style review, though I want to complete it to see how I feel about it at the end before I do that. That said, I do have some minor niggles about the Wii U version. I'll try to vague-speak around any actual spoilers, but I'll spoiler-tag them for courtesy. Should be relatively safe, though:
- The voice acting, particularly from Zelda and Mipha, sorry to say, tends to be pretty melodramatic. I like the idea of a Zelda game having some voice acting, in theory, but there are times in the cutscenes where I feel it'd be stronger with just the text. There's one cutscene where Zelda is saying one thing out loud but telegraphing a different feeling underneath her words. And some other characters are commenting on her subtext to each other. It's almost not subtext, the melodramatic acting is so over-the-top. And other times, where she's trying to be playful that just comes off as forced. So... I dunno. Better voice actors, please. Or, really, the voice itself is fine, just coach her a little better for what you want. We're not in Symphony of the Night territory with the voice acting, but it's not quite up to the bar set by the rest of the game.
- I agree with the decision to not have music playing throughout. It really gets you 'back to nature', which is one of the big goals of the game. That said, some of the music cues that do exist are a little repetitive and not necessarily up to the usual standard. I get kinda sick of the stable theme, to be honest. It's not bad, but it's pretty bog-standard wistful medieval music. If we're going to give every stable the same song, I'd appreciate at least a little variety in the orchestration of it every now and then. Something to keep it from being just this repetitive recorder music all over Hyrule.
- On music, I've got mixed feelings on the 'cat on the keyboard' style enemy-attack theme. I like that Zelda is being a little more experimental, here, with shades of 20th Century avant garde music. But it also gets a bit tiresome to hear that same music so much, particularly since it can't, by it's nature, blend into the background.
- I don't know if it's a Wii U thing or whether this happens on the Switch too, but I do see pop-in from time to time - sometimes pretty egregious examples of it. I don't consider this a laziness thing - BotW seems to be pushing the hardware pretty hard throughout. So I'm not mad about it and wouldn't even dock points in a review for it, but I do wish I could fly over an area and not see bushes suddenly appearing 20 feet below me.
- Battles with goblins haven't gotten old or anything - I still enjoy combat every time - but it would be nice to see slightly more variety in the mobs. The first time I saw a Moblin it was really a great "What the everlovin' hell is that?" moment. I wish that was duplicated a bit more. They do a great job doing that with wildlife in different regions of the map, but a bit more variety in enemies would have been great. There were a handful of fights against evil humans and I'd be up to see more of that, maybe with some of the other Hyrule races. Maybe that happens later, but so far it seems to be just a bunch of variety of goblins.
That said, none of these complaints holds back my enthusiasm for the game. I'm still pretty sure I'm headed for a perfect 10, unless it just falls apart in the back-half, which no one is reporting it does. That said, if I was in charge of a BotW+ version or remake or something, those would be the areas I'd focus on.
Otherwise, I just want to say that this is the definitive Zelda game for me. It's a combination of everything I like about the original, Wind Waker and Link to the Past, which are my favorite 3 Zelda games, with none of the problems I had with those games. Plus a lot more.
I'm not even sure how Zelda goes forward from here. I don't want to sound like one of those OoT fans who disavow anything that came after it, but so far this has been such a perfect expression of Zelda that I seriously don't know how to improve on it. Just do something weird, Majora's Mask style, I guess.
On that note, I'm down for a Majora's Mask style reuse of these assets, if Nintendo is. 'Breath of Wild 2: 2 Breath 2 Wild' would be a game I'd get day one. Even if it was only half the game this one is.
I probably wouldn't give BotW a full 10--although to be fair, there are only two games I'd give that to. And neither are Zelda games, surprisingly!
That said, I think I can safely say that this is easily the best game I've played in a decade, and possibly beyond that. The sense of adventure that I've always wanted in this series is unparalleled, and I'm actually more looking forward to my own unique adventures than the pre-set ones that the game provides (which are still really good)! Talking about this game to my brother and my friends hearkens back to the older days of gaming where you'd discuss crazy secrets you've found while at recess and wonder if anyone else in the world knows about them. The game world is so massive and dense that it really feels alive and non-manufactured in that way, and I love that.
At the same time, I feel like this is kind of a two-steps-forward, one-step-back thing. Which, for Zelda, is still phenomenal, but I'm missing just a couple staples of the series a bit. I appreciate the music for what it is, but a few more really great themes would be particularly welcome; the town songs are more melodic but they feel Animal Crossing-y to me, particularly (later town-ish spoilers) Tarry Town, for instance. Good music, but doesn't really stick with me as having a strong central melody. The mini-game theme feels similarly slight and dinky for the type of game this is. And while I'm not a dungeon fiend, I do have to say that I miss the wonderful drip-feed puzzle-challenge-treasure balance of past Zelda dungeons. It's not even the small number of them that I mind so much as the lack of dungeon staples: finding keys, the map/compass, dungeon item, and generally having a more labyrinthine approach.
All that said, though, they're minor issues in the grand scheme of things because of how wondrous the overworld, core gameplay, sidequests and general design of the game are. It's been a blast exploring this world for the past week (I'm like 35+ hours in, which is crazy for how long its been out) and I look forward to uncovering the rest of the map and its secrets.
I agree about the voice acting; Zelda's is...okay I guess, but not really how I pictured her. I love the British voices for something like Dragon Quest, but I never pictured it for this series for some reason. I thought Mipha was the worst offender from what I've heard so far; she's weirdly monotone, and I think her story was already decent enough with the text-only that the voice actually kind of detracted from it.
I haven't had any problems with Mipha's voice, but I have only heard it briefly in one memory scene. Zelda's voice is the only one that has disappointed me so far, but I still like her voice occasionally. I just don't really like the British accent or the way her voice sounds when she's portraying doubt (which seems to be the majority of her lines so far, but I haven't heard even 25% of her total lines altogether yet).
Overall the voice acting hasn't been a huge positive or negative for me. I still think it's weird that they're not speaking Hylian and that Link is perpetually silent, but the silence thing doesn't bother me too bad since there are other non-Link characters who aren't given a full voice themselves. The silent main character thing really bugged me in Metroid Prime 3 when everyone talked except for Samus, but since Link's not alone in this game, it hasn't been so bad except in the memory cutscenes.
(I don't think the second and third things I marked need spoiler warnings, since I think we've talked about them already in this thread, and they're fairly early game things, but just in case someone reading hasn't gotten to the first village yet.)
My only minor 'gripes' with the game (if you can even call them that) go to more what we seem to have lost along the way in order to get to where we are.
I know I and a couple of others have touched on this already, but in going with such a incredibly huge map, you then get the dilemma of what to fill it with. Now the part where the game excels at is stumbling across hidden springs and caves, and random challenges with ridiculous enemies. Or a hidden shrine. I love that. I love *all* of that. The problem is that with the map being so big, you have to have a *lot* of that....and correspondingly an absolute crapton of rewards.
And that's where my 'gripe' comes in. A few days ago, I solved a secret shrine and got an awesome Great Flameblade. Definitely a high point for me. But then I hunted down the location of another shrine, and in the process found a duplicate of that same weapon. All of a sudden my reward felt a little less special.
And that's basically what the new 'breakable' weapon system is there for. To provide reason to populate the world with piles of bows and spears and swords. No longer do you get that thrill of opening a chest to draw out a much needed and prized bow. They're everywhere.
That extends to other things as well. Hey we built a world with about a million mountains. Let's shove Koroks on about a quarter of them. Have fun climbing them all. Especially if you want to be able to carry the giant pile of weapons in the game. Sidequests? Here, go collect this bunch of random crap and you can have...here. Some cake or something. Now fuck off. A new area you can see? Oh man, looks tough! Can I climb that far? Do I have the equipment that can see me through? Do I have enough health? No matter. I have this special food that I cooked up easily with ingredients I found in the first 30 minutes of the game. I can just brute force my way through thanks to some apples and a mushroom. Yay!
When you make things easy to access or obtain, when you make the rewards seem trite and meaningless, it all becomes a little depressing. Thankfully the world itself is still super fun to play around with and explore.
And ultimately it affects the dungeon side of the equation. I'm on the same page as T-Bun here. Maybe I'm being unfair as I've only done one dungeon so far (the Zora one) butit was pretty underwhelming. The lead up was great. The dungeon less so. And I'd say that ties into having the overworld so utterly littered with stuff the dungeons get neglected, both in terms of design effort, and rewards gained.
Ultimately I feel like whilst this game has taken a quantum leap forward in terms of overworld design, it's done so at the expense of some quintessential Zelda tropes. I know some people think this a good thing in it's way, and I agree that BotW showcases much of where the series needed to go. But I do find myself missing things.
So for a sequel, I would hope that Nintendo actually dial it back slightly. Give us something a little bit more focused. Keep the exploration elements they've utterly nailed, but used them in a somewhat smaller world (maybe a happy medium between BotW and TP size?) Then as part of that focus, make the rewards more meaningful, and bring back a slightly more traditional sense of progression. Perhaps with the 'basic' abilities contributing to the multiple solution mechanic, but augmented by the more unique items further along. More meaningful sidequests.
In short- More of a balance between the traditional and the new. Can it be done without ticking off advocates of either style? I dunno. But if anyone can do it, it'd be Nintendo.
I think the voice acting naturally makes things a million times better, even if the VA itself isn't amazing or anything. The cutscenes in previous games where characters would just grunt and moan over walls of text, I really hated it. It's so much better in BOTW and there needs to be expanded a lot more in the next game.
And obviously Link should have a voice now that he's established as a fully-fledged character and any pretense that he's our "link" into the game is dead. And silent protags suck in general. It's just stubbornness at this point to break nearly all of Zelda's conventions except that one (and no doubt backlash from selectively-stubborn fans plays a part in that). But that's a topic for another discussion.
BTW have you guys seen the Jim Sterling CONTROVERSY? I guess he gave the game a 7 (literally the only sub-9 score on GR and one of only two sub-9 scores on MC at the moment) and now angry fans have DDOS attacked his site and pulled it down or something. While it's hard to understand anyone playing this game and thinking "7", it's pretty silly that people are attacking a guy's site over his opinion. The whole idea that reviewers can't step out of line with the mainstream assessment or they deserve punishment has to go.
but so far this has been such a perfect expression of Zelda that I seriously don't know how to improve on it
You just listed several areas it could improve! For instance, I totally agree on enemy variety, and if they decide to take this engine and make another sequel (Majora's Mask style) hopefully having the whole core engine built will let them focus more on things like that in the next game. I also feel like they could do better with the music, although that's not really a game-killer or anything, but this definitely isn't my favorite Zelda audio experience so far.
I did drop one on a Korok by accident. It was pretty funny but I try to avoid it now. I have 59 Korok seeds. 10 hearts total after two Divine Beasts. And my Stamina Wheel has been upgraded six times (thus it's one full circle additional plus another slice). Perhaps I 'spoiled it' via ShadowLink's post though it's barely a spoiler at that, but I still don't know where, how, or why to use Korok seeds. I would like some kind of clue but if so, I'd like a cryptic message to push me in the right direction. Even if it's just an area name or something, then I can go hunt and try to find that answer for myself.
OK, the important place is one you mentioned in the 2nd paragraph here: @DrFinkelstein. So...if you were there and didn't notice it (pretty much can't miss it), then I think I know what happened. Obviously you and I haven't taken the same path around the world, and as far as how the Korok seeds come into play, I was introduced to their use along my path to that eventual destination. So that's probably why you didn't see anything, because you went there first. If that's the case, I almost feel kinda lucky that I've been able to make use of them for a little while now.