To start, please add this game to your log, add it to your collection (if applicable), and (when you are ready) rate it using the link above!
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.
If they did a compromise between BotW and TP, as you point out, I can guarantee I would not like it as much as I like BotW.
In fact, I'm taking a hardline on this one: I do not miss the dungeons. At all. Screw those dungeons.
I'm realizing playing BotW that the thing that annoys me most about Zelda in general is feeling like I'm stuck down in a hole somewhere trying to figure out which direction to push a fucking box so I can continue playing my adventure game. I have not missed that feeling a single iota in BotW. What's great is that there's choice, here. The same number of physics-based puzzles are in this game as any before, only they're in shrines rather than dungeons. That solves my problem - I like puzzles, alright, but I hate having the whole game hung up because of one particular puzzle I can't seem to figure out. Now, if I get stuck in a shrine, I can just turn around and go out if I want. - Not that I've had to do that. One of the other great things is that I can work a few puzzles and then, when I'm tired of doing puzzles, I can go off and do something else. What benefit do you guys see in stringing all these shrine challenges together and calling that a dungeon? I don't see any benefit. I've never seen it. This is preferable in every way, for me.
As for what's available here, I've done the same dungeon as SL and I think he's selling it short. Yes, the scope of the actual Vah Ruta encounter is not as big as what we've seen in other Zeldas, but you've got to admit that the lead up to it is much more involved than your typical Zelda dungeon. If you take it all together, I think the content we'd expect from Zelda is still there. You just have to option to walk away and do other stuff and come back to it, which I'm perfectly happy doing. Though - hey! - I didn't have to because I enjoyed every bit of that section of the game, so that's another win.
I'd also add that I don't think the duplicated rewards are a problem in the game. I'll take as many flameswords as you can throw at me.
Well, what I mentioned are complaints that are so minor. Within the context of Breath of the Wild 2, there's not really a way to just take those 4 or 5 gripes and suddenly you have a new, better benchmark Zelda game. That's really my point. Pretty much every great game could benefit from a tweak here or there. That's about all I've got to complain about.
The Sterling thing is a naked sop for attention. Of course he doesn't think the game deserves a 7. But Zelda's glowing scores has been the biggest story in gaming, and now he gets to be the guy that all the butthurt Sony fanboys who've hated Nintendo for 20 years get to cluck around and hold up as their champion. I like Sterling alright, but I definitely don't put that past him in any way. He's totally willing to do something that calculated.
DDOS attacks are always terrible, though, so it's a shame anyone cares enough about someone's video game opinions to do something like that. Bad form, Zelda fans. Even worse, because you make him a martyr, now.
I agree with most of what @kriswright wrote here. And maybe my expectations were lower, but I was afraid that we'd lose a lot of Zelda's soul in the move to open-world, but I've been delighted that my experience has been exactly the opposite. The adventuring aspect in particular, it's back in a way that it hasn't been for me since OoT. That was where I complained the most about TP -- the dungeons were amazing and I value that a lot, but the world was bland and dull and boring and empty, and I value that part of Zelda a lot too.
On the dungeon stuff, while I actually do love the classic dungeons and do miss them a bit, the BotW take on them has felt completely fresh. More specifically, I'm not married to the idea of the Map --> Compass --> Keys --> Miniboss --> Special Item --> Boss Key --> Boss structure that Zelda has followed for a while now. In a sequel to this game, I think they could make the interiors stand out a bit more and up the scale and complexity a little bit, but otherwise I'm fine if this is the direction they go in. Skyward Sword is enough proof that they can't surpass Twilight Princess' dungeons anyways, so better to try something different.
The idea of a "Majora's Mask" type sequel, though, I think would be a good move though. If only so we don't have to wait another 5+ years for another 3D Zelda game. PLEASE DON'T CHANGE THE ART STYLE AGAIN. The technology has allowed them to strike the perfect balance between Wind Waker's cartoonish look and Twilight Princess' realistic look, and BotW perfectly captures the look of a fantasy world that Zelda needs to have. Breath of the Wild looks like how Zelda should look, and I hope they stick to it and evolve it this time instead of constantly changing it up. It's a beautiful game.
I read the review. It's far better written than the one from GBAtemps (also a 7) that I mentioned in the other thread. That said, he clearly enjoyed parts of game and recognized many of it's good points. It seems he glossed over them though just to focus on his beefs with items breaking... and to get people to read his reviews, like me.
Anyways, I finally finished my first dungeon and I'm not offended by it. Would I be okay with something bigger in the future? Yes, but I'm not feeling like I'm lacking in content in the least. As for the lead up to the beast, I thought it was awesome and the sequence immediately preceding it was well done. I actually like seeing Link as the part of a larger world that isn't oblivious to what's going on.
As for the voice acting, I keep getting Professor Layton vibes every time one of the aforementioned females speak. Maybe if they just talked a little faster.
@kriswright That's true about the linear nature of puzzles/dungeons leading to being "stuck." I still remember getting caught in OoT's Water Temple for a long time because of that stupid key hidden behind the Longshot treasure chest Block of Time thing. Fortunately, OoT was a bit open in its design and I was able to go onto the Shadow and Spirit Temples without having to beat Morpha.
But for a defense of dungeons, I present this: dungeons bring about a nice change of pace from overworld exploration. You get a unique theme, a new "look," a new song (usually) to listen to, usually some new enemies, and major elements of Zelda to look forward to and wonder about--what horrible boss will be at the end and what cool new tool will be acquired? There're elements of the puzzle solving in BotW's shrines (and some of them are rather large) and I think BotW's puzzles in general are above-average for Zelda because of the physicality and versatility of them. But they don't bring about a variety of environments, songs or enemies and it's fairly predictable (give or take a cool weapon) what treasures lie within. As for the main dungeons, they lack some of that plus the surprising boss encounters. I mean, I don't know what bosses are in all the dungeons but I can hazard a safe guess based on the one I've fought already.
Maybe the dungeons can still be optional a la BotW but linear a la TP? Eh, I'd like it.
@kriswright Wait, why are you assuming Jim Sterling doesn't think Zelda deserves a 7? Because it is inconceivable anyone would think that, or something about Jim in particular? I think he is a pretty honest critic in general, doubt this is a manufacturer controversy. His complaints: too much repetitiveness, too many 1-2 hit kills, breaking weapons, the stamina meter, puzzle shrines feel out of place, bosses aren't memorable enough, etc.
Basically he just doesn't seem that into some of its core stuff, which like... is going to happen for some people? Don't think it has to be a manufactured thing. In fact, I actually agree with many of his complaints, they just don't really drag the game down nearly as much for me. But if that stuff bugs you... it might?
He hands out 6s and 7s and such to big games a lot too, which I respect more than sites than automatically give every AAA game at least an 8.5 or whatever.
I've been playing this game a lot. A ton. I've done the main story content, 75% of the shrines, and am halfway done the picture quest. And I've kind of reached a point where my fun with this game has peaked. All I really have left to do aside from wandering aimlessly is those last chunk of shrines, so i'm just teleporting into empty regions of the map and following my radar. I had a lot more fun when there were huge blank spots on the map and I had to venture off into uncharted territory, discovering new sights and obtaining increasingly better weapons. Do I decide to press on in hopes of finding a shrine, or turn back to safety where I know I can find food. It had this survival element.
But now I have what I presume to be among the strongest weapons in the game. Battling would just be a pointless drain, since the rewards rarely surpass the tools I've already got. And the hunt for shrines does not really lend itself well to soaking in the world. I have no mechanical motivation to explore, and having a complete map full of war points has contributed to the world's scope losing its sense of awe. Enemies , wildlife, and encounters are repeating way too much, so it feels like I have nothing left to discover. It feels like The Wild has been tamed, predictable even.
Don't take this the wrong way. I'm still having fun and I still like the game a lot. But at this point it feels like that initial magic is lost, and starting over won't be able to bring it back. Maybe it's just a case of me playing so much that I've begun seeing the machine hiding behind the curtain. But I would love to have that initial feeling of wonder once again, when everything was so unfamiliar and exciting.
I'd say it's time for you to beat the game then! I'm still early on, but I'm certainly enjoying it a lot more when I ignore sidequests and just do whatever I feel like. I'm not pressuring myself to complete this game 100%.
I just spent an hour trying to push a rock up a mountain in my underwear. This game is amazing. It was for the island challenge... one of the balls rolled down a mountain and it took me forever to get it back up there. But it was awesome! It was frustrating in the best way!
Eventide Island? Finally cleared that after my 8th or so attempt last night (I stumbled on it early on and kept getting OHK'd.)
The balls will reset. I was trying to blast off the plate blocking the pedestal to no avail. In the process I'd already carried the ball partway there. Eventually I gave up figuring there had to be a sledgehammer hidden around somewhere (I didn't realise you could use other weapons to generate the stored energy for Stasis - I did figure that out later though.) When I came back, the ball was back at the spawn.
...I also wish I'd realised that before I dropped another ball down a hill and into the ocean. I spent a good ten minutes pushing that thing around like a trained seal to get it back to the beach where I could pick it up.
I laugh every time I drop a rock on a Korok's head. For some reason it never ceases to amuse me. It's probably the little noise they make when it happens. I don't usually drop it on purpose though! Usually it's just me spamming the A button to get through the text that I've already seen 50+ times and then hitting the drop command before I know it's popped up.
And congrats on being 11% done with the Korok challenge! (Based on what I've heard is the total number of Koroks in this game...)
I'm realizing playing BotW that the thing that annoys me most about Zelda in general is feeling like I'm stuck down in a hole somewhere trying to figure out which direction to push a *** box so I can continue playing my adventure game.
While I've never personally felt that way about the dungeons (though I have felt that way about some of the precursor quests you have to undertake to unlock certain dungeons in the series), would your opinion change if the dungeons gave more insight into the world, story, or characters of the game rather than just being big puzzle chambers with occasional battles?
That was one of the things I loved about Adventure of Link and Twilight Princess. Their dungeons added an extra element to the world I was exploring and (TP especially) they often felt like real places that would have existed in the world even if they weren't dungeons. Throw some extra lore to find in those things a la Metroid Prime and/or BotW's cut scenes, and those would likely be my new favorite dungeons of the series.
That said, if your issue is just being unable to progress in the story until you've completed these dungeons, I doubt this would help address that issue all that much. I've just never been stuck in a dungeon long enough for that possible annoyance to have ever occurred to me.
I definitely prefer the OoT/MM/TP art styles to BotW, but if we were to get an MM-esque sequel to BotW, I would definitely like for it to maintain the same art style as its predecessor unless it has no ties to BotW.
What context did Zelda 2's dungeons have in the overall world of Hyrule? I might've caught on a bit more if the townspeople had clearer dialogue. So many of them seem to "know nothing"!
Speaking of Zelda 2, are you guys familiar with the theory (?) that the entirety of Zelda 1's map is in a small chunk of the world below Death Mountain? It certainly seems intentional to me, although I don't think Nintendo ever actually confirmed it. But if that is representative of Hyrule, it makes me wonder if Zelda 2's Hyrule is even larger than BotW's...
Graveyard, lakes, forests, it all adds up with the common factor being Death Mountain in the north in both games. You even find the Hammer in Spectacle Rock, although the scale is a bit off.
@TriforceBun I did read somewhere that Zelda II's Hyrule was set to 'the north' of 'Old Hyrule which was abandoned in Zelda I. But I'd never seen that map comparison before! That's too bizarrely close to be anything but deliberate IMO. Wild.
I'm itching to resurrect the old timeline thread myself with regards to some speculation about BotW's incarnation of Hyrule vis-vis it's apparent location in the timeline, but I'm waiting until I finish the game before I star throwing wild theories around.
You think the guy who uses ironic fascist imagery and has a theme song that boasts about how clever he is isn't above manufacturing some controversy? Well, we can agree to disagree, then.
Just so it's clear, I like Jim Sterling. I think his video after the death of Iwata was one of the best, straightforward tributes I saw. But he seems to me to be another one of those guys who's trying to be the Lester Bangs of video game reviews. Yes, he has a very distinct voice and, yes, I think the complaints he has are mostly honest. And maybe he does this sort of thing with major games all the time - which, if that's true, kinda backs up my point a bit. But I don't believe for a second that he gave this game a 7 without considering the impact of that score, considering the glowing reception of BotW, and how it would drive traffic to his interests online. He's been in the business long enough to know a 7 is basically considered one step above trash. I don't believe for a second that it wasn't calculated for impact to some degree.
The feeling you describe is always going to be true about this sort of game, though. I mean, it's a game of discovery - about finding out what's around the corner. Once you know the answer to those questions, then it stops being high adventure and turns into your neighborhood. And I think that's ok. Because what's the alternative? An even larger game than BotW? A procedurally generated one?
I think we've got to expect that once we've uncovered the game's secrets, it'll never be the same. But that's not so much a flaw in the game as it is simply the nature of this sort of game. I like how you put it - that you've tamed the wild. To me, that's kind of the goal. It's what I'm playing for, even more than kicking Ganon out of that castle.
Well, clearly I'm just an idiot who can't solve remedial puzzles.
To me, it's not so much the difficulty of the puzzles, it's that I don't like adventure games becoming so narrow that progress depends on basically you doing one thing right now. That attitude goes back to my first experiences with adventure games in the 80s with the King's Quest series. Yes, any story-based game will have specific tasks that have to be completed - and that's true for BotW, too - but I'm not getting that feeling I sometimes got in OoT or even WW, where I'd rather be off doing something else, but I'm grinding out dungeon puzzles because I can't go anywhere or do anything else until I do.
Anyway, my point isn't to attack all earlier Zelda games or anything. Obviously those are some of my favorite games. My point was to counter Shadowlink's argument that something important was lost because the dungeons aren't the same size as they'd been in previous Zeldas. To me, the dungeons were never the main appeal of this series. The main appeal was the adventure/exploration/discovery - which massive, linear dungeons tend to interrupt. That's why BotW really hits the sweet spot for me. The puzzles are decentralized, so I can work them when I want and progress the story in other ways through exploration.
Anand has that theory that your favorite Zelda games tend to reflect what you value in the series. I'm a Wind Waker/LoZ kinda guy more than an OoT/TP kinda guy. I think my attitude towards dungeons is kind of reflected in that. I want to be out on my boat seeing what's going on in the sea or paragliding into a new valley from a mountain, not figuring out which torch I need to shoot an arrow through so I can get a key and move into the next room of some dungeon.
Here was my post on GAF about the Jim Sterling stuff:
I like Jim Sterling a lot and I am eager to read his review.
I think BotW is an incredible game with some minor flaws that represents a bold new direction for Zelda. I could absolutely see someone put-off by some elements not enjoy the game as much as the majority seem to.
Obviously, Jim is the victim here. I cannot state that emphatically enough. No matter what he thought of the game he deserves to be able to put his opinion out there without being attacked for it.
All of that being said, though...
Jim sure is a lightning rod for controversy. He (almost?) always seems to be on the right side of things but I just get this sense that trouble keeps finding him more so than any other critic. And I think it isn't unfair to state that these things help his brand because as he says he doesn't lose ad revenue, and the majority of his content on the Jimquisition skews toward the shitty practices done by corporations or petulant children that take exception to his coverage of their content. All of this is to say that I think Jim knows what the reaction is going to be when he does stuff like this. I think that he is smart enough to know that his review gets more attention for being so far outside the zone than if it had just been another 10/10. The real question is if he alters his review or coverage to try and provoke that response which is something we can never know. Only he will know that. And it is insulting to assume that his coverage is done with a motive of getting attention.
So I guess my POV is that Jim is a good critic and I think he does stay true to his opinion but I don't think that he completely hates it when stuff like this happens. He's going to get a good amount of publicity out of this, make a Jimquisition tearing down the people who do this and come out as the hero of all of this. Which is again, totally fair and how it should be. But I think in the end he does gain more than he loses from this and I think he knows that. Again, I don't personally think that it affects any of his coverage. Just more of an observation.
Well I could probably write an entire post debating your characterisation of the dungeon concept. For example, I think there's plenty of dungeons in the series where puzzles are integrated into the structure as a whole as a whole rather than each room being a mere distinct puzzle chamber ala BotW's shrines. Majora's Masks's dungeons certainly come to mind.
That being said, that's really a separate argument from the point you're trying to make I feel. As you've said, you've got tons of other things to be getting on with in the game. Making the dungeons as epic as any of the other 3D entries certainly wouldn't take away from that in anyway. You can still do them in whatever order, and you still have all those other Overworld things to do if you get stuck. So your progress wouldn't have been really hampered with a bit more effort spent on the dungeons. The only thing really holding us back from that would have been development logistics, but that's a bit outside the scope of this discussion.
The only place you and I seem to disagree is how far we think it's acceptable to speculate on his motives. You note the trend of him being a lightning rod, but are unwilling to say it's intentional, since the truth of that is unknowable. I agree that it's unknowable, but I don't think his opinion is sacred or anything. I don't mind speculating about his motives because... who cares anyway? I mean, it's just some guy's opinion and/or career-boosting move. And then it's just my opinion about his motives. And I'm nobody.
It doesn't really matter, unless you think that Metacritic score matters. Which I don't.
In other, fun BotW news: Evie has named all 5 horses in my stable. There's Bouncy, Boo, Harper, Bink and Epona, which she calls Pinto. I also found a 6th horse which we couldn't keep which she named Bean. Pinto and Bean just go together I guess.
Also, she's started shouting, "You can do it, Link!" Every time she sees me paragliding somewhere. It's adorable. Good grief she's only two!
Eh to me it just comes from a place of 'You only say this because you're nostalgic/biased/republican'. These days I am trying to presume others' motives less. He could be doing it to give himself a story but he could just also legitimately feel that way. Regardless of the motivations, the talking points are the same so at best all it does is muddy the discussion in my mind.