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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.
@kriswright Well, "isn't above" and "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." are two very different things, right? One says there is some possibility he did this on purpose, the other says he obviously did this on purpose. While it's always possible regardless of who we are talking about, I don't see any reason to believe he obviously did this on purpose. He just doesn't seem to like the game as much as some people. He still calls it good, and to some reviewers a 7 is a good score, he just thinks it gets in the way of itself a lot. A complaint that I think is understandable, although how much that affects your person experience will vary. I just don't see any reason to leap to "manufactured controversy".
As for the lightning rod stuff sure, everyone knows that giving a low score to an otherwise high scoring game will get you attention, but there seems to be a lot of selection bias in the way people apply thinking a site / person is just doing it for hits. I've seen way more times than I can count some review site being called exploitative or whatever just because they give a low score to an otherwise well scoring game. But you look at the rest of their reviews and it's pretty typical reviewing. Did they really just do a bunch of normal reviews and then decide out of nowhere they needed some hits so throw a wacky one out there? Or is this just the one where their reviewer really felt differently from the masses? The second seems more likely to me in most cases. I mean even us, let's say we had gotten listed on GR (as was a goal of mine once), and then this review pops up. The same complaints would get levied against us, but would they be true?
I think 5 years ago me would be grabbing my pitchfork to join the mob (ok probably not, because I'm too "nice", but in my MIND I'd be up in arms and complaining on forums) but I've just seen way too many Internet mobs forming by connecting vague dots to come to dubious conclusions over the last few years to feel very comfortable about assuming other people's motives. I think we would all agree that reviewers should have the space to step away from mainstream opinion, but nowadays I wonder what that means in practice.
I also think that perhaps people's obsessions over Metacritic / Gamerankings averages (and I'm guilty of this a lot) are driving this more than just not being able to handle an individual opinion. I think people start to see these deviations as knocking a game out of its "rightful" place in these lists, doubly so if they engage in "system wars" and want to be able to point to a list and say "SEE, WE HAVE THE BETTER GAME!" Do we give the lists too much power? They are, after all, just the average of a bunch of opinions.
Planned on playing only about an hour last night, but I experienced two (more) magical moments. The hits just keep on coming with this game.
I know some of you guys have mentioned Eventide Island? This isn't about that, but another moment in another place that rivals that experience.
Earlier in the day, I decided to tackle a couple of my outstanding shrine quests before moving on in my adventure towards Divine Beast #4. I did the "Spring of Wisdom" quest in the mountains, and this confirmed my suspicions regarding the seemingly-random dragons I had observed previously in the wild. I had already accepted the "Spring of Power" quest, so I knew that I had to go after Dinraal.
I had seen him previously near a certain stable, so I went there and staked out for a bit and sure enough, he made another appearance. I took a snapshot of him, which gave me some location details and I set my Sheikah Slate to track how close I was to him (this comes into play later in a different way). So, off to Death Mountain I go. I (wrongly) expected that, like Naydra, I'd find his proper home in the mountains and we'd go from there. But I found nothing.
However, there was a seemingly-important area that I hadn't explored yet, located between here and the other place where I saw him, and that place is Thyphlo Ruins, directly north of the Great Hyrule Forest. I thought, "Okay, I haven't been here yet, maybe this is where he hangs out." Boy, was I in for a surprise.
So, I get there and it's a totally pitch-dark forest. I literally can't see anything besides a luminous stone or two in the distance. It's a shrine quest, to find the shrine entrance in pitch-dark. Naturally, I had no torch on me, but I did have some fire arrows. I walked around very slowly with my bow drawn for a while, and shot at anything that moved. It's all darkness and fire at this point! I'm walking around with no idea where I'm going at this point -- I remembered that my Sheikah Slate was not set to track shrine locations, and at this point I made the decision to leave it that way. I was dropping my remaining flint & steel to start fires every so often to try and keep track of where I was.
Next, there was water -- or was it a mud pit? -- between me and some elevated flame. I used my cryonis ability to make some ice, and again, it's so dark you can only see the ice blocks and nothing else. I get what was in the chest and drop down into a grassy area. Still with my fire arrows drawn, a pack of wolves attacked me out of the darkness. I killed one, but the others ran off -- I could hear them, but all I could see in the darkness was their glowing eyes. Spooky! Then a flock of keese attacked me. Eventually I found a torch, and used this to light other torches, and I found my way to where I needed to place a ball to unlock the shrine gate. And where was that ball? Guarded by an enemy in the next room that I could hear, but could not see, until I got close enough with my torch: a Hinox! Super-epic battle at this point, in near-darkness where the giant Hinox appears as nothing but a shadow, with reflections from the nearby flames giving me at least an outline. By using stasis to stop him in place and shooting his glowing eye with fire arrows, I was able to defeat him and complete the shrine quest. Absolutely amazing, atmospheric and heart-pounding experience.
But that's not all. Feeling satisfied, I fast-travel back to Death Mountain to call it a night, and it's about 2:00 AM (in-game) and what do I spy out of the corner of my eye? Dinraal, flying high in the sky. I follow his movements across the map, and though I lost him again, I spotted a location where I could get close to him after his descent. I slept until the next night and went back to this location to stake out. Still not entirely sure what to do, when he got close I tried to jump on him and climb onto him -- this did not work out well, as he's HOT HOT HOT and I bounced off of him like 10 times as he floated back off into the sky, before I fell to the ground. Not totally discouraged, I slept another full day and went back. This time, I fired a few ice arrows at him and one must have hit him this time, as his scale landed on the ground below. Another shrine quest completed!
That was, like, 2 hours of playing. This game, man.
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.
Totally agreed. I've never looked at Zelda as a "combat game" or a "survival game", even though it's awesome that BotW advances the series greatly in both areas. But after hours and hours of that, it feels to me like a reward when Link becomes more powerful. Engaging in random combat isn't something I have to do as much now, and I'm fine with that as it just means I can do more exploring in a shorter span. And I can still go wreck some guard outposts if I want to, just for fun, even if I won't get anything good from it.
I mean, I've probably already put in close to 100 hours and I still feel there's so much more to discover from this world (almost 1/3 of the map is still untouched in my game). Yeah, at a certain point you will run out of new things to discover, but even after everything I've done thus far that's not something I'd complain about. All things must end, but my time with BotW so far has been nothing short of excellent.
I think you're piling a lot of other people's history into my comment, though. I mean, I think it's obvious that - at least in the case of the score - Sterling is doing it for the hits. Of course I don't know for sure and of course it's speculation, but that's my read on the situation and so there it is. I don't care that other people have accused other people of doing that, and have maybe been wrong or right or whatever. That's drama I don't care about and won't bother talking about. I don't feel obligated to deal with that history of complaining about review scores because I don't actually care that much about review scores.
I've said my piece before about my dislike of the 100 point rating system and how I think it's foolish to try to buck the system and "use more" of the 100 point scale by rating good games lower. If a 7 is still a good score for Sterling then my complaint also includes the quixotic idea that a 7 is a good score when everyone who has ever read video game reviews knows it isn't.
Beyond that, I've said my part. I still like Jim Sterling and my opinion hasn't changed much on him - that he's a pretty insightful guy who makes good videos and also courts controversy when it's helpful to his career as a guy who talks about video games for a living.
Yeah. Sure. And maybe he did feel the game was a 7 and I'm wrong.
I'm starting to get perplexed why everyone's jumping to Sterling's defense, here, particularly against my rando comment. Is it so important that we come across as 'reasonable' and 'giving someone the benefit of the doubt' when we're talking about something so shallow and stupid as a review score that wrecked a composite review score on Metacritic (or maybe it didn't, I don't even know). I mean...
Here's the thing I don't get: Are we not allowed to question ulterior motives about someone's professional criticism now without essentially looking like cry baby console warriors? Are you guys saying that, since a thing is unknowable, it's now unquestionable? Because that line of thinking, beyond being sorta naive, is also opening yourself up for exploitation by games media, which (despite the way certain phrases have been abused in Gamergate circles) is crooked as shit.
Also, considering a big portion of this forum heaped hot fire on Fran from IGN for rating Double Dash a 7.9, it also comes off as a little inconsistent. (Though, I admit, that was a long long time ago and there could be some overzealous self-correction going on here.)
Hey I tend to use the US school system grading scale when scoring my games so yeah, to me a 7 is a bit mediocre and I think it is to a lot of reviewers at a lot of sources at the end of the day. Yet it's not a very straight-forward discussion, in fact I seem to be in the minority when I'm having scoring discussions with other people. To the point where the consensus that we came up with for games in the 7s on NW is:
7.0-7.9: "Good". Good games are very solid, respectable games that are held back from greatness by some real issues.
This is what people here wanted! Do we follow this when reviewing games though? I'm not sure that I do. I mean, I've given games that I consider "good" with some caveats high 7s, but once you get down to those low 7s... well, I pretty much never give low 7s to games because I usually only play games that interest me to completion.
Still, other people review quite differently, and the other thing I learned about trying to have a unified scoring system on NW is that no matter what you put in your score guideline text, people still just score based on what makes sense to them. I don't know much about academic grades in the UK (where he is from) but they seem very different than here? Which might explain why UK reviewers also seem "harsher" to us in general? (EDGE gets called out for low scores a lot too.) If a 7 really means "good" to Jim Sterling and he thought it was a good game held back by his many complaints, I don't think a 7 is out of line. It's just sort of weird to me to insist that it's obvious he is doing it for hits, like it is unfathomable that he played a game most people are absolutely loving and only sort of liked it.
I guess I feel this a bit personally too because, while I'm getting into it more lately, my early BOTW experience was a bit iffy and I still have moments where I'm like why did I just spend a half hour collecting stuff I don't care about to finish a quest that gave me a meaningless reward like, is the core gameplay here really as compelling as some of my other favorite games? Is more always better? I don't think I'll have an answer to that for quite some time, at the moment it feels like it is (I'm currently on a bit of a BOTW high), but I can definitely see it dropping the other way for some people because it always feels a bit to me like I'm right on the edge. And I've also personally experienced how UTTERLY RIDICULOUS people think you are when you have any issues with this game at all so... yeah.
I wasn't around for those discussions and, frankly, was disappointed to learn that we'd adopted it. I don't review many games nowadays, but I gotta admit I don't follow those descriptions because, well, nobody needs a 100 point system to review games and thinking you do is part of the problem. If you're going to use it, then use it the way everyone understand it works.
I'm not sure it being a 100 point system is really the particular issue here though? In fact, I think Jim Sterling uses a 10 point system? (I'm at work where all game sites are blocked now so I can't double check this stuff.) Any system I can think of, no one would be happy with BOTW scoring that low. Would people really have been ok with 3.5 out of 5 stars or something? (Or if it was an actual 5 star system with no decimals and he went as low as a 3?) We'd still see the same complaints. I think people more or less expect the same from any numbered system whatever multiple it is.
If anything I think with those more limited scoring systems people expect perfect scores a lot more. Because your two options in a 5 point scale for a good game are basically a perfect 5 out of 5 score or a 4 out of 5 which is a C in the US grading system. Even in a 10 point scale a 9 is already dropping into B territory.
One of the best-written, most insightful and even-handed professional reviews for Shapes of Gray gave it a 5 out of 10: "Average" on their review scale. Even though I'd like to point people to that review, I always have to qualify it by saying "but keep in mind that a 5 is Average to them!", and that sucks. But we've had this discussion a hundred times before. Review scores are silly, you can't condense a complex opinion into a number. The only way it makes sense is for comparing how much you like one game versus another, and even that gets murky. How am I supposed to compare Super Monkey Ball to Shadow of the Colossus? I don't even rate games anymore because I don't like having to pick favorites.
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.
There's a pretty good Youtube series going on right now called Boss Keys where this dude analyzes the structure of the dungeons in each Zelda game, and one things he's found is that they've become way more linear as time has gone on... which shouldn't be too revelatory to anyone here, but it's kinda cool seeing it laid out. The upside to that is that sequential puzzles can build on each other's difficulty, but you lose that little bit of explorative freedom that you had in the earlier games' dungeons.
I've done one dungeon in Breath of the Wild so far and loved it. Even though it felt tiny, it still took me like 45 minutes to get through. The puzzles were really cool, the structure was a totally new thing... really looking forward to the next dungeons. They're perfectly long enough when you have the Shrines to supplement them. Only complaint is the boss being ridiculously easy. That thing killed you, Mipha!? It's no wonder we lost!
7 is a shit score for this game regardless of the real flaws this game has because it does SO very much right, especially in this day and age.
Many people consider this to be a modern OOT/Mario 64 and downplaying the achievements this game made is idiotic. 7/10 just seems...disrespectful towards what is clearly a pioneer in game design. Does he have better reasoning beyond the usual "wah, why do my weapons break?" complaint?
Having said that, I see the flaws this game has, and it feels like a bit of a shame because they came so so so soooooo close to this being a "perfect" Zelda game.
But I can't ignore the music, while still pretty awesome overall, ends up feeling a bit repetitive and far too low key. It needs a stronger presence IMO, something closer to SS style music would have been great. It would have fit perfectly. After SS my dream was for the next Zelda to follow in its footsteps and have fantastic tracks like Scaldera, Lanaryu Desert, Skykeep, etc. Some of the music feels kinda budget, which is a bit of a shock considering everything else in the game is top quality. I honestly think it may have been a cost cutting measure. Oh well. Hopefully the sequel corrects this. The minimalist music isn't *bad*, it would just be nice to switch between jingles, silence, and "real" music. It's just too ambient, and if you hear the same few jingles nonstop through a god knows how many hours game, it's bound to lose its impact. Like, I still can't wait to get to the desert but it feels like a bit of a shame knowing I'll ve there only to hear the same little jingles instead of a superb desert track like Lanaryu Desert in SS. So that's my take on the music.
Weapon breaking I could see being annoying to some people but people really need to suck it up and enjoy the design and embrace the fact it encourages variety and experimentation. Did people complain that weapons didn't last long in Condemned? Also, weapons break far less often further into the game so that complaint can almodt go out the window.
Dungeons. Here's a big one for me and that should come as no surprise to anyone. I finally did one and I fucking loved it. Could it have been better or more like a real dungeon? Sure. What was there was fucking awesome! I'm not about to complain about what something isn't (especially when the writing was on the wall long ago) but I will examine what it *is* . Atmosphere was fantastic, the music was really good, and I loved the air of mystery/creepiness it brought. The gameplay was wonderful too. I thought it was stunning, and can't wait to do the others. Still, I do want a return to the old style dungeon with the DLC (fingers crossed that that's the plan) or a sequel, and it would work great with the open design of the game. I always envisioned a Temple hidden deep in the woods somewhere, where parts of it are open (like cracks or holes) and you could get in via some side entrance. I really wished from long ago that would be the case with this game. It hurts a bit that this didn't make it in, but I'm happy with what we got. We had 30 yrs of old dungeons, it's okay to try something new. Hell, even the current dungeons as they are operating how I wished would have been amazing. Maybe next time!
Underwater stuff/Hookshot are also two things I wish made it into the game, but again it just gives me something to look forward to in a sequel.
Oh and I think the game could use just a liiiiiittle more structure. Just a weeee bit.
Just imagine if Nintendo applies all these things to a sequel. Then you'd have a 100% Metacritic score ;)
I definitely agree with a lot of the criticism he has towards the whole weapon durability system. It doesn't bother me as much as it does him but it does suck when you beat a dungeon, get the cool unique weapon of the tribe you helped, and then have it break or just don't use it. And there were just cool weapons I would come across and the excitement of finding them is immediately tempered by the knowledge that it is temporary and who knows when you will find another one.
I think the game could've been improved if the system was reworked or there was some kind of armory where you could stock up and get them to supply you with a few choice weapons every hour or something.
I guess this is early Kakariko village spoilers, if anyone still hasn't gotten past that part, but I have a question about the first item you get: Are there Champion's Trousers somewhere? If there are, I feel like I'm missing them.
As far as this discussion about reviews and scores goes, I think it's too early for me to really get into that myself. I'm still playing the game, after all. At this point, all I can throw out is a vague "This is a great game, but it isn't quite Zelda enough." Which I know is the appeal for some people, but not for me. I'd be down for a sequel that reuses engines and assets to save dev time, and I'd hope for it to add in more Zelda 1 elements. I feel Zelda 1 has the perfect structure for Zelda and I'm still waiting for a 3D Zelda 1.
@Zero Bro told me about that. Can't wait. I wonder if it'll address the logic behind some things people take issue with like the weapons durability.
I trust Nintendo struck the right balance. You can hold plenty of weapons later, and can pick and choose as you please later. Save the better weapons for the stronger enemies if you want.
If anything is an issue with that, it's the balance. It went from being a bit concerningly easy to very hard (this new enemy I met is a savage). But we also have the hard mode coming. Can't wait for that. Is that end of year :( ?
Fingers crossed for DLC Dungeon being a traditional dungeon! With open design/climbing! Please!
Personally I think the weapon durability works, makes it more interesting. It makes for a pretty dynamic system where you actually end up using a lot of stuff, and weapons aren't instantly useless just because something better comes around. Some of my most interesting battles ended with me scrambling to use whatever I could find laying around to finish someone off. And it's weird to me that people feel the need to hold onto good weapons for super long, if you're doing a bunch of sidequests and stuff you just keep getting new, better weapons anyway.
I've got a giant 34 attack broadsword that can set things on fire. I'm not sure how it gets much better to be honest. And I don't want to use it. (Although I know where there is a second one I can grab.) It comes in handy as a personal heater in a pinch, so I want to hold on to it.
I think a better approach would have been to make the weapons far rarer and not break, but make enemies particularly vulnerable to one particular type of weapon.
They've done that to some extent, but really you can beat on the enemy with whatever is to hand. Specialise it a bit more and you can make each weapon feel really special- That forces you to switch up tactics and addresses the weapon issue in general.
Oh god please no, then it just becomes the dumb elemental system or something. USE HEAT ON WOOD, WOOD ON WATER, WATER ON HEAT. Ew. I hate those. I don't mind basic enemies having puzzle elements but "keep trying different weapons until you find the one that works" is not a puzzle element. And if it is broadcast in some open way so there is nothing to solve, what even is the point beyond making me change weapons constantly?
And it's weird to me that people feel the need to hold onto good weapons for super long, if you're doing a bunch of sidequests and stuff you just keep getting new, better weapons anyway.
For real, the whole point of having them break quickly is that none of them are ever so valuable that you have any incentive to hold on to them. I mean, I typically do use my plethora of Boko Clubs when I'm just fighting weak enemies and save the stronger ones for when I'm in a pinch, but hanging on to all your best items until the final boss rolls around is the most boring way to play the game! What exactly are you optimizing by doing that, even from a strategic perspective?
what even is the point beyond making me change weapons constantly?
...You're talking about the breakable weapons, right?
Incidentally I didn't mean an elemental system, just that certain weapons are better suited than others. E.g you can keep poking the Hinox with your sword and ticking it off, and it will die eventually....or you can just drop a few arrows into it's eye and do critical damage with each shot. At the moment whilst arrows *do* work to stun it, melee weapons are pretty similar in effectiveness in terms of damage.