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.
Yeah. I'm a big partisan for Wind Waker and I've always denied the complaint that the Great Sea was empty, since I always felt the encounters and platforms and stuff really filled it out. But BotW takes Wind Waker's scope, doubles it, and then mixes in the density from LttP. I never demanded that from Wind Waker because that seemed like an impossible thing to ask for. But damned if I didn't just spend all day playing a game that did just that.
It feels like a game made by madmen. Like, the game could be half its current size with a quarter of the content and it would still be a can't-miss game. But they just blew it out, bigger and better, across the board. It's... the best I can say is that it's like a dream game that would have existed in your imagination, but would have seemed impossible to ever make into a reality. Like, the guy in the planning meeting gives his pitch for this game and gets fired on the spot for being impractical.
I want to add that it's an impeccable, definitive adventure game. It's the first game in a long, long time that made me feel like I was on an actual adventure.
Played Zelda today at a friends. As you can imagine I thought the game was utterly terrible and the worst game I have played in a long time.
Now that's enough about Phantom Hourglass. I thought Breath of the Wild was one of the best open world adventure games I have played, and I have barely touched it. I have a few issues with it that I feel in the long run will stop me from viewing it as perfect, but I had a lot of fun in the short time I had.
Sometimes things really click and everything feels pretty amazing. Other times though, I feel like I'm TRYING to do a lot of exploring, but mostly just running around without finding much. Like I spent 4 1/2 hours playing tonight, most of that time being me exploring the lands around the paths towards respective main quest goals, and I'm not even really sure that I found much in all of that time. It kind of feels like some of my "open world" fears are being confirmed, there is a lot of SPACE in this game and when I feel like I'm not finding much, it starts to feel tiring. I don't know if I'm approaching things wrong because a lot of the reviews said the game is packed with things to do and you'll constantly be doing a million different things and then running into a million other things to do before even finishing the first million so your list never ends, but I feel like I'm not actually finding many side quests, trial shrines, etc., certainly not as many as I expected to after reading reviews about how much there is to do in this game. So after awhile I start to get frustrated that I'm not finding much and I give up and just head to the next main quest part but by then I'm a bit exhausted and I've lost some of my momentum. Bah.
But then when it clicks, it clicks pretty hard and I think it might be one of the best games ever, so I dunno. Maybe I need to approach it differently so I don't feel like I'm doing too much fruitless exploring.
It's sort of weird to me how the fighting has been some of the most satisfying stuff so far. Didn't think I'd ever say that about a Zelda game (I usually like the battle system, but it's the puzzles I'm there for.) But... where are the wicked boss fights yo?!
Did a little cleanup duty tonight. Side missions, some other shrines/upgrade stuff and just some general exploration. I'm thinking about heading towards my next "main" objective tomorrow. After that, my Zelda Hibernation ends and I must go back to work.
I like how with the side missions in particular, they don't tell you "Hey, just go to this spot on the map". There's been lots of talking to NPCs for clues/information, piecing together bits from notes and then studying the map for where something might be located. It's so much more rewarding that way. That's a big part of the adventuring aspect, finding a lot out on your own.
I'm really surprised by that, though maybe you've gone in a different direction than I did. I've had the exact opposite experience. Ever since getting to my first town after leaving the plateau area, I've had almost too much stuff to do!
I just try not to hang around in the same area for too long. If at any point I feel like I've had enough of a certain activity or of a particular region of the map, I move on. I figure I can always go back to it. The only time the game has felt tiresome for me is when I decided to fully explore every inch of the plateau before moving on, and I haven't done anything like that since.
What has blown me away the most about BotW so far is that it still manages to be roughly as dense with compelling content as previous Zelda games, in spite of how gargantuan the world is. When I was a kid playing Ocarina of Time and (foolishly) thinking "OMG imagine what these games are going to be on the Dolphin!", the picture I had painted in my head is pretty much what BotW is. It's what I wanted Twilight Princess to be.
In addition to Souls, MGSV and Xenoblade influences I am also seeing some Western influence (Far Cry, Witcher, Elder Scrolls) as well. It's borrowing a lot of the things that those games do well while avoiding their pitfalls. I mentioned that in the thread about Aonuma having played and "studied" those games, and my hope was that his takeaway wasn't just about what those games did well, but also what they didn't. And why certain things didn't work out in those cases.
So far this game seems to address most of my issues with modern open-world games, justifies its open-world design -- this game wouldn't be as good if it was done any other way -- and it fixes most of the problems I've had with 3D Zelda games since Majora's Mask. I would have been pleased if BotW only succeeded in one of those areas, but I never imagined it would do it all like it has.
Breath of the Wild seems to be a perfect example of "trading away all of our bad players for all of your good players".
I figured out one on a beach last night and I presume if I go back to the one's I've missed, I could do the same. I didn't note on my map where those were though… I can tell you that they are not very complicated in the end and when you solve what's going on, it'll be obvious as hell.
I'm also surprised by that, since coming of the Great Plateau was where things really opened up for me and I got lost doing crazy stuff immediately. There ARE a few relatively empty areas if you're traveling on foot, if we're defining empty in the sense that there isn't something new every 20 yards or so. Maybe you just had bad luck and ended up there? I don't know.
One thing I wouldn't do is try to explore the map methodically inch-by-inch. There's just too much to see and it'd be too overwhelming to do that. My advice is treat this like exploring the woods when you were a kid - just go out and see what you find. "Theres a weird looking tree. What's that?" If you find you're not having fun, go a different direction and try again. And if that's still not working, then head for the objective and push the boat out a little farther.
So far that philosophy hasn't let me down. I played it all day and kept checking the clock to find more hours had gone by. Galaxy was the last time that really happened on this scale. Coming from a guy who put like 200 hours into Overwatch over the last 6 months, that's saying something.
I played for 20 hours this weekend and feel like I'm only scratching the surface. This game is pretty wow. It is also bad news for my free time: it's gonna take all my willpower to do things like dishes, laundry, cooking, exercise, etc. instead of just abandoning all non-work life for Zelda.
@TheBigG753@kriswright I'm going to try to lay out last night's experience here and see if I can figure out what is up. Keep in mind that though I started slow, by the time I hit the stable the game had grown on me a ton and I could definitely see where the hype was coming from, was running around telling people how great the game is. I still think it is great, but unlike some people who seem to get all ups, for me it has been some ups and downs.
So, last night I spent about 4 1/2 hours which basically took me from right outside of the first stable where I got my horse to getting the photograph power. Does that sound about right or is that like woah, why that much time just for that?! I always get a bit paranoid with these open world games that if I go in too straight-forward of a manner that I will miss a bunch of the game so I wonder if I take it too far the other way?
Anyway, I'm going to go into a bit more detail here so some spoilers for that section:
1. So I'm heading towards Kakariko village on my trusty steed and one of the first things that happens is I run into this weird looking character who says their maracas were stolen and wants me to help get them back. This is what I expected, right? Just lots of random NPCs giving me random side quests. But as it turns out this was the only random NPC character out in the world side quest that I got like this the entire night's session. Anyway the place to do it was right down the road and it was a basic take out a few enemies thing so while it was nice, it wasn't anything I hadn't already done a bunch by this point. Bring back the goods and get some neat stuff. Not a bad start.
2. I keep heading towards the village and I find these strange boxes on the wall. Super cool, a random puzzle! But... it's not much of a puzzle really, just match the one side to the other. Still, it was neat, making me feel good about things. I ran into a few more of these during the night's session but once you know the little "trick" there isn't much thought involved. So far anyway.
3. Still, I'm getting a bit paranoid about moving too linearly... I don't want to ride right to the city do I? There is a big world out there! So I hop off my horse and decide to climb the mountains to my right and explore them. I climb, run all over them, climb some more, run some more... probably spent a good 15, 20 minutes doing this, climbing all over this mountain range, and I found nothing up there. With that said I then decided not to go back to the road but to approach the city from where I was, which lead to one of the nicest segments of the night. Stumbled upon this pumpkin looking thing with a big fairy inside (but didn't have enough $ to do anything about it yet), then stumbled upon a trial shrine, and then leapt from high above the city and glided down, mid-air seeing that a part was blocked off by some guards so I landed in there. However, my "exploration sure was worth it!" mood got tempered a bit when one of the NPCs told me about the fairy and I realized a road from the city goes directly up to the shrine / fairy, not really much of a hidden secret there.
4. So anyway, I'm in the town! Surely there are some good sidequests to pick up here! I talk to everyone I can find and... not really. Outside of the NPC that told me about the thing I already did, I didn't find any other leads. So I sell some stuff, get some new gear, go back and open the fairy just to find out that the only upgrades she can do for me require the thing I just sold. Such is life. Go talk to Impa, get set on a new quest to a new town.
5. I decide that instead of heading towards my goal, I'm going to go sideways and explore! I won't get into too many details here but this ended up being one of the biggest wastes of time of my night. Except for a single shrine that was in a too high up thus too cold area (I had no heat items with me, and decided to just mark it and come back later) I didn't really find anything. I just took a very, very long and roundabout path to the fort without anything satisfying happening on the way. I did run into a bunch of those mechanical enemies, and had to stealth my way past them climbing the sides of mountains, which seemed kind of cool, but as a whole this deviation from the set path was a waste.
It's hard to know exactly but I think at this point I had spent like 2ish hours from the start of my session.
6. At the fort I run around exploring a bit more, but again, didn't really turn much up, so I moved forward. There were a few neat fights on the way forward, nothing over the top but some stuff that reminded me why the battle system in this game is awesome. A group of enemies I took out by shooting an arrow through their campfire to hit an exploding barrel with the newly created fire arrow. Running into the horseback enemies the first time was pretty cool, I was on foot at the time and felt a real sense of fear as they just kept circling around me and sniping me, was about to give up and die and come back with my own horse but was like F THAT I'M GOING TO TAKE THEM OUT so I lured them into the woods where I could get closer to them and succeeded in knocking them down. And then I hopped on one of their horses and galloped down the path, running down / taking out enemies left and right. So satisfying. somewhere around here I found the tower, and climbed to the top. It had spiky vines on it which made it a bit tougher than a usual climb, but otherwise pretty straight-forward. And THEN I jumped off the tower and paraglided down to the top of a high enemy platform I saw below and dropped directly onto a big guy with my sword, knocking him smack off the platform while landing on top, then defended the high ground from everyone else who came at me. Very sweet. Love the battle system!
7. Moving forward, I'm almost at the next town (forget its name) and the woods are full of enemies. This point felt very cool, kind of tried a mix of stealth and open fighting, kept losing my weapons and needing to pick up whatever I could find. Ran into two girls knocked out with enemies over them, saved them but then spent like 15 minutes looking for the mushrooms they were talking about when I decided it wasn't worth it and moved on.
8. At the new town. First thing that happened was talking to a little boy and that weird statue stuff which was cool, but I doubt I'll ever use it. Talked to a bunch of NPCs looking for sidequests again, again came up a bit short. Saw a sign that said something about fighting monsters at the beach so I ran all the way there, found nothing, and had to climb allllllllll the way back up again. Found a trial shrine somewhere in there. Found a pond with an island in the middle and a raft, so I took the raft to the island and found... nothing? Went to the person I had to talk to, did the torch thing, got the photograph power.
And that is where I left off for the night. I guess it seems like a lot writing it out, but it felt like most of my attempts at exploring just ended up spending a lot of time and not finding much.
I guess if my session was the build-up to something more (in past Zelda games that would be the big dungeon / boss fight) it would feel pretty sweet, certainly the best overworld in a Zelda game in a long time, if not ever. But when it feels like this is basically what the game is and there aren't really those big epic dungeon boss combos (I know there are some, but they feel like not really the core of the game), then it feels a bit disappointing? But maybe I'm just playing it wrong?
Yeah, I hear you. I've always liked Wind Waker conceptually, aside from feeling that the traversal was a big slog and the game not putting bigger wallets on the critical path. But this... it's like the BotW team took every complaint about Wind Waker personally, said, "fuck YOU buddy," and designed BotW with that attitude in mind.
I remember first playing LttP, seeing the bombable walls, and feeling like I'd miss the random nature of bombing stuff from LoZ. I know why they did that, of course. A larger world makes bombing every little thing impossible. But even though LttP was much bigger than LoZ, I felt like SOME of that discovery went away. BotW addresses this beautifully. Bombable walls are still "obvious" in that you can see them and know you need to blow it up. But finding those actual spots has become the trick. They're not always in your face, and finding the ones that are tucked away is a treat.
Whatever you thought at the time, it sure makes for a fun read. Especially since we're all stuck at work reminiscing about our adventures. I doubt many people approached Kakariko the same way you did. Cool to hear.
I think your problem is that you were trying too hard to go off-piste. As Kris said, it should feel organic, being lead off by some curiosity in the distance. Trust the design of the landscape. In that respect, I suppose the route to Kakarikowas just a corridor but they spiced it up with the maracas quest and a puzzle.
I only read the first half of your post since I'm still in the village. Just finished off a cuccos gathering quest (some tropes never die).
This game, man. This game. So engrossing and addictive. But not in a shitty, Skinner Box way. In an organic, wholesome way.
I was also kind of doubtful about the reviews until I left The Great Plateau. But man... It's so good. It's like an endless onion, with layers upon layers upon layers. Just when you think you've seen it all, something else surprises and delights you.
I still have to get my head around the finer points of the combat, but I like that it's simple and strategic, and pushes you (through weapon breakage and changing environmental elements) to vary your approach. And it's cool how most encounters feel like authored challenges. It almost feels like Link is Batman, since he doesn't particularly have overwhelming strength or toughness (yet). Getting through each encounter unscathed is mostly a matter of planning and execution. And the Wind Waker-esque perfect dodge is actually rewarding and the stealth is actually tense due to the overall difficulty level. Shooting the arrows with precise motion control is incredibly satisfying, which enhances both the combat and the hunting. I'm so glad that the Pro Controller has motion.
The economy is also really well done, and I love that exploration is almost always rewarded. If not with rare ingredients or treasure, then with cool vistas or an amazing hang-gliding ride. Nintendo really went out of their way to make exploring this world fun. The world design is incredibly meticulous and dense. And the environmental sounds help with the immersion. I love that you can hear which animals are roaming in the vicinity.
Also, I was prepared for an adventure in a barren world, but the characters are super-charming, as well, with fantastic art design and clever writing! Actually, the art design of the whole game is on point. And the quests and subquests have somehow avoided tedium so far.
As far as dungeons, I haven't hit any big ones. I don't really care, though. Although I love a good Zelda dungeon, we have gotten a LOT of those in the last 10 years. Although the dungeon design was easily the strongest part of recent Zelda games, switching up the emphasis keeps the series fresh. I'm glad to see Nintendo bring some balance back to the force.
The only drawback is the framerate (playing docked on the Switch). In the Great Plateau, it was kind of atrocious. I hope that they patch the Switch version. They should be able to get some more juice out of it. Or at least have an option to force it into 720p.
It really is an amazing sandbox. Rather than reinventing the wheel again, I hope that Nintendo builds off of their sweat equity and makes another game on the same engine with the similar design goals, Majora's Mask-style. It could take place in a different world (maybe a more populated one?), have unique items and gimmicks, and truly take advantage of the Switch's hardware. And release within two years. C'mon, Nintendo!
@Kal-El814 I also miss the obscure, random secrets of NES games. Like the unmarked breakable walls in Metroid or Zelda or the unmarked secret blocks in Mario. They encouraged some tedious behavior, in a way (and it was definitely irritating when one of those obscure secrets halted your progress in the main quest), but the feeling of discovery was amazingly rewarding. It's still fun to grab the turkeys from the walls in the original Castlevania.
@Super_Conzo See that's the thing, what I was doing DID feel like it was organic. Like, I felt like they pushed me into this skinny tunnel leading to the village, but the walls were just about the right height to make it to the top, so in my mind something has to be up there, right? Practically every time I see a part of the environment that is way higher than the rest I think "they made a game with climbing, they want me to climb!" But there really are some areas that are just a whole bunch of space without anything much there, and climbing to the tops of every mountain or other high area I see hasn't really paid off much yet.
I wonder if people who play open world games more regularly know what to expect better? It might seem obvious what are good "leads" to follow down or not but to me it's really not.
As for what I expect, it's tough to say, but I guess I was expecting more of the stuff where you run into NPCs out and about and they give you specific quests like the one I mentioned above. And more puzzles worked into that stuff, like the trial shrines are neat but shouldn't similar puzzles be found organically in the world more? Run into some farmer who needs help moving something that is stuck and have to get creative about how? And more open-ended side quests that continue throughout the game. Like when I think of Arkham City or Retro City Rampage (two of the only open world games that I have put much time into) I vaguely recall both of them had side quest thingys that were basically always stringing you to a harder version of said side quest thingy. Like in RCR you could do these races, but pretty much every time you won a race another harder race opened, so that if you got bored doing the main quest the races were always there for you, and when you got bored of races you hopped back on the main quest (that's just one example, it had a lot of stuff like that.) Batman had some similar things that were kind of always present in the city as well.
Mind you, the worlds in both of those games were much smaller, and there wasn't really much of a stress on exploration (more the opposite, icons all over the maps pointing to things you could do) but it really did feel like any time you wanted some new side thing you just ran around for like 2 minutes and found something, and you could pretty much never finish all of the side stuff that you knew about. Those games felt packed. In Zelda I'll go out for 30 minutes or more and find nothing, and except for a small handful of ongoing sidequests and a few minor examples like the shrines I found but didn't do yet above, I've done everything I've found so far. It feels a bit empty, so it's a bit odd to me when everyone else says it is so packed.
But yeah maybe I should stop trying to force exploration so much and just do a bit here and there, that will at least remove some of the exploration fatigue I feel at times. I just get worried that if I go through the main stuff too fast then I miss the whole point of an open world game.
Does anyone know if its your weapon or suit or both that attract it? I was heading through the long path to the Zora Domain and lightning was around me. I was wearing metal armor so I was a bit freaked out. Get cover! Thankfully I had the elixir that reduces lightning damage.
Whatever you thought at the time, it sure makes for a fun read. Especially since we're all stuck at work reminiscing about our adventures. I doubt many people approached Kakariko the same way you did. Cool to hear.
I kind of did. I missed Hesto and his maracas entirely on the way there, because I explored stuff on the way there and flew into town from on high. I think I've missed a lot of stuff that you see by taking the main roads, as my MO is typically to climb the highest thing (usually with some small reward at the top) and then float down to whatever looks most interesting.
I dunno, it reads to me like you did a lot of awesome, varied stuff for 4 1/2 hours, no? *shrugs*
If I had to note anything significantly different from my experience, it's probably that I spent about twice that long between the first stables and getting the camera. It sounds like if you aren't finding something right away, you are moving on...is that a fair assessment? You've definitely missed some stuff in the towns especially if you aren't seeing side quests available. They don't just show up automatically for a lot of NPCs. You need to do a little information gathering first. You definitely missed something in Kakariko. There is something on that island.
Specifically about the Kakariko Great Fairy, I went into town first and deduced its general location by talking to the townsfolk, which was cool. But I don't see why finding it ahead of time really devalues that for you. Most games would just put a dot on the map and you just go there, but I did some actual detective work to find it while you did some actual discovering on your own, without any help. I think that's awesome.
It's not just a content dump like a lot of open-world games are. You still have to work a little for it, which I appreciate.
It's definitely whichever sword, shield and/or bow you have equipped. So thankfully you don't have to drop all of your metal items, lol. As for armor, I'm not sure. I was wearing pants with metal on them and they weren't conducting, but maybe for the mostly-metal outfits they will? Not entirely sure on that part...
@TheBigG753 I mean, it's kind of awesome, varied stuff, but at the core of it none of it was really as fun to me as a well-done Zelda dungeon puzzle or a wicked boss fight. Like I said above, it all feels like stuff that would be pretty awesome as side stuff or leading up to the BIG stuff, but then 10? hours into the game not really getting that big stuff makes me feel a bit empty.
I just had a really nasty thought but it's actually the best metaphor I can think of... it kind of feels like a lot of foreplay but then... you just get more foreplay, and more foreplay, and it never really goes anywhere. No one is going to say foreplay isn't fun, but you usually want it to lead to something bigger. Or at least sometimes do, enough that the anticipation pays off and isn't just frustrated all the time.
Or I dunno... going to a restaurant and getting some awesome salads and soups and appetizers and then... that's all they have. You wanted steak? Nope, have another salad instead. I mean, it's good salad, but... more salad?
So finding the fairy (and shrine) while exploring was neat, I'm not saying finding it ahead of time devalues anything, just that finding it on the tail end of maybe 20 minutes or so of pointless exploration felt like this gem, like I got to feel like "SO EXPLORING WAS WORTHWHILE AFTER ALL!", but then finding out later that it was basically something that had I just gone straight to the village I would have been pointed to anyway... kind of made me mentally revert to "So the exploration wasn't really needed after all! I wasted a bunch of time for nothing!"
It does sound like I need to spend more time in villages because apparently there is more than I'm finding. I kind of hate villages in RPGs / adventure games / etc. though, they're often TOO overwhelming. Hey you just spent two hours out on the road and found a handful of things here and there? Well here are 30 or 40 different NPCs scattered about this area that somehow manages to feel way bigger than it is because it is twisted and complicated and has indoor and outdoor areas and it is hard to keep track of where everything is. Ug, villages, the worst.
Except for Clock Town in Majora's Mask which was basically the best thing ever.
@TheBigG753 I've also completed this section, and I agree it's great stuff. I'd prefer it if the whole game were like that, but that's just my preference.
@Zero I, for one, definitely feel where you're coming from with these posts. I think there's a decent amount of stuff to find in the world, but the problem is that it can take a relatively long time of moving to reach it. Which I s'pose is understandable, the world can't be too dense or else it can cause problems such as things being too easy to find or enemies coming after you from another section you didn't want to touch yet. I think it's just an unavoidable problem with open-world games, however one thing that would help is if Link weren't so slow.