Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, with spoilers)

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Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, with spoilers)

Postby BanjoPickles » March 26th, 2017, 4:33 am

I've been holding off on reviewing BotW until I could digest as much of it as possible, dissecting the game's strengths, and debating it's flaws. After pumping twenty-five hours into it, I'm now able to offer my semi-definitive verdict:

First off, this game is HUGE! I'm still finding new areas, and the world is so incredibly fun to get lost in. In fact, much of the fun (and what separates it from other games in the series) comes from aimless wandering. Stumbling upon a hidden shrine, or seeing a tower in the distance, or accidentally coming across a Great Fairy.

One thing that I absolutely love about the game is that it does not hold your hand. You are thrown into the world, without so much as a tutorial, and you're off. You get most everything you need somewhat early on in the game. At first, it does take some adjustment, especially if you're accustomed to the series; there are no hook shots, or many of the other old standbys. Weapons break easily, as do shields, and you will struggle with that at first, but then you'll end up wrapping your brain around the new mechanic, switching weapons out accordingly and juggling between enemies.

Speaking of enemies, the game has moments that are absolutely brutal! Unless you are leveled up, with skill to boot, I wouldn't recommend going toe-to-toe with a label (the horse-men). They will tear you to shreds in a matter of seconds! During the early hours, many of the enemies will one-shot you, which is frustrating.

The biggest flaw that I've encountered concerns the elements. I had no idea that Hyrule was located in the heart of Seattle! When it rains, you are unable to climb anything between a tiny rock, and you have to strip down to your underwear (be sure to unequip all metal objects) during a thunderstorm. This becomes a major annoyance, and the game's biggest flaw, since it rains a lot, and it always seems to occur at the most inopportune moments (i.e. during the middle of climbing a large mountain). This wouldn't be so bad if A). it wasn't so frequent, and B). it wasn't so long-lasting (I've spent minutes at a time waiting out the rain).

Unlike previous Zelda games, there are no hearts hidden in bushes. If you want health, you have to cook recipes/elixers at select locations. Some recipes will grant a few hearts, while others have the ability to grant you additional, temporary health boosts. Aside from giving you health, many of the recipes grant additional perks, and become wholly necessary when fighting against the elements. If you're going up into the snowy mountains, be sure to carry food with plenty of spice, along with warm clothing, otherwise you will freeze to death. If you don't have fireproof elixirs when approaching Death Mountain, you'll catch on fire and burn to death. There is a lot of strategy involved with cooking, and it becomes very addictive.

Rather than having a small number of large dungeons to trudge through, BotW has over 100 shrines that act as portable dungeons (many of them contain a small sequence of puzzles, while several involve fighting an ancient, etc.). There are a few larger dungeons, in the form of the Divine Beasts, but even those are different than your typical Zelda dungeon. There are few enemies, and the ones that I have experienced thus far (three of them) center around puzzle solving with a tough-as-nails boss fight at the end.

It may seem like total hyperbole, but I do believe that BotW sits with Zelda 1 and Ocarina as a benchmark for the series. It offers a level of freedom, exploration, depth, and subtlety that hasn't been a characteristic of the series, up until now. If I had to slap a grade onto it, I would probably give it an A, or A- (the rain/lightning strikes prevent it from being an A+ game). If you haven't picked it up yet----what are you waiting for??

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Re: Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, with spoilers)

Postby Rookie1 » March 28th, 2017, 9:39 pm

I am playing this on the WiiU as well. I have unlocked the entire map, and have completed 3 of the 4 beasts now. I have probably invest 30+ hours in to, maybe more.

I will say that I absolutely HATE the weapons mechanic. I cant stress HATE enough. I get the strategic part of it, but its such an unnecessary thing that I cant take it sometimes. Your weapons are so weak that its laughable. Even the Master Sword suffers from this as it has limited usage before it stops working and needs recharging. I just cant get over it. I have found some pretty good weapons that last longer than most, and I guess you can repair weapons as well but I havent figure out how to do that. One suggestion I have is tracking down the Hylian shield. I stumbled on it pretty early on while exploring the castle, and it makes a world of difference having that.

With all that said, the negatives are so far overshadowed by the positives that they are almost insignificant. Me and my son have a blast just wandering around and exploring everything.

I think a lot of things are only negative because its not what we are used to. In another game they would be fine, but with Zelda we are accustomed to a specific set of things, and this game deviated from just about every one of them.

Though I wouldnt give it a perfect score by any means, it comes pretty dang close.

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