Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


#548

Well there are two types of people in the world. Those who consider Breath of the Wild a masterpiece, and those who are wrong. ;)


#549

Eh, sometimes I’ll hate-play a game just to marvel at how wrong everyone is. Then I remember it the next time everyone gets excited.


#550

It seems like a game you could comfortably beat in under 40 if you’re not really feeling it but want to see the main story through. Are you still doing a bunch of exploring and side stuff just to see if you’re missing something fun, or out of some sense of duty to the game, or just taking your time on the core stuff more than I thought possible?


#551

It’s rare that I play games on release to be honest. I’m a very “late to the party” kind of guy who prefers the hype to settle around games before getting involved, but with the Wii U going gently into the night, I figured I ought to get in on that white hot 97% Zelda action while stocks last.

At £49 it was about three times more than what I’d usually pay for a game so that’s quite a motivator in itself. I also used to write for a gaming website some years back so by force of habit as well as a desire to work out why I do and don’t enjoy certain games, I try to give them a fair shake.

Open world games and particularly RPGs are a bit of a slippery fish for me because most of them I tire of way before the end, while others I stick with, so Zelda’s a good data point to help me get a bead on what it is that I specifically like and dislike about them. And yeah: as Tim says, these major releases can be good cautionary tales too.

So between all those things that’s why I’ve spent 50-60 hours playing it. For what it’s worth, I said to myself that I’d do at least one Divine Beast before knocking it on the head and my last two sessions have been spent doing just that.

Between getting the Zora armour to ascend waterfalls (which is very cool), defeating the Lynel on Shatterback Point, finding the Zora greaves and helm to complete my set, and then dealing with Vah Ruta, it’s definitely been one of the more enjoyable chunks of the game so far. It’s felt most like what I fondly remember of the Wind Waker. I’m aiming to fast track another beast now.

@WhollySchmidt, yeah, I’ve been doing all sorts really. Pursuing side quests, the main quest, wandering off the beaten track, locating memories and swinging by points of interest I’ve pinned on my map. I… can’t imagine completing this in 40 hours! I’m far too slow for that. I’m trying to keep the pace up while allowing some time for digging into possible secrets* though.

Speaking of the main quest. Holy shit, some of the voice acting is so bad. My girlfriend walked in just as Mipha opened her mouth for the first time and she just stood there shaking her head. “I could do better than that.” It’s amazing given how polished and expensive everything feels. I expect this kind of thing in a plucky indie like Sang-Froid but not a AAA behemoth like Zelda. The story’s hogwash anyway so it doesn’t really matter but, yeah, I’m tempted to go back to Japanese and subs.

*which usually end up being korok seeds, junk gear or precious stones. The best secrets I’ve found so far have been 300 rupees in a random chest under a bluff, the Zora helm in some sunken ruins, a Giant Boomerang sword (screw the Master Sword), and various weapon hauls from Hinox and Stalnox.


#552

From the Switch thread:

I do agree with these points.


#553

So, picking up from the Switch thread:

But I do like these kinds of games, and Zelda very specifically did sell me a system! (100 hours in Skyrim, 150 in Witcher, 200 in various Souls games).

The bit in your description I’d argue most strongly is the combat. It’s nothing like Dark Souls. First, on average you get to use a weapon for maybe 10 hits before it breaks, and has to be replaced with something else. This means that combat is punitive rather than rewarding. What’s the point? It also means that you’re constantly jumping from one weapon to another, so it’s hard to learn the moveset, or how to counter specific enemies with specific weapons. Given weapon X, do I have an advantage in reach over this bogoblin with a weapon Y? Who knows, odds are it’s a matchup I’ve never tried before. Another thing I’m finding really clunky about the combat is only having a dodge available when locked to a target.

Of course a system doesn’t need to be like Dark Souls to be good. But for whatever reason I haven’t been enjoying the combat in Zelda anywhere near as much as the average melee combat game.

Wacky emergent gameplay never happens to me in any game, or at least not at least anywhere as often as to some people :( It’s a bit like reading other people’s accounts of Crusader Kings 2, where they seem to have 50x as much stuff happen in game. So the failure to engage fully with the sandbox systems is almost certainly my failing, not the game’s.

Fans of Zelda seem to describe this wonderful world dense with delightful little surprises that really make you want to explore every nook and cranny. I’d love to see that, but instead it feels like I must be playing a different game :-/ To me the world is empty, boring, and meaningless. There’s no sense of place at all, nothing that makes me care about the world, not even any spectacular vistas to ooh and aah over. (Ok, it might have a bit more character than Shadow of Mordor did. But still, it’d rank pretty low on my list of great open worlds)/

“Tight” is really not how I’d describe it. The main gameplay components I’ve seen are map traversal/exploration, combat, and puzzles. I touched on combat earlier. What about the other gameplay?

The problem I have with the exploration is that all movement in the game is soooo sloooow, which takes all the fun out of it.

For years we’ve mocked third person action games for the ridiculous parkouring climbing systems that provide only an illusion of player agency due to having a few pre-set and signposted paths. But turns out that there’s a pretty good reason why designers do that: it lets the players get to actual gameplay faster. Yes, it’s cool that you can theoretically climb anything in Zelda, with good route selection and stamina management. If climbing was 5x faster, maybe that would be true in practice. But climbing in the game as implemented is so tedious that I never want to climb anything again.

Of course there is a faster climb in the form of the jump, so it obviously wouldn’t break the game. It’s just that it’s artificially locked behind a draconian stamina cost. Likewise you’re locked to a painfully slow walk, since the sprint is also artificially limited. Yes, I could any upgrade points to stamina to mitigate this, but that’s going to take a lot of time. There’s something to be said for making the player feel a sense of progression by starting them off weak, but these kinds of quality of life things are just not the right way to do it.

Likewise the puzzles are really kind of sloppy. The puzzles mostly have solutions that are trivial to see, with the main challenge being a fight with the controls to implement it. So for example freeze a metal ball in place, beat it with a hammer to store momentum, look at the results. Repeat until you guess the right angle and strength. Or the Korok seed “puzzles”, where it seems the only thing you need to realize is that a puzzle exists in the first place. (Though even so this is the strongest part of the game; just don’t think it’s a particularly good example of puzzle design).

Oh, wait. There’s one more gameplay component. Inventory management and crafting. Unless I’m missing something, both of these are really clunky. The inventory UI is disastrous even by the low standards of the genre, and I don’t remember seeing a crafting system that forced you to select the individual ingredients from an unsorted menu every single time.


#554

The menu can actually be sorted. It’s still somewhat hard to navigate, but still…


#555

It’s not helped by the lock/focus feeling inconsistent and too short range. A boss I fought the other night had these long range attacks but it was too far away for me to get a lock and allow me dodge properly, so I got hit a lot. Closing the distance was awkward because of its other attacks and environmental restrictions.


#556

So… if anyone sees any more information about when those new Amiibo’s show up… let us all know. I know my boys will want those new ones. (They totally liked Mipha) and I know she’s gonna be really hard to find…


#557

I got all twitchy when I saw those. The Breath of the Wild Amiibos are the only ones I own … and those new ones looked like something I need.


#558

I really hope the DLC2 is a prequel where you play the events that occurred 100 years ago.


#559

Man I feel like I must be broken. I’m not going to say that BOTW is a bad game, but I"m really not finding it the holy grail of gaming everyone seems to be, and after probably 10 hours most of the reason I’m still playing is because playing Zelda on my commute was a big + in buying a switch now instead of closer to the holiday season.

Combat feels really cumbersome to me, and at times frustrating. The decision of to make sprint and jump opposite buttons from either button hurts it because I can’t just lock -> sprint -> jump -> attack easily. Not only do I find durability a bit too low, but it doesn’t auto-select another weapon when an item breaks, so if you kill an enemy with the last blow of a weapon and forget to select the next weapon you run up to enemies and wave your hand around while he pummels you with his sword.

Every time I have tried to be creative in killing enemies has ended in failure, wheither it’s me pushing the bolder in slightly the wrong direction or not being able to aim stasis locked objects in the directly I want it to go into. I also seem to have a real trouble maneuvering metallic objects on a 3d plane to quickly put things where I want them to go.

The world also just feels empty. Coming from Skyrim that had side quests and lore all over this just feels desolate. I rarely see a friendly npc outside of a town, and out of the few I did only one said anything more than “I’m out looking for mushrooms”. Part of this is encouraged by game mechanics that encourages me to climb up to the highest areas and glide from one area to the next to get your bearings.

I’ve finished 12 shrines so far and couldn’t figure out 1 so far, but I find them way too bite sized at the moment. It ends up seeming like one small (usually easy) puzzle every hour and a half or so. Then I got to my first dungeon I guess (Ruta) and it was much shorter and easier than I have come to expect from a Zelda dungeon, leaving me feeling disappointed There was only one part of that dungeon that was “hard” to figure out that I had to look up, but that’s because where a normal zelda slowly introduces concepts to you this game does not and thus I had no idea I could lift up some gates with the ice block ability. At no point previously had the game shown me I could do that. Not only that I had no idea you could break ice blocks with the ice ability (I thought it only made ice blocks) so I had to use up all my arrows defending myself at the beginning of the Ruta encounter.

After playing OOT, WW, and TP in the last year and a half, and also played Skyrim I just feel very underwhelmeed.


#560

FWIW the game teaches you how to use ice to raise gates in the shrine where you get the ice ability. It’s literally impossible to proceed through the game without knowing how to do that.


#561

Guess I just forgot then. After I got Ice ability it was probably a good 5+ hours before I used it again since I never really needed it.


#562

You’re not broken. You’re absolutely normal (as are the people who think BotW is the best thing since sliced bread, mind you). While I think it’s a pretty good and entertaining game, it’s not the holy grail of gaming by any chance for me. Actually, for me, it’s not even the best game I’ve played this year. Top 5 yes, but not the best at all.


#563

Are you looking for Koroks? Have you even found one yet? I’m going to guess not if you feel like things are so empty. Also, if you haven’t gone to Kakariko Village, you really should. While the game lets you go anywhere you want, Kakariko is a bit of a hub for the main quest. It’s worth an early visit.

Skyrim (IMO) is really just as spread out and bare at times as Zelda is but the combat in Zelda never gets old for me because many enemies are tough and do ramp up as the game goes on. There are places in the game that you could try to reach now but would get crushed. When you can come back later, it’s worth it. Stuff is hidden all over the place too. Keep a sharp eye.


#564

I’m not actively looking for Koroks but noticing when I’ve come across them. I’ve got almost 20 Korok seeds atm. I have gone Kakarito village but even with talking with everyone I didn’t find much interesting to do there outside of buying/selling.

The difference for me is there’s more hubs and areas of interest in skyrim. Any small town or village is filled with NPCs with their own dialogue and at least a handful of side quests pointing me in the direction of other areas of interest (not counting the dynamic quest stuff either).


#565

Stables and the various towns do that in Zelda too. I find that there is a lot less wasted dialogue in Zelda. Everyone cuts to the chase so I can get back to horseback riding, shield surfing and mountain climbing my way around the world.

Here’s the best tip I can give you. Put all your early Shrine rewards into stamina. You’ll be able to traverse the world much faster. Also, go dink around the castle. Climb the highest peaks. Use your Magnesis and Stasis often to look for things you can manipulate.

There are a number of small quests that lead to nice rewards in Kakariko. They don’t telegraph them to you like Skyrim though. Also, this game isn’t going to push you to go anywhere. Areas of interest are literally everywhere. Skyrim wants to hold your hand more.

You have 20 of 900 Korok Seeds. :)


#566

Skyrim and BotW are filled with different things and, I think, scratch different exploration itches. Skyrim rewards exploration by letting you find lots of quests out in the wilderness. BotW is more about exploring because there’s a cool looking landscape feature over there. It’s full of koroks that reward that exploration instead of quest givers. I think it smartly varies the density of that stuff too. Sometimes you’ll come across several koroks within feet of each other, and other times you’ll be in a truly empty area.


#567

I must be terrible at Koroks because I’ve mapped almost the entire world and don’t even have 80. You say there are 900? There must be signs I’m missing.

I’m not going to check this thread for an answer because I’m playing spoiler free. :)