Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


Zelda is one of the best games I’ve played in a very long time.


The best shrines, in my mind, were the ones that were truly mini dungeons, with several challenges mixing puzzles and combat. There were a couple like that that near Death Mountain, where you mixed water and gliding and fire. Those are really the only ones that stood out for me.


All BotW needs to be a perfect game are huge dungeons with better bosses. That was the one thing it was lacking. The divine beasts and Ganon aspects were too easy.


This more or less echoes my feelings. I love the look and sound of the game, and that’s doing a great deal to keep me going, but the actual gameplay has left me totally cold so far. The combat hasn’t been fun and the puzzles aren’t doing anything for me.


I think BoTW hit exactly the right spot between the casual and the hardcore audience. I can hoard my arrows and tackle Lynels with rusty weapons if I want to. My wife (who’s not much of a gamer) is further than I am, but she also makes liberal use of special arrows and potions (she also said the Yiga village was easy. I’m not there yet but I’ve heard the gripes.) We both like that the combat is largely optional. The shrines are short and fun and leaves you feeling a little clever. It’s not my favorite game, but it’s probably our favorite together.


Yup, that’s exactly how I felt in addition to finding it very repetitive. I’m surprised Breath of the Wild in a post-Souls world got a free pass on deep diving into your inventory mid combat to heal up because it was bloody obnoxious (see Nier: Automata on how to deal with this). The targeting felt finickier than I remember it in Wind Waker and being unable to quickly drop gear when opening chests (which you do a lot of) drove me nuts too.


Actually Nier is guilty of the same inventory sin as Zelda (and Bethesda games): Healing items are instant use and virtually infinite so you can’t ever die except for one-shots. And most attacks in Zelda are clamped to [Max Health - 1] so you generally need an attack to tumble you off a cliff to actually get one-shot. I was stunned that their supposed “Hard Mode” didn’t address this and instead mostly made the game more tedious by giving everything health regeneration.


I think that the biggest difference between BotW and earlier zelda titles, is that swarms of enemies don’t really wait around. They don’t so much take turns like they used to. If you’re swarmed by 10 guys, you kind of screwed up, and it’s gonna get ugly fast.

Which isn’t to say you can’t deal with it, but you need to keep moving and keep them on one side of you.

Combat in general is just harder than any previous zelda title, especially against big guys like Lynells, who largely require you to get the timing of their attacks down and counter or dodge them.


It’s not the instant-use that bothers me (although I don’t favour it), it’s bringing the menu up, cycling across to your meals, finding the right one, eating it, then exiting out to resume combat every time you want to heal. Nier: Automata allows you to equip various plug-in chips to recover HP automatically, over time and when damaging and/or destroying enemies. You can tap down on the D-pad and hit B to quickly pop a recovery (a little more involved than the Souls games), there’s the back button for a shortcut menu (that pauses the action), then there’s going into the menu fully. That’s a lot of options to offset combat disruption.

I’m no Zelda veteran but I think you’re probably right here.

My issue was specific to the targeting distance, which often felt too short for the initial lock, and trying to target the right enemy when there was no means of cycling through them (the Souls games still have this, right?). Once I’d got a lock, I found the camera loose and less intuitive than expected, and locks seemed to break frequently too. I recall having targeting difficulties with the latter stages of the Vah Ruta boss who seemed to be just out of range for a reliable lock which made aiming awkward. It was a while back when I played it but I think he breaks the lock when he disappears briefly.

I really enjoyed the one (proper) fight I had against the Lynel on Shatterback Point(?), inventory deep diving aside. Intense stuff, and rewarding too. Definitely a highlight for me.


I haven’t played a Zelda game since the original one on the NES, but I just started playing this last week. I’ve only just finished getting my paraglider, but this game seems really special.


Eh, there’s a way to do this… I think if you release your lock and then lock again, it targets the next enemy.


Yeah, I don’t remember that being reliable when there were a number of enemies on screen. I’m sure Dark/Demon’s Souls and previous Zeldas allowed you to cycle back and forth through enemies very simply. Oh, and I also wished there was a lock toggle rather than having to hold the button down. Seems a strange omission given Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’s new auto-accelerate feature. Just frees up some digit clench!


Breath of the Wild is Time Magazine’s GOTY for 2017 (Odyseey’s #2).

Scrambling across the idyllic vistas of Nintendo’s vast new fantasy sandbox The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it’s easy to see the action-adventure’s sunken structures—plaintive artifacts of a vanished golden age waiting to be restored—as a metaphor for Nintendo itself. It’s like nothing else the company has made, an experience so simultaneously prodigious and accomplished that it feels like a mic drop to the sort of “open world” games (Grand Theft Auto V, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, The Witcher 3) the industry seems bent on proliferating. But what drives Breath of the Wild to soar comes down to essential Nintendo design principles.


I’m surprised Destiny 2 made the cut at #10, but maybe I’m underestimating its appeal with people who don’t already have hundreds of hours into it.


Yeah, given where that game landed with my kids, who really loved the first Destiny and played the hell out of it, I don’t think it’s top ten material.


Maybe they were saving a spot for Battlefront II and had to replace that in a panic!


Maybe it’s all the other good games around right now, but I’m kind of struggling to play it…

I’ve had it since PC launch and I’m not even through the campaign yet. This time around, the waves of samey enemies just seem a bit … boring?

It’s crafted well enough and I do still plan to play more but I don’t think I’m liking it as much as the first game either.

Of course, I agree with Time’s top couple of picks. :)


I think I’m going to have to put this one aside for now and come back to it later. I’ve put about four hours into this so far because I feel somewhat obliged (the word of mouth about it was the primary reason I grabbed a Switch) but it’s just left me totally cold once the impact of the visuals has worn off.

Maybe it’s because I don’t have any real nostalgia for the franchise?


It plays so different than any other Zelda game, I don’t think this is it. Do you not enjoy games like Horizon or other open world action games? I don’t really get a sense for what isn’t working for people when almost the only adjective is “cold” - what does that mean?

It’s funny to see how divisive this game is in the Qt3 community, while almost everywhere else I go it’s 90% praise. I mean, it’s one of the best reviewed games of all time, even. It’s probably my GOTY, so while I’m not going to try and change your mind, I am curious why you and other’s find it “cold”?


Qt3 is like that with several games. We are a different demographic than you find at most game sites, though.

@anonymgeist, I don’t have any real nostalgia for Zelda specifically or Nintendo in general, but I’m loving the game thus far (I’m similarly just a few hours in). I don’t think the game is relying on nostalgia for its praise.