The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a fantastic game, and the switch is a great console to play it on.
So, first let’s talk about the console itself:
The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic little device. It is small, lightweight with the power of a home console. While it certainly isn’t a powerful as other consoles on the market it is still a powerhouse for its size. The console/handheld hybrid is a great concept, and it is even better in action. The quality of the handheld screen is fantastic, and it feels nice to hold which is nice. It remains to be seen if this will be a good device in the long run, but I have my hopes that it will be.
A negative would be the dock that connects to the TV, it could be a little higher quality as it rubs against the screen and could possibly scratch it through repeated use. The controllers by themselves, called the “Joy-cons” are great (par a small disconnection problem in the left one), they are small and comfortable in the hand with a lot of tech packed inside. The HD rumble is particularly impressive, with its balls in box showcased in the party game 1-2 Switch. 1-2 Switch is fine as a showpiece for what the console is capable of, but pales when compared to Wii Sports or NintendoLand.
In console form it’s controller is held in the “joy-con grip” which is also comfortable to hold and feels good in the hand. So, in summary the console is a good piece of tech with one or two hardware oversights, but nothing that makes it a deal breaker. I will be using it for Nintendo exclusives primarily, and it looks to be a great device for that. But I may pick up one or two third-party games for the system, anyway now on to the a game for it,
Breath of the Wild captures the sense of wonder and adventure perfectly, this is mainly done through the world. It is breathtakingly beautiful and is also one of the biggest feeling open worlds I have ever played in. The best thing about it is that it feels perfectly populated, not to desolate and not too overcrowded, at least for the type of world it is representing. The games biggest strength comes from just exploring this world, through finding shines or towers, to just coming across things. I found myself not having an active quest for most of the time, and just stumbling on to something randomly, and it was a magical experience as a result. An example of this being the time I accidentally found one of the games few settlements before I was told to go there, and another being the time I found the amazing Eventide Island.
There is a myriad great things to do in this world, so many in fact that going into detail would take too much time. So here is a small list of stuff you can do and find in the game: Finding the Great Fairy’s Fountains, finding the three Great Dragons, many side quests (Special props to the tarry town side quest, as it is the biggest most interesting and kind world-changing side quest.) and Shrine quests, talking to well crafted NPC’s, raiding enemies camps for treasure, hunting animals for food, fishing with bombs, GOLF!!, catching and taming horses, finding 900! Korok seeds to upgrade your inventory as well many many more things I forget right now.
It throws many conventional Zelda gameplay elements out of the window and replaces them with new ones, albeit familiar elements. Weapon deterioration makes for a constant change in the types of weapons you would use, which forces you to learn a multitude of styles, but it is welcome and fun. Another deviation is cooking, the game allows you to make a bunch of different food recipes to restore health, stamina or apply buffs (like higher attack power or defence). This is yet another fun addition, although a place to save previously made recipes would be nice. There are a high amount of armor sets that are in the game and are cool looking, they usually have some sore of benefit; like keeping you warm in cold areas and vice versa for hot areas among other things. These pieces of amour can then be taken to the games Great fairy’s to be upgraded.
There is amiibo support, which can unlock plenty of cool things. While you can use any amiibo with the game (it will drop some items in-game), only Zelda related ones will do anything significant. One will summon Epona (links signature horse) into the game, others will unlock clothing or weapons of pervious Zelda games. I own the Wolf link amiibo, which brings Wolf Link from Twilight Princess into the game as a companion. It is cool to have this, but he is only a little help. He has low health and cannot be summoned for an entire realtime day after he dies, so he isn’t much more that a nice little feature for those who bought Twilight Princess HD for the WiiU.
The dungeons are easily the weak point, they are fairly shot and always easy with a disappointing boss at the end. I would have been perfectly fine with just a few more of the games micro dungeons called shines, which there are 120 of. Those things usually have really interesting and sometimes difficult puzzles, with the exception of the motion control ones as they are terrible.
Overall, Breath of the Wild is a master craft of a game and while it’s problems exist (mostly with the story which I will get into in the spoilers section), they are dwarfed by the world in which the game is set and the quality of the gameplay itself. It is a special kind of game that hardly ever comes along anymore. Now then on to the spoilers for this game.
P.S. Rain Sux
Story Spoilers from here on!!
The story is fascinating in that it is told through flashbacks of Links memory’s of what could have been a Zelda game on its own. And it is indeed an interesting story that is presented. But not without drawbacks, the voice acting of almost all of the main cast is sub par, which is ashame as better acting could have done this story some justice. But voice acting aside, the characters themselves are really interesting. The supporting cast each have their own personality quirks and all look good and are well written, but it is Zelda who steals the show. specifically, the fact that she is a Zelda who hates being part of the long line of Zelda’s and would rather just study and become a scholar instead of a princess is wonderfully fascinating to see. Her motions and expressions are well done, she also has a likeable personality and I think her to be the best incarnation of Zelda there has ever been.
Ganon on the other hand, in this game is a little disappointing. He is built up throughout the game as a massive world ending threat. But once you get to him, he isn’t really that threatening at all. I found the boss to be fairly easy (I think he would also be easy without doing the dungeons to make him easier) and the design of him being basically a guardian with a face was disappointing. Even in his pig form he was disappointing, just a giant solid purple pig that doesn’t move was just dull to fight with little challenge. This Ganon certainly isn’t as good as the Wind Waker Ganon that is for sure.
Well that’s it for now,
Till next time…….