The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has gone down as one of the finest video games of recent memory, not only selling impressively but also securing widespread critical acclaim as well.
GamesIndustry.biz has been speaking to two major developers about what makes this Switch and Wii U title so groundbreaking, and what it means for the future of the open-world genre as a whole.
Benjamin Plich was the lead designer on Assassin's Creed: Unity and For Honor, and is currently employed as lead game designer at Montreal's Reflector Entertainment. He had this to say about Nintendo's masterpiece:
Breath of the Wild showed something most designers already know, but which is hard to achieve... [these games are] evolving from classic open worlds to an open-game model - open progression following each player's intrinsic motivations, adaptive challenge curve and economy, open narrative structures, and so on.
Damien Monnier served as senior designer on The Witcher 3 at CD Projekt RED and is now lead designer at Techland, and has similar feelings to Plich:
Breath of the Wild has managed to bring classic open world mechanics together while not relying on them to guide the player through its world. You go and explore it because you wonder what's out there, not because a loot icon tells you to.
My expectations, and I mean for me as a Zelda fan, have changed for sure - they've raised the bar when it comes to world crafting and this sense of total immersion I get when I play it. While its world includes classic open-world activities, collectibles and loot-filled mobs, it definitely doesn't feel overloaded and allows the focus be on the exploration. You want to explore this land whether or not you are on a quest, or being tasked to collect/gather something. You know, If you were to remove all NPCs, quests and mobs, I would still take pleasure in exploring that beautiful world.
Breath of the Wild may be thrilling gamers the world over but it's the mark of a truly exceptional video game when its influence goes as far as to inspire fellow game-makers. We're sure the shockwaves of Zelda's brilliance will be keenly felt over the next few years; Nintendo may not have been all that active in the open-world genre but it has set the bar very high indeed with Breath of the Wild.
Impossible to disagree. A bonafide masterpiece. Easily now sits in my top 5 videogames I've ever played, and I've played a lot - since loading up Dizzy via my ZX Spectrum back in the day.
Good to hear, after the game had settled so many people tried to nitpick it. Just because it didnt feel like a "Zelda" game. I understand a person not having incredible praise but the complaints sometimes got really petty. Just because they thought it didnt deserve a ten outta ten :/
Nearing that 200 hour mark now
I accidentally walked into the sanctum as I was looting the Hyrule Castle and had to load before I watched the cutscene. I don't want to kill Ganon just yet. I still have mazes to solve and dragonflys to collect.
As a sidenote, I love how there are few NPC's that tell you that maybe you should actually be doing your job of saving the world instead of talking and helping strangers.
One of my favorite things about the game is something I also loved in skyrim and the witcher: the mundanity of traveling to a place with a good view.
Reminds me I oight to get around to beating the witcher 3.
I don't care since I've beat the game, but to prevent spoilers, it might be a good idea to not have a boss on the cover image for this article.
"If you were to remove all NPCs, quests and mobs, I would still take pleasure in exploring that beautiful world"
That's how I felt for XCX. I feel so bad for that games developers. Made by Monotlith, which Ntinedo has owned for years now, so it is technically a Nitneod game and company, but nobody ever really talked about it. Maybe a game has to be delayed for 2 years and have the interactive Gamepad map removed for anybody to care? And while the story was lacking a bit, it seemed so much better after playing FFXV which had so much promotion and everybody talking about it still, due in part to it's year long season pass - which will certainly help out Zelda as well.
Nothing against Zelda, just feel really bad for Monolith and it's employees. Every time somebody says - "hey look, Ntineod finally discovered open world", well no, they didn't, XCX beat it to market by 15 months, and it's very open world. On the ground, above the ground, under the ground, and over the water. And it's a beautiful world, filled w/ beautiful, and no so beautiful, creatures and inhabits and lore and story. Hopefully it gets a Switch port, maybe people will appreciate it then.
And if Switch gets Witcher 3 I'm there.
Hope xbx gets a port as well but likely won't happen this year but should be a good game for 2018
I'm about to put it on after I've had my dinner.Going to clear up some side quests before moving onto a beast.That's my plan for tonight anyway but I may get sidetracked like always.Done the floating love letter quest earlier,really took me by surprise that one.Loved it!
I haven't played many open-world games to any great extent. GTA, Assassins Creed, Xenoblade Chronicles, Watch_Dogs, and now Breath of the Wild - these are the only games I can think of where I've put in solid hours of play.
GTA, Assassins Creed, and Watch_Dogs - these are all games where the buildings are largely impenetrable obstacles and the reasons to travel anywhere are pretty scripted. GTA can be fun, but I get tired of all the driving.
Breath of the Wild captures the beauty of the natural environment in a way that just begs to be explored - the games mentioned above don't do that.
And Xenoblade Chronicles - should be embarrassed that it's only about 6 years older than BotW. In XC the character animation is like something from the late 80s, and the world is almost completely devoid of anything interesting. It's setting and scope are exciting to begin with, but once you get into the game it's just empty. Haven't played XCX yet.
BotW reigns supreme.
@Retruate You mean the same boss that got spoiled by Game Informer magazine about 4 months ago lol.
I just can't believe I beat the game as fast as I did. Sure it took me 2 months but for me to be able to focus for nearly 200 hours and not start to get just a bit bored towards the end is great gaming design. I want those 200 hours back so I can experience this game all over again from the beginning!
Nintendo has a rich history for setting standards for many Genre's. Platformers (Super mario) 3D Platformers (Mario 64) 1st Person Shooters (Goldeneye) Wrestling games (WCW/NWO World Tour, etc) and now Open World Adventures (Breath of the Wild)There are probly many more that I missed
One thing that struck me about BotW was how for the first time in a long time the world felt like it had suffered an apocalypse. I'm not sure what it was, maybe it was that people had only settled in small stables and one village. everywhere else is just ruined.
It was interesting that the whole world felt that way, whereas (for me) Fallout and Last of us only really felt like that in certain areas.
Metro was another game that managed to nail that atmosphere with so little.
Positive inspiration is always good. I enjoy reading articles like these.
@rjejr If XCX gets a Switch port Ill never be seen again
@rjejr I'm sure monolith is still happy since they worked on Breath of the wild as well.
@ieatdragonz Nah I totally understand the nitpicks. Such as the same guardian in every test of strength, the lack of large dungeons that requires no battles except for the boss, the rain is annoying, and the inventory system takes some getting used to and it's a bit of a cluster. I give it a 9/10
The one thing that BotW has that hooked me is the ability to climb almost any surface. I've played other open world games while playing BotW, and when I run into mountain/hill/whatever borders it's actually bugging me now.
And thanks to all who mentioned XCX. I was trying to think of another game to play while I wait for the Korok mask, and I still need to finish that. My bad habit of dropping a game in favor of a new game made me stop playing that :-/
I'd also like an XCX for Switch port, especially if they increase the font size.
We can confirm that rain IS.... in fact.... annoying.
We will now return you to your scheduled comments section.
@gcunit "should be embarrassed that it's only about 6 years older than BotW."
I'm embarrassed that somebody who works here would make an argument about a video game being "ONLY" six years older looking worse. XC was one of the best looking games on the Wii. It was a full blown JRPG in a fairly large world. On the Wii. Take a look at the graphics between any 2 similar games on the PS2 and PS3 and the jump is the same as between Wii and Wii U. Square made the PS2 launch title "The Bouncer" as it's premiere graphical showcase.
Compare that to PS3 launch title Uncharted only 7 years later.
Of course HD Zelda on Wii U and Switch is going to look better than XC on Wii, how is that even a comparison?
@Arnold-Kage I'd like to see XCX on Switch and XC too, even if only as a VC download. In the US XC was a Gamestop exclusive near the end of the Wi's life. I know they ported it to New 3DS, but it deserves to be on a big screen w/ a great sound system. 3DS speakers can't begin to do Gaur Plains justice.
@MisterKorman "I didn't love Xenoblade X the way I loved the first game"
The first game is one of my all time favorite JRPG. The longer it's been since I've played it the more fondly I look back on it, and I've been playing JRPG since FF7 released in 1997. But I did make the mistake of playing XC right before XCX, I think I just finished a few months before, and the story in XCX is kind of pitiful. That's what happens when the main playable character is disposable, and nobody could hold a candle to Heropon Rikki. And the music in XCX really sucked, while XC had great classic JRPG music. I'm hoping XC2 fixes that glaring mistake.
But as far as just the world goes - going back to quote from that guy about enjoying the world if you took the rest of the game out of it - well as great as the world was in XC, they really outdid themselves in XCX. Maybe a lot of that had to do simply with the bump from SD on the Wii to HD on the Wii U - I still can't believe XC never got an HD remaster, maybe at E3 - but the world in XCX is just awesome. And after playing my long awaited FFXV I realized just how awesome it was.
So all of these guys coming out of the woodwork talking about how Ntineod finally discovered and made an open world game that's 'good, well where were they when Ntineod released XCX? So much better I thought than FFXV. But it released on Dec 3rd on Wii U and nobody cared.
When I finally play Zelda - waiting on my Wolf Link amiibo and that green line on the map - I'm expecting a better and more memorable game than XCX, it's Link and Zelda w/ a sweeping LoZ score, but watching my kids play Zelda for a few hours, I like the graphics in XCX a whole lot more. Much more diverse world of fauna and creatures. And flying mechs. Who doesn't like a flying mech?
And it runs in a tablet/handheld. Mind blowing.
XC >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> XCX (j/s)
@rjejr I have to admit, there's one song in XCX which plays in NLA that I have to mute every time I hear it.
@BensonUii I'd settle for a Switch port of XC 3D even w/o the 3D. It really is 1 of my all time favorites, but it's never on anybody's list w/ FF, Chrono Trigger, DQ, Xenogears, Lunar, Grandia, Phantasy Star, all of those well known series. Maybe if the 3rd game is any good and all 3 games were somehow playable on the Switch it will finally get some acknowledgement.
@brutalpanda "I'm sure monolith is still happy since they worked on Breath of the wild as well."
As a parent of 2 boys I'm never happy when my youngest gets all the praise for stuff my oldest was neglected for 2 years earlier.
I'm sure they're happy, their game turned out great, but it has to hurt a little when FFXV was the only JRPG anybody talked about for 2 years, thanks in part to all of Squenix promotion, and now Zelda is treated as Nintendo's first open world game. XCX had a lovely explorable world before Zelda, but it died with the Wii U.
@Spoony_Tech "I want those 200 hours back so I can experience this game all over again from the beginning!"
20 bucks gets you hard mode this summer.
If The Witcher had physics like Zelda it would be 10x the game. It has far superior the story, music, and depth.
@BLP_Software um, but Switch is portable, we'll all see you, you just won't see us.
@OfNullAndVoid NLA had a bad one, and then every time you entered your skell, or maybe it was just in flight mode? Sometimes I just walked to avoid it. My wife and 2 kids watched me play the whole game, then my 2 kids each played it themselves, and they all complained about the music, my wife b/c it was sometimes too loud over the dialogue. My son likes video game music, cocktail hour for his bat mitzvah party was all music from SSB, which was the theme. Videogame music makes surprisingly good cocktail hour music. Oh, the teeny tiny itsy bitsy font was a problem as well. Sometimes we would make my kids get up and read to us what was on the screen. And we have a 52" tv.
Nice to hear they're inspired. Now go make some new games for the Switch!
"You go and explore it because you wonder what's out there, not because a loot icon tells you to."
Oh, old WoW before quest target on map...
@rjejr I think Xenoblade 2 should fare much better than 1 or X as long as the quality is there. The Switch is a much better fit than the Wii and especially the WiiU were for a game like Xenoblade.
@Spoony_Tech maybe it was spoiled before somewhere else, but this here sure spoiled it for me
I can't say I liked this game as much as most people did, but I think it'll be a great foundation for future Zelda games. I just hope they focus less on making the world as massive as possible and making shrine hunting the main activity aside from the story and collecting memories, and focus more on adding character to the world, its characters, its side quests (these especially were atrocious) and overall just adding more substance to it. I feel like BoTW almost teeters on the edge of "a mile wide but an inch deep" territory, and I think putting less emphasis on running around and seeing the sights and putting more emphasis on basically everything else about the game would have helped a lot.
I can see why Nintendo-only gamers especially were so blown away by it, since open world games aren't all that common on Nintendo consoles, but as some who really enjoys and has played a decent number of open world games, I find myself missing the compelling plot, characters, side quests, and memorable locations that some (but not all) other open world games provide in spades at the cost of less world size and more linearity. Once you've seen the world and done all the shrines, there's really not much incentive, at least for me, to go back to the game. I certainly won't be playing it again for its story or characters or side quests or anything.
When I spent more than 50hrs to actually start the first divine beast I knew it was something special. I just wanted to see what was out there. Shrines and power ups were all well and good but I wanted to find new forests, mountains, jungles, coastlines and wildlife.
@roboshort I have no idea what to expect from XC2. Read this guys comment for everything both right and wrong w/ XCX, and XC was just such a great story I don't think they can duplicate that success. If they focus the characters, story and music from the first game w/ the open world nature and graphics of the 2nd I don't 'see how it can be bad, but I am a little concerned it came out of nowhere and may be rushed. So I just dont' know. I was really looking forward to the new Star Ocean game but the reviews were so mediocre I skipped it.
Just rewatched the trailer. Looks like chibi JRPG characters from a PS1 type game in a world made for PS2 upresed for the PS3. Not a fan. Though I also skipped XC for 2 years b/c I couldn't stand the Wii graphics but that turned out well. I'm enthusiastically optimistic.
@NintendoFan4Lyf That's one of the best written comments I've read on here in all my years, and I've been here forever. I have nothing to add or dispute, thanks.
Well I think I derailed this thread enough for one day, my work here is done.
Speak on it my brother... Speak on it.
Xenoblade Chronicles X was a masterpiece. And it's a shame people just ignore it. The same people who loved Zelda would love XCX.
The new one looks different artstyle-wise, but I can dig it. Looks good in motion. In game models look slick.
"Designer of Assassin's Creed: Unity"
First worry about getting the game past the main menu successfully, THEN worry about open world design.
@rjejr I agree about X, though I'm 99% certain that, if an X port never comes to Switch because it's too soon, an X port will surely come out on the next console with much fanfare and updates.
X suffered from three major problems. The first was of course the WiiU install base. The second was, it released with some problems and flaws, mainly in the questing system. It was easy to break. That could have been patched, but because of the first problem, it never was. The third was I believe Iwata was the champion in that company pushing such a high budget feature on the WiiU. He died before release and the game lost it's biggest cheerleader at the highest level. A tragedy of events.
Fortunately, INTERNALLY the company seems to recognize Monoliths achievements and while the Xenoblade series went from "game we won't even bother localizing outside Japan" to "I guess we'll let NoE do it", to having a big budget WiiU outing that never got the love it deserved to being their big flashy showcase title for their new console announcement in the same breath as Mario and Zelda. They seem to be giving XC2 the AAA treatment this time (X was only AA in budget according to the producer) and we can expect a high profile flashy trailer/demo next week. So I suppose Monoliths' work paid off. And if XC2 goes over well I'm sure an enhanced X port will make it out at some point. Why not? It's made, probably hasn't made back it's cost yet...and if the Xeno brand is a Switch hit, that's a good way to bring more of it out quickly (that even most WiiU owners never played.)
Also, keep in mind Monolith also worked on BotW.....so they're also unsung heroes in the masterpiece everyone's raving about changing the industry. They know they're loved
I still can't put this game down. I'm just completely in love with it, for lack of a better way of explaining it. It's THE Zelda I've always thought I was playing, outside the limitations of the games that came before. I've actually set aside my last Divine Beast and final 2 Shrines just so I can focus on further exploration and finding the remaining Korok Seeds (I want all 900 before I defeat Ganon)!
@rjejr Well it also helps that Monolith Soft also worked on BotW.
Why can't commentators spell "Nintendo" here?
@NEStalgia "They seem to be giving XC2 the AAA treatment this time "
AAA 3DS treatment maybe, not home console AAA. See my interpretation of the trailer below. I'd love to be wrong, but it really feels like this is for the mobile Japanese market, not the home console US market. Ni No Kuni 2 has a similar look, but more...more?
Not sure which one I'll play first but NNK2 looks noticeably graphically superior to me. Like a generation better. Though not SD to HD gen like my previous comment, HD to HD.
@JaxonH "who loved Zelda would love XXX"
XXX Zelda is probably an entire underground industry cosplay thing but we probably shouldn't go there. B/c if we went there I might not ever leave.
"The new one looks different artstyle-wise"
Yeah, I'm still not sure what to make of it, it's a hodge podge of design elements and the overall emptiness - running across that bridge in a room is a very basic brown ugly - makes me feel like it started as a 3DS game. Would explain the port of XC. Person riding that lion thing looks like MH Stories. Guy walking in a market looks like every MH town. Yeah, I bet they saw how well Sqeunix was going on 3DS and decided to make one, then Nintendo asked them to make it for the Switch as a handheld for the Japanese market. So it will be XC2, not XCX2, as the title says. Probably no skells, but riding lions is cool, maybe we'll get to ride a flying Loftwing. (I'm still upset they aren't in BotW, not even the DLC.)
Ok seriously I have stuff to do, I only came back b/c its you 2.
@Ernest_The_Crab "Well it also helps that Monolith Soft also worked on BotW."
Would be nice if Monolith gets some recognition from that, maybe even gets them in the spotlight. I've liked them since way back when before Nintendo bought them, in their Xenosaga days, but even with their pedigree I felt like XCX was slighted bc/ FFXV was everywhere and Wii U was no where. (And WIi U is still nowhere b/c Nitneod held back Zelda until Switch launched.) I think if Level-5, I consider them about equal, had made XCX it would have gotten more attention. Ni No Kuni was all over the place.
Will be interesting to see if Nintendo promotes XC2 as much as Sony promotes NNK2, looks like they may be releasing around the same time. If XC2 releases around the same time as Mario Odyssey I'm afraid Nintendo may focus 100% on Mario.
Not gonna lie, it's going to be hard to go back to the older 3D zelda games after BotW. I usually play Ocarina annually but I think i'm ready to retire it and swap in BotW.
Hope the summer DLC drops right after the E3 spotlight. It feels like the last week of February all over again...
All these arguments about Monolith and Nintendo. Guys Monolith helped with both Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild. They did a lot of the topography which is one of the big reasons why both XCX and Breath of the Wild were such a joy to explore. Odds are that their development of XCX's mostly seamless world and how they did it also was implemented into Zelda in some way shape or form as it would make no sense to toss that R and D into a pit.
Monolith has been one of Nintendo's best acquisitions in decades.
It's now in my top 5, if not THE top game of all time for me. Not sure it beats out my Resident Evil 4 obsession, but it's pretty damn close.
@rjejr what is XCX?
Botw is a masterpiece, and it will rightly go down as such.
It did a very brave thing by not holding players hands and letting people get out of a play session what they wanted - explore, shrine, farm mats , progress story and so on.
I turned the Hud off from the get go and i have to recommend that to anyone yet to play it, immersion to the max.
Its beautiful but bland. Please dont raise only that bar and give me meaningful stuff to do.
@rjejr I don't know how you managed to misspell "Nintendo" so many times, but I respect it. I do agree the XCX did open world pretty well, and i did spend more of my time exploring and fighting than actually caring about sidequests and NPC's, but at the end of the day, it was like many other open world games. There wasn't too much innovation in terms of the genre in XCX.
This just shows when Nintendo undertakes doing a genre they can do it better than anyone. I am like others here, and old gamer, been playing since the dawn of gaming. Z-BOW has just about spoiled me for anything else at the moment. Nothing seems as vibrant, as alive, and intriguing as Z-BOW. I purchased some PS4 backlog in April for my birthday and loaded up FFXV. Sure it looked pretty, but the frame rate, load time, and lack of immersion were really annoying me. I am not a tech snob in that I still play a lot of legacy and classic games but Z-BOW to me is a straight up masterpiece, best game yet made. Now just imagine an open world first person Metroid prime game. Please N, Please.
That quote about if there were no NPC's, etc... it would still be a blast to explore by Damien Monnier is the highest praise the game could get given the original Zelda was literally based on Miyamoto wandering around the country side randomly discovering things. Aonuma might have out Miyamoto'd Miyamoto with Breath of the Wild.
BotW is flawed in certain ways, but it's so ambitious and well-designed overall that I hardly even noticed them while playing. There's definitely room to improve, but I think it's a fantastic departure from the OoT framework, and I'm looking forward to seeing Nintendo add proper dungeons, better side quests, etc. to the gorgeous open world in future games.
But...but... paid reviews!
Really love the game, going to play it again soon. I have a few gripes with it, but they don't take away from the sheer joy I had exploring Hyrule.
Whaddya know, I just beat this guy in the header screenshot moments ago.
Good to hear devs are enjoying this game as well.
@Pazuzu666 Ooooh, the memories... I had a ZX Spectrum 16K which I upgraded to 48K for around 80£ back in the day. It was a wonderful machine with great games.
@KirbyTheVampire I completely agree with you. After I beat BotW I had almost no desire to go back to the world. The story and characters really let me down. The gameplay was very fun but flawed as armor and cooking really break the game's difficulty. I found myself at the end of the game wishing I could have traded in some of the nonlinearity for a better plot and characters. I too did all the shrines but I find myself unable to muster enough interest to go back to the game despite enjoying it. I do hope the holiday dlc with the new dungeon and story can give me some of what I wanted with the main game. I really hope the next game has a better story with better characters as well as improved dungeons and bosses
@rjejr Xenoblade X as a game was just too laborious. The scenery was beautiful but i felt like the game was a forced narrative, a fetch quest and a grind. Breath of the wild feels like a joy to play in all aspects and Nintendo found a way to make grinding fun (or non-existent) with the shrines. I get your comparison but Nintendo really nailed it with BoTW (with Monolith's help).
Btw- original Xenoblade Chronicles is a top 10 game for me
@Oat The cooking did kind of ruin the difficulty. (I can't speak for the armor quite as much, since I didn't concern myself very much with upgrades or anything) Once you learn what foods are the best and basically get over that initial hump, the game becomes a lot easier. I wish there was a bit more of a consistent progression in the difficulty level, rather than it being really hard at first and then hitting a major plateau where most of the enemies with the exception of Lynels are pretty easy to kill. I suppose Nintendo isn't exactly known for making difficult games, though.
Technically I didn't find all the shrines, but I'm at the point where I've majorly lost motivation to find more. I'll probably look for more when the DLC rolls around, though.
Generally though, the gameplay was a lot of fun. My main issue with it was definitely the plot, characters, and side-quests. I know it must have been hard to create a compelling plot when the game focuses so much on non-linearity, and when the bulk of the actual story takes place before the events of the game (Majorly disappointed by that, too. This game's story would have been so much more interesting if we actually played through what happened 100 years before the events of BoTW. Whenever I watched a new memory, I couldn't help feeling like I was catching a glimpse of the game I wished I could be playing.), so I understand why it was kind of lackluster. Some people might be okay with that in favor of less linearity, but I personally just wish the game had struck more of a middle ground. Past Zelda games were on one end of the linear spectrum, and BoTW is completely on the other side of it, but I wish it was, like I said, somewhere in the middle, because the story suffered significantly because Nintendo made it so non-linear.
I can't excuse them at all when it comes to the side-quests, though. To have 95% just be standard open world fodder like fetch quests or "go here, kill this" quests is completely inexcusable. I was honestly really surprised to see that. I went in thinking I would find some really cool "mini stories" and tons of memorable characters, but all I got was random NPC #487 telling me "Hey, go find 40 of this random item for me! (Hours of searching later) Oh, you found them? Here's 5 rupees for your reward!"
It was definitely a fun change of pace from the standard Zelda formula we've been playing for decades, and I generally did like the game a lot (Probably doesn't sound like it when I throw all my criticisms about the game into one post, lol), but I would be pretty disappointed if Nintendo kept making future Zelda games in this completely non-linear fashion. As I said in my previous comment, it's a great foundation for them to build upon, but I personally hope they reign themselves in a little and don't spread the next game so thin. Of course, they're free to do whatever they want, but those are just my hopes for the future of the franchise.
@KirbyTheVampire It's unreal how you and I felt the EXACT same way about the story. Every time I saw a memory I just wanted to be playing that version of hyrule instead. Having the bulk of the story already take place 100 years ago makes what you're doing now feel perfunctory and almost pointless.
I definitely feel you on the linearity scale. I also wanted more of a middle ground. Everyone raves about how Zelda 1 is so nonlinear but even that game has some linearity to facilitate a sense of progress. (You cannot do dungeon 4 before dungeon 3 and you cannot do dungeon 5 before dungeon 4). It's kinda ironic to me that BotW was trying to go back to Zelda's roots but ended up having a worse structure than the first game imo.
Also the reason why I mentioned that armor is busted because it can be incredibly easy to bottom out damage at taking a 1/4 heart of damage from almost every enemy in the game. If you get max or even near max armor, attacks will almost never deal more than a 1/4-1/2 heart of damage. Combine that with Mipha's grace, cooking, and being able to stockpile fairies (i had 7 on me at one point) and the difficulty goes right out the window
Sidequests were slightly disappointing to me but I can live with that. I think the game had 20 shrines too many. I personally enjoyed doing them until I hit that last 20. At that point the became repetitive easy slogs to get through.
It's been great to have a discussion on some of the shortcomings that this game has. I do think it's a great foundation so that's why it kinda irks me to see all the 10/10s because there is so much room for improvement.
@Oat Ah, I gotcha (about the armor thing). I still took a decent amount of damage since I basically just played through the whole game with the Hylian armor set you can buy in Kakariko Village and upgraded it 2 or 3 times, but having food, fairies, and Mipha's Grace was more than enough for most of the enemies in the game, especially the final boss, which was just a joke, mainly due to the food. It also kinda took me out of the final boss fight to constantly go back into the inventory and eat another piece of food, but that's just a minor nitpick.
I also don't think it deserves all the 10/10s. I would have probably given it a 7.5 or an 8.
Ultimately, I'm looking forward to the next game in the series, because I feel like that and Zelda games after it will correct some of the flaws that this game has, and will hopefully be the game/s that I wanted BoTW to be.
Zelda: BOTW is truly an amazing experience. It's a God amongst games. I logged over 400 hours in it, 100% completed literally absolutely every single thing. Loved it all, I now rate it as my favourite game ever, beating Super Metroid, though that could change again as I cast a more critical eye over it. Don't think the positions will change. I've just so many happy memories from it.
I was absolutely stunned and mezmerized the moment I woke in the shrine of resurrection and then walked out into the world. The game held me in that exact frame of mind for well over 100 hours . An absolute work of art. Praying we will get the next Zelda in the Switch lifespan.
Would love to play xc on switch but in my country it was sold out before I knew it. So got the switch version. Still it seems to me their likely going to port more of the wii u then wii so xc will likely be vc
It's good to see praise from peers in the industry, even if Nintendo likely doesn't consider them to be so. That said, I felt Breath of the Wild was a good game, but not exceptional, and I don't see how it "raised the bar" in anything, be it the genre or the Zelda series.
agreed. I love playing XCX. If switch gets a port, I'm in without a doubt. I love Monolith's games. It's a perfect balance between JRPG and modern RPG mechanics. I might dive into FF sometime next year but why would I do that if I have Xenoblade 2 .
@rjejr There is such a huge, beautiful world in XCX. My MiiVerse photo album is like 80/99 pictures full of just XCX screen caps (until I realized I should be using the elgato Game Capture's screen cap button). Every continent has its own splendor to it, and there are unexplained structures to explore. There are also many hidden caves and tiny islands in the ocean that have treasure boxes, unique tyrants, and Scenic Viewpoints to discover. It kind of reminds me of my early World of Warcraft days, going everywhere and climbing everything just to see what's there.
XCX was my downtime life for 8 months after it came out. It's one of those games, though, that you get more out of it if you let yourself be immersed enough to put in the work. Understandably, that approach is not for everyone. I blame the lack of a properly defined game loop. However, I figured out a routine that could help people enjoy the game to the fullest.
Starting at Chapter 3/4, do all the missions available from NPCs before moving on to the next chapter. I mean sweep the city and talk to EVERYONE in New LA (and Nopon camps), night and day (because some are time-based because characters can be at different places depending on the time of day), even if they seem to say the same thing. Reason being that missions will sometimes take you outside and let you explore new areas naturally, without overlap in most cases. And at some point during the game, all named NPCs will have a mission, everyone. The side missions is where XCX's world building and lore take place. Sometimes an NPC storyline will evolve over several story chapters, which ends in a new mission down the line. Even the unnamed NPCs with speech bubbles will give leads to a new mission, treasure, tyrant, or sector to explore.
All the dialogue, cumulatively, builds up the story of the citizens of NLA over the course of the game. There's fun stuff like the Back to the Future and Aliens references and the Nopon in general. And more serious stuff like xenophobia/alien racism, murder, suicide, betrayal, sacrifice, loss of religious faith, love (between, um...alien races), Deus Ex Machina, etc. There were a lot of topics touched on and will never be seen if someone only plays the story chapters.
It also helps to push boundaries and explore everything once you rescue Tatsu or starting at Story Chapter 4. I was at 200 hours before bringing Tatsu back to Blade HQ, I had enough materials for the Skell Test (didn't know what they were at the time, but I had them on hand), got almost every treasure box I came across, and almost all probes I had access to were activated (everything except for the one that required flight and Level 5 field skills, which is only about 6 or 7, IIRC). Also, continually optimize your probe strategy as you activate probe sites. This keeps money, Miranium, and crafting materials flowing.
It sounds like a lot, and it is. Right now I'm sitting on a 691 hour save file at 99.87% with only 1 mission left (the Blood Lobster mission...ugh). I still sign on for the daily Division rewards, and maybe farm Telethia Plume and Yggralith Zero for a bit. I mean, I don't even have an Ares model Skell, so that's one other thing I can do (though, level 50's are more versatile). But in any case, like BotW, I don't want the experience to end. I'm happy with the time I put into the game. It's not perfect by any means (lack of non-mission activities and a sparsely populated world outside of NLA being a big drawback) But I hope people will give it a shot if it ever gets ported to the Switch. Or even if they have a WiiU but haven't picked it up yet, I hope they give it a go at some point.
@abe_hikura I loved the way Enslaved: Odyssey to the West handled that setting as well. The world wasn't all grey and blechy, but green and thriving, as if it was glad to be (mostly) rid of humans.
Easily game of the year, and best Zelda title of all time.
@Darius_Truxton Also rythm games, brain training games, pet owning games, music composing & animation making games, fitness games, minigame games, semi on rails shooting games, draw shapes for special weapon games, 3D puzzle games.
That is very nice that the guy formerly of CD Projekt Red said that about BotW. Witcher 3 is a masterpiece, no RPG holds a candle to it in terms of charecters, writing, story telling, and decisions that actually matter.
@greengecko007 I tend to agree with you. It is a phenomenal game, but it's not even the absolute best of the franchise. I place it squarely in 3rd place behind OOT and Wind Waker.
The open world is impressive, but that is all for naught given that there isn't enough to do in it.
@Alshain01 It isn't even close to my favorite Zelda or open world game. There were a lot of things that just rubbed me the wrong way that I felt other open world games have done much better or preferred how other Zelda games played. But I still enjoyed the game quite a bit. I wouldn't have put nearly 70 hours into a game and finished the story if I wasn't having a good time doing so. I'm glad that I played through it, and I feel that my money on the game was well spent.
Agreed BotW is next to Secret of Mana, Castlevania 2, and Witcher 3 as one of my favorite games of all time
Cool, the greatest praise they could give is releasing their games onto the Switch
I loved Breath of the Wild. It being my first step into the Zeldaverse I can say I'm really happy I did so. The best part was it made me go explore things myself unlike other games which entice you to explore by giving out loot and items and whatnot just to get you to mover around. Zelda makes you explore without thus. Another thing I love is the scenery. Each time I got to even a small hill, just adjusting the camera can net you a great photo (I'm nearing 1000 screenshots!).
Perhaps the only thing I hate about Zelda is the Rain...
WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS, SHOWING A BOSS AND SPOILING ZELDA FOR US, YOU TOTALLY INEPT COLLECTION OF "JOURNALISTS" CALLED NINTENDO LIFE?
I'm still enjoying Zelda. When I play I keep forgetting I am there to kill the big boss and I end up wandering around exploring instead. My main quest at the moment is to reveal the map so I spend most of my time climbing the towers. Once I have done the towers I will move on to the shrines. When I have done the shrines, I will do the side quests and anything else that raises its little head. but I just love wandering around. I may never complete Breath of the Wild. I did do some shrines before I settled on the idea of climbing the towers, so I have about 6 hearts, which can make life difficult.
XCX is probably my favourite game on the Wii U now. I'm only at about level 60 and just got my first skell. Unfortunately a lot of other stuff and BotW happend in the meantime. BotW is fantastic, but I had to stop myself after 100 hours. Lots of other games to play right now and also lots of work so my time is limited at the moment.
But I will definitely get back to XCX. What really stood out for me from the beginning was that you can go everywhere without invisible borders. Everything you could see, you could reach. Even on foot I climbed most mountains. BotW was not the first open world game that let you do that, although climbing in BotW is a lot easier of course.
Many side quests in XCX may be tedious, but there are a lot of quests which immerse you in the world even more with some really good stories.
I have never played the first XC, so I can't compare. But from what I understand XC and XCX are completely independent of each other so there is no comparison needed.
If they release XCX on Switch I would love a way to transfer savegames from the Wii U. Because I'm the type of person who does not like to do things again. Once I experienced it, that's ususally it for me.
Witcher 3 is boring as hell. I bought the Game of the year edition, I thought it's a masterpiece like everyone said.... the pacing is slow, story is not really that great, combat happens once in a blue moon, inventory and upgrade are not interesting. Visiting the brothel is only fun the first time. The character cannot be customised like Skyrim, just a boring stereotypical RPG hero.
Few people finished this game, it gets stale quick. The creator should attend Zelda University and learn what fun is.
@rjejr Yeah. I am a little concerned it is rushed too but I don't know when they started working on it. It must have been much longer than two years ago. The style doesn't look Chibi to me but definitely quite Japanese. I mostly don't like realistic graphics all that much as they are boring to me so the graphics of xc2 don't really bother me.
anything could be considered raising the bar when compared to the assassins creed series LOL first assassins was good then it went downhill from there
It is so funny that come December Nintendo will be competing with themselves for Game of the Year.
Breath of Wild against Odyssey.
@Timppis that's a good move. I have quickly lost interest for the game after beating Ganon. But that was after playing the game for almost 150 hours.
@Jessica286 Super Mario Odyssey would probably compete for 2019 GotY since it will release in December. XCX was ineligble for 2015 GotY because it was released in November of that year.
@cowntsikin Mario games release on November usually. Nintendo do this so they boost their Black Friday sales.
@cowntsikin Their December game will be Xenoblade X 2.
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