In this Soapbox article, Nintendo Life contributor Arjun talks about Breath of the Wild and its nature as a '3D Zelda game'.
Before I begin, let me clarify one thing - Breath of the Wild is one of the best games I have ever played. Pun intended, it truly is a breath of fresh air when it comes to video games in general, and I still find myself going back to it now and again to attempt to 100% it as well as explore its nooks and crannies, even seven months since its release and with so many other games to play.
But a true fan of anything should also be the first to admit flaws and share constructive criticism. While Breath of the Wild is a revolutionary, blockbuster entry in The Legend of Zelda series’ illustrious history, I believe that it fails to grasp some of the core ingredients that many 3D Zelda games possess. With that in mind, here’s my personal opinion on how Breath of the Wild doesn’t quite stack up to the 3D Zeldas of yesteryear from a typical Zelda perspective, which marginally lets the game down as a 3D Zelda game, not as a game in general. Once again, I can't stress enough that it is indeed one of the best games I've ever played, but I'm just assessing it as far as 3D Zelda games go, so hold onto that thought while reading the rest of this soapbox!
Warning: potential spoilers ahead.
Kicking things off with the game’s narrative, there’s actually nothing wrong with the story presented in Breath of the Wild in my opinion. We’re introduced to some great characters, and we’re treated to many glimpses of Hyrule 100 years prior to the game’s events. The problem I do have, however, is how certain aspects of the story aren’t mandatory to encounter and can thus be missed altogether, which isn't the case in most if not all traditional 3D Zelda games.
A great example is obtaining the Master Sword. This item is a staple in the Zelda series, yet I know many players who have slain Ganon without knowing the legendary blade even exists in Breath of the Wild. For most open-world, free-roaming adventure games, this non-linear approach is completely fine and understandable. However, wearing my Zelda hat here, I personally would like to have been guided to and through some of the main points of interest throughout my adventure.
Had I not unintentionally caught a glimpse of the Master Sword’s location on social media, I reckon I would’ve completely missed it during my first playthrough. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not confusing the game’s story with its side quests – these optional tasks have always been present in Zelda games – but I believe pivotal story points to the franchise's lore should be compulsory “checkpoints”. Of course, the game’s first DLC – which focuses purely on the Master Sword – helps rectify this, but aside from this the Master Sword is never really treated as a staple of the game. Besides, it's fair to say that most players would have completed the game's main story before attempting its first DLC challenge, therefore increasing the likelihood of them missing the legendary blade altogether.
Another example is collecting Link's captured memories. Finding each memory reveals a part of history of Hyrule’s demise, which helps add more of a story element to the game. However, I was astonished to find that this main quest is also optional. Quite simply put; the only objective is to destroy Ganon – it doesn’t matter how players get there or what they do before deciding to do so. To many, that sounds great, but to me I would have liked some form of linearity with the game’s storyline and pivotal plot points.
To expand on both of these above points, with a more structured story also comes more cutscenes, something I feel Breath of the Wild doesn't grasp quite as well as other 3D Zelda games. Link's memories are more or less as close as we get to fully-fledged cutscenes, but if you only look at what's mandatory the amount of actual cutscenes are minimal – it's mainly dialogue between characters instead. I used to always look forward to passing a certain point in a 3D Zelda game knowing that a juicy cutscene would follow, but what we have here is more of a flowing, less-segmented approach. Again, all of these examples don't necessarily strike points against Breath of the Wild as a game – it actually makes sense when you understand what it aims to accomplish – but for fans longing for a quintessential 3D Zelda experience, the absence of must-dos and cutscenes could perhaps have a negative impact throughout their playthrough.
Enemies & Bosses
A major box I look forward to being ticked when venturing into any new Zelda title is discovering the game’s plethora of enemies, and witnessing the imagination that the game’s creators have poured into the design of the many different creatures throughout its world. This was – and still is – one of the reasons why I love titles like Ocarina of Time so much. As arguably annoying as Navi may be, I love reading her descriptive analysis of the game's enemies, some of which that can only be found in certain locations. They help build the lore around Ocarina of Time’s world, and also provide useful insight into getting around opponents. I therefore went out my way to read these – not only to indulge my nerdy side, but also to plan my strikes carefully on opponents that were unbeknownst to me.
With Breath of the Wild, I felt the game failed to achieve this same feat, well, at least in ratio when the sizes of the two titles are compared. Throughout its enormous open world, the species players mainly encounter are Bokobin, Moblin, Lizalfos, Octorok, Pebblit, Keese, Chuchu, Wizzrobe, Lynel (which are damn cool), Yiga warriors, and Guardian. Sure, some of these are your iconic Zelda critters, and yes there are variations of each, but for such a large game I’d love to have seen many more types of baddies roam the vast lands of Hyrule, with more being pinned to certain areas, as well as being able to learn about them in some way, shape, or form. It's this lack of enemy and spawn variation that can sometimes lead to the game's combat becoming a little repetitive, for the same kinds of enemies can be found throughout most areas, more or less anyway. But hey, again, that's just me.
As for bosses, well that’s a whole different kettle of Hylian Bass. Four different types of Ganon?! Sure, it was probably implemented to make sense from a storyline standpoint, but having miniature, elementally themed versions of Ganon just doesn't quite cut it for a Zelda game to me. The other Zelda games really captured its players’ imaginations with a multitude of well-designed beasts, and it was so exciting to claw through an arduous dungeon knowing that something beyond our imaginations lurked at the end of it. Having said that, I am definitely a fan of the game’s overworld bosses (Hinox, Talus, Molduga etc.) – it’s a real thrill to unexpectedly witness them for the first time while roaming around. I knew I’d be handsomely rewarded for taking them down, despite how unequipped I was at the time; the reward was worth it. This is a feat not quite captured by other 3D Zelda games, so this is most definitely a welcome addition for me. But still, the lack of distinct dungeon bosses is disappointing. Breath of the Wild really could've really benefited from bosses along the lines of Twinrova, Stallord and Koloktus, but instead the climax to each Divine Beast is an unimaginative and uninspiring Ganon knockoff – at least in my opinion.
I bet everyone was waiting for this one. What’s a Zelda without its thought-provoking, mysterious, creepy, and enchanting dungeons? To be fair, there are 120 shrines within the game, which can be argued makes up for the game’s lacklustre dungeon total of four, but it just still doesn’t quite capture that Zelda magic. Some of the shrines are duplicates (i.e. all 120 are not unique) due to many of them being straight-up battles – there’s already a lot of that in the game’s overworld.
As for the main dungeons, well, this is probably my biggest disappointment of the game, certainly when approaching them with my Zelda hat on (literally and figuratively, by the way). Personally, I feel that they're short, repetitive, tedious, and quite frustrating. Of course, this isn't the first time a Zelda dungeon has been most – if not all – of these things *cough* Water Temple *cough*, but after completing the first two Divine Beasts I really wasn’t expecting much from the last two, and I was right. The puzzles are uninspiring for the most part and, as mentioned, the bosses of each are lacklustre climaxes to a short yet bothersome task.
Where I will give credit to the game's dungeons however, are the build-up missions before entering. Those were some of the best in-game moments I experienced, a great example being obtaining 20 Shock Arrows from a mountain inhibited by a ferocious Lynel, and then riding on the back of Sidon to "deactivate" Divine Beast Vah Ruta. Then again, these tasks aren't fun had from the dungeons' confines themselves, so maybe that just emphasises my point about the actual Divine Beast dungeons themselves. I will say though, I do commend and admire the creativity behind manipulating and traversing these colossal animal-like structures' innards, but I feel it just isn't enough when a Zelda fan enters a Divine Beast for the first time and expects a dungeon akin to past 3D Zelda games.
There also isn’t a sense of progression, for the four dungeons can be tackled in any order. This means that they’re seemingly supposed to be equal in difficulty, and thus the feeling of getting stronger for a stronger challenge is absent. If anything, it’s almost as if it gets easier the more dungeons players complete, for Link will have acquired new and stronger weapons and abilities by the time the next Divine Beast is visited.
Also, while everyone may not agree on this point, these dungeons did make me miss the dungeon-exclusive item/weapon formula Zelda has possessed over its years. Yes, not having this arguably makes the player think on their feet a bit more, but grabbing the dungeon’s treasure and using it to traverse the rest of its confines, take down its monstrosity, and then roam the rest of Hyrule with this spanking new gizmo in hand is a feeling I truly adore, and now miss.
Weapons / Items
I’ve already just referenced the dungeon-specific items/weapons and Master Sword previously, but just to reiterate, I do miss items that Link can keep forever to aid him on his quest. Sure, Link can climb now, so items such as the Hookshot are arguably redundant, but the game mainly consists of melee weapons, shields, bows, and arrows that can all break or run out of stock. This definitely works in the game’s open-world, free-roaming setting, but again, from a typical Zelda perspective, I would have liked just a few items/weapons that Link could use permanently. Sure, the Sheikah Slate contains Runes (Magnesis, Remote Bombs, Stasis, and Cryonis), which in most cases achieve this, but gone is the magic of finding, acquiring, and keeping hold of an actual item/weapon that players can use throughout their adventure.
Other than its amazing gameplay mechanics and memorable characters, the Legend of Zelda series has always stood out with its awe-inspiring music. So much so in fact, that there is a Zelda-dedicated orchestra that travels the world to perform the franchise’s most iconic music, called Symphony of the Goddesses. My daily playlist is filled with songs from Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword, and so when Breath of the Wild was on the horizon, I was super excited to add its music to my list of delightful ear candy.
Upon playing the game, however, I was quickly made aware that this game is like no other Zelda in terms of continuous music accompanying Link’s journey. Instead, tranquil sounds of the world’s natural environments and subtle instrumental noises sprinkle themselves in from area to area. Now, I completely understand why Nintendo opted for this approach – Breath of the Wild is the series’ first true open-world, free-roaming game, and having repetitive music would probably drive the player insane, especially as its areas are so vast that it could take some time for players to hear a multitude of songs on a single playthrough. However, even though the approach makes sense, it’s something I sorely miss.
Of course, there are a few exceptions – the Hateno Village and Zora's Domain themes are great examples of beautiful music isolated to one area – but there’s just not enough of this in the game to satisfy me from a music standpoint. And its mainly this reason as to why Breath of the Wild also doesn't focus on Link learning any songs to use for certain tasks. Sure, there is Kass and his trusty accordion, but this isn't quite the same - the player instead must use clues from song lyrics to solve puzzles. Now I'm all for change, but the fact that most Zelda games contain some element of learning and using music to the player's advantage is something I sought after in my playthrough.
As for Breath of the Wild’s main theme, well, this is something I thought I would hear more often throughout my adventure, but again I was sadly mistaken. It wasn’t like Ocarina of Time’s Zelda’s Lullaby, Twilight Princess’ main theme, or Skyward Sword’s Ballad of the Goddess – recurring themes that play throughout the adventure. As a result, the game’s main theme had – and still has – no impact on me, and thus I feel that there isn’t a single song that would prompt delightful thoughts of my Breath of the Wild playthrough like other Zelda games have done so well (well, maybe aside from the aforementioned Hateno Village). Even listening to the game's Sound Selection that comes bundled with its Collector's Edition, there's nothing there that really hits home. The songs are more subtle, and when compared to a soundtrack such as The Wind Waker, there's definitely a stark contrast. It’s a weird one, this. Again, I know why they did it, and it’s the right and logical choice, but it still – albeit slightly – negatively impacted my experience.
Going back to Symphony of the Goddesses here, I’ve booked my ticket to attend the event in London in November, making it my third year in a row. What makes this one extra special is that the team has announced that Breath of the Wild’s music will be added to their medley. But what exactly will they add? Yes, there are a couple of songs of notability, but will they strike the same chord as the others do, regardless of whether Breath of the Wild is a new game or not? I’m not sure, I guess I'll only know once I'm there, but here’s to hoping it’s awesome nevertheless.
And with that, I’m done. Once again, as much as this article may suggest otherwise, I truly adore this game. They key word here though, is that I adore Breath of the Wild as a “game”, and not as a “3D Zelda game”. Yes, homages of its predecessors are neatly presented throughout, but I feel they're not quite enough to bring upon the feeling that the player is indeed playing a 3D Zelda for the most part – that is if you strip away the obvious nods of the franchise, such as its world's races, enemies, and landmarks. Many of the points I've mentioned above seem to be decisions that can yield no win-win situation; as mentioned, I understand why the developers have done what they did from a logical standpoint in a game of such individuality among other 3D Zelda titles, but I still miss the Zelda-esque elements left out because of this.
Perhaps some of you can relate to some or even all of my points, but as mentioned – though potentially an unpopular decision – I wanted to write this as a dedicated fan of the franchise who feels passionate to address the handful of "Zelda flaws" of this stellar title. Regardless, Breath of the Wild still achieves a huge amount to please both new and seasoned players of the series, and will no doubt go down as one of the – if not the – series' greatest games of all time.
Agree with none, some, or all of my thoughts? As always, voice your opinion below!
It's not a Zelda game because I can't rename the player character to "Zelda."
Its the Zelda game I didn't know I wanted.
Oh...it's another one of those "now that the hype has settled" articles
I'm only responding to the title and subtitle here, so forgive any point that's off topic.
The thing is, for people to have such a creative and possibly limitless hobby in gaming, the vocal gamers are terribly close minded. I'll say it clearly: your preconceptions and expectations are irrelevant.
That's right. The world doesn't exist to confirm your pre-existing beliefs. You're either a foolish person trying to get everything as expected and leaving negative imdb reviews if you don't, or you're very much alive and open to the possibility of being surprised. There's little room in between.
Get off the entitled high horse as a person and let artists create something that moves you emotionally. Get the vibe for life instead of the dread of drag.
These articles should rename themselves as whinebox.
100% agree with everything. That said, even if the new formula hadn't paid off (as far as I'm concerned, it did), Zelda needed a breath of fresh air much more than another by-the-numbers adventure, no matter how great.
it was great for me the best dungeon was 5th with no spoilers, also this was back to basic's zelda 1 also had little story.
Aww what a great read ^^. Nintendo totally identified what made a Zelda game and intentionally reinvented it. They are creative geniuses as opposed to franchise entrepreneurs.
also they said many times they was rethinking the conventions of zelda, so yeah of cause it's not what we expected... we expedited skyward sword that didn't go over so well at all.
Honestly this game would have benefited from having a linear-ish story, some areas blocked off by said story and still keeping the world open. Replace about half the shrines with 5 to 8 actual dungeons (with unique bosses) and you'd have the best Zelda experience to date (even without items).
Utterly pointless. Fans thinking they know what defines a franchise is exactly why we got the debacle that was the reaction to Federation Force.
Great read, agree with most of your points. I do still love the game but it does get repetitive. I'm still on roughly 80 shrines but will get back to the game one day, I miss it
The Zelda game you want was Skyward Sword. It was heavy on story, enemies, and basically everything below the clouds was one sequence of dungeons (even if they weren't directly called dungeons).
Also, I'd much rather I get a Zelda I didn't know I wanted than the same game over and over again.
It is a great game but it certainly shows Nintendo's growing pains when it comes to creating an open world game.
If there were more towns and enemy variety then I would have enjoyed the game much more. A really big town would have been amazing, especially if it was filled with sidequests.
More dungeons would have been great but I'm not sure how they would have fit into the story, it was definitely lacking though. I only really enjoyed two out of the four beasts, and even the better ones only had a few standout moments.
I think this game could have been fine if it included a little more "Zelda" -towns, dungeons, new equipment like the hookshot or beetle, bosses ect. If they can combine a traditional Zelda with this new Open Air concept of theirs, they'll completely changed and improved the series. I feel that Botw is different, but not necessarily improved over some of its predecessors.
Yes. I was getting fed up with Aounuma's anime stuff since the overrated Majora's mask, becoming more and more like an interactive anime with awful characters and obsession with puzzles (no kids, the original zeldas weren't about puzzles and story. miyamoto is bs-ing you to justify his awful choice of putting aounuma in charge).
This game feels more like a real true zelda than aounuma's otaku fests. It's obvios he had very few control in it and let younger developers in charge.
I just hope he retires soon and put some one that actually likes and undertsands zelda in charge and not somebody that cannot even defeat a arceusdamn octorock and puts trains (TRAINS!!!) for his little kid.
Well, this article has some good points. I also missed the final bosses and the dungeons, and I would have loved more "inside" inside environments, like spoiler Hyrule Castle that gives you a great sense of exploration and hidden secrets. Also the more enemies, less repetitive could have been nice. Still, I don't agree about BOTW not being a "true" Zelda game, just because it takes so much from it's own history in therms of gameplay. Also the puzzles are astonishing to me as they are built as environmental puzzles that can be solved in different ways. For this I think that dungeons could have been like, for example, the inside of the vulcano with different entrance points and stronger weapons as reward.
I can't even go back and play the old Zelda games. Breath of the Wild outshines all the Zelda games x10. If you don't agree then stop lying to yourself. lol
@Kimyonaakuma honestly the beetle was the one elements I was expecting. Being able to survey your surroundings from above sounds about right for this game.
This article is a good example of Betteridges law. The answer is "No". And in this case: it is better. The "faster horse" thing.
I try not to over think these things. It's a game that just feels overwhelmingly "right" to me. BoTW creates this beautiful atmosphere, this fantastic place and then it let's you roam free in it. There's no right or wrong way to progress with it. There's so many different ways to solve each task. I'm conflicted because I want to keep playing it, but I don't want it to end.
@erv This is a gaming site dedicated to both news and opinion pieces. The fact that you outright admit you haven't even read it says a lot about your statement.
The writer clearly states his love for the game - all he's doing is comparing it to the 3D Zeldas we've all grown to love. Have a read of the article before throwing out your jabs and going off on a tangent.
I personally didn't agree with absolutely everything, but it was still a good read and I see the points he makes.
Nope. Alright game, but not a good Zelda game. A much more forgettable experience than all the hype led you to believe.
I enjoyed playing BotW but after playing through it twice I have to admit I think too much of the game revolves about locating and completing shrines. A better mix of shrines and dungeons would have made the game perfect in my mind.
I can understand all of your points besides story. As you've said, the story is still there - it's just optional. If you want an experience heavier on narrative and cutscenes, that option is there for you: you can hunt down all the memories, etc. But how is having the option to skip that a bad thing?
@SM4SHshorts While I totally second your points about the story and the bosses, I don't get your problem regarding the Master Sword.
Every LoZ fan knows there's a Master Sword in every LoZ game, so obviously when you play BotW, you will start looking for it (ingame or online) at some point.
Besides, the game constantly hints at the Master Sword, so you can't really miss it.
I'm also content with the other weapons that are available, but I do miss the Hookshot, Beetle and the Bug Net (how the heck am I supposed to catch insects in BotW?). The Gust Bellows probably would've also added some interesting mechanics/puzzles to the game.
And while I love the tranquil sounds and think they're a perfect fit for this game, I was also disappointed that you almost never hear the theme from the story trailer. I would've wished to hear it more often in the game.
On the other hand, I don't know what to think about the dungeons/shrines. I rarely missed the old dungeons and started to like the shrines, but sometimes (especially when playing one of the longer and harder shrines) I did actually wish to encounter more dungeons.
But those four main dungeons didn't seem too short for me at all and it's quite impressive how large and complex these huge machines are.
Traditional Zelda alienates too many gamers.
The core gameplay of BotW is so much better than any Zelda title before it. Holding it up to some kind of pre-established notion of what a Zelda title should be is just narrow-minded.
The only legitimate criticism one could make would be the dungeons.
"Is it the game that Zelda enthusiasts expected?"
People can expect the world, doesn't mean they're going to get it.
One of the worst Zelda games for me. Nothing worth it to play it again.
No Dungeons, only 4 poopy Spells, no epic bosses, only 120 bad Shrines.
Give me a World like Botw with epic Dungeons and bosses, i dont need it to be free i just prefer 15 different Spells.
Botw dont deserve the name Zelda, but it is a great open world game.
@Ainz The Beetle was one of my favourite parts of skyward sword and I was disappointed to not see it return.
I feel that it could have worked if it was added as a rune later in the game, it could have been upgraded like in skyward sword so that it could go further, pick things up, maybe grab small enemies and drop them off ledges?
Xenoblade Chronicles X had a some form of machine to let you search areas from up high and the beetle could have added that and many more features in Botw.
I've said from day one that I thought this would have been the perfect opportunity to launch a new IP altogether. Much like the author, I agree that this game is absolutely outstanding. It's definitely my game of the year.
To me though, it just doesn't feel like a Zelda game mechanically, and I do hope that they return to the more traditional Zelda style, as I don't want that to be gone forever. They are two very different game styles, but both are outstanding in my book and should live side by side. Maybe they will still take the BotW formula and create a new open world IP someday.
EDIT: Also, as a criticism for the game in general (Whether branded as a Zelda game or not) I didn't find the survival elements nor the breakable weapons particularly enjoyable. Even if some items break, it would have been nice if there were some more unbreakable weapons so you had something cool to look forward to find, without fear of breaking it 5 minutes after getting it.
Way too much emptiness
Too much climbing and running around shrine collectathon and no dungeons and the final bass was laughable. Such an aweful game the media hyped up and the nintendo casuals and famboyz ate this stink bomb of a game up. Very Berry Mediocre open world game with just a splash of Zelda paint. 6/10
I really like the open world format for Zelda, but there was a number of things that could have been done better.
-The music, while good, was pretty unmemorable compared to previous Zelda games. I actually liked the music in the trailers way more than I liked the music in the actual game.
-The side quests were just fetch quests and "go here, kill this" quests and other boring stuff you could find in any MMO. Complete waste of time.
-I honestly can't remember any of the NPC's names outside of the main story characters and Beedle. Completely forgettable.
-The world was pretty empty. With some exceptions, you mostly can't find cool and unique locations like you can in a game like Skyrim. You'd mostly just find a monster camp, a shrine, or an extremely boring Korok seed puzzle that you've probably already done over a dozen times already.
-The story was decent, but it wasn't as good as the stories in previous Zelda games IMO. I feel like if the game was a bit more linear and we actually experienced the events that occurred in the game 100 years ago, rather than seeing quick snippets through Link's memories, it could have been a fantastic story.
-I really like the shrine system, but they were mostly too short and simple for me.
-The Divine Beasts were pretty solid, but not all that memorable, and too short. Plus, the bosses at the end were just pathetic. So lame and unimaginative.
-Poor enemy variety.
-Not much sense of progression, since you're already given most of your abilities at the start of the game.
-Pretty boring and one-dimensional main characters.
It's still a great game, but it could have been better, and it hardly felt like a Zelda game in many aspects.
I've been a dedicated Zelda fan for about 20 years now, and I can confidently say that BOTW is far, far beyond anything I ever expected in my wildest, most optimistic dreams. It's on a whole new level.
The endless clamoring of fans for another "dark, serious" Zelda in the vein of OoT has always been so weird, since that one is the least "Zelda"-like to me. I suppose it's simply the first one that a lot of people played.
@ElekidDude I agree, the optional story points are definitely not a bad thing, but it's just that it could lead to many missing some of the best moments that help make the game what it is - i.e. missing the Master Sword. And speaking of the Master Sword...
@shani Even though people assume it's in the game, as mentioned, I've come across people who failed to pick it up the first time - and I was nearly one of them too! Also, players who are playing BotW as their first Zelda game are more likely to miss out on it/not bother as much due to not knowing much about it.
When I first played I was like "man this isn't Zelda" but after a few hours I was hooked. BOTW was amazing, easily one of the greatest games I have ever played.
Lack of music was my biggest problem
I respectfully feel this goes against the mantra I hold dear of review the game as the thing you pay for in isolation, not by comparing it to everything else.
And this argument I see a lot is "X game is a fine game but not a good game of its series" and all I can say is...ok. so its a fine game then.
It's a fantastic, amazing, brilliant video game.
But it's not a Zelda game.
I hope we get a Zelda game in the near future, fingers crossed for a 2D one.
I'll miss the classic formula if its gone forever.
I agree with everything you said! Yes Breath of the wild is an amazing game! I’ve put 150 hours into it, but it’s my least favorite Zelda game. I miss hearing the great fairy fountain theme and being able to pick the name I want. I miss the dungeons, music, and everything else they took out. Open your eyes people! It’s an amazing game but it’s terrible compared to the other Zelda games. I don’t feel the same magic I did while playing windwaker, ocarina of time, or even skyward sword. I really hope the next Legend of Zelda is better.
This is like 6 months late isn't it?
Anyway, the only thing I'd want to change is the dungeons. I want full dungeons, that's the only thing I miss. In fact, I'd be happy with just 4 of them but make them absolutely huge. Make them require a few hours of gameplay to fully solve. If the overworld can be huge, why can't the dungeons?
A hot take for the people saying "it's not a Zelda game":
It's the only "Zelda" game other than the original. Every other in-between Zelda game you like is more "not Zelda" than Breath of the Wild.
...But Is It The Game That Zelda Enthusiasts Expected?
I loved Breath of the Wild. The last Zelda game that got me like Breath of the Wild was Ocarina of Time... nearly 20 years ago.
How can you even miss the Master Sword? If you've missed that crucial item that's because you are rushing through the game and you are not understading the meaning of it, which is exploration and experimentation.
Bosses and dungeons were kinda forgettable, but the rest is superb. You can't play like your usual open world game though, there's little arrows guiding you on this one.
i also agree on everything you said and will add a few things like fishing or taking photos like in wind waker but i agree it's one the best games zelda games i'v ever played
Gotta agree with the author on this one. These were my exact gripes with this game from the start. And before people start berating me, yes, I loved this game. Played tons of it. It's phenominal.
But it doesn't fit as a Zelda game for me.
Let me put it this way: would this game not have been 10x better if it was a new IP? It would have blown people away. Eclipsed Zelda for sure, but at least then traditional Zelda would still coexist with it. It bothers me when Nintendo warps a game series' key elements to make it fresh, when they could have just made a "Splatoon," if you will. HAL does this with Kirby all the time, and it's disappointing considering the awesome new series they could make.
But at least with Kirby, you have the main series with traditional gameplay, and the spin offs for the new gameplay. Zelda could easily do this, considering the handheld and console teams are merged now (or will be.)
There's nothing wrong with expecting subsequent games in a series to be similar, people. That's why it's a series and not an anthology.
@geforce1971 I don't understand how they didn't implement fishing either. If there's a Zelda game where I'd have liked fishing it would have been this one.
You have it backwards. It's not that BotW lacks the elements of (most of) its predecessors; its that those predecessors lacked the essence of the original Legend of Zelda which, after more than three decades, BotW finally recaptures.
Ok this is an opinion, fair enough, but yet a predictable article and click-bait, calculating on controversy. A habbit I have to say unfortunately Nintendolife regularly seems to exhibit...
The Zelda series was in DESPERATE need for a refrehsment of its formula. This had become obvious after Skyward Sword (despite that titles unrivaled marching into territory of motion-control use). If the BotW had NOT changed up everything so drastically, you would now write an opinion piece about just that.
BotW delieverd a reinvention of the open-world genre, despite being Nintendo's truely first entry in this genre, and garnered universal acclaim worldwide, with being the 4th best rated ever game on Metacritic and Gamerankings.
So what do you want, really? Strong case of either Cant be satisfied whatsoever, of more likely, milking on controversy for a click-bait article.
Fail! You know better, Nintendolife.
Best game ever made.
I guess I'm glad it wasn't like other Zelda games because I likely wouldn't have enjoyed as much as I did, but looking back it could have been better. (Which could be said about every game ever released) The main thing that comes to mind are the items. The inclusion of the hook shot would have made the game infinity better.
After reading a little of your article and thinking more I wish they would have made this game outside of the Zelda franchise. It's a wonderful game by all means, but I miss so much of the Zelda games. For instance Skyward Sword had a much more interesting and connected story, the overworld was constantly shifting and changing, the items were interesting, and upgrade-able, and the Master Sword was the strongest sword in the game. Oh and it had amazing music. To go from an amazing score, to no music was heart breaking.
100% agreed! While I did enjoy the game immensely, there are ingredients that I have missed.
I'm playing Majora's Mask 3D for the first time, having never played the original, and I am truly loving it. The story, the phenomenal dungeons and bosses, it's just brilliant. Whilst Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece, I do hope that they still make Zelda games by the "traditional" sense, with dungeons, bosses, better music and items, etc. I think we can have both styles
I only skimmed the article because I was seeing some spoilers, but so far I feel the same way. It's a good game, but this made me realize that story and music make up about 70% of what I love about Zelda. I missed the music so much I ended up putting an extended cut of Outset Island on for my first hour of the game.
Yeah, the lack of focus on dungeons and bosses made it feel less like a Zelda game and more like its own thing. I have to say though, that in this particular case, I am actually very glad that they decided to subvert expectations. Honestly, I kinda except them to pull a "Mario" on this, meaning having a 3D (often more open/exploration focused) series going, all the while maintaining a traditional 2D platforming series.
I want more games like BotW, but I don't want to let go of 'traditional' Zelda neither. I was kinda down on some of the latest homeconsole Zeldas like Skyward Sword, but I think A Link Between Worlds, which was excellent imho, kinda showed the way where the traditional formula could be headed - whether in 2D or in 3D. I think there is space for both version of Zelda to co-exist, the one populated (for most) by OoT and this fresh take populated by BotW.
@Dr_Corndog Hmm, perhaps I didn't clarify myself properly in terms of this article aiming to mainly compare BotW to other 3D Zelda games.
You raise a great point if that wasn't what I had meant though!
I agree with some of the points made here, but mostly disagree with others. I thought this was a fantastic Zelda game because it was different from everything else in the series. That said, I do have my own gripe with it as well. I beat the game in a month, and even though I bought the DLC season pass I'm not touching this game again until at least a year has passed since I finished the game. Discovery was one of the main elements of the game. Playing through it again so soon after my last play through would be me saying "Oh! Well, I'm going to go there because I know I can get this thing from there!" There's no surprises in that, so I'm trying to remember as little as possible when next I play it.
Lifelong Zelda fan, with the franchise since 87, and I completely agree with your opinions. Amazing game! But not an amazing Zelda game. And perhaps this is what Zelda is from here on out. And that's a shame. An HD upgrade to Skyward Sword may be the last real Zelda title we ever get.
I don't think the 3D Zelda formula would have fit for Breath of the Wild. My brother mentioned that he's dissapointed that there isn't any 'Zelda' music in the game, which is something I just don't agree with.
I love how the soundtrack supported the ambiance in the game. Not the happy Lost Woods music, no, just a piano playing while you were discovering Hyrule with your beloved horse.
I think 6 titans would be better too, but still, that wouldn't support the story. Aside from that, there is still enough to do and I'm not talking about collecting Korok Seeds.
Yes, it's not your 'typical' 3D Zelda. But in my opinion, that is not bad. Breath of the Wild shouldn't even be compared to a 'classic' 3D Zelda game, because it doesn't want to be.
Just going to say it. I love botw, it's a great game. But I miss dungeons.. real dungeons. Not 3 room shrines. I hope that was Nintendos way of teaching gamers how to play botw2: with dungeons.
@andisart It's an opinion piece that a writer has taken the time to put together for people to read that are interested and/or agree.
I've never understood when commenters unnecessarily throw out the word "clickbait", especially when the article does what it says on the tin. It costs you nothing but a minute or so to get a gist of an article, and even less to click away if you're not interested.
I think the game is incredibly overhyped. It's one of the worst Zelda games, and I've played nearly all of them. Walking around in blades of grass and collecting items to cook just doesn't hold my interest. It's a lopsided title with too much emphasis on what's never made a Zelda game worth playing; it's basically a walking simulator with puzzle play pushed to the background, weapons that break after two fights, and a series of other agonizing 'features' (like swimming) that are needlessly punishing and outright boring after a few hours. I'll never understand why so many people like this game when there are far superior open-world games on the market today.
Agree on many points, althought I don't think the story problem was the fact it was optional, personally I was more shocked by how little there was to find out even if you dig all those optional main quests.
BotW is definitely the longest Zelda, one it easily take 100 hour even in a casual playthrough and yet the amount of story is barely on par with previous games. Not that I expected a ton of cutscenes or hundreads of characters, but I can't say I know more about the champions of BotW then what I know about the sages of OoT. Sure the DLC coming out soon may fix this, but given they were four of the six main characters I would have expected them to be already quite flashed out in the 100+ hours of the main game ^_^;;;
I'm also surprised to see no mention in the article about the world map (or maybe I missed that piece?). It's definitely the biggest and most beautiful Hyrule we ever seen, but also kinda the most dissapointing one; geography speaking is perfect, filled with different areas and tons of unique elements teasing the player, but rarely I really found that uniqueness to be reflected also in the events. Time to time there were definitely cool unexpected surprises, but overall I sincerely think I lost the count of how many unique areas had unique names, unique presentation, but were just another monsters' lair with the usual monsters and tresures to find.
If I have to be honest, one of the few things I really loved of BotW with no "but" or "if" is the new engine, they did an amazing job and both the phisics and the new way of swapping equipment and using it with two buttons would do wonders even with the more classic item approch in my opinion X3
And that's why you keep your expectations low. I did that and I was blown away. Of you keep the same formula of Ocarina of time, things will be the same repetitive task.
It's good to change things a bit.
I guess we are at the point that more didn't play the original or sequel when released than did. They don't remember that all the guidance they were given was "Collect X and Defeat Ganon", and the story was left to a mini page or two of text and your imagination. At BotW peppered story throughout the game if you look for it (in memories and journals), and the landscape itself tells a tale of a great civilization gone wrong.
The weapon issue they missed on. Normal Mode is too easy and it eventually becomes not worth fighting as the rewards cease to be worth it. Hard Mode tips the scale too far the other way and the cost of the battle drains your resources more than you regain from a fight, making it so that you avoid fights to conserve what you already found. Nothing is worse than breaking two or three Royal weapons fighting three white enemies only to get a traveler's sword in return.
But the music and emptiness plays into the theme of the game, which is one of loss. It is supposed to make you feel isolated, yet show that there is small pockets of hope or immense danger in the world.
But then, I am old enough to remember when the main character was a blinking dot in a maze.
This article was a great read. I completely agree with everything except the last part stating that this game by no doubt will go down as the best in the series. I as well think this was a great game. But it's not the best Zelda game for all the reasons explained in the article.
I believe Ocarina of Time still is the best game when you take into consideration what it was and did back then. Times change and BotW is a result of what's expected of games today. Seen in that light it's not as amazing as Ocarina of Time was back then. It will be interesting to see where they go from here. It's not getting easier that's for sure.
@PsychoCrusher having read the article, the point still stands.
That's the thing: I like the gaming site opinions. This one's a good example actually. It's just that the mere existence of the whinebox is a symptom of the phenomenon of preconceived notions.
Anyway, the good part of the point you raise is the fact that replying halfway, I contribute to the culture just as much as I challenge it. I don't mind, it's just that most of the opinion pieces are driven more by closed mindedness than they are by the option of being surprised. Which is exactly what I'd want out of a gaming site - and see more of here than in most to be fair - and this article is a bit... well, whinebox so to speak.
I love it "but 3000 words"...
I never got too into Zelda. My first Zelda game was “Wind Waker”. Breath of the wild exceeded any expectation and made me love the franchise. I’ll go as far to say it’s my favourite Nintendo Game.
I just don't care for open world games, I try to get into them...and they may be fun but I'll eventually lose interest in it before even beating the game. This game is one of them, I got bored towards the end, couldn't even bother to beat the final boss and traded the game in. Xenoblade X is another example as well as Minecraft...Maybe I'll give them another go, but I don't see it happening anytime soon. Really do hope we get a normal 3D Zelda game next time. :/
@PsychoCrusher You're too naive too see the politics of running a site like NL. And missing my point made anyway. This was just as predictable an opinion piece than if BotW wouldn't have been revolutionary. Just profiting from whatever is the contrary of the general concensus. A typical Nintendolife (although not that frequently), if you fail to see this happening here you are blind
For me BOTW have been quite disappointing, the base game is good but.. there's too much 'mining' for weapons, cooking becomes tedious fast, dungeons are tiny and difficulty increasing is made in the worst possible ways (should be driven by AI).
It could've been the best Zelda game, but it isn't.. not even close..
Don't have time to read the whole article this minute but I read through the part on the story and I strongly disagree. The story whether you want to know it or not - if you want to go straight to Gannon then go ahead, but the game gives you main quests at the start that, if followed, lead you to Kakariko and then Hateno to get the photos that restore your memory. Yes, it does leave it up to the player to find the spots on their own and they're optional, but if the player wants the full story they must do that, and it stays as a main quest so the player won't just forget, they have to actively choose to not care about the story. Same with the Divine Beasts which provide more story. And the Master Sword? Yes, if you don't care about the memories or filling out your map you could miss that but that's because you're choosing to ignore part of the story, if you don't rush through the game and go to all the towers, search for shrines, find stables, etc it's hard to miss the lost woods and by extension the master sword. Heck, just getting the towers you can see the lost woods marked on the map, players have to choose to ignore that!
And that's where I actually believe this has strength. Yes, as a Zelda fan I feel story is important but the game doesn't discourage me to discover the story, it encourages it and encourages exploration to find it. But there are gamers who don't like deep stories, they want to just immerse themselves in an open world and BotW allows that too. They aren't required to get some special tool to fight the final boss, they aren't required to find a bunch of cutscenes, they can cut it all out if they want. I'm not saying the game is perfect, I can list a lot of flaws, but the story being optional is not one of them, if you missed part of the story that's because you chose to ignore the main quests or do much exploring...
Its not the Zelda game I was expecting. But then again, they made it clear the closer we got to release that it would be the one to buck tradition. I think it did so and did it extremely well. It isn’t perfect by any means. But the things it does do well, it does it just as good or better than other games of it kind. I personally don’t want to go back to entirely to the old conventions. I felt BoTW really highlighted how outdated the idea of dungeons were (or at least how they had been constructed). It cemented that Zelda needs to continue from here on out with an upgrade system (in some capacity). Maybe more akin to SS or somewhere in between the two. I can go on and on.
Expectation doesn't matter. The result does.
It's the Zelda game even the blind Zelda lovers subconsciously knew needed to happen. The series interest was starting to wane looking at the sales despite the usually overly high scores they trended with. Each was just a tired re-run with a new coat of thinning paint on a setup that had rotten and got old since Ocarina of Time and the Wind Waker. Zelda needed something for both people who cared for the lore, but those who also wanted a good motivation to try something new or to return fed up with how things were. I was basically done caring as the games just got more boring, worse in that respect, and me finishing less on the next from the last since Wind Waker. This game re-sold me on the franchise and it needs to be this way going forward. Let it in a way be Nintendo's elder scrolls style game.
@andisart I work in digital, I get how sites work, believe me. But if you look above, almost half of the people commenting agree with this article, and to some extent as do I. Can people no-longer share opinion pieces without the notion of there being some sort of plot or game plan behind the content?
Heck, I'm sure most of the writers who write for this site do so on a voluntary basis because they want to share their thoughts and opinions on something they love, regardless of how many clicks their articles generate.
Your points are a lot like mine. Especially in terms of enemy variety and the lack of dungeons.
It's still my favourite of the Zelda games regardless, and one I will still play for a long while.
Very insightful editorial.
There are many things I expect from a Zelda game, and BotW delivered more than I wanted...and also missed standards in the series. None of the tunes through the game stuck with me or felt different and interesting. Music has always been a staple for the series, heck even the items revolve around it like the Wind Waker, Ocarina, and heck even the reeds and harp from ST and SS. Speaking of items, that's another thing I wish they brought in. Even if the beetle and Hookshot didn't do much to enhance the game play, they would still be fun additions. And finally, the story was lacking. Scrounging around for short, few second memory flashbacks didn't make an impact on the story of the future. I understand that's why they did it- to make the story skip-able, but because it was in the past, it didn't feel like it had any meaning- that your actions as a player had no impact on the game until finally you beat gannon, by which the game is finally over.
I completely agree with this article. However, I must say that the story was terrible and weak. I had no motive to go and defeat Ganon whatsoever despite the game saying "you must hurry before it's too late". I never felt threatened by Calamity Ganon. The music was also disappointing, with only a few tracks such as Hyrule Castle and Revali's Theme being among my favourite.
Also, do not expect much from the BOTW segments at Symphony of the Goddesses, they're pretty lame. I was let disappointed at what the closing song was when I went back in August
@erv Fair enough, but if you did indeed read the entire thing then you'd see that the writer does indeed enjoy and credit the game - again all he's doing is comparing typical 3D Zelda elements to that of BotW. A "whinebox" as you call it would simply berate the game and say "other Zeldas are better this one sucks", or something of the sort.
Why does everyone not like the soundtracks in breath of the wild? Have they heard Moldulga, Guardian, Goron City, Zora's domain etc?
it is one of the best games ever made. but I do really wish it had ocarina of time type dungeons.
I think I agree with most of this. Especially the dungeons and music
I think the soundtrack is beautiful. I was just sitting listening to it on its own earlier and I was impressed that it still sounded so great without the game playing alongside it.
Though I do have to admit that as far as the game goes I was slightly disappointed with the dungeons and bosses. I got used to not having all the cool, permanent weapons and items from previous Zelda games but it would have been nice to see a couple again. I miss the ball and chain from Twilight Princess, lol
@Rocketjay8 People don't dislike the music. They dislike the lack of music.
I was going to praise the open world until I remembered the first time I played Mario 64. The freedom of movement and variety of environments still blows my mind today. BotW did that until I realised every area in the game is exactly the same deep down
I'll say this. I loved it to the very last shrine. I felt such awe and wonder and total addiction, the likes of which I haven't felt since Metroid Prime 2: Echoes.
By the time I got to Ganon though, I was well and truly done. It lasted just long enough. 200 hours and they were the most incredible 200 hours I've spent in a game in a long time.
But it wasn't what I was expecting. I wish it had a little more story and I wish it had twice as many dungeons. And I wish it had better bosses and more of them. There's actually a lot of ways this game could've been better. And yet it is still one of the best video games I've ever played. Which just goes to show that if even at 60% of its potential it can still be one of the best games ever made, imagine how good a sequel could be if it actually fulfilled 90% of that potential. It would once again be another GoAT Zelda. And I expect nothing less
Ideologies only serve as parasites to actual thought.
One of the best games ever. Right up there with the original LoZ, Link to the Past, and Between Worlds for me. I've loved the 3D ones less, but still find Ocarina, Windwaker, and Skyward Sword pretty fun in places and agonizing in others so I've only played through the 3D ones a handful of times. BoTW is a lovely Zelda game.
I'm still in the middle of my first play-through and while I agree with some points (repetition of shrines, lack of cutscenes, etc.) — I disagree on that it should be more linear. I found the experience so far quite linear, you're guiding constantly to the next main thing, to the point I seek out every side-quest I can before moving on. The layout of the land, the characters you meet, the position of each of the divine beasts, difficulty level of enemies, etc. loads of constantly subtle guidance. You can veer off and I try other things, but it isn't as satisfying as doing so in Skyrim say - as the sidequests are short one note things. If it was more linear, it'd practically be a JRPG ... one main plot and lots of grinding via sidequests.
Personally that's my biggest disappointment, that there isn't a branching story lines and plots or that the world feels alive and stuff can happen unexpectedly. It's still one great experience and one of my favourite games right now.
Before BOW was announced, an open world game with the gameplay and design of Nintendo was my ultimate imaginary title... and BOW doesn't disappoint.. mostly. Just wish it was a little more "open" and felt more like a "world" you could get lost in.
I'll be honest, as a lifelong Zelda fan since the entire 80s, I'm not sure how anyone could disagree with this analysis. The dungeons and bosses were definitely the low light, while the exploration was the easy highlight. This game was amazing, but can definitely improve on the next entry!
It isn't a traditional Zelda in a lot of ways.
That's what makes it good.
This is absolutely a Zelda game, and not just because it says "Zelda" on the cover. It's a return to the series roots: the freedom and exploration of the original Legend of Zelda, rather than (yet another) attempt to remake Ocarina of Time.
100% agree that the bosses sucked (as was also true in the original LoZ--one place where going back to the series roots was not such a good idea.)
Good article. BotW is a great game but probably will be one of my least favourite Zeldas when I look back on it. Too much open world bloat and repetition where I would have preferred a tighter focus on better designed dungeons.
I am not going to comment on if BOTW is a actual Zelda game or not, but there are things that I feel for me could have been better.
First of all I am a story/lore lover and I will say, while there was story and lore here and there it wasn't enough for me and I am hungry for a lot more, but I think the upcoming DLC pack should help either a bit or a lot and hopefully a lot :+).
I do like the world and the exploration aspects, but there aren't really enough for me usually to really get invested in even if I find cool things now and then.
Fighting and such I don't care about that much, more so something to access more story and lore for me and I have to earn to get the next story/lore.
I kind of wish Zelda games had two modes, one which is more like BOTW or to say a focus on gameplay, and the other one a focus on lore and story and giving the world a lot more meaning.
BOTW is a good game and I did enjoy it for what it was, but for me it isn't the kind of game I am most into, whether or not you say it is a Zelda game or not.
I love the game.
Of course it's different from the formula, but I would say that's not a bad thing. I think for this Game Nintendo needed to prove a beloved franchise could be re-imagined successfully, it proved to the rest of the Energy that Nintendo was still very much a force to be reckoned with.
This just comes off as whining even when the game is good. Gosh, how painful to witness.
I've played countless Zelda's, the only disappoinments home console and handheld have been (for me) Twilight Princess...and that is all. Even that still a near essential example of the genre in it's own right, but compared with other Zelda's the first I feel to be treading water.
Oh, right, ABOTW. The pinnacle.
Anyone who complains that this game isn't Zelda like need to look into the first game.
Everything that was in between the first until now was unlike the original. This sounds pretentious as every contemporary soon after that stuck with the franchise was made by the third and fourth game. BOTW didn't have those contemporaries because the developers based it on the first game rather than reviewing the A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time formulas which strayed from the original formula.
The freaking Mastersword didn't even have its concept cleared until the third game.
I don't understand Zelda fans' disingenuous stance on this. The first Zelda was an open world fantasy adventure set in a ruined medieval kingdom with unimpressive bosses and dungeons but the exploration of discovering secrets and puzzles. BOTW feels the same and as such is more Zelda than any of the titles that came before it.
I can't for the life of me understand how some people prefer the old overlong dungeons to the beauty of puzzle solving and engineering that are the Divine Beasts. Dungeons had never been a highlight of 3D Zelda games for me before Breath of the Wild.
Yeah, to each their own.
I was expecting a lot more from this game. Given all the hype I thought was going to be an even better Zelda game than Link to the Past. But for me however I kind of got bored of it as it felt repetitive and I got annoyed at the weapons breaking. I would have also like a linear storyline.
Most of complainers here are casuals that doesnt understand the game mechanics. Luckly the game is a success and nintendo will not listen this kind of whiners that are a vocal minority. Missing the Master Sword when hundreds of npcs give clues about it, just proves how casual this kind of prople are.
The only complaint I have is you can't turn off the motion controls. Other than that, the game has been a major blast.
I actually agree with you @SM4SHshorts. Even though this is probably my favourite game of all time, in many ways I think it could be improved as a Zelda game in relation to the dungeons and how the story was implemented. There were so many things that I loved about it though. I was just left wanting more of the beautiful music (the final battle oh my god!), the enemies, the memories etc. Having said that I love how different it was to the others, like Majoras Mask, it’s good to have this variety in the Zelda series. I think it would be amazing if they bring back those classic tropes (traditional dungeons with items, more story and cutscenes) infused with this type of gameplay model for the next entry. Whatever they do it’ll be great because it’s Zelda and that’s the magic of Zelda. Long live LoZ! Can’t wait for the story DLC!!
The best part of „Breath of the Wild“ is one, which you propably wonˋt appreciate until you play through it a second or third time. It is the sense of absolutly freedom, meaning, that you can do almost everything, anyway you want. And while I somehow agree with some points (dungeons, enemy variety), it didnˋt take away any fun I had/have with the game.
And regarding music: There is plenty of it: Korok Forest, Zoras Domain, Rito Village, all four Divine Beasts, before entering the Divine Beasts, Bosses, Final Boss, Kakario Village, Hateno Village, Gerudo Town, ...
I couldn't agree more!
Thank God I wasn't the only one to think like that!
As a game, BoTW is indeed one of the best ever released. However, as a Zelda fan since A Link to the Past, I really felt incomplete. My main expectations concerning a new Zelda game was always the challenge of the dungeons and the different special items I would find in my journey to help me.
I will never forget how exciting it was when I was using the gust bellows to find that boss under that layer of sand in SS, or using the grappling hook to reach the tail of that dragon in TP until finally bring it down.
The plot of the games being mandatory helps us to be immerse on that situation and feel part of the game.
I wish we had the option to carry at least one weapon which doesn't break in a few strikes. This mechanics broke the flow of the battle.
I missed so many things in BotW just because I refused to read any guide.
At the end I felt my brain wasn't challenged as it used to be in past Zelda titles, and for me, Zelda is about using your brain to solve real puzzles, fighting great bosses and feeling part of the story.
No doubt it is one of the best games ever. But not the best Zelda one.
Was anyone else completely bored by this game? I went in having never played a Zelda game before and after about 20 hours I realised that I was completely disinterested in the plot, the enemies were too cutesy and uninspiring and I couldn't bring myself to care about the NPC's. The scenery and freedom were great but I felt I'd seen it done before and better in Skyrim.
Also it was the first Zelda to make me cry twice!!
I love BotW. Exploring the world was sheer joy. I climbed EVERYTHING chasing a scenic view. The quiet moments are where the game excels beyond anything I could have imagined. But it is not perfect and it is certainly not above criticism.
For me, the puzzle solving lacks context. Gather all the shrines together, slap them on a selection screen, and any main character could be running through the nice puzzle game you'd have that no one would call a Legend of Zelda game. The samey-ness of all the divine beasts also drove me crazy. What I liked about previous games' dungeons was the narrative context. When I go inside the deku tree in OOT, I'm going in to remove a curse and the whole dungeon is inside a tree. The enemies, the narrative, the aesthetics, the gameplay, and the puzzles all compliment each other. Even the original Zelda had this to a certain extent, and while it's there in BotW...it's very weak. The overall narrative was also necessarily weakened by the open structure, which was a bit of a disappointment to me.
Did Zelda need a shake up? Who cares? Franchises nearly always benefit from fresh ideas. Clearly that was successful, so hindsight says it was needed. What's important to me is that BotW is a fantastic foundation. Now if they build on top of that...
It was new, and new is good.
Don’t worry about the old, it’s Nintendo, it’s sure to come back.
@Starbuster While it does do some elements better than Skyrim, like the puzzles and combat (and some might prefer the visuals of BoTW, but that's really an individual thing, especially when you mod Skyrim), but I feel like Skyrim did pretty much everything else better. The whole time I played Skyrim, I had such a sense of wonder and discovery because there was always some new secret to find, quite often in some very inconspicuous places. I had the same experience with Breath of the Wild....for the first 20 hours or so. After that point, I realized how samey and not really interesting everything was.
In Skyrim, you'd climb a mountain and there would always be interesting and unique things and secrets to find, not only on the other side of the mountain, but on the mountain itself as well. In BoTW, you climb a mountain, usually find nothing on it save for a few rocks with Koroks under them or something, and then on the other side you'll probably find monster camps, Korok "puzzles", and maybe a shrine or two. While BoTW was very fun, it didn't feel nearly as much like a living, breathing world as Skyrim did.
After 8 months i think is a little too late for discussions like this one....
BotW was pretty good, but I’d love to see what Nintendo could do with a sequel that improves on most of the criticisms (empty world, lack of real dungeons and unique bosses, enemy variety, lack of unique items ie hookshot or beetle).
I don’t know what I really want from a Zelda game, but I hope the next one is closer to BotW than SS.
This also missed the biggest problem with the game: the fact that after 31 years Nintendo still is still stuck on "rescue the princess" as the driving motivation for the so-called "plot."
@AlternateButtons I’m not sure I ever said that. It was all pretty repetitive and dull to me.
@AlternateButtons I mean... I put in 200 hours. I think I explored a decent amount. It just seemed empty to me. I’m sorry I don’t share your opinion.
I have yet to play the game, but it BOTW has no dungeons? Then how do you advance in the game or get special items? Do you get items like the Boomerang, Hookshot, or Bow anymore?
Let me ask this another way. Twilight Princess is my favorite Zelda game. Is it anything like that game?
I agree with the part about the music. While most settlements have cool music it just doesn’t sound very Zelda-ish
It's not the Zelda game I wanted at all, but I had expected this was the case after we got most of the information around E3 2016. Breath of the Wild is more of a huge sandbox game than anything else, with the toys being all the interactivity that comes from the physics engine. Spiderman-ing over any surface in the overworld no matter how absurd, paragliding off mountains and cliffs, chopping down trees, starting huge fires that spread, etc.
Unfortunately, I don't really have any interest in that type of gameplay. What I like most about any Zelda game is the dungeons. I really felt that 120 shrines didn't cut it. Most where hit or miss with me, with several being outright poorly designed. There was also a lot of recycled content between them, with the combat trials being the biggest offender, even though they were fun.
Overall I'd say it's a decent game. As bad as it sounds though, while I'm normally supportive of people liking different things, I'm worried that the astronomical amount of praise the game has received could influence the design of future Zelda games, and I'd hate to see what was once my favorite Nintendo IP be morphed into a kid friendly version of Just Cause.
I remember getting the Nintendo sticker album in the ninties long before getting the NES itself and once completed the map for Zelda I would go over it saying I'd go here first then explore another part of the map, by the time I got the NES and zelda my own expectations of what I would do could never be met, but now with breath of the wild those imaginings I had all those years ago have been fulfilled and for me BOTW is the quintessential Zelda game albiet if only in the sense of the game as I always imagined should be.
@Caryslan There are 4 dungeons (Some say 5 if they count Hyrule Castle) which you are in divine beasts. There are also things like mini-dungeons, called shrines, where there are chests with special items sometimes. Bosses are scattered around Hyrule that if you kill can drop some good loot. There is pretty much no advancing in the game (minus the very beginning on the Great Plateau), you can do anything in the game whenever you want. There is still a boomerang and bows, but you can find them in the first half hour of the game by just killing normal enemies. However there is no hookshot in the game anymore.
As if it's like Twilight Princess, it's hard to say. This game changes up the way Zelda is, for better and for worse and different times. Either way I think you should buy it. You'll enjoy it and it'll be worth the money, I'm just not certain you will like it more than Twilight Princess.
@CorvoRevo It's not too late, I think it's still to early. There's still DLC yet to come which could change some of this stuff up.
"BOTW has no dungeons?"
"Then how do you advance in the game or get special items?"
"Twilight Princess is my favorite Zelda game. Is it anything like that game?"
Not by a long shot...
Don't get me wrong, its a brilliant game. Probably the best open world adventure game i've played, and i usually hate the genre.
But its not a Zelda game in the slightest.
The core concepts of a "traditional" (a.e. Zelda 3 and onwards) Zelda game have been taken out, like Dungeons and Item Progression.
Was it the Zelda game i waited for ? Absolutely not.
Was i disappointed ? Well, not really. It didn't scratch that Zelda itch, but it sure as heck delivered on everything else.
Those "four dungeons" are both extremely short and, like you said, "gimmicky". Your goal in all four is exactly the same: Activate all control panels, fight pretty much the same boss every time (Same look, different mechanics). Two of the dungeons twist around, the other two lift parts of them up. All of them can be cleared in mere minutes if you get their gimmick quick enough.
Most of the shrines are one-room puzzles, a huge part is physics based ball puzzles, the rest is "done" once you clear the overworld puzzle to uncover them.
As much as i love the game, but there is no way to excuse these as "traditional, multi-layered Zelda dungeons".
The only thing that comes even close to that would be Hyrule Castle, which sadly is almost completely combat based and devoid of puzzles altogether.
They aren't bad, but they simply can't compare to proper Zelda dungeons.
@justin233 "I’m not sure I ever said that. It was all pretty repetitive and dull to me."
You sound very dumb when you say that you played the game for 200 hours after this statement.
Many of you guys have to realize that the old Zelda convention with a linear story and how things were laid out with dungeons verbatim, (new item, use item etc) was getting very stale, repetitive and boring. I've played through all LoZ's & I knew exactly what to expect every time that's not a good thing.
this game is exactly what LoZ needed. It can expand further on this formula, give us more dungeons maybe some permanent items, a fuller more fleshed out world ( although the emptiness is fitting of the apocalyptic story ) & more engaging side quest, but that old formula is 10 or more games deep and that's enough, they needed to switch it up and breathe some life back into this franchise and win new and old fans alike.
If we would've got another ocarina of time like Zelda it would have just been compared to to all the games before it and leave little room for innovation. You can only ride the same horse so many times before you beat it to death. Past 3-D Zelda games have had their glory, but it's time to move the franchise in the direction they chose.
I've always worked in the back of my mind what I wished future Zelda games would do or become. For years, I thought I had stellar ideas. Then Breath of the Wild came out and made all my ideas seem like jokes.
I absolutely love the game and hope they go forward with the current style/engine. Just think of the possibilities if they improve upon what is already amazing.
@AlternateButtons Einherjar says that Zelda BoTW dungeons are shorter and can be finished in minutes if you know the "gimmicks" but he fails to understand that his can be said about almost every dungeon on Zelda games. But don't lose your time, this guy is just part of vocal minority that try to nitpick everything because they didn't get what they wanted.
I utterly adored this game. The free roaming, exploration, and story points were highlights. You could get the memories if you wanted, or not bother. I personally thought this suited this type of open world game.
As a 3D Zelda, I class it as different. Very different to previous games, but just as good in its own way as a 3D Zelda. It didn't have to be the same formula; we already have many Zelda games to play which do similar things. I think that is why I don't necessarily feel that Breath of the Wild is definitively the best 3D Zelda. It ties for best with basically all of them. Breath of the Wild, Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess, Wind Waker, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask; they are all equally brilliant in their own glorious ways. Breath of the Wild just took a bigger leap than previous 3D Zeldas.
Breath of the Wild is not a bad 3D Zelda, it's just a different way of playing that's equally as brilliant.
I completely agree. This completely summarizes the thought that have been going through my head as I near completion of the game. Good on you for being brace enough to say that.
@KirbyTheVampire Yeah thats my feeling as well. I really wanted to get in to BOTW too. Oh well. It will be used as a trade in at some point.
Yes, it is the game that Zelda Enthusiasts Expected. Question answered. Is the reviewer related in any way with a certain Irish person who comments on this site?
A good game is a good game. I couldn't care less about who expected what. I guess pieces like this are just the curse of being a gamer in the age of the modern internet, where metacritic scores and social network reaction consensus and YouTube breakdowns are the first things we think about, or at least talk/write/read about, when it comes to our favorite pastime, and that we can't view a game for what it is by itself and instead have to see every game pass through the gauntlet of comparison to everything that came before it before we can settle our feelings on the matter.
"How well does it stand up to these other games? Does it do everything the core base wants it to? What does it mean for the series?" Who cares? It's a game. An individual game with its own merits. It's really good. Enjoy it, and don't worry about the make-believe broader implications it has or doesn't have on the franchise, or on gaming as a whole. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth, or something along those lines.
@AlternateButtons I don't know about you, i sure didn't, else i wouldn't play these games.
To me, its kinda like saying "I want a new F-Zero, but lets break away from the tired old racing tradition and make it a Visual Novel"
The dungeon structure has been the series staple formula since 1991. It has become the heart and soul of the series.
Ironically enough, that they cut that out to "become more unique" while in reality, became far more generic.
But the omission of its Items is, at least in my opinion, the far bigger crime.
Excuse me ?
Nitpicking ? "Vocal Minority" ?
This has been the number one critique of the game since day one, by a wide variety of folks.
Im not sure you understand the concept of "nitpicking".
If i wanted to nitpick, i could have commented on the games completely broken cooking mechanics, its plentiful physics exploits (Stone Surfing) etc.
Its not nitpicking if its the major key point of the franchise.
And i dare you to find a Zelda dungeon that can be cleared faster than one of the titans. Im pretty sure you can beat all four back to back in the time it takes you to finish Twilights Water Temple.
Way to talk about others without @ing them, especially coming from someone having the audacity to call others "dumb" for their opinions. Geeze, its a game, not your mother, no need to get so protective...
As someone who never needed their games to be open world, I got the worst of both worlds. I was missing basically everything you mentioned (not complaining about the music though) and got nothing I liked in return. I didn't play past the first beast and I wish I hadn't bought it at all.
EDIT: I do want to add that those who say "this is a return to the original spirit of Zelda" are 100% right. I didn't like the original Zelda all that much either
A weak Zelda overall, but offered a solid experience while it lasted.
Less is more.
@Einherjar No, you're definitely nitpicking. You're also doing a lot of complaining. Which is fine, everyone's entitled to voice their opinion. Just don't overstate the value of your opinion on this. Just because there are people agreeing with you in the comments of this one article doesn't mean that the general consensus on this game is even remotely in line with that. This site just tends to attract a depressed crowd, for whatever reason.
100% agree with the whole article - and it makes me sad...
I’ve played every Zelda ever made, many with multiple play throughs. Breath of the Wild is now my favorite. My only complaint is how fragile the weapons are. Otherwise the story and density and mechanics are amazing.
I agree with almost everything in this article. I didn't really mind the music as I felt that it fit with what the game was going for. For me what was disappointing was the enemy variety, bosses, and story. The story seemed like a near afterthought and even with all of the memories, it didn't feel like a satisfying tale. Bosses were WAAAY too easy and the lack of enemy variety really started to get to me near the end ( I got so fed up of fighting the same bokoblins, keese, etc). Dungeons were also incredibly easy and ultimately kinda disappointing as well (Especially Vah Medoh- the one for the Rito village).
I'm glad we're being able to discuss the flaws of BotW openly now. I feel like I'm inundated with constant talk about how BotW is the greatest game ever made and how if you don't think so you're a heretic. It can get frustrating at times because I like this game but I don't agree with the 10/10. It has its flaws that I would like to be improved and it's frustrating when people wont have a conversation about the shortcomings of this game.
Lastly I really wish weapon durability was higher for every weapon, I wish certain tasks like breaking pots wouldn't decrease durability, and I also wish certain "weapons" would be permanent tools like the korok leaf
@erv That comes off as incredibly rude and condescending. People have a right to criticize elements of a game that they found to be lacklustre.
@rennandovale Yea, I think I’m done commenting here. Sorry I didn’t like the game as much as you.
My first Zelda game was OoT on the N64. It was a superb, engrossing and fun game. BotW is also a superb, engrossing and fun game.
Nintendo have, again, deftly used contemporary gaming techniques and ideas when creating this new Zelda open air game from the ground up. For me, it recaptured the magic of my first playthrough of OoT on N64.
And that was all I could ever have asked for.
@Einherjar I can do almost all dungeonds faster than the titans, i did the for the first dungeon on Majosrask Mask for the first time in less than 10 minutes, i don't know what Zelda games are you playing, if you know the gimmicks they are fast to do, its a fact.
Yeah, someone that plays a game that is is Dull and repetitive SOUND stupid to me, what the problem? Do you think that is smart play a game that is repetitive and dull so many hours to complain about it after this, give me a break man. And the game HAVE DUNGEONS
Cry more, this is new path of the franchise. There is a lot of room for improvment, but the game will never be like the you and the vocal minority want (same thing over and over), and i very happy about this.
I hope the next Zelda is even further from the old. They should even make a Survival Horror mainline Zelda. I believe they should go nuts.
Breath of the wild is brilliant. Maybe just do HD remasters of the ENTIRE Zelda catalog to satisfy the purists. But I can't go back to: find Bow, find Hammer, find Hookshot, find Bomb bag. It was a tired formula.
I also thought of a Tactical espionage Zelda. BOTW kind of has it, but I mean a real duck-for-cover, place-traps, use-gadgets espionage game, all done with the Zelda aesthetic and lore. Where the gadgets, such as the beetle from Skyward Sword could be used to infiltrate a dungeon and going in and out without being spotted.
I agree with the enemy variety and dungeons point. Shrines were fine, but not memorable. They didn't have distinct personalities like dungeons. The same with the Divine Beasts, they were all beige and dull and repetitive.
@justin233 I think you liked the game more than me since you played for 200 hours and i played just for 110.
What is the next bad, dull and repetitive game that you will play to oblivion to complain about it?
@BAN Outstanding post, congrats!
@rennandovale I wasn’t even complaining all that much, just saying a few things I thought could be improved. I liked the game - just thought it could use more variety. Bye.
I totally agree on the lack of actual dungeons. The shrines are cool until the novelty of CHALLENGE BASED shrines wares off. That includes shrines that simply gift you for passing the challenge to open the shrine.
I love BotW. Bought it twice. Once for Wii U and again when I snagged a Switch. I love the old Zelda formula, but it was time to go a different route. I love the fact that you don't have a limited wallet. It was infuriating to get to a hard to reach chest, only to discover that it was a rupee that you couldn't hold. Stupid. Needless. Good riddance.
Also I didn't care for the music in past Zelda games. It had the subtlety of a jackhammer. Especially Twilight. Love BotW music and non-music. Hateno Village has beautiful music. The lack of music in the world is very immersive imo.
Another thing for me was the lacking sense of progression. Even Zelda 1 had a progression order for it's dungeons to some extent (despite everyone and their mother claiming you can do all the dungeons out of order). You HAVE to do dungeons 3 then 4 then 5 in zelda 1 due to needing the raft and then the laddder. You can do other dungeons after 4 but you will not beat dungeon 5 without getting the ladder.
I think some degree of linearity would benefit BotW in both its dungeon and story design.
@Tingle_The_Great Ha, thanks!
I knew this would be a piece that would get many on my back (either due to a misunderstanding or the actual opinion itself), but I just had to write about it!
@RainbowGazelle "Breath of the Wild is not a bad 3D Zelda, it's just a different way of playing that's equally as brilliant."
This statement is how I completely feel when comparing Breath of the Wild to other Zelda games.
The game is far from perfect, however, I don't care. While I have enjoyed most Zelda games, they are so similar that I kinda lost interest in the series, especially the 3D games that lack completely the sense of exploration of most of the 2D games. And that's what BOTW has, exploration, incredible and addictive exploration.
@justin233 Now that you are talking this way i can agree with you. Like i said, there is a lot of room for improvment, like more and better dungeons, more enemy diversity, better boss fights, more durability on weapons, etc. The lack of this adjustments don't make this game any less than a master piece and for sure far from dull and repetitive game.
People seems to not understand that if you are tired of do Shrines, STOP do SHRINES, the game don't force you to do anything, during all gameplay you can choose to make, side quests, main quests, divine beasts, shrines, play with the outstaing physics of the game, wonder, or just go and finish the game, and this is the beauty of this game.
@Oat Yeah, it's really annoying how the super-fans act like people are complete idiots and Debby Downers for having anything negative to say. It gets especially annoying when they say "This game has almost universal 10/10s and is one of the highest rated games on Metacritic, so that means you're not allowed to dislike anything about it".
Don't get me wrong, I love Zelda games, but this mentality that we're not allowed to have anything negative to say about them has got to stop. The majority of even the harshest critics will admit that BoTW is a great game anyway, or at least a really good one. I just wish all the super-fans would go somewhere else where they can marvel at the flawlessness of the "intrinsic design" of the game, and leave people who have even one negative thing to say alone.
No one is forcing you people to read the article. Besides, for every negative article, there's 5 dozen more that practically worship the game, so I suggest heading to those comment sections if you want to interact with other BoTW worshipers.
@Oat "It can get frustrating at times because I like this game but I don't agree with the 10/10. It has its flaws that I would like to be improved and it's frustrating when people won't have a conversation about the shortcomings of this game."
If this were true then there will be no games with a 10/10 score. Pretty much all of the games that have a 10/10 have flaws in them. I don't understand how people think that a game with a perfect score would mean that it is perfect.
Just to touch on the dungeon issue (which seems to be the most discussed of all the games issues), I really felt Nintendo was trying to build this Hyrule almost as if the entire world itself is a dungeon, with shrines, the Divine Beast, enemy camps and other areas as your typical puzzle and mini boss encounters. Its seemed to be their answer to the criticism that dungeons in previous games were becoming stale and not organic. Which is why the criticism surprised me. Maybe the next game can find some middle ground for those that want something close to traditional dungeons/temples. But presented a bit more organically
@Rocketjay8 Yeah, to say it's an average game is completely rediculous. It definitely held my interest for the 70-80 hours I played it. And I can fully admit to being overly nitpicky about it, but if anything that's just because there's some serious potential in Zelda becoming an open world series, and I want more than anything for future Zeldas to be the masterpieces that this game could have been and came pretty close to being (IMO).
I'm probably in the minority, especially on those site, but I haven't finished BotW yet. The first 20 hours were terrific. I loved exploring and finding little things...unfortunately, like most big games I grew bored. It's especially hard that the story is so sparse. Story makes a game like this more manegable, for me anyway. And yeah, it's way sparse here. You can argue why that's ok as much as you want, but nothing said will change my opinion on it.
The dungeons, boss fights, music, and puzzles are waaaaay below Zelda standards. Every dungeon looked the same and felt the same. While I have put 90+ hours and have enjoyed BOTW greatly, it is definetley not anywhere close to WW or SS in terms of feeling like a Zelda game. SS while linear, had awesome bosses and awesome dungeons and music (imo), while BOTW had a great world and combat, but it doesn't feel quite Zelda-ish.
Some great points, well made. especially about the shrines/ dungeons. I would have liked location based themed shrines- to me they were mostly devoid of any identity. There were some great physics based puzzles, but especially the 'test of strength' ones became stale. Also, (if this makes sense) the ganon incarnations were lacking real personality- it would have been cool if it were the other way round- the Devine beasts were dormant, going inside and solving the puzzle awoke them, THEN the battle set pieces. They were more fun to me. I missed bosses like twinrova or phantom ganon that relied on an individual strategy to take down. I still enjoyed the game immensely and am excited to see if the DLC or even a sequel (using the same engine a la majoras mask) happens.
BotW is great, and I want to see more Zelda games like it, but I also hope that this doesn't eradicate the Ocarina formula.
The LttP, top-down style has managed to stick around by way of the handheld games, but as far as consoles go, I can't see the BotW formula and the Ocarina formula sharing the spotlight, unfortunately.
@yeayeanaynay Huh? The Wii U era looked way more like Nintendo's twilight era than the Switch era does. If anything, this is a new golden age for Nintendo.
@yeayeanaynay Comment #184
Nintendo's been in business for quite a long time now. They know what they're doing, most of the time.
Thank you for the article that sheds a more sober light on BotW. After having finished this game, I feel like it has been a little bit overrated from the very beginning. Sure, it has a very huge open world and nice graphics, but the lack of traditional dungeons and items and the weak, optional story leave a lot to be missed and do not warrant countless perfect 10/10's scores that were given prior to the release of the game. I have spent 150 hours playing it, but after I had replayed Zelda Skyward Sword a few months later, only spending 30 hours, I felt that I had experienced the same amount of "adventure", but with a more impressive story. In BotW, the world is massive and diverse, but you end up getting Korok seeds and weapons as a reward that wear out quickly most of the times. As for the puzzles, Oracle of Seasons has given me more challenge recently than some divine beasts in BotW. It is surely a good game, but when I think of the pleasure I had after visiting some dungeons in the past Zelda games, like Forest Dungeon or Desert Dungeon in OoT or Lakebed Temple in TP, the 120 shrines pale compared to them.
@JaxonH Whoah. I was really surprised when you said Prime 2 Echoes. I mean I like that game alot just a bit more than 1 but think Prime 3 is the best. My point is I'm sure you've played another really addicting game since Prime 2 as that has probably been a while. Not to assume I know your playstyles or anything like that just that Prime 2 is not a game I see that many people use for any type of reference really. Was a bit of a shock, that's all.
Oh, Prime 2 is one of my absolute favorite video games of all time. It was the video game that got me into more serious gaming initially as a young adult. Before that I had only played NES and SNES and N64 as a kid. It was my first real, actual, meaty game. I mean I played a lot of video games growing up but nothing like that. Mostly F-Zero and Mario Kart, that sort of stuff.
And ya, I've definitely played a ton of great games since then, but the last time I felt the way Zelda BotW made me feel- that sense of awe and wonder from the exploration- was Metroid Prime 2. Maybe there were a few other games but I'm forgetting them and right now that's the one that really comes to mind
I refuse to even read this article . . . because I don’t yet have a Switch and don’t want spoilers!
@rallydefault If TLoZ, AoL, and SS can all be good Zelda games, why can't BotW? Double standards much?
I'm only a Twilight Princess enthusiast, not really a Zelda enthusiast as a whole series, but even for me this is not a Zelda game by any means, except copyright means of course. I'm not a big fan of Zelda games but I still think that Zelda games are better games the old way. I'd like if Nintendo will create a new IP to make open world adventures and improve their experience in this genre because they can do great things here too but it clearly shows they seriously lack experience in this genre. Or maybe they could still use Hyrule as the game world but still keep the "main storyline" Zelda games like the traditional ones and use the open world formula for spin off games.
Great post. I've never seen gamers so over analytical over a game before.
Another thing, I find it funny that people have been clamoring for the Zelda formula to change, and as soon as we get just that, people are against it. lol I'd wager that in about 5-7 years, some folks who disliked or thought BotW was overrated will warm up to it more. The Zelda cycle has been in effect since Majora's Mask and IMO, will apply to BotW as well.
It's always a little amusing when Zelda fans pull out the checklist of complaints they have about this game: most of them, of course, being changes that would put the game back in line with the series' traditional formula. A lot of modern Zelda fans act like a game can only be "Zelda-like" if it apes the structure established by A Link to the Past.
Some of the frustration is understandable, though, as BotW is the RE4 of the Zelda series, and people who enjoyed the old style of gameplay will feel like one of their favorite series is becoming something unrecognizable.
For my money, BotW, while not quite perfect, is still an utterly captivating experience, and is the best take on the open world adventure format that I've seen yet. It's exactly the sort of creative take needed to jolt a worn-out series back to life, and I'm excited to see how Nintendo builds on the foundation established by BotW.
I agree with the article on many points. It almost seems that Zelda got high marks just because the world was huge. The story was thin, there was no reason to get some items, and most enemy's were on-existent.
I'm sorry I'm Nintendo-only fans missed out on games like Witcher. And for massive open worlds, if they thought BotW was good they should have played Just Cause 2. That world was massive! And for more in depth stories they should put away the hater shades and seriously check out the GTA series.
But hey BotW was fun for what it was and a great first try for Nintendo regarding huge, realistic worlds. The next Zelda can do nothing but be even better. This, however, was not GOTY material.
For me, BotW is a game that truly encourages me to play how I’ve always played 3D Zelda games. I’ve always been one to explore every nook and cranny, dragging out the storyline and prolonging my play. I spent close to 10 hours on the great plateau, and didn’t beat Ganon until I had all 900 korok seeds at over 300 hours of playing. I’ve always wished I could go through the areas that were off limits in older games. BotW was like everything I wanted and finally set me free.
That being said, I understand some concessions were made to suit the completely open game style. The subtle music, sparse story, divine beasts and shrines rather than dungeons. I’m okay with all of those things, and I actually loved how they handled the music (coming from someone who also absolutely loves epic Hyrule field themes as I gallop to and fro on Epona).
There are some things I don’t think necessarily had to be eliminated. I would have loved more varied enemies, especially ones such as redeads, skulltulas, darknuts, dodongos, and like likes would have probably been pretty cool in the world of BotW. I suspect enemies were limited to mostly those which could provide a source of weapons, and any enemies which do not offer weapons are pretty easy to kill so as to not completely waste weapons, or provide great resources (talus, molduga and guardians). I think gaining new items and/or abilities throughout the game could have also fit in if done well (a hookshot-like item could have served to make climbing faster, especially in the rain). I also really missed being able to dive/explore under water.
All in all, it gave me a different Zelda experience that I’ve actually been yearning for, and I look forward to future games finding ways to work some elements back in which have become classic to 3D Zelda’s.
To throw my two sense in I've never seen a game cause so much "water cooler" talk. I was on the phone with friends (and in person) every day talking about all the cool things we found, fought and discovered. Yes I would if like more story, perhaps playing some of the 💯 years ago stuff and the music was just ok. That being said I've played it for 150 hours and still have one divine beast a bizzulion korok seeds and multiple others things I want to do before I beat Gannon. Heck I've only barely explored Hyrule castle. It's a amazing Zelda experience even if it's not a by the numbers Zelda, I'd go as far as to say it was a perfect storm of releasing at the right time(Nintendo fans were starved before March 3) and a refreshing take on the open world genre. Call it as you want but the game is a masterpiece Zelda or not.
"I believe that it fails to grasp some of the core ingredients that many 3D Zelda games possess."
This is ironically one of the core reasons it's my favorite Zelda ever.
Would have liked it more as a new IP. Or if it actually contained the stuff I want out of a Zelda game.
Zelda botw, is truly a masterpiece.
the best zelda game ever. I hope they polish this engine more for the next installment, in this zelda i missed some of the magic from OOT and majoras mask, from OOT the ocarina magic, and from Majoras mask, the transformations. I would love to see those things return.
@JaxonH I see. I had a similar experience with Res Evil and Tomb Raider on the Saturn. I had been playing games since the 2600 and was a diehard Nes and Genesis kid but that first experience with those "mature" 3D games really opened my eyes to what gaming could become and where it was going. That's cool you had that experience with a top notch Metroid game. I always try to find games that can give me that same feeling that made me love gaming. BOTW definitely does that. I do agree though that if there were about 60 shrines and 8 dungeons with more enemy types and music BOTW would have been an untouchable masterpiece. As it stands it's a 9.5 that could have been a 15. Here's hoping the next game has everything this one had plus all the original diatribes that formed Zelda into what it has been up until now.
Considering how well BOTW has sold and how many hours players are putting into it, I'd say that the things that fail to break formula were the reasons for the game's success.
The article did make me realize that the # of enemy types is rather limited — although it doesn't really occur to me while playing. Honestly, most enemies from the previous games are included.
Would love the future DLC to include Dodongos, a graveyard full of Poe's (can't believe these didn't make it!) and sure — some Skulltulas would be great... and someone informing us that his name is 'ERROR'.
More than anything, it would have been amazing if the 'Dark Link' from Zelda II had been a part of the story arch involving Ganon using the Guardians and Divine Beasts against the Hylians... I was expecting this to be part of the plot and why Link ended up in the chamber of sleep and why there was so much mystery in the story's presentation ... I was waiting for a plot twist that never happened
The game captured the feeling of wonder and excitement I had, sitting in school, looking at the LoZ map/manual, while also somehow tapping into that aesthetic and colour palette as well. Broke all expectations of what a [new] Zelda game could be, from my point of view, given I didn't care much for the last few "big" entries. Link Between Worlds was a great return-to-form, though.
@KryptoKrunch That could also be said for other Nintendo franchises as well. Super Paper Mario or Metroid: The Other M, games which were not received well with fans upon arrival, are now having a much more positive recognition then they ever had before. It's surprising what the passing of time can do.
@KryptoKrunch This is what I don't get with Zelda fans. They said Majora's Mask was a masterpiece even though it had the same amount of dungeons as Breath of the Wild. The journey was more personal, same with Breath of the Wild and unlike Majora's Mask, Breath of the Wild had no time limit.
Botw is a good game. What it isn't is a masterpiece. It fell short on story telling (it's supposed to be an action rpg WTH!). Fell way short on it's OST. Twilight princess' was better I thought. Fell short on character development.
There are other titles that hit the much lauded title of masterpiece. Nintendo only gamers will sadly miss many of them. Xenoblade Chronicles is definitely a masterpiece. As is Nier Automata and Shadow of the Colossus (controls needed work but that doesn't change it's status. It's also being Remade for PS4). Botw was a good attempt. The next Zelda built from the ground up for the Switch will reach that status.
The points you make are all right in the not a zelda way but minus the pattern the last few games had this is always an evolving series. The art style changes. Themes of the game change. One game is has a huge sea to sail. So yeah it is the best game but it gets it from evolving into new territory and owning it.
Couldnt agree more. Good game but not up to Zelda standards. Dungeons, bosses, puzzles, music and story were kind of disappointing. Also no replay value for me here, first Zelda game Im not eager to revisit.
@Ainz No you won't. Replace too many small dungeons with big ones, and you get a completely feature-less world with nothing to do inbetween those big dungeons. And if you keep 100+ small dungeons and also add 8 big ones you get a whole lot of other problems: you need to move people in specific directions not 4, but a lot more times (which makes those areas highly linear), you also get content glut, where there is just too much to do (people won't do the smaller dungeons and will only try the bigger ones), what about rewards? Previously you got a whole lot of items that can now drop in the world. Example would be fire rods. If at the end of one of those big dungeons you get a huge unbreakable fire rod, what's the point of the smaller ones. You start breaking the whole inventoryweapon system. And so on. Sometimes half-measures are worser than none. In this case, adding 8 big dungeons won't help with linearity, it will clash linear parts with open world and make a mess of a game (or you need to make an even bigger game and at this point, development budget becomes even more of a trouble).
I really expected a rod and line fishing game to be in there somewhere.
@Fujjee What the point of a fishing rod when you can bomb the fishes?
Is it only me or is that 'Avatar went rogue' advertisement up there a new thing?
It's probably some of the most fun I've ever had playing a game. I love it so much and still continue to love it. But I don't see it as a Zelda game. It doesn't have anything in it I associate with a Zelda game.
Except for the divine beasts I agree. Those are 4 of my favourite dungeons ever. I don't like long dungeons and I don't need them to be super difficult to be enjoyable.
@Rocketjay8 I'll explain myself a bit better. Everyone has their own standards for what constitutes a 10/10. For me it's a game with so few and/or insignificant flaws that if they were removed or fixed would not result in a significantly better game. I cannot say that about BotW despite how much I wanted to. The story was weak for me, even with all of the memories collected. Weapon durability was too low, there was a lacklustre sense of progression, dungeons and bosses were weak, enemy variety too low and a list of other annoyances I had with the game. That's why I disagree with the 10/10.
What frustrates me is that whenever I try to bring up these legitimate criticisms, people treat it like sacrilege and immediately try to shout down or dismiss criticism. How is the sequel supposed to be better if people don't talk about the significant flaws in the game?
@KirbyTheVampire That's what I'm saying! It's not like I said the game was awful or terrible but that's what people seem to think when I say the game has flaws. It's like an 8 for me (which is great on Nintendolife's own scale). It just has a good amount of things that could be improved that would result in a much better game. It's a shame that people plug their ears when others dare to even suggest that a(n) element(s) of BotW isn't good
100% agree with this article and I've been saying this since the game launched, the game is very good but as a Zelda games it fails to deliver on so many fronts. When did gear gating become such a bad thing? The whole Metroid and Zelda franchises were built upon this and are still amazing games. I don't understand the praise for its non linearity either, there is so little main story that it's almost meaningless anyway. It just amounts to kill Ganon or do the 4 divine beasts first and that's it. Out of 120 shrines, 30 or so are fantastic, some average and far too many are just fight an enemy and the "dungeons" are just plain dull.
With just a few real dungeons and bosses, maybe a few non breakable weapons such as those received from special quests with the Zora's/Gerudo for example, maybe a few returning items such as the bookshop and who knows play some actual music now and again and this would have possibly been the greatest game ever made. For all its faults as a Zelda game it does many things which are far superior to all previous 3D Zelda games in terms of exploration and how you interact with the world so whilst it seems like I have a lot of complaints I only want a few dungeons and to get excited about opening chests again. I do love a lot about this gane and am currently on my 3rd playthrough (largely due to Nintendo's dodgy save system on this game) but I'm also playing a Link to the Past and there's only one winner here
I agree with some of your points, but if it was very similar to other zelda games then you'll be writing an article complaining about it being too similar
Some of the 3D Zelda elements listed missing, if included may have made the game feel too familiar. There would be the complaint of “it’s too much like every other game before it”. I think BOTW strikes a good balance of new ideas with story / characters where it still feels like a Zelda game dispite its differences. This is the way to keep a franchise fresh and interesting. Unfortunately it means having to loose some fan favourite elements but there are other ways in which the game can be rooted to the series. Whereby it’s still distinctively a Zelda game.
A highlight for me was the Devine beasts. That they got easier as you got through them, having acquired more hearts and weapons was the feeling of progression and the character becoming stronger. This may be affected by the order in which they are tackled. The boss at the end was still challenging.
To me it isn't. We had better Zelda/Link games that's for sure. But hey they tried something new. You like it or not
now all i want (having got 120 shrines and a fair few kurok seeds) is the eshop releases of Ocarina and MM.... as i've never owned them. Come on Ninty - i've got money in my pocket - answer my call
At least Nintendo made a huge evolution for the franchise. Instead of making a copy of the previous one and call it new like call of duty or fifa...
The only time I felt like I was playing a zelda game was the fight with the yiga clan boss he was like a silly wind waker mid boss was fun then it was back to wondering around 🙄
@rennandovale I just love that you think i have any issue with this xD
You must have missed the part where i said its the one open world game that appealed to me, even though i don't like the sub-genre.
And i don't think 3 digit playtime counts come from nothing.
When will folks like you get into their head that even games one loves to death (Memo: Like i do with BotW) can have glaring flaws and that people are allowed to point that out, if you agree or not.
But oh well, enough of this nonsense. Its just eating time.
I feel iffy about the idea trying to force a new and different style of Zelda back into the old conventions.
It just seems like people are try to delegitimise botw as a "real 3D zelda".
Hmm.. The only thing I thought was truly bad in the game was the obnoxious type of jazz oriented music, just not my cup of tea at all. And I was getting a bit sick of the same vendor walking around, he was no Whuddya buyin? Thats 4 sho. The biggest downer though is imagining in 10 years when they up the framerate and textures, will make a much more immersive and consistent experience. Other than that an almost perfect game and a very brave attempt at making something truly unique and special. In that they did one hell of a job.
@erv You should probably at least skim an article before making bold declarations about it. He states numerous times that most of these thing are great for the game, and says the game is one of the best he has played. He is only analyzing things from the perspective of losses to the traditional Zelda formula. YMMV, but I don't think it is whining to criticize a Zelda having lackluster dungeons and next to no focus (before DLC) on the Master Sword. These aren't demands, these aren't bashing the game. Just points of discussion and critique.
I feel I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the irony of whining about someone supposedly whining 😉
I agree with much of this. Whilst I loved BotW, do I love it as much as ALttP, OoT, WW or even Twilight Princess? No I don't. It didn't have the Zelda feel that made me love the series in the first place.
I'm happy they've taken this route, and I hope they expand on it with DLC quests and whatnot. But at the same time I hope we still get a traditional 2D and even 3D Zelda game. I want my dungeons, my hookshots, my Hyrule Field theme music, Dark World theme music etc. I really hope BotW and its critical success doesn't mean the end of the Zelda I grew up with. Not everything has to be 'open world'.
If you have preconceptions going into a game that is odiously a total new concept in a series. I don't actually know where a mindset like that is going. Accept it for what it is.
Personally I thought BOTW was ok. I'm not a Zelda fanatic. I like Zelda games. Some more than others. All Zelda games suffer from a negative emotion and BOTW suffered from it too. They can be tedious and boring.
RPGs in general are boring.
I didn't like some of the enemies either. They look like they were dropped in straight out of Windwaker.
To summarize; overlong head wreak. Good but over rated.
First, you cannot monopolise 'Zelda enthusiasts' or what constitutes '3D Zelda', but I applaud the fact that you stress that this is your personal opinion, something which many of the comments seem to forget.
I am a Zelda enthusiast, and to me personally, BoTW is THE Zelda game - it contains all which I, personally, consider to be inherently Zelda. For comparisons sake, Skyward Sword, despite its fantastic story, had few of the elements which I believe make a great Zelda game, and thus I hold it to be one of the series low points. But that is my opinion, and I certainly don't talk about my opinion of it as being the most correct and one that all 'zelda enthusiasts' must share. Nor do I compare it to an official checklist of what a 3D Zelda game must have in order to be allowed that specific title - I compare it to what I think a Zelda game should be like, and even if it doesn't add up it remains a Zelda title and I wouldn't argue against it. For it all boils down to the fact that there is no set checklist of what a Zelda game has to include in order to be a true zelda game, or 3D zelda. There are elements, true, that have been used and reused over and over again to an extent that people expect it to appear in the next instalment as well. But the game has changed a lot, and I'd argue that BotW is the Zelda game that resembles the original the most while SS is the game furtherest away from the original - but they are both Zelda games, and some people like one over the over. And that is okay!
To me, this is a Zelda game. I haven't had this feeling about a Zelda game since OoT, and while I recognise that the game isn't perfect, and that there are things I'd very much like to see in it, it is one of the greatest games I have ever played and it is certainly my favourite Zelda game to date - because it is so jam packed with what I consider to inherently Zelda.
@Hikingguy While my dad was originally the one playing Zelda during the forst two installments (I played a bit, but just sat watched), ALttP was the first Zelda I alone sat down and played all the wat through to the end. From then on, the series has roughly followed the formula of that game. So I assume when many talk about a traditional Zelda style, they mean the one established by ALttP. I guess technically, LoZ would constitute the series’s traditional style. But it was one game, followed by a dramatically different one then followed up by a somewhat similar one that, in essence, began to define the series up until today (maybe not necessarily graphically. But how the play through is structured)
I personally think I enjoy BotW for two reasons
1) Its a great game
2) I’ve lived through this series’s sometimes jarring switchups from one title to the next. And so for me, it wasn’t entirely off putting. Not that I necessarily knew what to expect
@Kisame83 thanks for the response. Yes, I intentionally trigger it in controversy. The point is independent of the article, in part. The paradox is intentional.
I like the articles and the columns we get, yet these ones have precisely all the elements that sum it up negatively. The best Nintendo sites are open to surprise and appreciate it for what it is in my opinion. Lack of focus? You mean freedom. Lack of music? You mean a new way of using it. Lack of vast dungeons? You mean the seamless infinite adventures. On and on, but I think most get my point
Opinions are all valid of course, it's the open mindedness in them I'd value to preserve. Comparing the new to the old and viewing change as a potential loss is orthagonal to the life and breath that give a good gaming community its existence.
Clearly not, and it wasn't the transformative open world experience zealots make it out to be either. A lot of the world is empty and boring since it's so large and so few of the quests or shrines are actually interesting. It just didn't go far enough in the emergent open world direction to make a compelling case for why we don't get a real Zelda game for half a decade.
The enemies leash to their spawn areas and can't climb or follow link, the same reused enemy selection is reused across the entire map leaving everywhere but Gerudo Desert without an identity, there isn't meaningful customization of your hollow, hollow player character (most of the color schemes are garish pastels and the few special mounts can't be stabled or reliably used), the progression is only in terms of how much damage you can give and take, and there just weren't enough items to change up the experience of how you interacted with the open world.
The Divine Beast abilities are all very loveless riffs on Skyrim's shout system for a game that doesn't have magic in any real way. They could have stolen cool stuff like whirlwind sprint or become ethereal, but stuck to simple attack/health/defense buffs save for Revali's Gale.
@Banjos_Backpack Yeah I tried playing Wind Waker on GC a few weeks ago, got to the third dungeon and couldn't carry on. Just wanted to play BOTW
I agree almost completely with this article. Even though I put more than 100h into the game most of it felt like a shore because it all a repetition (find the tower, unlock the map, find shrines, walk around waiting for beep of more shrines, move on...). The game contrary to the common sense is way easier than other Zelda's due to unlimited health (the boss fights are never challenging and easily beaten in the first try). Then lacks story and that's the best part of the Zelda franchise (the unique great moment is the revelation by the end of the great plateau after half an hour of game). Basically I cannot say I like open world's and I would like the franchising to go back to the SNES mode that reinvented the series for the best but aonuma already said this type is to remain forward. For me I will keep playing link to the past , ocarina or wind waker almost every year and I don't think I will comeback to this often
Everybody has made some very valid points and it's a fantastic game.
However it's beyond me that people play this game and try and complete it as quickly as possible???? Even without unlocking all 4 beasts??? Each to their own but that's frankly child like.
I've been playing for 4 months now...doing every side quest, every shrine and exploring every nook and cranny of the map. What a joy it is to explore as well....and guess what? I still haven't even tried to defeat Ganon or even visited Hyrule casle/area yet, i'm saving that mug until last.
and then it's onto Mario.
Bottom-line: "it's a great sandbox game, but is it a good Zelda game"?
Short answer: yes, it's an evolution of usual 3D Zelda much like the latter was in turn an evolution of classic top-down Zelda.
Will we all be reading something similar when the Mario Odissey "hype" fades out? but yes, some solid points there, especially the lack of enemies, i felt that after some time in the game...
"I'll never understand why so many people like this game when there are far superior open-world games on the market today"
The orginal has 18 full dungeons, unbreakable items, several unique bosses, lots of secrets, no stamina meter and good music. Which is something BotW sorely lacks.
Not every Zelda has a master sword as the final upgrade. It didn't exist till ALttP.
Magic Sword-TLoZ, AoL
Four Sword-MC, FS, FSA
I haven't beat the Oracles yet, so I dunno if you get the Master Sword or not.
Truly first open world? Umm have you never played TLoZ, WW or ALBW? Because those are not only open world games, but open world Zelda.
The Zelda Cycle doesn't exist. Every Zelda game has people who like it, people who don't and people who think its so-so. Its called Personal Tastes. There is also nothing wrong with criticising a game. The author and many people here have also given credit where its due.
@justin233 I am curious too but, we have to wait 8 or more years until a new Zelda is announced.
It is an awesome game. It does need more classic type dungeons.
A new Zelda could be more Link Between Worlds in that it is not quite linear but the main quest has a lot more story elements and of course the dungeons are more classic.
For me BoTW has very many great ideas and a lot of gameplay freedom that really helps it feel as "your particular game", I loved the world and I did enjoy the little story we got. I missed the dungeon diversity, even if the shrines are great little puzzles (the ones that are unique, that is). 9/10 as a game. 8/10 as a Zelda game.
BOTW is an amazing game and I love it It would be the best action adventure ever made if there were proper dungeons instead of those 4 and over 100 shrines. The Article is right about it. While I quite enjoyed the design of the 4 dungeons, they werent real dungeons we had hoped for.
BOTW is an extraordinary experience as A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Times at their times and I love it But it is not a perfect game, not a full 10/10
@Turbo857 well actually there is only one better open world and that is The Witcher 3
I'm almost done with the game, and I can say that it definitely turned the franchise on its side, and not in a bad way. For me, it's one of those things where I don't "miss" the tried and true ways of past Zelda's we've come to know, in fact, I remember them fondly for "their time". But I look forward to new things, new versions, etc for new experiences, just like those tried and true ways were new way back when I first experienced them, so this new Zelda "wrinkle" from BotW I welcome openly-- Time will tell if it's looked down upon much like how Zelda II: AoL is in some respects today. As a side note, I've always felt Zelda was meant to be big, wide, and free but was bound by technical limitations. I will say this though as far as my hope for the next Zelda: If Nintendo is going to use this engine again, maybe next go around, they will have a big wide world again, but instead of 120 shrines, they will do 10 formal dungeons along with side, mini, or secret dungeons... re-introduce the in-dungeon-only items in addition to the every-purpose items (read: Sheikah Slate items), do unique bosses again (although fighting the devine beasts themselves do count, though they behaved more like a mini-game, and nevermind the Ganon phantoms lol)... and continue that Zelda magic of the unexpected.
@CuriousVixen BOTW is almost a perfect Zelda game because it is so much different from Zelda games
While I want another 3D Zelda game as soon as possible (yes with elements of BOTW), I hope that Nintendo will be creating 2D Zeldas as well. They are the best!
Only because you want it to exist. Its natural for people to get hyped for a new game and for some people to realize they didn't like it as much as they thought. Its also natural for people who didn't play the game at the time of its release to add their own thoughts. There's no cycle where everyone turns their collective noses up at a game, only for them to suffer spontaneous amnesia and/or brainwashing and suddenly love it. That's dumb.
Example: I didn't own an N64 or a Gamecube, so I didn't get to play them till 3DS/WiiU. I think Ocarina is a good game, but not the best Zelda ever, I fell instantly in love with Majora which I had some misgivings about because of the time limit and I think Windwaker is incredibly boring and I don't understand the praise it gets.
This sort of thing happens with all sorts of media and there's no movie or book or album cycle.
@Tempestryke Yet it captures the spirit of the original Zelda better than any other game in the series. Crazy, huh?
@Einherjar Never said that the game don't have any flaws ( i said the oposite). Only people saying this are the complainers like you. Repeting like a parrot the people that like the game are saying that the game is perfect when only only people here make this stament are you, is just dumb. Read the comments and you will see how wrong you are.
@KryptoKrunch It's true, gamers are just never satisfied. Which is okay in the sense that it's no skin off my nose if someone doesn't feel a certain way about a game, but I think it's just kind of sad that we're not all able to get as much joy and satisfaction out of these games as we should be getting. And in the case of a game like Breath of the Wild, I thoroughly reject any suggestion that it's the game's fault. I think for the average internet whiner, it's their own fault that they go out of their way to look for the tiniest of "problems" in the games they play just so they have something to talk about online.
I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm getting old and sentimental, but I just don't believe in proactively seeking fault in things that are predominately good, especially things that are exceptionally good and totally worthy of the praise they receive. Honestly, I think gamers just feel guilty if they admit to liking something a lot. They feel like they need to balance their praise with some venom just to avoid being called a fanboy or something, which is like the scarlet letter to people who play games.
@rennandovale Are you still going ?
Holy sh*t, at least read my freakin posts. I love the game, i spend several hundert hours with it and no game is perfect, none.
And people are free to state their opinions, if you like it or not.
Get your freakin toxic fangirling in check, holy hell...
You behave like someone insulted your mother you child...
This is my last reply to you, you are an enormous waste of time.
Go nag with someone else please.
While the point about linearity is respectable, I don’t really agree with it. Breath of the Wild wouldn’t have that sense of unlimited exploration if they forced checkpoints and some kind of linearity on you.
I wanted to find everything, but maybe others are not interested in the memories and the lore, so why should they be forced to wast time in that? I love that the game allows you to structure your path as you want.
This is the dumbest article I've ever read on this site and I won't fall for the click bait or this site anymore
I think Breath of the Wild is a good game, but it'll never be my favorite Zelda. For nostalgia's sake, it will always be Majora's Mask, but even MM has flaws and so does BOTW as well. Fans being disappointed or being smug about a new entry in a series is just something that always happens, especially something as significant as the Zelda series. Each Zelda game has its quirk that makes it the way it is, whether people love it or loathe it. It took games like Zelda 2, Windwaker and yes, even Majora's Mask a couple years to be given their present day positive recognition.
Ah, that is on my backlog currently and so is Horizon Zero Dawn. So I'm unable to comment on their quality until I get around to playin'em.
Other opinions on how they compare to Botw are most certainly welcome
@Farris Not sure what your reasons are, but the pleasure is all mine!
"But Is It The 3D Zelda That Enthusiasts Expected?"
Well, I expected another linearity-fest with even more handholding. Another decline in the franchise. Thank goodness they chose for freedom and no handholding. Frankly the series was slowly dying, now the series has a future. The game wasn't perfect, I admit that. But it was great nonetheless!
So how is everyone doing?
Yeah I guess so.
I'm sure Skyward Sword HD will be a thing sooner or later... What can be improved in BOTW is cooking/eating/sleeping-system: adding energy-bar (like the one in Stardew Valley) forces you actually do those things. Personally think that BOTW is the best Zelda so far and I like the amiibos, but sorry Nintendo: season pass and DLC:s are crap.
@Einherjar Waste of time is keep repeating that "fans are saying that the game is perfect" when the only people saying this is you and other cry babies. Strawman 101, learn to discuss.
PS: Never said that you didn't LOVE the game, another strawman.
There's nothing wrong with linearity or open world. Both have worked well in Zelda. Linearity would not have been a good fit for this game. My daughter and I started our games on the same day and have gone in completely different directions after goofing around Hateno. Its neat that we've both discovered different things at different times.
But I do wish the overworld had secrets worth finding and I do wish we'd gotten traditional dungeons instead of 150 mini games+4 mini dungeons with varied bosses.
I don't dislike it, its just a bit boring and disappointing to me.
It's a great game, but the next Zelda game needs better dungeons, more music, more different enemy types and a better story for main quest and side quests.
The way to play this game, if I had to do it again (fresh/no memory), is: stick to the narrative pointers as much as possible and complete your "main objectives". Discover shrines and korrok seeds ONLY WHEN you think you see something odd, but don't go out of your way in exploring. Only go out of your way in exploring to: retrieve your lost memories and get enough orbs for hearts for the Master Sword. Then hack your way thru Guardians and beat Gannon. That's plenty of exploring right there and plenty of story narrative. Finish the game, beat Gannon, THEN go back through and explore as much of the map as you can (at that point, it'd feel amazing to still have so much game). Cuz if you did what I did, just explore explore explore, beat only one divine beast then explore explore explore, you accidentally create an upside down difficulty curve and ruin the rest of the game. Everything becomes incredibly easy, you no longer have to be smart or clever or feel real tension. I don't think I ever had to use any special fighting techniques (slow sword slashing, etc).
There also really needed to be more discoverable story elements in the environment and or dungeons that felt like Hyrule castle, or the thieves fortress, with multiple paths to a single point. The labyrinths were really cool, the first two times I encountered them and I adored the look and the feel of the Divine Beasts, but they were hardly enough to offset "all the running around in the wild". I now feel this odd sense of "gross" about the time I spent, icky or something, when I look back on all the hours of jogging to things with sometimes little payoff (after a certain point where you kind of know what to expect). More enemy variety, more strange looking fauna or flora, is needed too (like the spirit of the mountain or blupees). I kind of feel like, they completely succeeded and sort of blew it at the same time. It somehow feels...rushed? Like there are so many environmental ideas in here, packed, but it kind of got really boring, with the ultimate payoffs being "the game is way easier now". Not going to age well, but will be really influential. Sorry for the rant.
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