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Chris-

Nintendo LTTP: Breath of the Wild

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Given that part of what makes gaming fun is commiserating with other players, I want to drag the zeitgeist to the present; here are my BOTW opinions through 10-12ish hours of play. It is up to you, the fine denizens of DayOnePatch, to provide your comment.

 

- Holy hell, this game is beautiful. The art style is fantastic, as is the sound design. I feel like I am playing a Miyazaki film.

 

- The durability mechanic is absolute bullshit. I don't mind the concept, but weapons break way too quickly and frequently. If they didn't want to make weapons/shields last longer, they should have at least added some sort of repair mechanic. The problem is compounded by the fact that, especially initially, the number of weapon slots feels restrictive.

 

- The pace at which you upgrade does not track well with the difficulty level. I have 6 hearts right now, but I'm still at risk of getting two-shotted most of the time. Having to spend four Spirit Orbs per upgrade is brutal given how spread out the shrines are (not to mention how hard the ______ Test of Strength shrines can be). I feel like in order for the pace to pick up, I'd have to track shrines in areas I'm not ready for...Maybe I'm over-estimating how hard the open-world mobs can get, but years of playing video games have taught me that if the game doesn't naturally guide you there, then you probably aren't ready for it.

 

- Zelda combat...Hasn't aged well. It's still fun, but having played games like Dark Souls and God of War very recently, it lacks the tightness and precision that makes combat in those games so satisfying. I still have no idea what distinguishes a 'perfect' dodge from an imperfect one.

 

- The world is too damn big and sparse. 

 

- All of that said....Man, I'm having a great fucking time. I feel like this game is greater than the sum of its parts; everything just *clicks* so well. Climbing a mountain, gliding down to a shrine, taking out some mobs beforehand, then solving the puzzle inside just feels right. Can't wait to keep going.

 

 

 

 

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I pretty much agree with all of your points. This game could be a real 10/10 if it had some tweaks made to whatever game comes next.

 

There is a route that plays better than just running around. Elephant/bird first, camel/lizard last. I personally did Elephant, Camel, Bird, Lizard, but still hard problems getting into the desert had to play super careful, one I was there though it wasn't too bad.

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Perfect dodge is basically jumping out of the way right before you get hit.  There’s an enemy that will force you to master it if you want to do any real damage / survive.

 

It’s a better combat system than most 3D Zeldas.  Only problem is that Skyward Sword’s was much more engaging.  BotW’s felt like a step down to me.  But it does manage to do the ‘kitchen sink’ thing in a way that WW and even TP kind of floundered at.

 

Some of that can be attributed to the durability forcing you to use more weapons.  Though I agree it’s not ideal.

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I didn't play it very much past the first area after you have to eat chilis to go up the mountain.

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It’s an amazing game but very flawed. I never was into the whole “one of the best ever made” thing but it’s a helluva game. 

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The weapon breaking could've been a great system if they didn't make the weapons all have hilariously bad durability. Weapon durability encourages using a wider variety of weapons, which leads to more varied and interesting gameplay, and theoretically more desperate (and thus fun) scenarios where you know you don't have enough durability to handle this or that fight.

 

But they just made it really annoying, instead. The breaking didn't bother me too much, even at this low durability, but eventually you're cycling through like 20+ weapons, mid-combat, and it's just bad. I hope they can really refine it in the next game, and add some greater weapon variety on top of that. There weren't really enough weapon types to warrant the system.

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Weapon durability is, for the most part, always pretty short, but it will get better as you start getting better items. And the beauty of the game is you can seek that better stuff early and reap the benefits if you're willing to take a greater risk. Without saying much, there is a shield in the game that for all intents and purposes is indestructible.

 

 

 

I've contemplated writing a larger post on this before, but to me what is perhaps the best part of the design of the game is that everything in the game, save the final fight and initial tutorial, is a side quest because it's all optional. You can fight Ganon right from the very start of the game if you're so inclined: they even tell you precisely where to go.

 

That might sound strange, but hear me out. While you can do the final fight right at the start, that would also be rather hard. Consequently, you progress through the "story" quests not because the game is telling you you have to go from A to B to C... but because doing those story quests will better position Link to take on Ganon. It adds meaning to those missions from a gameplay perspective, not just a narrative perspective.

 

And of course, it also allows for an organic challenge: taking on Ganon immediately, which some people succeeded doing.

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The weapon breaking annoyances could have been mitigated my maybe auto switching to the next best weapon? Or maybe if you pick up a duplicate weapon, it stacks durability onto the first weapon instead of taking up an extra space. It's also annoying with puzzles, since you can experiment with infinite ice blocks and bombs, but if you use stasis too much, there goes all your swords.

 

Also the horse is kind of useless once you've climbed, glided, or teleported somewhere far away and you realize you can't just Epona's Song it to you. (unless there's an upgrade for that?)

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53 minutes ago, TheBladeRoden said:

The weapon breaking annoyances could have been mitigated my maybe auto switching to the next best weapon? Or maybe if you pick up a duplicate weapon, it stacks durability onto the first weapon instead of taking up an extra space. It's also annoying with puzzles, since you can experiment with infinite ice blocks and bombs, but if you use stasis too much, there goes all your swords.

 

Also the horse is kind of useless once you've climbed, glided, or teleported somewhere far away and you realize you can't just Epona's Song it to you. (unless there's an upgrade for that?)

 

You can summon registered horses at stables. I don't think there's a full-on Epona's Song equivalent, but you don't have to choose between manually retrieving your horse and just abandoning it. 

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3 hours ago, Xbob42 said:

The weapon breaking could've been a great system if they didn't make the weapons all have hilariously bad durability. Weapon durability encourages using a wider variety of weapons, which leads to more varied and interesting gameplay, and theoretically more desperate (and thus fun) scenarios where you know you don't have enough durability to handle this or that fight.

 

But they just made it really annoying, instead. The breaking didn't bother me too much, even at this low durability, but eventually you're cycling through like 20+ weapons, mid-combat, and it's just bad. I hope they can really refine it in the next game, and add some greater weapon variety on top of that. There weren't really enough weapon types to warrant the system.

 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Wind Walker let you pick up enemy swords, easily toss the boomerang, grappling hook, arrows, bombs, etc... but so much of that felt redundant because none of it was as effective as parry strikes.  Why bother with special items when the standard sword and dodging does the trick?  Heavy swords were especially useless.  

 

I feel like BotW would have suffered similarly if it weren’t for durability.  I would have stuck to light lightning weapons full stop.  Not having them break (or less than they do) would call more attention to how enemies were HP spounges by the end.  For me it got to the point looking up guides for exploits just to kill enemies faster. 

 

I don’t think durability is a good system.  But I do think I prefer having a bit of micromanagement on the fly over whittling down a health bar by rote.  BotW is a long game already.  It did need something to keep you on your toes more than just enemy challenge IMO.

 

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I think a bigger and more severe symptom than that is that Zelda combat just plain sucks. It's so limited and easy. Basically once you dial in the timing you can't lose unless you're just trying to lose. There needs to be more combat options both for Link and the enemies he fights. The most fun in the game was doing weird stuff with the world to kill enemies, but it was also the most time consuming and least efficient. Frankly if they focused more on that for a while (or for certain enemy types) than that could've been a good "alternative fighting" system.

 

The fact that they couldn't figure out how to get something like the hookshot working just sounds like total BS, though. Imagine shield surfing, and then using the hookshot to pull yourself along and keep up high speeds (at that point they're one step away from Just Cause, but who cares?), or as I said before, having a hookshot that only works on wooden stuff, and then a better one that works on wood and rock, and then eventually one that just works on whatever. It could've eventually replaced climbing, since climbing itself didn't really get any upgrades and climbing during rain is just as painful in hour 1 as it is in hour 100.

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Weapon breaking just led me to use remote mines more in combat since they are unlimited and don’t break.

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7 hours ago, Chris- said:

Yep.

Don’t forget friend codes!  :call:

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I couldn't get into it the first time I tried to play it. The weapons breaking after a few hits pissed me off, and I had no idea where to go.  After a few months I got the pitch again, plus a job that required me to fly every week. So I ended up having the time. Once I accepted that the weapons will break, and that the game won't hold your hand, I had a blast. You eventually get good enough weapons that one breaking wont end you. 

 

Though I didn't have the patience to find the memories on my own, so I used a guide to find their locations.

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32 minutes ago, brandino said:

I couldn't get into it the first time I tried to play it. The weapons breaking after a few hits pissed me off, and I had no idea where to go.  After a few months I got the pitch again, plus a job that required me to fly every week. So I ended up having the time. Once I accepted that the weapons will break, and that the game won't hold your hand, I had a blast. You eventually get good enough weapons that one breaking wont end you. 

 

Though I didn't have the patience to find the memories on my own, so I used a guide to find their locations.

 

The painter you meet in Kakariko Village will help you out; he gives you a hint about one memory there, and a second at the stable in Central Hyrule. Not sure if he keeps traveling around though.

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24 minutes ago, Chris- said:

 

The painter you meet in Kakariko Village will help you out; he gives you a hint about one memory there, and a second at the stable in Central Hyrule. Not sure if he keeps traveling around though.

He shows up at every stable. But with a newborn I didn't have the time to seek them all out without help. I still talked to the guy though.

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I borrowed my friend's Wii U and played that version for a while towards the end of last year but quickly lost interest honestly. I probably didn't play enough to have a particularly educated opinion on it but the sparseness and lack of meaty dungeons left me totally cold on the game. 

 

Especially having just played OoT Master Quest for a decent amount of time, the dungeons are what I play Zelda for. The overworld is just the connecting fabric so for Breath to go almost all overworld in lieu of substantial dungeons is boring as hell to me. Refreshing my memory on the brilliance of Ocarina's dungeon design for example made this stand out as even more baffling for me.

 

I get the formula had to change but this game did nothing for me and it's easily the only 3D Zelda I can say I had no desire to play at all beyond the first few hours. 

 

If I do end up getting a Switch, which I never got for my birthday as expected (in my face!), I'll give it another shot seeing how there's like 4 fucking games on that system. 

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NO FUCKING DUNGEONS

NO FUCKING ITEMS

FUCK CRAFTING

 

I dislike BOTW as a Zelda game(I like the story). It is a pretty good Ubi game tho. I also hate BOTW because of how many people like it. I really don't want a another Open World Zelda. I am tired of fucking climbing. I never wanted an Open World Zelda. I like how Zelda did it before with open areas, which was how the newest GOW did it. My biggest fear is that Zelda is just going to be BOTW for the next 20 years. 

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As far as the weapon/shield durability, I always found other ways to kill enemies without even using my sword/shield. Granted sometimes you have no choice. But there's almost always a way to get a little creative and take out goblin camps without even engaging in close combat.

 

And as far as the shield durability, I decided early on to take a visit to Hyrule Castle. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

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29 minutes ago, Bacon said:

My biggest fear is that Zelda is just going to be BOTW for the next 20 years. 

This is definitely happening, no doubt about it. People absolutely love this style of game for reasons totally beyond me. It reviews like the second coming of Christ and must sell like hot cakes. 

 

Wave bye-bye to this series until you're 60 and VR Zelda: Hyrule Living Simulator hits. 

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8 hours ago, Xbob42 said:

I think a bigger and more severe symptom than that is that Zelda combat just plain sucks. It's so limited and easy. Basically once you dial in the timing you can't lose unless you're just trying to lose. There needs to be more combat options both for Link and the enemies he fights. The most fun in the game was doing weird stuff with the world to kill enemies, but it was also the most time consuming and least efficient. Frankly if they focused more on that for a while (or for certain enemy types) than that could've been a good "alternative fighting" system.

 

They already had a good fighting system in SS, IMO.  Not perfect, but a lot more fun.  It felt just challenging enough, plus the bosses were the best in the 3D series.

BoTW's bosses were a joke.

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16 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

BoTW's bosses were a joke.

""""""""""""""""""""bosses""""""""""""""""""""

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1 hour ago, Bloodporne said:

This is definitely happening, no doubt about it. People absolutely love this style of game for reasons totally beyond me. It reviews like the second coming of Christ and must sell like hot cakes. 

 

Wave bye-bye to this series until you're 60 and VR Zelda: Hyrule Living Simulator hits. 

Zelda was beyond needing an overhaul. BOTW laid the framework for what could actually be one of the best games of all time. They could add in better dungeons and just tweak a few thing with like weapon degradation and that alone would make it one of my favorite games.

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9 minutes ago, Paperclyp said:

Zelda was beyond needing an overhaul. BOTW laid the framework for what could actually be one of the best games of all time. They could add in better dungeons and just tweak a few thing with like weapon degradation and that alone would make it one of my favorite games.

It definitely did. It just went in a direction I like ten times less than the tired formula. 

 

Much like I'm hoping for Resident Evil 8 to be the game 7 was kind of a proof of concept of, I'm hoping for Breath's successor to actually add things I like about Zelda games hopefully. 

 

I'm definitely not against change, just following the tired wider-yet-shallower trend wasn't it for me. 

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15 minutes ago, Bloodporne said:

It definitely did. It just went in a direction I like ten times less than the tired formula. 

 

Much like I'm hoping for Resident Evil 8 to be the game 7 was kind of a proof of concept of, I'm hoping for Breath's successor to actually add things I like about Zelda games hopefully. 

 

I'm definitely not against change, just following the tired wider-yet-shallower trend wasn't it for me. 

 

There’s been a pendellum swing with the 3D series in the past.  The next Zelda could be that, or even bigger/broader than BotW.

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9 minutes ago, Bloodporne said:

It definitely did. It just went in a direction I like ten times less than the tired formula. 

 

Much like I'm hoping for Resident Evil 8 to be the game 7 was kind of a proof of concept of, I'm hoping for Breath's successor to actually add things I like about Zelda games hopefully. 

 

I'm definitely not against change, just following the tired wider-yet-shallower trend wasn't it for me. 

I know what you mean, but I do think the groundwork is so solid that they’re not far from making the game something you’d really love. 

 

Like I said for me personally, if they had just had traditional good dungeons with this game instead of what it had, it would have been one of my favorite games.

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23 minutes ago, Paperclyp said:

I know what you mean, but I do think the groundwork is so solid that they’re not far from making the game something you’d really love. 

 

Like I said for me personally, if they had just had traditional good dungeons with this game instead of what it had, it would have been one of my favorite games.

I do agree with that. The core mechanics are Nintendo-tight and a pleasure to interact with, it's just that I felt like there was nothing of interest to do WITH them.

 

I'd like to think Nintendo will balance this issue out and deliver a really killer follow-up, sure. Man do they move slow though, wonder when that'll happen.

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As a huge Nintendo fan, and a huge Zelda fan, BotW was definitely a disappointment for me.

 

I actually don't have a problem with the weapons system, and I think the combat is great, but I'm just really not a fan of the degree they made the game open world. For me, open world and non-linear aren't necessarily synonymous with each other. I think the best Zelda games are non-linear to a degree, but I wouldn't call them open world. I love exploring the world at my own pace, but I still want structure in order to serve the story better, and I like the traditional Zelda gameplay progression system (it's very Metroidvania in a sense). Both of which BotW are lacking. BotW is also lacking in great dungeons. The dungeons they have are good, but nothing great, and none of them felt truly unique from another.

 

If Skyward Sword is one extreme, and BotW is another, I think a good meeting in the middle would be the perfect Zelda.

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For all its greatness and flaws I still only want 2 more simple changes to make BOTW even "better"

 

-2 more enemy types: darknuts, and  Iron Knuckles (even if it goes against Zelda rules that both shall not exist simultaneously in a game)

-Blood Moon mechanic revision, dont make it a cutscene but part of actual night cycle.... sure repopulate the enemies on the map, but also make all enemies more challenging while the blood moon is in effect (make the night darker and their eyes glow for more effect)

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This game is fantastic, but it isn't the second coming. The Nintendo fanatics won't hear it, but there were at least a few frustrating parts about this game.  I remember the internet losing their shit over the open world and thinking "We've had these for... decades?"

 

The cell shaded one was a good bit better!

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