Well here we are after over four years of hype. Yeah it’s been that long; The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was announced in January of 2013. But we made it folks, and by golly was it worth the wait! This is apex Zelda, the natural evolution to the franchises most modern, best form. I tried to keep this as spoiler free as I can; I won’t go into details, but I get into some lesser known mechanics.
- Not only is the “tutorial” area free of hand holding, the rest of the game does very little to help you. The enemies get tough early on, and it’ll be a few hours into it before you master all the mechanics. Fortunately, like many have mentioned, the save system is very forgiving.
- Korok seeds, the one of two, permanent collectables are a real joy to unexpectedly pass by. And I do mean unexpectedly. You’ll not be looking for them, but are placed so carefully that you can’t help but stop and discover them.
- The spirit orb system is a really nice evolution of the heart pieces of previous Zelda games. I’ll pine for the nostalgia of it, but the way you collect spirit orbs and use them as you feel best (towards hearts or stamina) is a great step forward. You even have the option to redistribute them if you’d like
- The “Blood Moon” thing is confusing and the cutscene that happens every time is annoying. Even if you try to skip the cutscene the load time is pretty lengthy.
- Sometimes the game is overwhelming. I was ok up till the first “Dungeon”/Boss/Event, then suddenly I didn’t know what to do or where to go. Well... I KNEW, but it all seemed so far away and there was so much to do and see between that I buckled under too many options. The immensity of the game is a double edged sword.
- These maps give me a serious Metroid Prime feel:
- I’d been duped by the “Unbreakable Zora Trident” rumor for four days. Spoilers: There is no unbreakable Zora Trident!
- Speaking of which, I wish there were more options for unbreakable weapons. There’s a decent pool of “legendary” weaponry to fish from (even some included via amiibo). I’d appreciate it even if it means a multi-tiered quest to get them. The Zora Trident was fake but plausible. Adding it, the Megaton Hammer and other unbreakable “legendary” variants for each weapon class, along with a place to store them, seems like a natural inclusion (maybe in a DLC season 2?).
- Amiibo have some pretty neat unlocks if you’re dedicated to using them every day. It doesn’t go as far as I’d have like (Like I said in my article about Breath of the Wild DLC) but it’s definitely nice to have some easter egg-y swag. Just make sure to use them daily!
- The Princess Zelda we’re seeing here is very different from the Zelda of Twilight Princess, Wind Waker, and Ocarina. This Zelda is strong and carries so much self-assuredness and resolution, but also harbors crippling self-doubt. It’s an interesting mindset that the princess hasn’t been in before.
- Button placement is a pain. I’ve gotten so used to the mapping of crouch and dash and jump in other games that not having them on the X, L-Joy Con stick, and B respectively is annoying. Especially because I can’t remap the buttons.
- Sounds design is phenominal. The minimalist approach emphasizes the gameplay, and musical cues taken from every Zelda era are snuck in everywhere.
- Sharing a Switch? Be sure to create multiple user accounts so you can have multiple save files. Otherwise expect accidental save file overwrites.
This is the evolution of Zelda we’ve all been wanting! What are you waiting for? You should be experiencing this now!
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JpSr388 is a casual(ish) gaymer, hardcore Nintendo fan, designer & writer. He writes about what he cares about, and is always good for some opinions. Keep on the lookout for more editorial, QuickDraws, Hot Takes and reviews here.