The Nintendo Domain

You are not connected. Please login or register

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

CartoonLink
#1

on Wed Jun 14, 2017 5:05 am

avatar
Zekrom & Reshiram
Zekrom & Reshiram
In the waking days leading up to Breath of the Wild, I had nothing but legitimate hype for this game. I was nervous about one of Nintendo's most beloved series dropping out the formula it has become known across the globe for. The Legend of Zelda was renowned for it's diverse puzzles, fair difficulty, and strong story telling.

The whole idea with Breath of the Wild was to either throw away or change up what the series is viewed as, and there were a lot of people who weren't skeptical, as I too wasn't. After waiting in line on one of our cold Manitoba winter mornings for nearly three hours, I couldn't wait to warm up more than I was excited to play the game. I managed to be one of the last three people in line that was lucky enough to snag a Switch and Breath of the Wild. After 80 hours of gameplay, I have finally decided to review the game based on these categories: Story, gameplay, graphics, cinematics, music, content, controls, and replayability.

I will be writing from the perspective of it being a Zelda game and where it stacks against previous titles in the series. I am also warning don't take this as a professional review, it is my opinion on this game in my all time favourite video game franchise.

Story: 1.7/10
In Breath of the Wild, you are thrown into a vast open world. Granted it makes a story difficult to delve into different frames of mind and consistently expanding upon the narrative in a way that makes you feel emotionally attached to the characters within. The story was set up as more of a way to help the gameplay which granted is how a lot of games are, but this game gave up story to make it "entirely open world and optional". It's also told through the use of finding randomly placed memory markers somewhere in the giant game world.

Calamity Ganon is gaining his power back and Link is resurrected after 100 years when a swarm of Guardians had taken him down. As he is awakened, he gains a Sheikah Slate and meets with many old faces whom he does not remember. After returning the four Divine Beasts to their rightful protectors who have all passed, they fire a shot at Ganon which helps destroy him. In the end Link defeats Ganon, and Zelda wants to return Hyrule to it's former glory.

The plot is as basic and grand adventure as you can possibly get, and with how deep and engaging some of the conflicts have been in the series it was hugely disappointing to see all the established lore just thrown out to make room for an open world title that doesn't fit within the Zelda cannon at all.

It tends to get a pass from most as it is Zelda and the games are typically known for being grand adventure, but if this wasn't a Zelda game it would be considered another rehash of every game before in the genre.

Gameplay: 5.2/10
In Breath of the Wild, you are thrown into a vast open world. Wow, I started the first two sections off the same, intentional way. You are given very little direction on where to go, and what to do giving you supreme freedom on if you desire to kill the last boss first or go in the exact opposite direction of Kakariko village.

Right off the bat you meet with an old man who tells you what to do, but as soon as you get the Paraglider from him you have the most freedom in any video game of all time which is fantastic, but also feels like a step back because that could be the norm for Zelda now. Gone are the days of being told where to go and finding all sorts of things to do in much smaller areas and not getting lost on every objective or getting distracted.

The challenge is where they went way overboard. The game is simply too difficult early on, and this is coming from a Souls veteran. Just to climb a damn tower which is also the second one you notice, and it's guarded by Guardians. Har har har, so funny. There's also spots in the game where to progress with the story, you need to be prepared to take on enemies that will have you seeing the game over screen more times than ever in the series. The Lynel's are the perfect example. They one shot you every time you confront one, that is until late game if you've gained acceptable armour upgrades and heart containers.

You also have this useful Sheikah Slate that showcases several abilities that are unique to the franchise. My favourite was Magnesis, I'm sure you know what that is. It is handled very creatively and is arguably the best thing the game has to offer when it comes to the gameplay.

Using the bow goes to a third person view over Link's shoulder which is very neat with the crosshairs being used for precise aiming, and the added functionality of using motion controls by tilting your controller fit perfectly. But there are other problems when it comes to using motion controls. Seldom puzzles come in to play which require tilting to roll balls into the correct spot which is devilish in the fact you cannot get the desired outcome very often.

The weapon durability is also abysmal. I thought Dark Souls 2 had poor durability, at least a certain ring you can equip make it a non-issue. While here you cannot check the durability percentage of a weapon, unless I am mistaken. You will go through many areas finding great weapons but I found to always put off using said items since I didn't want to break them, which in itself is pointless in having them unless I use them. You know what they say about not driving your nice sports car to keep kilometres down.

The weather also comes into effect, such as rain halting your climbing (which is brutal since it is a HUGE part of the game), lightning which will destroy you unless you have wooden items or a certain helmet. Most of the time if lightning pops up I found myself teleporting away from it, halting my gameplay in that area. The same thing can happen with hot and cold areas, either make sure you have special equipment which you hopefully level up so it isn't absolute trash for defence, or try certain foods and elixers. There isn't enough variety in recipes either.

Graphics: 6.1/10
I will first off state that THE GRAPHICS ARE NOT BAD, but the larger majority of it is unappealing to the eye. The cel-shading works better than in TWW due to realistically proportioned characters, and far better than in SS since NPC's look like humans opposed to ugly birds.

The character design is great, it's not the cel-shading that is bad. The unappealing part is the overworld of the game. Textures faraway look acceptable as the naked eye can only technically get a clear vision of what is. But close up, textures are muddy, and definitely looks as if Nintendo has reverted back to the sixth generation. What's more to say? The distant views with the morning sun can look gorgeous at times, but it isn't enough to shed this issue.

While paragliding, you will also notice a TON of pop in. That's unacceptable for a console that is supposed to be a home console, handheld console, and be capable of augmented and virtual reality. It doesn't give you a feeling that it's real. Unless Link is blind.

Another small gripe but not as much of an issue as I've heard some people have, the frame rate. It does dip now and then but it was only an issue in heavily grassy and forested areas throughout the map, and mainly Korok forest.

Cinematics: 5.2/10
Now this is a first. The memories and actual cutscenes feature much smoother animation than your typical in game cutscene, which it's about time Zelda has decided to add in full motion video.

The problem with these cinematics are not sloppy translation, or poor character expressions, it's the voices themselves. Why is Zelda british? It killed it for me. Also now I know Gorons' sound like every day humans, and it's very bizzare and out of place.

Call me old fashioned, but Zelda shouldn't have voice acting. I don't think there is much more to say on this matter.

Music: 7.1/10
This is an interesting one. I do appreciate the lack of an overworld theme for the most part to try and give the game more ambience. I still think some themes could have been better. Why is the credits some original material while two parts are just the Kakariko theme and the trailer theme I'm sure everyone had installed into their brain at that point.

Places like Rito Village, Zora's Domain, Hateno Village, Sheikah towers, and the dragons really stand out to me. I don't think that there are too many themes that aren't belonging here, but it seems this game just couldn't get Gorons correct. The theme there just felt bland, lacked the epic nature and spirit I know I've come to expect from the culture. It's really a shame. This game does have some incredible themes, on par with the series best, but it's the several ones that I could list that don't quite stand out.

Content: 5.3/10
Now hear me out. The game is huge in scope and yes, it can be overwhelming to some with how much there truly is to do in the game. But in all seriousness, there's not much.

There are over 900 Korok seeds I have read, but after 50 or so it's really monotonous. It's either pick up a rock, shoot moving targets with arrows, or race to the goal. It's the same thing over and over again upon different terrain.

The shrines are the best part, but also the part that lacks the most. There are over 120 of them! That's a LOT. It's a shame that so many of them are rehashed mini guardian battles which get incredibly easier late game, or shrines that reward you just for finding them. It doesn't subdue your thirst for adventure that you could hope. It just feels like a waste.

You can also upgrade most of your equipment you get by retrieving things like monster parts, bugs, foods, etc. Even fallen stars, which is actually quite cool when you first see that exist in the game. It's not overly useless but if it's a set of items, it's using the same materials each time to upgrade each item four times. That's enough to just cause someone to lose interest since it's more than repetitive.

From here on out, it's the odd sidequest resulting in rupees you'll hardly ever need a reason to spend. You can fight through enemy camp after enemy camp, with the late game getting more challenging and introducing silver variations of each enemy which if you defeat, pay out. But it's nothing to be excited about.

How can we forget the biggest hype about the game was being open world with all these shrines? For what? You get a tunic of Link from the original Zelda which by that time, you'll most likely have nothing else left to complete in the game other than find all the Korok seeds (unless you did all shrines before the story). I preferred Skyward Swords approach in making field areas more similar to dungeons in that retrospect, while shoving tons of content into a relatively small area.

You CAN however play with Link's older tunics from past games, but they may not protect Link from heat or cold, and if you want to dish out several hundreds of dollars for amiibos, then be my guest. I am also aware of NFC tags, but it's the fact I have to doll out more money for a complete project.

Controls: 7.7/10
This is something they did arguably very well. It is a whole new control scheme for 3D Zelda games (hell, Skyward Sword technically was too), and you have the addition of running and jumping. Baby steps here. Each Rune can take a bit of getting used to, especially Magnesis. After awhile it isn't an issue, it was just very awkward learning to raise said items while pulling them either towards you or pushing them.

After the learning curve though, these are very responsive controls that fit the stile of the game. Although referring above to framerate dips, they can cause issues which won't be your desired choice and it can be a pain now and then but for the most part, it isn't too troublesome.

Replayability: 1/10
I am having a very difficult time trying to find a reason to replay Breath of the Wild. The shrines the first time around are creative and require solid puzzle solving (minus a few), but it's the four main dungeons that really lack.

The four Divine Beasts each have their own way of manipulating the physics of the dungeons which can definitely go good with players who like to experiment, but all dungeons are bland inside and you lack any sort of urgency as there's an odd enemy here or there. It's not enough to justify several small dungeons with four bigger dungeons that are completely different in terms of style.

The story isn't engaging, deep, or emotional enough to keep you from wanting to finish it to know the conclusion, as well as to want you to try and experience that aura flowing into your heart like past games. It's just the same dull game repeated except you know what to expect.

Final Thoughts:
Now just remember what I told you. This game had so much potential to be more but I don't understand, was it the physics engine that took so long to develop? Because it seems to be the very empty and bland overworld aren't worthy of content from a game that was said to be in development for over four years.

The game doesn't feel like a true Zelda title. It's missing that charm that each game in the series always distributes. It feels like a game that wants to be similar to The Witcher or The Elder Scrolls, but with Zelda slapped on the title. Nintendo could have released this game and altered the names of the characters and Hyrule, and I highly doubt it would have seen so much praise.

I am highly disappointed with it, after all of the perfect scores coming from every journalist (minus one overweight, whiny Brit who I ironically agree with for once), my hype for this game was higher than any in the series. Including when TP and SS were soon to be released.

It doesn't deliver on any of the promises made by Mr. Aonuma, and the fact just to actually play as Link you have to beat the entire game or pay extra money just to do so. This is where Breath of the Wild falls completely short.

With each score added together and then divided, my final score for the game is 4.7/10. I would love to hear back in areas you guys disagree with me and have a discussion on the matter. Thank you for reading.

View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum