Saturday, March 25, 2017

First Impressions - Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U. It is the 19th release in the main The Legend of Zelda series.

Plot: History recorded the conflicts between Hyrule and Calamity Ganon, an ancient evil. Each time Ganon appeared, he was defeated by a Princess descended from the Goddess Hylia and as well as the Hero, a warrior. One of these legends occurred long ago in ancient times. During these ancient times, Hyrule was at peace as an advanced civilization. Using their knowledge of technology, they decided to prepare themselves for the return of Calamity Ganon. They created the Divine Beasts, four massive machines resembling animals, as well as an army of autonomous mechanical soldiers they called Guardians. Upon Ganon's return, the Hero, Princess, Guardians and Divine Beasts launched a direct attack on him. The Hero struck Ganon down with the sword that seals the darkness and the Princess used her inherited power to seal Ganon away.

10,000 years later, the kingdom of Hyrule had reverted to a medieval state. Upon reading the prophecies their ancestors had left behind, they learned the signs of Calamity Ganon's return and recovered the Divine Beasts and Guardians after excavating land throughout the kingdom. Key members of Hyrule's various races - Daruk, a warrior of the Gorons, Mipha, a princess of the aquatic Zora, Revali, the most skilled archer among the bird-like Rito, and Urbosa of the desert-dwelling Gerudo - were assembled to pilot the Divine Beasts and were given the titles of Champions. The Hero, the Princess, and the Champions attempted to stop the evil using the same strategy as their ancestors. However, Calamity Ganon appeared from beneath Hyrule Castle and took control of the Guardians and Divine Beasts, turning them against Hyrule. In the "Great Calamity" which followed, the King, Champions, and everyone in the Castle were killed, the castle town was destroyed, and the appointed knight was gravely wounded defending the Princess; the entire kingdom was utterly devastated. However, the Princess survived and faced Ganon alone, restraining him within the castle walls. In the present day, 100 years later, an amnesiac Link awakens from within the Shrine of Resurrection and that’s where your adventure begins.

Open World: This is the first Zelda game that truly feels open world. You can do as much or as little as you want. It is totally up to you. When I first started playing the game the world was so huge that I did not really have a direction. As you play as Link you can try to recapture some memories or face the divine beasts or just run around aimlessly and ride horses. It is up to you where you want to go and I had to really stop and plan out what I wanted to do because it was up to me how the story would progress.

Map: The map is blank. You start out with this little piece that you activated by climbing a huge tower in the great plateau. That is how you learn that across the land if you want to get that piece of the map you have to activate the towers in that section. Let me be honest there are a lot of sections of that damn map and sometimes you might run around for a bit to find the tower. You would figure the tower would be in the middle but in reality it could be anywhere in that section. It helps to look from one tower to see if you can find it and then mark it on your map. I only have one section of the map left to unlock and its one of the hardest but I will be trying for it soon. Each tower becomes a travel point which is good in helping you get from one side of the map to the other quickly. You will have to increase your stamina for some of them as you will have a long climb with little to no rest points in between. Overall I like that they broke up the map and had you work for every piece of it.

Shrines: In this version of Zelda you do not have the major dungeons. Instead you have the Divine Beasts and Shrines. Shrines are often times a puzzle in which you have to ride the wind, move a switch, pick something up, etc to solve the puzzle to get a spirit orb. I love puzzles and having these in the game made it so enjoyable. There are about 120 shrines in the game so enjoy.

Divine Beasts: There are four divine beasts that you must wrestle control away from Ganon. Each beast is close to what a typical Legend of Zelda dungeon usually is. What I enjoy about it is that in each one there is a part of the beast that can be manipulated. Let’s take the Salamander like beast of the Goron’s. This beast can be turned on its side therefore you must solve part of the beast puzzle and then have to flip it to do something else and possibly flip it back to finish what you were attempting to do. I like that in this game you really had to think about what you were doing before just tackling the Beasts. Each beast has a “Ganon” type creature that you had to fight with different fighting forms as you beat it down so be prepared to change up your fighting style to defeat him.

Weapons: We as gamers have become lazy and spoiled. There I said it. Breath of the Wild forces us to not just pick up the strongest weapon and beat the crap out of the enemy but instead plan out our attacks because weapons break. Yes you read that correctly you may be wailing away on a creature and then you are notified that you sword is about to break and then one more hit and it shatters. You only are provided with a set number of slots for Swords, Shields, and bows which you can increase but after that you are only able to carry a certain amount. I like that the game is a survival horror without the horror. Your weapons are not always going to be there to depend on and you need to think about that. I cringed when my Hylian shield broke but I appreciated it more once I got it back. There are a few weapons that can be repaired/replaced. The only weapon that truly does not break is the Master Sword but if overused will need to be rested to recharge. Basically only use the Sword against Ganon or Ganon like beasts and that’s it.

Fighting: The fighting is pretty easy. The creatures become harder to fight as the game goes on so you will need to Z-Lock and use your shield. I was not doing this at first and was getting hit until I learned how to jump and dodge but I have always been a bruiser fighter when it comes to video games so it is nothing new to me.

Cooking: This aspect is one of my favorites in the game. I enjoy that I do not have to get or buy elixirs or stews but instead I can walk over to a campfire and cook up some hearty vitals. You can make elixirs from Monster Parts and random creatures like lizards. Each creature can do something different and can give you a different type of elixir like for Stamina or Speed. The fun part is cooking food like meat and veggies/fruit and seeing what you come up with. I especially enjoy cooking items that restores your full hearts plus adds more. I have currently a few dishes that will give me 8 extra hearts which is amazing and recently I defeated a “Ganon” at one of the beasts and it came in handy let me tell you. There are so many different types of dishes that you need to just have fun and explore it.

Characters: What you will enjoy most is that a lot of the characters actually talk. Don’t worry Link still only grunts and exclaims and that’s about it. Frankly I don’t want him to ever talk. If they make a live action movie he should go the whole movie without saying a word. What gamers will enjoy most I believe is that you really get to know Zelda and see how expressive and passionate she is. I think that is what truly makes this game wonderful.

These are my thoughts of the game thus far. I think it is definitely up there in terms of the best version but I am hesitant to say it beats OOT. The open world aspect and the broken weapons really make this game enjoyable and I am not even all the way through. I have my Master Sword and Hylian shield and I am ready to save Hyrule.

Post by Vikki
Twitter: ProfessorWhite
Facebook: Fangirl Review

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