March 8, 2017
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the newest addition to the iconic Legend of Zelda franchise. Launched on March 3rd, Breath of the Wild has a lot of hype behind it. Does it live up to the hype it’s getting?
This game will be graded based on five aspects. The first aspect is the aesthetics of the game and how good they are. The second is the gameplay. This part includes gameplay mechanics, difficulty of main levels/dungeons, and how glitch-free the game is. Optimal gameplay would be challenging, but fun all the same. The third part is the characters. This aspect grades the certain characters based on the type of person they are and if they are able to stray from the status quo without going too far that it’s unbearable. Also, this domain is graded on the originality of characters The fourth graded area is the boss battles. Like overall gameplay, the boss battles should be challenging, yet fun. It also takes some of its grade from the characters area in terms of originality and personality. The final aspect of a game that I grade is the music. I grade music based on how good it is, both as a musical piece and how good it fits into the scenario it’s put in. I give every game a score out of 50.
So, without further ado, let’s step into Hyrule once again for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild…
This game is absolutely beautiful. I’m playing it on the Wii U, and it’s incredibly beautiful. On occasion, I go up to a cliff and just stand there for a while and look out at the kingdom of Hyrule in all its beauty. Looking out on the kingdom from the top of Mount Hylia, if you can make it there, is absolutely amazing. It is worth the (in-game) hours-long trek upward. It is worth the risk of freezing to death. This game is definitely one of the most colorful games I have ever played in my whole life. I give the aesthetics a… 10/10.
You have the usual characters, such as Link, Zelda, Impa, and Ganondorf, the main villain. You also have the usual main enemy of the game, Bokoblins, as well as Moblins making a return, once again. However, there are a couple of new characters like the Old Man. Also, Ganondorf takes on a new form: Calamity Ganon.
There are also lots of NPCs in villages you come across. They all have different personalities, and I found some of them to be incredibly unique and quirky. Talking to some can even activate side quests, which are always fun to do. The major characters, minus Link, are given monologues at some point in the game. This is a very different approach for a Zelda game, especially considering the disasters that were “Link: The Faces of Evil” and “Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon” for the discontinued Phillips CD-i. The voice acting is not all bad, but Zelda, to me, doesn’t really have a voice that would sound like Zelda. That’s not really a problem, but when I think of Zelda, I can’t really imagine her with an English accent. I give the characters a… 9/10.
The music in this game, as expected, is sensationally good. However, looking back, I don’t feel like there was a specific piece of music that stuck out to me. I didn’t really find an equivalent to “Lost Woods” from Ocarina of Time. The music did an incredible job of setting the mood. However, like I said, nothing really stood out from the others as “really good”. Thus, I give the music a… 9/10.
First off, I LOVE the 3D open-world experience that Breath of the Wild. It’s such a big game! It took my Wii U 16 whole hours to fully download that game. But it was all worth it. After 18 main series games, Link finally learns how to jump, and boy, does that change things up. You can get that small disadvantage you may have had in previous installments of the franchise. You can traverse the land more easily. But that still doesn’t change the fact that this game is incredibly difficult. Even when fighting the first mini-boss, I still had an incredibly hard time defeating it. I knew where to attack, but it took such a long time. I had used up almost all of my weapons and had nothing but a Rusty Broadsword on the verge of breaking. Beating that mini-boss was incredibly satisfying.
Of course, your final battle is against the evil Calamity Ganon in Hyrule Castle. You’ve spent weeks preparing for this incredibly hard fight. You’ve been dedicating entire days to farming for enemies and obtaining their loot. Your whole journey to rescue British Zelda… could have been achieved in an hour. The quest to defeat Ganon is activated incredibly early compared to other Zelda games. This means that speedrunners won’t even have to discover more than two regions. But this means that, because this is such a limitless game, there are many paths to take. You can either complete all the main quests before facing Ganon, or you can skip all that and just cut right to the chase. I love that about this game.
Also, the fact that you can use your Sheikah Slate (a very important item that you get at the beginning of the game) to teleport to any Shrine or Tower you’ve previously been to is a huge convenience. If you end up straying from your main objective, you can easily teleport to the nearest tower/shrine. Shrines are byte-sized dungeons that require you to use your runes to get through it or fight a mini-boss. Not only do they serve as checkpoints, but if you complete a Shrine, the monk you find at the end gives you a Spirit Orb. If you have four Spirit Orbs, you can pray to the Goddess Hylia at certain locations in order to increase your stamina or your health. There are hundreds of Shrines in this massive game, so it’s not really necessary to complete them all, but completing a good portion of them will really do you favors in your future battles.
You can also cook in this game. If you conserve materials and find a crock pot with a fire underneath, you can cook foods you have. You can cook foods that recover more health, provide a temporary stat boost, or both. You can even create elixirs, which provide stat boosts.
Another unique mechanic in this game is the fact that you can shield surf. Like many other mechanics, this is new to the Zelda franchise. Just hop onto your shield and ride down that hill!
You can even pretend that you’re in the X-Games.
However, this really eats up your shield’s stamina, so don’t push yourself too hard.
There are just so many incredible mechanics put into this game, and I love all of it, despite the fact that Link gets knocked down a lot. Also, the lag tends to spike decently hard around areas with lots of trees and grass. Coincidentally, this lag spike is most evident in the area just outside the Shrine of Resurrection. Hopefully, this can get patched over somehow, but that still doesn’t make the gameplay amazing. I give the gameplay a… 9.5/10.
The story is rather similar to most Zelda games, but has a few twists. The Old Man that I mentioned earlier is a very important figure. He gives you a little “who’s who” and why everything is as it is. He tells you to go to Impa, a recurring character in the franchise, and gives you a paraglider.
While the story of the game remains the same, it still has its charm that it did 20+ years ago. I also found it cool that the game goes out of its way to tell us why enemies respond. Instead of taking a “because video games” approach, they introduce a brand new event, Blood Moon. Blood Moon is when Calamity Ganon supposedly is at his peak power. This event resurrects any enemy you may have killed previously. This includes mini-bosses, too. I thought it was very nice how they approached enemies respawning.
I give the story a… 9/10.
This game was an absolute pleasure to play. Sure, I got frustrated from time to time fighting the occasional tribe of Bokoblins and Moblins, as well as the mini-bosses. I also got very impatient with the dungeons, the contents of which I will not spoil. But I love that about this game. This game, like I want video games to be, is hard, but fun all the same. I had a blast playing through this game. I definitely will want to play through the game more than once, knowing full well that I only scratched the surface of what you can do during my first completion of the game. 100%ing the game will most likely take months upon months to do. But even still, I love this explosive game so much.
Overall this game gets a… 46.5/50 = 93%.
This game was an absolute blast to play. It was also incredibly hard. If I had $5 for every time I died in-game, I would have enough money to buy a gaming chair. And those chairs are incredibly expensive. However, it was all worth it. Sure, it’s not necessarily a perfect game, but it makes up for its minor flaws with incredible. This game did an incredible job of breaking the mold in terms of new style of gameplay and Link actually jumping. My favorite part about this game is that once you beat the main quest (killing Calamity Ganon), there is still a LOT more to do, including incomplete Shrines, side quests, and much, much more.
An incredible game for the new, incredibly promising console, the Nintendo Switch, Breath of the Wild proved to me that it is a wildly good game.