New Zelda Worth Every Hit Point
March 8, 2019
Growing up as a kid I would play the Legend of Zelda games. It all started for me on the Gameboy advance, with oracle of seasons/ages. Since then, my love has continued to grow, and so has the franchise.
Zelda today is an amazing piece of work that is cherished by many. The newest game, Breath of the Wild was an instant hit with fans as it was one of the only games released with the Nintendo switch. However, this game has a different take compared to previous games. In terms of gameplay, it’s more of an RPG. A first in the Zelda series.
Traditionally, Zelda is all about completing eight dungeons and fighting Gannon. In breath of the wild, those dungeons are replaced with shrines and divine beasts. There are four divine beasts you can go through to unlock the aid of the champions. Completing each divine beast damages Gannon during the final battle about an 1/8th of his max HP per one divine beast. Ultimately after completing all four you have the possibility to have taken half of his HP before the battle starts. In terms of going through the divine beasts, it feels like a traditional dungeon.
I can only compare them to that of the forest temple or Deku tree from Ocarina of Time. I would have loved to see more of a traditional dungeon, but the divine beasts hit the hammer right on the nail. As for the shrines, there is a grand total of 120. They feel more like filler as you attempt to beat them all. The tasks inside them are varied from killing enemies to solving puzzles, to just using good movement.
The diversity in these shrines keeps them interesting, though some of them can be quite difficult! In my personal experience, I had to look up many of the puzzles that leave you with no hints at all aside from the shrine name. Overall, I don’t quite like having to grind out shrines. It feels more like filler in terms of the game. That leads me into the next part, story.
The game doesn’t have much of a story to it. There is the traditional lore, but the game takes place very far down the road from any of the previous games. Link has re-awakened 100 years after Gannon was reincarnated and now it’s up to him to save Hyrule once again. For the longest time, I chose to be spoiler free from watching anything on the game. Once I bought the game and played through it, I realized just how upsetting the story really was.
There’s almost no main story. There’s a very small number of main objectives that vary in how long it may take you to complete. The game also has hundreds of other side quests. Most of those side quests also feel like filler content. The game is wonderful don’t get me wrong, but I would have liked there to be more than what feels like filler content. One specific example I can mention is obtaining the master sword. It requires 13 hearts to obtain, in other words, that’s 40 shrines minimum, where you dedicate all the points to a health upgrade.
This leads me to another point, damage ratio and boss health. I think the game’s difficulty at first is startling. You start off with 3 hearts, and weapons on the starting area, the great plateau can range from 1 damage to possibly 30 in my experience. Just for fun, I spent about 15 minutes killing a stone talus with low powered weapons. The damage ratio feels unfair to start, but by the end of the game it feels almost overpowered.
With the map as big as it is, there was endless possibilities for things, and I think they filled the space well, it’s just not what I would have ever expected from a Zelda game. I would have loved to see more lore added to the story, and another addition to the Zelda timeline. Breath of the wild overall is a wonderful game, and I would recommend it for those who have a Nintendo switch, but if you’re looking for the story, I wouldn’t recommend it. On a scale of smash it to classic, I’d rate breath of the wild a classic. Despite my personal objections, the game is still enjoyable in so many ways. I think it deserves high praise for being the game it is, considering this is the first time Zelda has become an RPG. Now, if there was to be another Zelda game gone RPG, then that would be a whole different ranking. They would be able to capitalize more on the ideals, having experience from here. One would hope at least. Nintendo has usually been able to capitalize on their sequels, aside from a few bad games. (The “New Super Mario Brothers 2” disaster.) Overall, there’re dozens of things to do and so for anyone looking for a lengthy RPG, breath of the wild may be the one for you.