It’s good folks… REALLY GOOD!
The Switch is the first Nintendo console I’ve ever actually owned. I’ve played them all, but not actually purchased one before. I’m at a point where I can get away with a small folly, so I decided to just go for it and truth be told…. I forgot I had it on pre-order.
You could stroll straight from your starting point, walk directly up to Ganon and take him on
Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the first Zelda game I’ve really played in earnest and had I known they were this good, I’d have got a Nintendo a lot sooner. But perhaps they weren’t all this good. Perhaps this is the first one that’s really, really, exceptionally good.
It’s an open world RPG in the truest sense. There is no gating at all. You could stroll straight from your starting point, walk directly up to Ganon and take him on. You wouldn’t last long as the starting 3 hearts get you pretty much nowehere.
This character levelling mechanic, to gain more hearts, is one of only three I have seen so far. You can complete shrines, which are awesome little puzzle levels, to gain Spirit Orbs, which you can then trade for either more hearts (life) or stamina. Stamina means you can climb, run or paraglide for longer. The third character upgrade is your Sheikah Stone rune abilities. You can upgrade these by fulfilling various side quests and give you more powerful bombs, or more time in Stasis (time stopping) mode.
Other than these, you can’t really get any stronger. The only way to defeat higher level enemies is by cunning, use of potions and meals and by finding high level weapons and storing them in your inventory. There is some scope for getting better outfits too.
However, you shouldn’t get excited when you find a good blade or hammer, cause everything degrades and you can’t fix or repair anything (as far as I’ve found). This means you really need to be sparing with your good weapons and save them for when it’ll make the difference.
A few days later….
I’ve pumped a load more hours into Zelda and discovered yet more things about how the game works and how you can level. I won’t spoil anything by revealing it, but suffice to say, there is so much to keep you coming back; exploring, foraging, cooking, fighting and levelling.
There are myriad technical issues and they shouldn’t be ignored. However, if this were a worse game, you’d focus on these as being frustrating and disappointing, but it isn’t. This is a great game, an incredible game in fact and I’m willing to look past the technical stuff. Yes, it doesn’t have super detailed textures, yes the frame rate does drop drastically at times and yes, it does have loading screens that get a little boring at times…… but
you feel like you’ve been dropped into a Studio Ghibli movie
The game at its core is beautiful, there are moments that make you feel like you’ve been dropped into a Studio Ghibli movie and although there is little voice acting (and what there is is fairly poor), the story telling is wonderful. Tender, funny, absurd and dramatic. I cannot say enough good things about this game. So stay tuned for more gushing in a future post when I’m done.