Friday, February 23, 2018

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I finished Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Or at least, I got to the final boss battle and gave up, when the game gave me a "boss in invulnerable for minutes at a time" challenge. I'm not gonna replay the fight a dozen times, just to get past that.

Heck, just reaching the boss battle is a pain, as Hyrule Castle is surrounded by enemies called "Guardians" that one-hit kill you with impossible-to-avoid attacks. These attacks work from a distance of, let's say, 300 feet. It's rough. I guess maybe the idea is that you show up at the castle, fight to the death against a Guardian, run away for healing, then return to fight another Guardian. Repeat this process a dozen times until all the enemies are dead.

This is the first open-world game I've ever played, and I didn't like it. It's mostly just wandering through scenery! For example, your first quest is to visit Impa in Dueling Peaks. It takes twenty minutes to get there. You have a half-minute conversation with her, then you're told to go to Haetno Laboratory. It takes twenty minutes to get there, and they send you back to Impa. So, an hour of gameplay, for three short conversations? Count me out!

The Internet tells me that I was supposed to discover horses in this part of the game. Riding a horse makes you go way faster, so it only takes five minutes to get around. I didn't know that! They should have had a tutorial on it, or something. I guess that's an unavoidable problem with open-world games: some players are going to accidentally miss out on things that they shouldn't.

I also disliked the combat in the game, mainly because weapons break frequently. Once I got the Master Sword, which never breaks, things got better. You can use the sword about fifty times, then it needs ten minutes to charge. That's the limitation. I'm totally fine with that! I'll just hide in a corner for ten minutes, before playing the game some more.

The game got way better, once I entered the Zora region and got the first dungeon. The challenge to open the dungeon was fun, and the dungeon wasn't bad, either. The other three regions with dungeons were pretty good, too, although I mostly did the bare minimum for them. I did about 2/3 of the shrines in the desert area, and I was liked how there were so many challenges and things to do. Why isn't the entire game like that?

I guess that's a problem with Zelda in general, sometimes. The areas with dungeons are well-developed. The areas that you just travel through? Not so much. Like Wind Waker, I would prefer it if they kept everything, but shrunk the overall game map to a third of its size, as two-thirds of the map is empty space.

Well, I beat the game, even if it's definitely not the game for me. Maybe I'm just a bad gamer, who needs the game to hold my hand the entire time.

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