Monday, March 6, 2017

Breath of the Wild, again

Zelda evaluation, after a weekend: Still wow.

Official website here
Once you get out of the starter area, it's really open world. There's a suggested "where to go," but I ran around and completed the quest in another part of the world instead. Since you scrounge for your weapons, you aren't limited by having to get special quest items before taking on each major area. Though the first few battles fought with boko clubs are pretty rough... Well, let's just say goofing off and exploring are good ways to get skilled at dodging and shield using.

Which is indeed the good side of the weapons setup. It has indeed grown on me, because it wouldn't be possible to do this game so very open-world style if you had the traditional "complete quest, gain next item, which is the only way to advance to the next region" weapon-obtainment style. This way you can upgrade your items to suit your area. I mean, sometimes you'll inconveniently run out of weapons, or find yourself facing off with a creature too strong to defeat with your current clubs and swords and axes and bows, but you can always run away from those.

The limited weapons cache is the biggest hurdle to this method of play. Luckily, there is a way to increase it... if you can find him. Look for Hestu, is what I'm saying. And don't bother with increasing shield space. Of all the things I go through, shields last the longest and are easiest to replace. I do pretty well on bows, too; it's not a bad idea to increase that, but my experience says the best choice is melee weapon space.

Also, horses. You can ride horses. Not just an assigned Epona, but any horse you can catch! And tame. That's also important. Yup, I got bucked off a few times. Word of warning, if you leave your horse behind, it does not have super hearing, so if you're too far away when you call for it, it will not come. This means my Link has done quite a bit of running, because I keep flying away... Oops! Save some of those apples, because you can feed them to your ride as an apology for abandoning it to the wolves.

The dungeons and mini-dungeons (shrines) in this game are less combat-focused than other versions of Zelda I've played. They're almost exclusively puzzles, or with a single combat thrown in, and so far even the major dungeon had just the one boss fight. The puzzles are cute, and I'm enjoying them greatly; I think this is my favorite take on dungeons yet.

On the whole, the more I play, the more I love the game. I die a lot (a LOT), but the auto-save is good, so I don't get set back far. This is shaping up to be one of the best of the series. Can't wait to see where it goes next!

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