For many generations, Zelda has been a must have for any Nintendo console release; some might say release Zelda + release console = print money. How does The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild fair? Let’s find out.
When I first started Breath of the Wild, the only word I could think of was “WOW”. Visually it’s breathtaking. With a mixture of the more realistic feeling modeling of Skyward Sword and the the cell shaded coloring of Wind Waker, Breath of the Wild has seems to have the best combination to keep all sides happy. When we played the demo at E3 2016 there was discernible draw and pop-up issues on the Wii U hardware. Those issues are almost completely gone on the Nintendo Switch version, more than likely attributed to it’s increase in processing power. The sound effects and music used in the game help in providing an immersive atmosphere as well. Jason would chime in to complain about the lack of voice acting throughout the entire game, rather than just cut scenes, but I don’t care and we’ll just let him have his ragefest in the comments below.
The controls in the game work extremely well, no matter which of the three play configurations you put the console in. However, despite how much I liked using the Wii motion controls during Twilight Princess I quickly turned them off. While motion controls may have worked well, since I no longer HAD to use two separate controllers I opted for a more traditional controller.
In addition to this being the largest Zelda game ever, it has to be the deepest and richest story done yet. The narrative of the story and use of flashbacks increases your attachment to the characters and is a major standout. In most previous games, Nintendo focused more on fleshing out the narrative of what you needed to do to complete the mission and less on the character back stories. In BotW they added every conceivable back story you can find: father issues, love triangles, inability to live up to destiny, loss of parental figures and friends, you name it.
There are only a couple of cons that can be found in the game. The first con is the issues with weapon and shield durability. While they did make major strides in the game by making bombs a form of magic, rather than a consumable good, I and many people on the internet have a gripe with weapon durability. Weapons break way too easily and you’re essentially way underpowered for the first half of the game. While there may be a ton of weapons to pick up all over the place, most of the time they’re horrible garbage that will very easily break.
The only other con that I have is the Gerudo village. Let me start by saying that I’ve played enough JRPG’s to have absolutely no problem with a character needing to crossdress in game. The issue that I have is that the need to cross dress NEVER GOES AWAY. At one point you are called a hero to all Gerudo and a savior of the city, but are still not allowed in to the city without wearing women’s garbs. This would not be a big problem except that the women’s garbs have almost no defense, necessitate you to change out whenever you leave the village and then change again anytime that you want to get a sweet deal on arrows. If they either lifted the ban after I became their hero, or made the garbs have a better armor rating, this would be a moot point; alas neither of those happened though.
All-in-all BotW was the best, most engaging Zelda game that I have ever played and is definitely worth the purchase. The ability to play both on the go and lounging around makes the Switch the best platform to play it on.