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What Makes The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild So Special?


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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:48 pm Reply with quote
My big worry about the game is the challenge curves seems non existent due to design decision. Since its non linear and you start with all the tool you'll finish with, that pretty much guarantee that the start of the game will be the hardest but by mid point you'll be breezing trough everything and by the end it'll just seem like enemy and puzzle are just an annoying distraction.
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Stuart Smith



Joined: 13 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:36 pm Reply with quote
I have a friend who is a Zelda nut. His favorite has always been the first one, and he would always wish they'd go back and do an open-world Zelda like the first one. He was ecstatic when BOTW was announced and he quickly changed his favorite from the original to BOTW.

I've never been a huge Zelda fan, but I've also been enjoying BOTW. I think what sets it apart from other open-world games like Horizon and Far Cry for me is the aesthetics and presentation. It feels more 'magical' rather than 'real' or 'gritty' like western games open worlds tend to focus on which turn me off.

-Stuart Smith
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MegaMooseJam2008



Joined: 20 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:11 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
My big worry about the game is the challenge curves seems non existent due to design decision. Since its non linear and you start with all the tool you'll finish with, that pretty much guarantee that the start of the game will be the hardest but by mid point you'll be breezing trough everything and by the end it'll just seem like enemy and puzzle are just an annoying distraction.


Trust me, the game is plenty challenging.
Some of the weaker enemies can come across as "an annoying distraction" but certain camps and configurations of enemies and enemy placements that pose genuine threats to anyone who takes them too lightly.
And it's not just limited to areas that could be deemed "late game."
There's a mechanic in-game that will re-spawn stronger enemies in areas they weren't in before in accordance with your overall kill count.

I haven't tackled any of the dungeons yet, but even the shrine puzzles can get satisfyingly tricky. I'll admit, there are a few that mind-numbingly simple, but it's interesting to come up with solutions to the more complicated puzzles.
(Minor Puzzle Spoiler spoiler[there was one shrine that involved using Magnesis to connect metal boxes and barrels to a electric current. But the supplied materials weren't enough to complete the circuit. My Solution: Drop my metal equipment on the ground and use that instead. Puzzle solved.]

All in all. Trust the world: it's fun.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:24 pm Reply with quote
Haven't played it myself but from video I've watched the dungeons at least are a lot easier than any Zelda I've played. I noticed that most Zelda technique like hookshot aiming or bomb timing are pretty much gone. The ability to pause instantly and heal up on food instead of having to dodge enemies and frantically search for hearts also seems like a rather easy-mode adjustment. I've seen 3 of the 4 beast fights and all were not anything I would consider difficult. The laser-shooting guardians/enemies in the open world seemed to hit much harder than the bosses which I thought was odd.
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Chiibi



Joined: 19 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:06 pm Reply with quote
I haven't had the blessing to play this game yet but I can think of two great reasons for why this game is so special:

1. Link gets to run around naked.
2. Link grabs his foot and hops up and down when he kicks a chest open. Laughing
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irfanf



Joined: 14 Aug 2015
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:34 pm Reply with quote
Since every BoTW thread ever is basically everyone sharing their own story, I'll tell mine.

My favorite moment was simple. I was starting the Zora questline when thunder starts coming down everywhere, as I see an enemy in the distance. I threw my Lizal Boomerang, which is made of metal, and it missed the enemy. After throwing a boomerang, you need to capture it back to your hand again by pressing the A button. As the boomerang flew back, i mistimed my press and it flew past me, when suddenly a thunder struck right behind me, and when i turned back, I saw a burned patch of grass with my boomerang laying down on the ground. Had I captured my boomerang, I would've surely died. And things like this, is why I love this game, even with BoTW as my first Legend of Zelda game ever.
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:45 pm Reply with quote
I have no doubt this game is full of the Nintendo magic, and my sister is loving this game to pieces as a Zelda fan. But I have to say that, from what I've seen, it's not for me.

I don't like to discover. I want to know. If there's anything hidden, I want to have some way of learning about it. If there are decisions to make that I'll regret later, I want to be informed about that too. In other words, I want to be as aware as I can of what I'm getting into when I'm playing a game, and my favorites where I can plan my steps, then execute them knowing what to expect, like Pokémon.

Based on the way this game is described in this article, it sounds like the antithesis of that. I can understand the immense appeal of such an appproach, but, again, it doesn't feel like I'd enjoy it.
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doctordoom85



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 1882
PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:03 pm Reply with quote
I think it's a great game, BUT I admit I do think the praise, as per usual with Zelda, is still a bit much. Now, granted I'm only about 12 hours in but it does feel like character and story focus is down compared to the likes of Ocarina, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, etc. which even by only this point had done a better job of making you feel attached to the cast and what's happening. The durability thing I think is a bigger issue than that, it makes finding a good weapon feel hardly rewarding knowing how insanely short its lifespan will be. Not saying they need to last as long as Dark Souls' do without repairing for example, but knowing you'll lose at least one weapon when fighting a group of around five enemies or so is absurd and the lack of any way to repair at this point is frustrating.

Also, the combat is nothing remarkable although that's kind of typical for Zelda games at this point for me (Wind Waker has the best combat of the series IMHO due to its faster style but even then it's nothing that impressive, granted I never played Skyward Sword). Finally, the voice acting is pretty good except from what I've heard of Zelda so far since while everyone else speaking in this style of dialect sounds natural it sounds forced coming from her.

Like I said, the game is really great, but I definitely would not be giving this game "best of all time".
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DKL



Joined: 08 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:07 am Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
My big worry about the game is the challenge curves seems non existent due to design decision. Since its non linear and you start with all the tool you'll finish with, that pretty much guarantee that the start of the game will be the hardest but by mid point you'll be breezing trough everything and by the end it'll just seem like enemy and puzzle are just an annoying distraction.


I finished the game without doing any of the main missions and blind and it's far and away the hardest 3D Zelda I've played. I don't recall dying with this amount of frequency in any of those games (or at all), even when doing a 3 hearts run.

(I did 3 hearts for my blind playthrough and item spam didn't really save me from OHKO encounters... but I didn't really mind OHKO here since, unlike Nier Automata on Very Hard, they at least checkpoint you before practically every encounter)

And the ending was just hard as balls when you don't know what to do.

But yeah, I like that the difficulty curve is reasonable since the game is centered around pickups and you're more or less guaranteed to be able to handle any encounter as long as you can steal one enemy's weapon in the immediate area.

I prefer this design as opposed to: I'm 10 levels below the enemy, therefore I'm stuck in this encounter bashing at the thing for 10 minutes.

MegaMooseJam2008 wrote:

I haven't tackled any of the dungeons yet, but even the shrine puzzles can get satisfyingly tricky.


Some of the physics-based puzzles are kinda brutal. There's one where I have to use stasis to get a ball into a hole and I was at it for a minute since I didn't realize that I had to weapon switch to get the precise amount of hitpoints needed to move the ball the right distance.

That said, some of the thinking puzzles are pretty hard too and I'm currently stuck on one at Dueling Peaks lol

leafy sea dragon wrote:


I don't like to discover. I want to know. If there's anything hidden, I want to have some way of learning about it. If there are decisions to make that I'll regret later, I want to be informed about that too. In other words, I want to be as aware as I can of what I'm getting into when I'm playing a game, and my favorites where I can plan my steps, then execute them knowing what to expect, like Pokémon.



Anything you need to know in Zelda, a random NPC will probably at least bring it up.

That said, I'm not sure how anyone can know anything about something as mechanically dense as Pokemon without going outside of the game for information (assuming you're playing at a higher level than simply doing the rock-paper-scissors meta with the AI), but you definitely don't need to look for a random system guide online in this game since they give you a fairly decent picture of what to expect lol

doctordoom85 wrote:
The durability thing I think is a bigger issue than that, it makes finding a good weapon feel hardly rewarding knowing how insanely short its lifespan will be. Not saying they need to last as long as Dark Souls' do without repairing for example, but knowing you'll lose at least one weapon when fighting a group of around five enemies or so is absurd and the lack of any way to repair at this point is frustrating.

Also, the combat is nothing remarkable although that's kind of typical for Zelda games at this point for me (Wind Waker has the best combat of the series IMHO due to its faster style but even then it's nothing that impressive, granted I never played Skyward Sword).


I don't really see how the weapon durability becomes an issue if inventory is managed properly. I'm pretty much stocked with power weapons to the teeth because I don't waste them on random encounters, which people should be doing using weapons they find in the immediate area or at least the weakest thing they have in their inventory until they can get someone to drop something.

(you can even steal a weapon while the enemy is derping around by gliding in)

Then you whip out the high end weapons for when you really need it (Major test of Strength, Lynels, etc.) . They also have a system in place that can help you track down a specific weapon in the event you want to farm for it.

Also, I can't see how anyone could like previous 3D combat in Zelda over what they have in this game. This is pretty much the first time in a Zelda game where I've felt that the combat is actually good.

The just dodge in this game involves more precision than whatever counter systems they had in the old games and the amount of fun stuff you can do with the system is amazing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EvbqxBUG_c

(you don't see it in the video (which, despite being mostly for laughs, shows some creativity in using the systems... I didn't even think to use stasis to launch myself), but the ways you can force slow motion are fun too)

Even the AI aggression is a breath of fresh air. And I haven't even really gone into the amount of ways each encounter can be handled given that most of the areas, despite being open world, have been designed by people that bothered thinking about encounter composition relative to the geometry for more than 20 seconds.

That said, I do have some issues with the game here and there, but I have to dig deep and it's probably things most people won't notice (how throwing works, how quick loadouts should use less buttons, how I feel like the approach they made to vary horses is not that great, where is 720p docked mode to stabilize the frame rate? etc.), but I can't think of another game I played in recent memory where the gameplay design really comes together.

This is coming right off of Nier Automata, which I loved (enough to buy the HK version and the US PC version), but there were so many puzzling design decisions that I found to be really questionable (active hit boxes during witch time, awful checkpointing, difficultly balance between Normal, Hard, Very Hard, etc.).

Like, it's nice to play something that I actually love as opposed to loving with major apprehensions lol
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doctordoom85



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:27 am Reply with quote
If you're using your weakest weapons all the time, then combat would become a chore since a good deal of enemies would become HP sponges. I especially hate whatever weapons send the enemies flying like ten yards and you're forced to constantly chase after them again. And no, combat really doesn't feel that noteworthy so far. I mean, I'm not expecting this development team to make combat that could be compared to the likes of Platinum Games, Bloodborne, Devil May Cry, etc. but while I can't call this game's combat bad it's definitely not anything noteworthy. Wind Waker just feels the best out of the ones I've played due to Link's faster style in that game. Like this game is trying to be like Dark Souls by offering a ton of weapons with different move styles but none of the styles are really noteworthy. Maybe some better ones are down the road but 15 hours in nothing has really stood out for me.

And getting back to the durability thing, it is still an issue if a treasure chest I work to get open and it has a weapon that I know isn't going to last long. It takes the sense of accomplishment away. I feel happier finding Seeds, upgrade materials, etc. so far than weapons which is really weird to feel compared to past Zelda titles. By giving the player access to so many weapons that are gone so soon they sacrificed any sense of meaning to any specific weapon. It wasn't worth the trade IMHO although if they had made the durability last significantly longer this wouldn't even be an issue.
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Rivailloli



Joined: 05 Jun 2013
Posts: 548
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:57 am Reply with quote
I've been making my way through the game in between classes and honestly I can say without a doubt it is my favorite Zelda game so far. There is so much to do, the world is huge, everything looks fantastic, and the creatures that you face are interesting and challenging! Some of the shrines are easy, but there are plenty of others with interesting puzzles and the dungeons can be a bit of work as well. I've been waiting for a Zelda game like this ever since OOT.

I started the game last week and already have about 35 hours in it. Now that I'm on spring break I'm probably going to add a lot more. I really have enjoyed playing the game and there is something special to it. My mind may change when I get to the end of the game. I just completed the second divine beast and have two more to go through before the final dungeon, but BOTW has already replaced my previous favorite Zelda title (Twilight Princess.)
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DKL



Joined: 08 May 2005
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Location: California, USA
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:10 am Reply with quote
doctordoom85 wrote:
If you're using your weakest weapons all the time, then combat would become a chore since a good deal of enemies would become HP sponges.


I've not really encountered damage sponges assuming I can actually grab a weapon off of someone (and it's not very hard considering that there seems to be various ways to knock something off of someone or you can use stealth to grab the weapons some encounters have lying around).

spoiler[Lynels] are a bit more tricky, but the chances are you would have found something around to help in those encounters (plus I'm reading neat strategies on how to deal with these things while not using a whole lot of resources, such as using shield parries and whatever... I've also used weapon switching in these encounters to mitigate item deterioration).

Even though I love Platinum and their systems and have a decent understanding of most of them, I didn't necessarily find the Zelda system boring in comparison because the feedback and creativity allowed was neat: the fun doesn't necessarily come from the combos or whatever (I think the most I can do is jump cancel the recovery of some animations, but I'm wondering if there's a way to keep the slow motion from flurry attacks to start something else)... it's mostly the setups, which are really varied whether you like stealth (my current favorite way of playing since gliding and climbing is fun) or just going in (bombs, time freeze, object manipulation, etc.).

As for the sense of reward... I dunno: those weapons you get from the shrines tend to last long enough assuming you're not constantly throwing it at low HP enemies or wasting it on high HP enemies when there are better options (if you're really not sure how to measure, there's actually spoiler[a piece of equipment that displays the HP in numbers]).

I guess you could argue that it diminishes the feeling of something "new" (but let's be real: a lot of the weapon variety is actually reskins and number values... I think there's actually only a few class of weapons when you break it down: spoiler[sword, long sword, projectile, Korok Leaf]), but a lot of my entertainment is actually coming from the item management and making sure that I'm using the right thing for the right situation (scale attack power as necessary with respect to the encounters I'm doing in order to not waste resources).

(plus I I think double/critcal damage from weapon break/throw is cool, so I throw all the weapons once it's at the end and I get a satisfying explosion, which actually seems to make enemies drop weapons a lot)

Overall, the durability system doesn't make me feel scared to push more buttons, which is why I like it, but you really do have to manage the inventory right...

The observation that encounters seem to be balanced around the weapons you can get off of enemies doesn't necessarily devalue the shrine weapons either since you will sometimes actually need all that power.

(in particular, this was pretty key to my 3 hearts no main missions blind run)
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leafy sea dragon



Joined: 27 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 1:41 pm Reply with quote
DKL wrote:
That said, I'm not sure how anyone can know anything about something as mechanically dense as Pokemon without going outside of the game for information (assuming you're playing at a higher level than simply doing the rock-paper-scissors meta with the AI), but you definitely don't need to look for a random system guide online in this game since they give you a fairly decent picture of what to expect lol


Actually, that's exactly what I do whenever a new main series Pokémon game comes out: I read up about the hidden mechanics, new mechanics, and such on sites like Serebii and Bulbapedia, if they're available, before I dive in. I don't like going into things unprepared. I always want to have a plan when I'm about to attempt something. My natural way of thinking has a flow chart structure.

Because of that, I play few open world games and enjoy even fewer of them, with sandbox games being the biggest turnoffs for me. If I were to play this, I'd wait until a comprehensive guide comes out so I can look for the optimal stuff to do next, decide the sequence of the next several things to do, and avoid anything that doesn't yield something of value. When I saw in this article that sometimes you'll have Link climb a mountain and there's nothing there, I thought, "Nope, this would be an immensely frustrating experience for me." And then I saw in this review that your progress is based on what you look for that's interesting, that's when I thought, "Nope, this entire game is not for me." (I have played the original NES Legend of Zelda. I can't stand it for more than 30 minutes.)

That doesn't mean that I just look up all the answers to something like Scribblenauts (well, the mission modes anyway--I don't play the sandbox modes except to test certain words or combinations of words) or Snipperclips, or consult a guide anytime I'd play a previous Zelda game and get to a dungeon. I don't like discovery, but I very much enjoy solving. I have books of brainteasers and I enjoy the stuff in the Professor Layton games.
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DKL



Joined: 08 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:03 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:


Actually, that's exactly what I do whenever a new main series Pokémon game comes out: I read up about the hidden mechanics, new mechanics, and such on sites like Serebii and Bulbapedia, if they're available, before I dive in. I don't like going into things unprepared. I always want to have a plan when I'm about to attempt something. My natural way of thinking has a flow chart structure.



Oh OK, I think I kinda get what you're getting at: it's like in a fighting game where you want all the tech to be listed in one place so that you're not groping around trying to find all the optimal crap.

(like... the system information is in this game, but it's distribution is mostly between the load screens and random stuff that NPCs say)

Not gonna lie: there's a lot of hidden stuff in Zelda and I went most of my initial run without getting at a lot of it (particularly the upgrades concerning inventory, which is the first thing I wanted, but the last thing I actually got... really had to budget my stuff for end game lol).

That said, the systems are definitely fun, but you do have a lot to take in... which I wasn't really expecting going in since I mostly thought that this was gonna be the same game as the last several games (which I did mostly like, but the series has mostly been QOL improvements as opposed to something actually fresh).

Even something like gliding on top of a random gust of wind from fire feels like something most people might miss out on given that it's not completely obvious that it's a mechanic in the game.
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leafy sea dragon



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:24 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, as I said, I can compeltely see why Breath of the Wild is so very well-liked, and if I played it, there'd probably be a lot of things I'd enjoy about it...but some of the things people are praising it for are things I wouldn't really like.

There was someone who watched me play Super Mario Sunshine, and she told me that I was going through it incredibly methodically. Now, I'm pretty sure most people will jump from between stages, complete the missions, find hidden areas, and grab the Shine Sprites as they'd go. What I did was complete all of the main missions for a stage in numerical order and getting the Blue Coins (needed a guide for the Blue Coins--but most people did) with the abilities Mario had at the time, and as soon as Mario got a new ability that'd help in a previous stage, I'd immediately go back there to complete it.

Say, how populated is Breath of the Wild? A gripe I had with Skyward Sword was that Skyloft was the only town in the game, and the characters on the surface, besides important characters like Ghirahim, and that Goron explorer, were just random lifeforms. I like sidequests NPCs give out, and due to that, Majora's Mask is my favorite Zelda game. I also really like games where NPCs are fleshed out and have their own lives, their own issues, and their own secrets. So I get drawn towards games with a lot of NPCs, more so if they at least say and do different things as you progress through the game.
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