I’ve been deep into Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for two weeks now… probably at least 50 hours of serious game play (and in fairness, I’m back and forth with Bomberman and The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+, so I could have dumped more time into it).
Now, I could give you the standard praises about the game.. Yes, it’s fucking awesome. Yes, the graphics are amazing. Yes, the open world concept makes the game play much more enjoyable.
Now that I’m gotten that out of the way.. There’s a bunch of underlying things which I definitely think are worth pointing out and need some praise to.
First, let’s talk about the music. One thing I see in a lot of reviews is a lack of discussion (and when it is due, appreciation) for the music in the game. And I think it’s well deserved here.
Overall, the music score is great. More so than not, I find myself muting the music after awhile in a game. You can definitely pick out moments in the music where you get this ‘I know where this is from’ moment (and I will touch on this next). I found that the music brought back a sense of nostalgia from my days of playing Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, or Ocarina of Time. The composers definitely did a good job at keeping the feel and spirit of Legend of Zelda in the music.
Now this brings me on to my next point. There are some areas where you can definitely tell it’s a play on music from Ocarina of Time or A Link to the Past (which, my far, are probably the two most iconic games in the series). While some newer players to the series won’t be able to pick up on this, it’s a nice homage to the games predecessors.
I’m pretty sure there is a soundtrack out there for the game. Definitely something worth picking up if you enjoy video game music (or even just classical/instrumental music).
Second, and this touches on a comment I made above – there are a lot of references, or mirroring to previous Legend of Zelda games.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love what they’ve done with this game. Calamity Ganon, an ancient evil returning to destroy Hyrule. Ganon being the classic villian for the series, but they have their own spin on it. The technological aspect to this game that really hasn’t been in any other one.. The Guardians and the Divine Beasts. I like this deviation from the ‘norm’ here.
But I really like the parallels in any areas to Ocarina of Time (the Deku Tree, for example and how they used that, with a twist), and the return of the Gorgon and other sub-species. The Lost Woods is a nice touch too, with how the Master Sword is in the stone similar to how you find it in A Link to the Past.
While the game really goes in it’s own direction, I like that it clearly draws inspiration from some of the other games in the series.
I definitely feel that older games (hell, I’m only 32… but you know what I mean) would appreciate this quite a bit.
The biggest thing, though, is the shift away from conventional Legend of Zelda gaming.
Now, there is an argument to be made on both sides here. Yes, games like Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past (even Link’s Awakening) had an open-world concept to them. At least in the sense that as you progress, you’re free to go where ever and do whatever you want.
Breath of the Wild definitely expanded on this. A lot. Not only can go go where ever (but if you aren’t prepared you’re going to have a can of whoop-ass opened on you by some Mobiln or something), but there are a lot of things to do beyond the main story campaign.
A lot of NPC’s you run into will give you side quests. You have the Korok Seeds to find.
Not to mention the ability to cook food and elixirs really add to the open world concept. You’re not just handed items or purchase them. But depending on the ingredients, no two pieces of food may be the same.
If I had to describe it in another way.. I’d have to say that Nintendo went one step under making this an MMO-style game. Almost all of the key components are there, except for large amounts of quests, weapon/armor crafting, and of course – multiplayer. Aside from that, it’s pretty damn close.
On a slightly different note…
I definitely see what people are talking about on the frame rate drop. For me.. this has only occurred when I play on the big screen. Though, I have been rocking the Switch on the handled almost the entire time. I have had no issues with frame rate while using the handheld device.
So.. I could give the game a score out of ten, or one hundred, or out of five stars. Sure. But that’s just normal. And well, I’m not for normal. At least most of the time.
All I’m going to say is.. if you’re on the fence about the game – check out some of the videos online. Make an informed decision. But, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. The game has a lot to offer a lot of different types of gamers. There’s always going to be the nay-sayers out there, or people who will bash it because they can.
But, in the end, I definitely recommend it! But I’ll let you be the judge!
For those who have the game.. what are your thoughts on it? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Let me know!