Today we're taking a look at the all new Nintendo Switch game - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Six years in development, does the new Zelda game deliver on what is one of the most anticipated games of 2017? Read on to find out.
Written by Joshua Condon
(Click any of the pictures below for a larger version)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a testament to the very first Zelda game, where exploration and discovery were the driving points of it. Breath of the Wild kicks out standard Zelda formula by giving barely any tutorial and letting you explore a vast open world, and allows you to find things out by yourself.
The story is something I was worried about as Open World games struggle with having decent stories, but this game does it right. Rather than having an objective and forgetting about it, it's up to you to find out what happened to the world and piece together the story as you explore, adding to the sense of discovery. I can confidently say that this is the best Zelda story.
The game play is also the best in the series. Outside of battle, you can literally climb every surface, except for dungeon and shrine walls as that would ruin the puzzles. The weather affects how you go about playing the game. If it's raining, everything is slippery, so it's harder to climb, but your footsteps are clouded by the rain so you can sneak up on enemies. If there's a thunderstorm, you will get struck by lightning, but if you throw something metallic at an enemy, they'll get struck by it. If it's too hot or too cold, you'll take damage unless you have the right clothing or cooked the right food. Cooking is extremely simple but so addicting to see what you can make. Simply put some ingredients in a fire and watch Link cook.
The actual battle mechanics are very simple but also complex. Every type of weapon (Swords, Spears, and heavy weapons) has a standard combo, but if you dodge an attack right before it hits, you slow time down and can do a flurry of attacks. If you put your shield up right before they hit you, you will parry and the enemy will be stunned. While this sounds really easy, this is really hard to pull off when your not used to looking for dodging attacks right before it hits. It takes a while to study the enemy and how they move, something that's really rewarding. The game is not easy, both in puzzle solving and combat. Out of the three main dungeons and 70 shrines I've done, very few have been super easy. Shrines are very useful as you get a Spirit Orb when you beat it, and getting 4 rewards you with either a Heart Container which extends your life, or a Stamina Vessel that increases your stamina. And your weapons break through extensive use, which adds a sense of strategy.
The game looks and sounds amazing. It really shows what Nintendos new console can do, although there's some frame drops when there's a lot going on. The sound is the best I've heard in a while, and I'm not just talking about that music. The sounds everything makes immerse you into the vast world. The way Links equipment hit his back. The way his feet slosh in the grass when it's raining, or hearing a far off Lightning strike. This world feels like the most alive world in any game I've played, and I love it.
This game has gotten so much praise, and it deserves all of it. It's nearly perfect, some might even argue it is perfect. It is one of the best games to come out in recent years. It's one of, if not the best Zelda game ever, and one of the best games of all time. I cannot recommend this game enough.
Today we have a special treat from Joshua who has a look at all of the great Nintendo stuff at WonderCon from last weekend.
Our resident Video Game Expert takes a look at two upcoming games as well as the panel for the all new "Hyrule Warriors" game.
Written by Joshua Condon
Star Fox Zero
I played for one reason and one reason only: to see how the controls work.
Let me start by saying that the graphics are amazing and the music and sound effects are also great. The voice acting is very well done and sounds like the classic Star Fox 64, which is what they were going for. The controls are...weird.
To start off with a small nitpick because I'm sure you can change it in the game, but the demo didn't have inverted flight controls for the Arwing, so up was up and down was down. It took some getting used to honestly and when I did get used to it, I was done with the level I did, which was Corneria.
And now for the actual controls. You move the Arwing with the left control stick, and aim your shots by using the gyroscope on the Gamepad. You also shoot with the ZR button, re position the aiming with Y, and oddly enough, do all the acrobatics with the right stick.
So for example, to do a Barrel Roll, you have to tap it left or right twice. The controls are very awkward honestly and it'll take a lot to get used to if I get the game.
Metroid Prime Federation Force
Before I played it I was not looking forward to it. From what Nintendo had shown beforehand, it didn't look like Metroid and it just didn't look interesting. I played an entire mission and I have to say, I had a lot of fun with it. It really felt like a Metroid Prime game.
The controls were extremely easy to get into if you've ever played a Prime game, and there was the key point of Metroid: Exploration. There were very few enemies from what I could see in the mission I played, and it was awesome.
(Editors Note: I hadn't played any of the Metroid Prime games but did do the demo and within a few minutes I was able to pick up the controls fairly easily)
Before the mission, I equipped modules of sorts for Super Missiles and a Fire Shot thing because the level was ice. So I did a lot of damage to the second boss in it. The first boss took a while which I was fine with because it was very involving and then I started using charge shots and it became way quicker. Also, there's two stages of the charge shot and the fully charged seems to always do 200 damage because it shows the amount of damage you do.
All in all, I really enjoyed the demo of it and I can't actually wait for it to come out now. Also, I didn't play the multiplayer, I played the single player. This just shows to not judge a game before you play it.
The highlight of WonderCon for me was the Nintendo panel where the Producer and director of the game that came out a day before that, Hyrule Warriors Legends, would be talking about the game. This made me extremely excited as I'm a huge fan of Zelda and really enjoyed Hyrule Warriors.
In the Panel, they started off with some concept art of Link to make him look more like a character from Dynasty Warriors with a mix of the classic Green Tunic from the Zelda franchise. It's always interesting to see how different developers put their own spin on a character that is very well known, but also staying true to the characters roots.
They then went into the new character Linkle and how she was thought of. There was this one piece of concept art in the Japanese art book that showed a female Link and people got really excited about that, so they made her a character. I think Linkle is really cool from her story which I won't spoil because the character isn't even a week old. Her weapons are Crossbows which were based off of Links Crossbow Training, a game that was basically a tech demo for the Wii Zapper, but the Wii Zapper in and of itself didn't really have many other games. She's very acrobatic with them and her attacks cover a lot of range. She's very fun to play as.
Next they went into new character Skull Kid, Toon Link, Tetra, and King Daphnes aka King of Red Lions. The first being from Zelda: Majora's Mask and the last three being from Wind Waker. They detailed the weapons each use and just from what weapon they use I could tell that these characters had a lot of time and effort into them.
Finally they announced another new character Medli, also from Wind Waker, as a playable character. She was announced a little earlier but that still doesn't change the fact that she looks really cool. They stated that Medli is free DLC which is always nice.
Which led into the announcement that the next few DLC packs will be focusing on handheld Zelda games, like Links Awakening and Link Between Worlds for example. This made me super excited because I love the handheld games just as much as the ones on home consoles. After that, they announced that the character Marin from Links Awakening will also be playable in the game. Even though there wasn't any gameplay shown because it's still early in development for her, I'm always happy to see Links Awakening get some love because it's one that was overlooked because it was between Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time games and those games are fantastic in their own right and considered the best Zelda games.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Panel. The people in the Panel had fun with it, which in terms of games, nobody does that like Nintendo. If it was Sony or Microsoft, sure there would be a few jokes, but the tone would be more serious. Which is one big reason why I love Nintendo and their series, especially Zelda.
Thanks again to Josh for taking the time out of his "busy" Spring Break to write about his experiences at WonderCon. We'll have much more from WonderCon next week.