The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review

What do you think of when you hear the words, “Game of the Year”? I’d think for many, your immediate reaction is an eye roll because it seems to be thrown around so often through out the year. We play a game, think it’s fantastic as we play through it and start flirting with that term, sometimes before the year is even close to over. Many times rushing the gun with that verbiage. I try really hard to stay away from that phrase because, quite often, something else comes out later that has me saying Game of the Year all over again.

But today, I am going to go against myself. Im going to make the very early prediction. I think Breath of the Wild could easily be my Game of the Year. If this changes by years end, feel free to mock me for saying it. But after over 150 hours in the game and a nagging desire to go back to it no matter what I’m playing or doing, I’ll be shocked if anything else succeeds at what this new entry in the Zelda series has done for me. If you’ve played BOTW you most likely have an idea of why I would make such a prediction. But If not, bear with me as I write this review.


I’ve been playing Zelda for quite a few years now. Even though I had an NES in the days of The Legend of Zelda’s introduction into the world, I was too young to appreciate it. I wasn’t formally introduced to the series until my friend Nick (Who you all know as Bigfoot) borrowed Link’s Awakening for the Game Boy. I was fascinated with that game. I later convinced my parents to buy me a copy, and from that point I have been a fan. A HUGE fan. So naturally I was excited for BOTW. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a game blow my expectations away so much so as this game.


When I first popped the cartridge (I love being able to say that again) into my newly purchased Nintendo Switch it didn’t take long for me to climb to the highest point possible and just be blown away. To look out at a world that is so vast, and know I have so much to explore Was just an impressive feeling. Little did I know just how much exploring I was going to be doing. As of the writing of this article, 2 months after its release and 150+ hours in, I still feel like there is so much I’ve missed, and so much I want to see still. What a feat for any game. Normally if I havent finished a game by this point it has either been shelved, or I start looking at how to blow through the rest of the game. Not BOTW. I want to savor every precious moment.

In the early part of the game I was disappointed. I wanted more town exploration, more large scale dungeon exploration like in old Zelda titles. But after doing shrine after shrine, that feeling started to dissipate. I just wanted more. I wanted to discover that next shrine, Uncover more and more Korok’s, complete that set of armor, help my friend Hudson build his town. I couldn’t stop. And haven’t. With the expansion pack on the horizon, I won’t be completely done with Zelda for some time. And I couldn’t be happier.


The gameplay obviously kept me busy. I think it would be safe to say that everyone has their own favorite shrine, or favorite gear, or favorite divine beast. The best part of that being, they are all good, so it’s easy for everyone’s to possibly be different. The mechanics from using your paraglider to fly through the air to using your shield to surf down mountains, or using Magnesis to lift objects and throw them at enemies or Crystalis to walk across bodies of water, all this kept the game repeatedly fresh and intriguing. Not to mention the first time you encountered one of the Lynel’s or any of the other “Mini-bosses” scattered about the world. The world just had so much to offer, and so much reason to try it all out. THAT is how a game should be.


The graphics in the game look so crisp too. The cellshading looks so good that its easy to forget that it is even cell shaded. Taking time to look at the mountains, the fields, the lakes… it all just looks so real when you immerse yourself in the experience. It may not be as graphically complex as many of the AAA titles these days, but that doesn’t stop it from looking just as good. the music in the game is also very well done as it always is in Zelda. There are many memorable songs throughout the game. If I was to have one nitpicky complaint, it would be the lack of music as you are exploring. This is such a small thing to nitpick as there is some music there, I just found at times missing the constant music that you get in all the old Zelda titles. But really, with a game this fantastic, that isn’t a problem.


In conclusion, I’m going to be honest. I wanted to dislike this game. I wanted to be upset about the lack of “true” Zelda like dungeons, the fact that their are no classic items like the hookshot, or iron boots. But as I continued to play this masterpiece I realized, I didn’t even notice they weren’t there. Times have changed and BOTW Director Eiji Aonuma and his team, have done a beautiful job of changing with them. I can’t say that at some point, it wouldn’t be nice to see a return to the classic style of Zelda. But for now, I just look forward to playing more of Breath of the Wild, and seeing what this team as in store for us in the future.

Krispy
From as early as he can remember, Krispy has been a gamer. From the Super Mario Bros 3 on NES to Destiny on PS4 he has been running, jumping, and button smashing across worlds on most major consoles. A few of his favorite games are Super Metroid, Earthbound, and the Uncharted series.

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