Well, I suppose old habits die hard. I suppose these reviews are solely for the games that I can't help but rant about after I've played it now, rather than all games I've been playing. You've seen the reviews of Breath of the Wild. It's good. You know its good. If you're a Zelda fan, it'll be a treat. It's the first 3D Zelda I played upon release. It sold me the Switch, the first console I've ever bought on release. What else can I say about this game?
For starters, you know the general plotline of Zelda games. You're Link, you're out to save Zelda, fight an overarching enemy...yadda, yada, yadda. However, the game is by far the least linear Zelda in existence. You can literally run to the final boss minutes after the start of the game...and probably get your a** handed to you on a cooking pot. The world is huge. Everything you can see is approachable. Everything you do, you can do it your way. And as expansive as the world is, there are plenty to do and find in it. It's not an empty sandbox.
There is no partner for Link this time, just our favorite Hylian protagonist, alone, out to stave away the threat of Calamity Ganon from destroying the world. In a sense, I kind of missed having a partner, even Fi. But in those linear games, your partner was more of a handholding device at times than someone along for the ride during your journey. Perhaps this was for the best to ensure that your journey goes your way. You will meet a large cast of characters from the various tribes of the past Zelda game, some of which seem to place Breath of the Wild within the Windwaker set as we see Koroks and Ritos. But don't worry as Gorons, Sheikahs, Gerudos, and Zoras as well. For the most part, there are pretty interesting people to meet, but very few stick out and are memorable. But the few that are certainly do.
The story is fairly basic, but the more searching you do for Link's memories, the more in depth you can get. Voice Acting in english is hit or miss, but not too annoying. I wish there was more emphasis put on explaining Ganon in the base dungeons rather than having to dig a little in some dungeons for them. If you do not really go out of your way to look, he's just basically a purple fart cloud in the shape of Ganon who is so evil that he needs to be destroyed. Speaking of which, dungeons are littered across the land, though there are 4 main dungeons with a boss at the end. The smaller dungeons usually hold helpful equipment and things like hearts for your adventure, but they do not hold dungeon puzzle gear as you are given just about all of them fairly early. The dungeons range from incredibly easy to moderately challenging. None really felt unfair so that is a good thing. Overall, had fun searching around for them and trying to acquire everything. I still haven't but I hope to eventually get to that point.
The game has a lot of depth to it. You're not just using the Master Sword, Hylian Shield, and his signature tunic to save the world, in a manner similar to Windwaker, Link can utilize the weapons of enemies or ones bought in shop to fight the forces of evil. In fact, you're not even required to get the Master Sword and Hylian Shield in order to complete the game. I spent a fair amount of time playing around with the decently large set of weapons the game has to offer and even made repeated rebattles against the final boss using different weapons. Each weapon feels unique and I found myself enjoying playing around with the different weapons even after acquiring the Master Sword. However, the game has the issue of durability. Kinda like the durability system of the Fire Emblem franchise, every single weapon and shield has a set durability, breaking when over used. Even the Master Sword has a "durability", but thankfully this durability regenerates. Every other weapon on the other hand, once it breaks, you better start looking for a replacement asap. It was extremely annoying having to constantly go back and find the weapon again or go purchase the weapon I was enjoying using to wail on enemies because it broke. Honestly, while you can enchant your weapons to raise their durability, I wish there was a way to give weapons permanent durability. It makes the search for weapons and crafting it to suit your style much better. Overall though, by the end of the game, weapon durability is more of an annoyance, rather than a hinderance.
Link has so much customizable aspects as well, not just his weapons. His clothing can be changed to suit a task. Going to a cold place? Get yourself some warm gear. Enemies dealing a lot of damage? Get stronger armor. I'm happy that Link has this level of customizable, allowing me to wear whatever and look however I want to. Even crossdress. You can mount horses and other animals. Horses can be permanently saved, but others cannot. I particularly love riding bears, though I can always trust Epona who you can get if you have the Smash Link amiibo. Speaking of amiibo, if you have any, especially Zelda franchise ones, they can give you daily helpful stuff. Link can cook food at designated cooking pots, creating a good home cooked meal with helpful bonuses like temporary hearts, heat resist, and less damage taken. There are a lot of depth to this game, but not too much where you feel overwhelmed.
Nonny's Rating: 9/10. It's a step above all 3D Zeldas in nearly every aspect and near perfect in my opinion. My gripes about the lack of characterization of Link, largely unmemorable NPCs, and my occasional frustration with weapon degradation hold it back just a bit, but are not too annoying to make me lower my score even more.
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