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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii-U, Switch) 2017

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Looks like the video's gone. Dang...

Ah well. On a side note, looks like Breath of the Wild is going through a Pokemon fiasco now.

Nintendo needs to stop allowing pre-download's of their games. It keeps spoiling everything because to download something, there has to be content within TO download, and that's a big problem and an EASY target for hackers.

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1 hour ago, Chris Knopps said:

Nintendo needs to stop allowing pre-download's of their games. It keeps spoiling everything because to download something, there has to be content within TO download, and that's a big problem and an EASY target for hackers.

1

That's like saying any company anywhere should stop preloads. But it's better for their servers and the stress on them. And also better for consumers to y'know, actually play on day 1.

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3 minutes ago, Athena Cykes said:

That's like saying any company anywhere should stop preloads. But it's better for their servers and the stress on them. And also better for consumers to y'know, actually play on day 1.

They should really do something then to prevent anymore of this from happening, at least THIS EASILY and to this degree.

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6 hours ago, Chris Knopps said:

They should really do something then to prevent anymore of this from happening, at least THIS EASILY and to this degree.

It probably is related to just how easy it is to hack the Wii U. That's why Switch has cut back on some things like the internet browser. They're holding off on it so they can optimize it better to avoid letting the system get so easily hacked.

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2 hours ago, JaidynReiman said:

It probably is related to just how easy it is to hack the Wii U. That's why Switch has cut back on some things like the internet browser. They're holding off on it so they can optimize it better to avoid letting the system get so easily hacked.

I heard they almost lost the game back at... Wasn't it E3 where some guy got REAL close to stealing the demo of the game hosted at the time?

Yeah... I know it's a bum for hackers but for the peace of mind of the greater consumer base I really hope they keep the Switch locked up so tight a needle couldn't poke through.

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So uh... Polygon's preview for BotW leaked, and... It's, uh...

Quote

There’s a literal list of things in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild I’m not allowed to talk about yet, but right now, a week before launch and about 20 hours into the game, there are really only two things I feel I need to talk about. First, Breath of the Wild respects your intelligence as a player more than any Legend of Zelda game before it (with the possible exception of 2013’s 3DS release A Link Between Worlds).

And second? Breath of the Wild demands your respect. And if you forget that for longer than a few minutes it’ll remind you by knocking you flat on your ass.

A quick bit of housekeeping: these impressions are based on a lot of time with a final, retail version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch. This isn’t a review exactly — these thoughts aren’t final, as I’m not finished with the game. Nowhere close, in fact. But I have played enough to have some very strong opinions that are solidly formed, big surprises or changes of pace notwithstanding.

Lets get Breath of the Wild’s demand that you take it seriously out of the way first, in case you haven’t been following the interviews and narrative surrounding it in the last year or so. Breath of the Wild is, without question or debate, the hardest Zelda game of the last twenty years. In fact, as an “old” who literally grew up playing the original Zelda games on NES and SNES when they came out, I’d argue it’s the hardest Zelda game period. The first twenty minutes or so are pretty low key — you can kill the scrub bokoblins and other minor enemies you meet without much trouble using nothing more than a tree branch picked up off the ground. But once you leave the initial learning spaces and venture into more typical zones, you’re probably going to die.

BREATH OF THE WILD WILL KNOCK YOU FLAT ON YOUR ASS


And, like, you’re probably going to die a lot, honestly. Often without much warning. Or at least I did, and still do, if I’m not careful.

This is in large part because Breath of the Wild gates off areas of the world behind specific kinds of equipment less than any third-person Zelda game. The geographic options in front of me felt almost overwhelming right from the start, and that was just in the opening plateau that serves as the game’s tutorial space. Once you obtain a specific item that allows you to leave that plateau, Hyrule is your oyster. It just happens to be an oyster full of really angry monsters and ancient death machines that will murder you if they see you.

Often, the only indication Breath of the Wild might give that you are under-equipped for the space you’re in is an enemy taking you from, say, six hearts to a quarter of one in a single axe swipe or spear lunge (assuming, you know, they don’t just kill you outright). Or, like I said, they’ll just kill you with no real fanfare or warning, and the game will reload you fairly close to where you were, hopefully having learned an important lesson about Hyrule’s ecosystem and its desire for you not to exist in it.

Comparisons to games like Dark Souls are probably inevitable, but they’re not exactly fair. You don’t lose anything when you die, other than the time lost getting back to where you were. You do have to contend with equipment with a finite lifespan however, and resources will often be scarce unless you gather ingredients to make potions and meals. This is something I’ve typically avoided in open world action RPGs in the last several years — I find this kind of thing incredibly boring. But for whatever reason, cooking and mixing in Breath of the Wild feels a little more loose and a little more immediately rewarding, and, well, it’s an absolute necessity.

There’s a practical reason for this. While spaces in Breath of the Wild aren’t item gated exactly, aside from the aforementioned enemies that will smash you, they can be beyond your physical capabilities. While Link is physically capable — he can climb most walls and use a sort of hang glider, and he can swim right away, no items required — more strenuous activity depletes Link’s limited stamina bar. However, if you cook the right things together, you can create meals and elixirs that, say, refill your stamina completely, or even give you temporary extra stamina that might allow you to reach a spot you otherwise couldn’t.

Also if you don’t make meals that give you more than a heart or two back — or, eventually, that give you bonus temporary hearts — you’re not going to survive against more powerful common enemies you’ll find out in the world.

 

At first this all feels like a lot to keep track of and consider while playing a Zelda game, but it quickly became second nature for me. And it all ties into the first idea I talked about above, that Breath of the Wild feels like the first third-person, big budget Zelda game to eschew a meandering, elaborate, incredibly extended tutorial section. Breath of the Wild teaches you to play it, don’t get me wrong. The plateau you start on gives you the powers and abilities you’ll use for much of the game’s puzzle solving via shrines, and each shrine is a series of instructional scenarios for a particular ability. But you can also screw around and kill Bokoblins and climb and explore the area to your heart’s content if that’s what you want to do, and you could spend hours doing it before you left for the rest of Hyrule.

Put another way: as I was playing the first few hours of Breath of the Wild, I was capturing gameplay for Polygon’s coverage. At a certain point I considered restarting the game to get better footage. I considered restarting a Zelda game’s first hours without hating life. Breath of the Wild, in respecting your intelligence, also respects your time.

That respect radiates outward. The puzzle logic in Breath of the Wild feels legitimately logical, and smartly physics-based. There are optional shrines scattered throughout Hyrule that act as mini puzzle dungeons, and almost without exception, they’ve all been a lot of fun to figure out. After more than two dozen of them, Breath of the Wild also doesn’t seem out of ideas.

And so far, this is the thing I’m most struck by. Breath of the Wild has so far managed to integrate a steady stream of new ideas and twists on existing Zelda concepts, including weapon durability and variety. Example: boomerangs are now dual use tools that can be wielded as melee weapons or thrown in traditional Zelda fashion, but if you do the latter, you’ll need to be quick and catch it on the way back. Every weapon I’ve found so far is a finite tool as well, so I’ve learned not to get too attached.

But even with these and other, bigger changes, Breath of the Wild has never stopped feeling like a Zelda game — and what’s more, it seems poised to establish itself as the first current, vital feeling Zelda title in longer than I can remember.

You can read my final thoughts on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on March 2 at 3AM PT.

 

This game, man...

 

Edit: AND THERE'S GONNA BE A HARD MODE DLC RIGHT AFTER THIS WHAT

HOW

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7 hours ago, Chris Knopps said:

I heard they almost lost the game back at... Wasn't it E3 where some guy got REAL close to stealing the demo of the game hosted at the time?

Yeah... I know it's a bum for hackers but for the peace of mind of the greater consumer base I really hope they keep the Switch locked up so tight a needle couldn't poke through.

I think that was just wishful thinking. They didn't even come close.

 

FYI, guys. I'm hearing about another supposed spoiler posted on 4chan that Gameover Jesse is talking about Youtube. Dunno if it was linked it this thread. Don't care, frankly, I think its BS. I don't know the full thing, but I know the basics of that rumor, and... none of it makes sense and I doubt Nintendo would ever do something like that with a Zelda title. In the context of what we know, it doesn't make sense. So yeah, I'm not buying it, just letting you guys know it is there.

 

There have been some legit leaks coming out of review copies, though, but they don't tell us -that- much.

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I'd be more likely to believe Polygon on the difficulty of a game if the infamous DOOM video didn't exist. That said, I'm sure it's a step up from the other 3D titles with what we've seen from the Treehouse.

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Others seem to concur with the game being pretty difficult, for what it's worth.

Speaking of which, here's a Q&A with GameXplain's Andre. No story spoilers, but mechanics are fair game!

Spoiler

Love the way they handle enemies respawning; basically, every few hours from the sounds of it, there's a blood moon that resurrects enemies you've defeated.

 

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I picked up two of the BOW Amiibos in Walmart yesterday.  All the way to the front of the store, I was admiring the detail of the sculptures and the painting - these are really gorgeous figures!  And when I got to the register . . . I can't buy them because they aren't for sale yet.  I asked why they are on the shelf, priced ($3 more than the other figures) if they aren't available for sale, and then I asked why they were still doing this, because it's about the third time I've been caught out by this store.  I knew the Switch and games were proscribed until the 3rd, but why on earth can't I buy the Amiibos?  What can I do with them, other than admire them, before the game is released, that could possible harm anything?  And there were only two of each (horse and archer Links, didn't see the Zelda figure), so I get to just hope no one buys them before I get there Friday.

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C53DldNUYAAhEPh.jpg

Here's another photo of the Link designs, this time with a fourth image featuring Link in a spacesuit and...a Metroid?!

I'd love to see an alien invasion in a Zelda game someday, that'd definitely make for some unique new villains.

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Man, Biker Link has a really punchable face. Hopefully one day we get a game where we play Ganondorf and we get to punch Biker Link.

The alien stuff is cool. I wouldn't want a full Zelda game about an alien invasion, but an Easter Egg in BOTW would be cool.

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16 minutes ago, Marcello said:

Man, Biker Link has a really punchable face. Hopefully one day we get a game where we play Ganondorf and we get to punch Biker Link.

The alien stuff is cool. I wouldn't want a full Zelda game about an alien invasion, but an Easter Egg in BOTW would be cool.

Besides we already had that going on in Majora.  I'm not against the idea of them returning for round two of cow defence though :P

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I wouldn't mind an alien invasion as a fun DLC expansion, but not something as the core theme of a game.

 

Modern Zelda, I wouldn't mind a Zelda spinoff like that (not a main game). My #1 wish, though, would be for it to be more than just Link, Zelda, Impa, and Ganon(dorf) in that style, and include actual fan favorite returning characters as well.

Granted, I want fan favorite returning characters in any Zelda game... Hyrule Warriors is a nice start, at least.

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I feel like "modern Zelda" might be more difficult to realise than people necessarily think, but I definitely think it's doable - particularly if they approach it, as they would, from a more oblique direction than just transplanting an ordinary modern-day or cyberpunk city into a Zelda game.  Something like BotW taken to its logical conclusion, with a whole world built on Sheikah technology, would be quite intriguing, I think.

I could see them doing aliens in Zelda, too, though probably not at the same time as modern Zelda (...maybe space Zelda).  Mario & Luigi and Kid Icarus both managed to pull off an alien invasion plotline, so I'm sure Zelda could manage it and provide us with something suitably alien and unknown without it feeling inappropriate to the broader fantasy or quasi-fantasy aesthetic.

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Reviews are up!

Nintendo Everything  – “Thumbs Up”

IGN – 10/10

Gamespot – 10/10

Polygon – 10/10

Nintendo Life – 10/10

USGamer – 5/5

Videogamer.com – 9/10

Eurogamer – “Essential”

Gameinformer – 10/10

Venturebeat – 100/100

Nintendo Insider – 10/10

Gameblog.fr – 9/10

GameXplain – “Liked-a-lot”

 

Can it be March 3rd now?

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Wow, an average of 98/97 (Metacritic/OpenCritic)? I didn't expect it to review quite that well! I guess it's good that I'm getting a Switch in a couple of weeks then.

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