Now I know what you are thinking…. 10 out of 10 right? Wrong!
After 100 hours it finally took me longer to get 100 hours (on the likely GOTY) than Disgaea 5 Complete which if you want to see that review, here you go: Click here!
I am already close to I believe 150 hours on Disgaea 5 surprisingly enough if anyone has any more questions about that feel free to ask 😀 But back to Zelda I actually took one single point off for a 9 out of 10. Not because of anything critical but because it is a game I don’t see myself playing again years from now which I will explain in the long review in the personal experience section if you want to read just that. Just so people aren’t confused this is just for the base game which is what I played until 100 hours since I am a firm believer that a game’s base is a true test of the game itself since DLC is exactly that, extra content that may or may not be obtainable years from now anyway. That is all for my short review so feel free to comment or downvote or upvote but before anything else please post how you feel about the game and where it stands in your top 5-10 Zelda games. I would likely rank at 5th or 6th (this may change with the DLC for the champions) onto the long review! Enjoy!
Short Overall History of the Series
This can go without mention but for anyone that I am sure hasn’t picked up Zelda or just doesn’t keep up with them. I won’t be going into any timelines just a general overlook btw. The Legend of Zelda is about a woman that travels the land gathering the pieces of the Triforce to defeat Ganondorf…. I see you typing with a fury but it is typically a story about Link, the Hero of Courage, that sets off on an adventure to defend the land of Hyrule from Ganon. A beast like monster that holds the Triforce of Power that comes in many forms but is most likely the final boss across all games even when the game seems to have nothing to do with him. The last piece of the Triforce belongs to Princess Zelda who holds the Triforce of Wisdom and is typically the overarching goal of “save the Princess” as well as defeat Ganon in most games. I believe that covers everything in a brief paragraph but to be fair it is a very complex story when you put the timeline along with the different forms of Zelda, Link and Ganon into the mix. Next section!
Breath of the Wild’s Story
This is where I have a hard time explaining the story since I believe the DLC for the champions will push this further and really explain things better but in the base game it is complicated due to being told in a series of flashbacks that could come in any order or not at all if depending on how you play. The land of Hyrule has always feared Ganon and the power he possesses so they build Guardians and Divine Beasts to defend the land which ultimately is their downfall when Ganon somehow is able to take them over but it just happens through corruption? (This is what I hope they better cover in the DLC) After sealing him away previously the guardians and the divine beasts are hidden and never used again until a prophecy tells them that Ganon will rise again. They uncover the guardians and the divine beasts to prepare for the day he comes back but falls when he is able to corrupt the divines beasts and the guardians ending with the death of the four champions. During this time Link helps Zelda to awaken her power of the Triforce but during the final battle is unable to unlock the power forcing Link to retreat as Zelda stays to hold Ganon off until Link is ready to try once again. Link has been put into a sleeping spell for the last 100 years so their last hope is preserved to one day rise again to defeat Ganon.
This is where the story begins and you control Link to relearn the basics. Link has suffered from amnesia, has to travel the land and defeat the four divines beasts to uncover his past if you wanted to. Now this is where Zelda Breath of the Wild can be interesting for some people and not interesting for others. I like the story but the story is not linear… it is possible to go right to Ganon and fight him. Defeat him and Hyrule is saved…. and you are done the game which according to speedruns as of 8/11/17 is around 1 hour long. For me this is great but the story in my opinion is very lacking… I like the in depth stories that Zelda series is known for. Personally my favorite is still Majora’s Mask which I would love to explain why but can’t since we aren’t talking about it 😦 BoTW still follows the boring method of story progression which doesn’t need to tell you anything unless you go do a bunch of side stuff or main quest stuff which I am not a fan of. I don’t mind being spoon fed a story since if the story is done well it shouldn’t matter to me.
Ah the part that you may think I will take a point off from but actually you are wrong again… I actually like the breaking mechanic and the almost infinite weapons that you can come across. The idea of breaking weapons isn’t new but a mechanic I loved in the Fire Emblem series that forced me to either stock pile on my favorites or learn how to use all the weapons. I know this is a topic that a lot of people are quick to attack but I never found it a problem due to how often I found camps and how easy it was to farm items in general. I never used the arrow trick but stock piled enough arrows just due to not using the bow unless I was trying to easily take out a camp from a distance. I personally have a love hate relationship with the bosses since some I found really easy but others I found difficult just because I didn’t have great items during the fight or the boss easily one shot me.
All the bosses were easy but the second form of Ganon and the Thunder boss. Those two really want you to play passively and watch what is going on or dodge or counter an attack which I never fully understood how to do. Reflecting came naturally to me but the timing on dodging to get the counter was always a weird combination that I still don’t fully understand how to use. I think the final boss took me twice or three times as long as most people since I heavily relied on the spells to either get a free attack off or wait until Mipha’s healing came back up to continue fighting. A little cheap but I beat the game so doesn’t really matter to me. I really didn’t care that much for the spells that you obtain from defeating the bosses mainly because I loved the dungeon beating and getting a new weapon. It was always a joy finishing a dungeon and using a brand new item which is lost in this game and it is a feature I really hope they don’t drop all together.
I don’t really have much else to say about the gameplay since it really is a play how you want style of game that I am not very fond of and it more so a play and you will understand if you like it or not style of playing. It is a lot like Skyrim and Fallout where if you like it you will like it and if you don’t you won’t like it.
Breath of the Wild is an amazing game that does have some flaws but overall people can look over it because it is “Zelda” but for me it isn’t a 10 out of 10 game and barely a 9 out of 10 game. I don’t see myself playing this game anytime soon which is sad to say but the truth. It is a game much like Skyrim and Fallout where I feel like it is a one trick pony and an experience that can never be replicated in numerous sessions from beginning to end. Breath of the Wild while an amazing game shares these experiences that the opening and mid game will feel like a slow drag and this is where the point gets taken off. Breath of the Wild is a slow and painful opening yet wonderful the first time you do it. It is nice to experience these things but ultimately I feel will become boring and drawn out much like people don’t enjoy the opening to Twilight Princess another game that I have never gone back to due to the opening overstaying its welcome.
I was the person that got in line at midnight to pick up my copy of Limited Edition of BoTW, ordered a signed version off eBay, and purchased a shield backpack from Thinkgeek. I love the Legend of Zelda series but for the most part it is a series I have no issues replaying and enjoying the story told multiple times over the years. Majora’s Mask being my favorite I’ve finished a number of times and even replayed the 3DS version while playing Breath of the Wild which to me shows that the game isn’t much fun after you are done the story. It was quickly replaced by Disgaea 5, a game that I had already finished and sunk hours into on the PS4 version, and barely touched between then ARMS and then Splatoon 2. I did enjoy my time playing Breath of the Wild and it would have been an easy 10 out of 10 if I didn’t sink more hours into the game. Games that in my opinion deserve a 10 out of 10 should have a lasting impact and want you to replay it multiple times even when the story is over or at least sink more hours into the game. Given that the last DLC pack will include more story elements I will likely pick up the game again but not because the game is amazing but because DLC will give me more information on the game that I want to know about.
Breath of the Wild ultimately for me will likely never be played again and sit on my shelf collecting dust much like my copies of Twilight Princess, Spirit Tracks, and Tri Force Heroes. All great games but games that will never be a 10 out of 10 in my eyes while games like Majora’s Mask, A Link to the Past, A Link Between Worlds, and Wind Waker will never see a layer of dust on top of their case unless they remake them in any sort of fashion much like my N64 version of MM has slowly collected some dust due to being on the eShop and the remake on the 3DS. Breath of the Wild will still stand as an amazing accomplishment from Nintendo as the pinnacle of Zelda games in a lot of people’s eyes this generation but when stacked against all the others it is a game that is pale in comparison to the adventures Link has endured in his time in Hyrule.
If anyone is curious about Breath of the Wild’s rankings on my list. I believe I said between 5th and 6th which would put it somewhere in the middle of the entire mainline series but to satisfy everyone here is my list:
1. Majora’s Mask
2. The combination of Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons (these games combined are the best handheld Zeldas ever created)
3. A Link Between Worlds
4. Wind Waker
5. A Link to the Past/Minish Cap
6. Ocarina of Time/Breath of the Wild/Link’s Awakening (Really split between these since they are all great but games I likely won’t go back to)
7. Skyward Sword (This would be higher if they remade with better controls)
8. Four Swords/Adventures (This would be higher if it didn’t require multiple players)
9. Twilight Princess
10. Phantom Hourglass
11. Legend of Zelda
12. Adventure of Link
13. Spirit Tracks
14. Tri Force Heroes
15. CD-I games lol
I personally was never fond of the original games but that is more likely due to not being at an age to fully understand them and not going to school at the time to share secrets with friends so not terrible games but not games I never really enjoyed. I only had my brother to help me finish the game and it was during the time I had a Sega Genesis and Sonic was just a better game to be playing during that time period.
And as always comment down below how you felt about the game, where does it stand on your rankings, and will you return to this game 5 or 10 years from now? Also if you would like anymore “long and short reviews” just post down below and once I hit that magically 100 hours I will post about it. I believe I am half way on Has Been Heroes and ARMS… sadly Splatoon 2 is only like 1/4 there but I believe Sonic Mania will likely be next to hit the 100 hour mark due to myself having about a week and a half before I have to go back to teaching kids and won’t have that much time anymore for games.