With 33 10/10 reviews and counting, Nintendo's launch title for the Nintendo Switch (also releasing tomorrow on Wii U with near identical content,
for those interested/curious,) is a legitimate contender for the always subjective and hotly debated "greatest game of all time" crown.
It is currently tied with the top five review averages of all time, with only Ocarina of Time - another Zelda game from 1998 - surpassing them.
Given that the love Nintendo once enjoyed has diminished considerably in recent years, and the fact that reviews cite framerate issues among its
(apparently few) flaws, those scores seem all the more impressive to me. As someone who has played video games for over 3 decades, I don't know if I
could call this game - which I have been following closely and seen hours of hands on footage of - MY "greatest game of all time," but I believe
given that it's releasing in a far more competitive market than its highly reviewed predecessor OoT did, and given that it doesn't benefit from the
2D to 3D revolution OoT did, it probably has to at least be in the discussion.
It's especially impressive to me that it seems to trade entirely on its mechanics and gameplay systems, and - aforementioned frame rate issue
notwithstanding - polish. Reviews are quite careful to point out that it isn't just an amazing game "by Zelda standards," but that it in many ways
sets a new bar for open world game design, to the extent that its quantity and pacing of content, as well as the ingenuity involved in its puzzle
designs (which seem to all be physics based,) seem to do something other open world titles haven't yet, at least at this level of execution.
I don't know if I agree with "Witcher 3 killer" claims. Witcher 3's narrative alone for me sets it head and shoulders above most modern open world
games I've played. But mechanically and in terms of sheer gameplay and fun, which are always Nintendo's strengths and underrated elements of game
design today imho... yeah, it has to at least be in the discussion.
Nintendo has a lot of issues and I have had a ton of criticism for them of late, despite still being a fan (I grew up with them and SEGA after all,)
but this is definitely a monumental achievement for them, no bones about it.
Just thought it might be nice to start a happy, positive discussion that has nothing to do with current global and domestic events for a change.
I was hyped to get it. But after the whole fiasco with the Nintendo Classic "supply" issue game that Nintendo played, as well as the BS availability
of some games only on the "New" 3DS, vs the old ( which could run the games no problem ), I'm sitting this game and the Switch out.
The game looks awesome, and I've played every Zelda game except for Majora's Mask, including buying multiple copies of several just to play them
It's also worth noting (just out of interesting-ness if nothing else,) that this is only the 9th major home console Zelda release in 30 years.
Sure there are spinoffs, and a plethora of handheld entries (some of them phenomenal imo,) as well as remasters. But as far as mainline Zelda games
go, it's not like they churn them out. There's typically one, maybe two, per system. And they are both consistently of high quality and acclaim, as
well as substantively different from entry to entry.
The Adventure of Link was nothing like the original Legend of Zelda. A Link To The Past was a massive improvement over TAoL across the board, and a
beloved classic on SNES. It wasn't until six years later that we got Ocarina of Time, which was completely revolutionary at the time.
Majora's Mask was their first attempt at reusing assets and trying to create a direct sequel to a Zelda game on the same system with the same
mechanics, but here the twist was a completely different tone and set of abilities, as well as the introduction of more fleshed out sidequests and (by
Nintendo's and 1990s standards at least) some degree of NPC character development and scripted scheduling. It also introduced this really novel idea
of everything resetting and having to affect the changes you could in the time you had, and only some being preserved. It was interesting.
Wind Waker was virtually nothing like OoT and MM, and featured an open world set at sea, as well as a completely new aesthetic for the industry at the
time (cell shaded "toon" graphics,) which was controversial among fans who wanted a more "realistic" looking Zelda adventure.
Perhaps in response to that, we got Twilight Princess, perhaps the only Zelda game in the series that felt like a bit of a re-tread to me. It was
clearly trying to trade heavily on Ocarina of Time nostalgia. But even here, there were some innovations in the form of Link becoming a wolf (though
some would say that's not altogether different from the masks in MM, and less varied - which... touche) and some interesting new mechanics. (And, imo,
some of the greatest level design I've ever seen in any game.) Perhaps most importantly, it introduced motion controls.
Skyward Sword is controversial and seen by some as the weakest link in the mainline console entries (despite earning a 93% average review rating,) but
featured greatly enhanced motion control via the Remote Plus, and being designed first and foremost from the ground up for that (unlike TP, which
offered them on Wii as an option, but started life as a Gamecube title,) allowed for some very interesting world and level design, and battle
mechanics. It introduced a stamina meter, something closer to real lore for the series (fleshed out by things like Hyrule Historia,) and was set in a
very different locale (the sky, obviously) for the most part. Not my favorite, but definitely felt, looked, and played different than its
And Breath of the Wild is the first truly open world game by Nintendo. It's easily the most ambitious software they've ever produced, and I think many
who see it as simply "Zelda in an open world" miss some of the stuff Nintendo has done with it.
By implementing physics into absolutely everything in the open world, yet not letting the emergent behavior that can arise from that detract from the
trademark Nintendo mechanical polish, they've given us a playground in which to experiment. By replacing the typical dungeon puzzles with physics
based obstacles having multiple feasible solutions, and making the major dungeons "open air" as they put it, they've made dungeon exploration and
solving feel fresh again.
By letting us do things like push boulders down hills, chop trees down that can then float in rivers and get carried away (with us on them if we can
manage it,) fly, start fires (which spread, and create updrafts to assist in the aforementioned flight,) etc. they've given us a lot more room to
simply play. And by making the game much more challenging (comparisons to Dark Souls are being made, just without the tedium thanks to a
generous save system that still doesn't allow save scumming,) while also allowing weapons to break (yet making them plentiful enough to never feel
totally empty handed,) they've created a real sense of survival and peril... that's somehow still fun instead of merely daunting.
Add to that the fact that there's zero loading except when you die, fast travel, or enter shrines (not dungeons and not buildings or towns,) and
consider the sheer size of the world (2.5 x that of Skyrim apparently - and brimming with content,) and you have a very special Zelda experience
Forgive my ebullience lol. Just been a while since a nostalgic Nintendo trip actually excited me this much. :p
You shouldn't. The only opinion you should listen to is your own. Reviews only exist to provide information. I ignore the scores generally. But it's
still rare for reviews for any game to be this universally borderline worshipful. When it happens to this degree and this universally, it's
usually something pretty special.
Of course, it's always subjective, as I said. Everyone has their own criteria for what constitutes a great game... or a great anything else, for that
matter. There have been countless games that got 90+ % aggregates, that just never clicked for me. Conversely, there have been games that get horrible
reviews that I just adore. (No Man's Sky for instance.)
By my standards, I'm not ready to call this "the greatest game of all time," and I'm not really a fan of numerical scores anyway. I think the reviews
are a bit hyperbolic personally.
But I feel fairly confident that it'll be one of the most memorable experiences I've personally ever played. And as such, it's nice to see a
console launch celebrated with a well received game like this. We'll see if I think it's my favorite Zelda (or more) or not.
I'm not going to get my hopes up. One good game exclusive to a console still don't have me sold on the switch. I will wait for more reviews and user
feedback before I even consider it, I would like to play a demo unit as well.
I'm much more excited about the game than the platform, myself.
61% of all reviews are 10/10 now, and the remaining 39% are 9 and up. Pretty remarkable imo. Subjective as always, and one won't always concur with
consensus of course, but to me, this means it's a watershed moment in gaming history that we don't see too often, regardless of the platform launch.
(Though I do hope it being on one of the poorest selling consoles in history + a new system people are tentative about doesn't = underwhelming
We played for about 2 hours, splitting our time between the quest and general exploration.
First impression (without giving anything away):
I think Nintendo did something very special here.
The visuals are as seen in the trailers but what the trailers don't convey is how immeditely you get submersed in the world.
And although we barely scratched the surface... The world "feels" HUGE.
There are a few new mechanics to the gameplay. None are bad. Most are welcome but a few I'm not sure about yet.
One thing that is welcome is that, unlike previous Zelda games where the "jumps" are automatic, as Link approaches a ledge, now there is a jump
button. I'ts come in handy thus far but I'm not sure how that will impact the overall experience.
I'll cut this post short here because I don't want to provide any spoilers that ruin any part of this game for anyone.
I'll just say again that Nintendo (I think) has done something remarkable and unique and wonderful here.
I forget the guy's name but this MIGHT be THE Zelda game the creator envisioned when he was exploring caves and the countryside as a kid and first
thought of Hyrule.
Once we all have a chance to get deeper into the game, I look forward to discussing it.
PS - GameStop has some Link posters they are giving out with purchase of the game. Make sure you ask for yours.
My son is psyched to hang it in his room.
Twilight Princess was the last Zelda I have played and I absolutely loved it. I remember playing the original Zelda when I was a kid when it was
first released. Gold cartridge and all. Played the next version and it was horrible. Then fast forward to Princess and I was blown away in the
I'm really tempted to get this new one but that means also shelling out for the U or Switch and I don't know if I can allow myself to pay around 360
bucks minimum to play a single game. Sure I can get others, but I'm really only interested in Zelda and that's it.
I would say, definitely don't do that, personally. The game is fantastic, but I'd wait until there are more games you know you want for any system
you're considering buying.
The good news is, with Wii U going out of production, soon it'll probably be rather cheap on ebay and elsewhere. Maybe wait a year, then grab a
refurbished Wii U for cheap. It was a very maligned system and sold poorly, but over the years it amassed a really great library of first party games.
I'd say this game is a pretty seminal moment in gaming, but still not worth buying a whole platform just for that.
Yeah, having been able to now spend several hours with it, my impressions are similar.
When they said during development that the world itself, and choosing how to go about getting from point A to point B was the challenge and the
adventure now... they meant it in the most literal sense people can imagine.
It's a slow, methodical exploration of a vast world, that peppers in new mechanics and discoveries seamlessly.
The world is intimidating because enemies are fast, clever, and devastating, and they don't take turns attacking. So making deliberate use of the more
complex (yet still utterly intuitive) control scheme and choosing what to do and when are essential to victory (and perfect timing confers
And a HUGE amount that you can do with the physics engine and Link's abilities is left for you to figure out, rather than being told. The way the game
teaches you how to play (and how to experiment) is elegant. Just deciding where to go, how to do so, and scrounging what you think you'll need to
succeed in it, really is an adventure in and of itself.
I don't know if I can agree with all the 10/10s, because it is not without its issues. Framerate drops never make it unplayable, but complex shadows
(window frames, trees, etc.) seem to set them off consistently. And though it's stylistically and aesthetically gorgeous, there are some muddy
textures, jagged shadows, and a lot of aliasing.
But it's definitely somewhere above a 9 for me. Where it lands depends on the rest of the game. It's definitely their most far reaching and
experimental game ever, but the truly genius thing about it to me, the part that shows Nintendo are unique and masters of their craft despite all
their blemishes... is that it somehow despite everything I just said... feels like a Legend of Zelda game.
All of the above and that final point in any other hands would probably be antithetical propositions. But somehow Nintendo has seamlessly blended it
all. I think that's what I find most impressive, honestly. It's a completely different game in every conceivable way, yet it still manages to infuse
the Zelda spirit into that.
Oh, the name of the series' creator you're thinking of is Shigeru Miyamoto, the same man who created Mario and Pikmin. His friend/protege/fellow Eiji
Aonuma has overseen the Zelda games for quite some time now, but I think the real creative and design force behind BotW this time around was Hidemaro
Fujibayashi, the game's director, and the technical wizards on his team.
He decided to create a 2D, top down (in the style of the original Legend of Zelda) prototype to experiment with the concepts of giving the world and
everything in it physics, weather that can interact with Link, wind that can blow objects and spread fires, etc. They did it first there, decided what
was fun, then brought that into the 3D world, then simply... well... set about experimenting to find "what was fun," as they put it lol.
Then they just iterated and iterated on those experiments until one day they had a game. Then they bug tested and polished that game for years.
Apparently the repeated delays had to do with the global physics engine, because things like it being harder to climb when it's raining or the way the
wind can create updrafts, are evidently not local to Link but global factors and would affect all sorts of things. And with a team of over 300
ballooning up around the project, sometimes one designer would do something that affected the entirety of the world, causing unpredictable outcomes.
They had to learn to make their inter-team communication more watertight at some point, Aonuma said.
Granted, global physics engines are standard fare now, but it's the particular way it's implemented here, and the fact that the design demands things
behave in a logical way that players can also manipulate, that makes it both special, and apparently, a development PITA for them lol. Because the
physics govern both the "living, breathing world" aspect of the game, but also the logical physics-based puzzles in the dungeons. Plus, the way they
develop games isn't, "Okay, here's the concept, now we execute it." It's, "Let's try something we haven't before, and experiment, then see what if
anything is fun about it." That's how all their games begin. For instance, Wave Race 64 had nothing to do with racing originally, it began as an
experiment with water.
But I do think you're right about this finally being the game Miyamoto envisioned 30+ years ago. Here's a nice little video encapsulating how the
series came to be, and to me this is why Nintendo - for all their flaws and issues - are indispensable to the industry. They still think like this.
edit on 3/4/2017 by AceWombat04 because: (no reason given)
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