This Christmas, I received a physical copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild from Conklederp's parents (for future reference, we'll refer to them as BikeLaws, and RangerBike, which is what their names are in my phone and makes sense if you know them). I told myself that I would just start the game up to see what the intro was like as I am still working my way through DOOM and did not want to start a game that I know I would easily lose myself in. That plan failed shortly after I put the cartridge in the Switch and selected the game.
Dr. Potts' First Impression's article from April is pretty accurate from what I have been able to explore so far. I recently received the para-glider, I have four hearts, and two additional spirit orbs, so those familiar with the game will have some idea of how far I have have not yet gone. And I fully plan on increasing my stamina after I collect the next two orbs because there have just been too many instances where I just missed being able to reach a ledge or reach an island via para-glider due to my stamina running out. It is a bit frustrating, but still a lot of fun.
Presently, I agree with Dr. Potts' sentiment that I too do not mind at how seemingly empty the world is, although it really isn't. While there are not as many monsters as you might have found wandering from screen to screen in the original Legend of Zelda, the world is populated by various wild animals. Herons peck the ground off in the distance and take flight at your approach. Frogs hop through shallow ponds to get out of your way. Link can be swarmed by bees after knocking a hive out of a tree. On approach to a village, I came across a trader who was also walking along the roads. One of my few critiques at the moment, is that the map, or at leas the areas that I have explored, are too mountainous; or maybe I just find myself climbing mountains because it is a damn gorgeous view.
Leading up to last week, I could kind of understand all the hubbub about Breath of the Wild and how it was touted as being this great game, and even why it won Game of the Year at the 2017 Game Awards. But only after immersing myself in this new and massive re-imagining of Hyrule have I fully understood the why portion.
There is a lot to this game, and even more that I have yet to experience and further unpack. I like the weapon durability mechanic, something that as far as I know has never been present in a Legend of Zelda game before. I like the explanation for the not-at-all-different "Go Rescue Princess Zelda" formula that you are introduced with early on in the game. And I even captured a video (damn the Switch's video capture tool is awesome) that for the first time ever, I felt like a complete bad ass playing a Legend of Zelda game. Sure the end of Wind-Waker was a bit of a "Holy DAMN!" moment, but you almost expect that to happen during a boss fight, this was during a run of the mill encounter with some Bokoblins. Total. Bad ass*.
And that is where I want to leave it. I do not know how much time I have put into the game yet as the Switch will not tell me (only that I started playing in on December 25th), but I would hard pressed to believe if it were fewer that 15 hours already, and I am looking forward to the next 200+.
So thank you, thank you, thank you, to BikeLaws and RangerBike!!
*P.S. I will upload the video here after I figure out how to that; or pull it from facebook and upload it to Youtube.
P.P.S. I also wanted to mention that so far the music, when it is present, I very much enjoy. There are times during overworld exploration that only a few flickers of the piano are heard, but I find that to be not uncommon with openworld games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim where what music is present is there for atmosphere and intermixed with ambient noises from the environment, which I do appreciate.