General Impressions

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#101 Posted by BigBlueCheese (81 posts) -

Really want to play this but I'd rather put the money for the switch towards a new TV. But I might change my mind later. Panasonic plasmas are still good.

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#102 Edited by spraynardtatum (4368 posts) -

I'm going to do everything in this game.

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#103 Edited by WynnDuffy (1012 posts) -

This might be one of my favourite games of all time. It's just a joy to play, it has some of my favourite aspects of Monster Hunter and other open world games with Zelda flavouring on top.

I continue to be impressed by the dialog, I especially liked doing the ingredient quests for the child in Kakariko.

Today I felt like I had done a lot of shrines, then I noticed that on the loading screen I've in fact only done 18 and there's like...100! I didn't expect I would enjoy the shrines so much, it really is like having some Portal in my Zelda.

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#104 Posted by BojackHorseman (691 posts) -

It does certainly have its issues such as the frame rate and the items breaking so easy, so early on is a little frustrating but that's part of why I bring up Studio Ghibli. Their films are incredible but often have some flaw but it's usually not enough to really ding the rest of the film for.

Off-topic, but I recently watched Princess Mononoke, and I freaking loved the first two acts. The third act however did kind of feel like a superhero movie, where everything got a little over the top. Also, the ending felt a bit too fast. Loved the art and character design though, especially on the protagonist.

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#105 Edited by WynnDuffy (1012 posts) -
@bigbluecheese said:

Really want to play this but I'd rather put the money for the switch towards a new TV. But I might change my mind later. Panasonic plasmas are still good.

I have a Panasonic too, the noise is a little annoying but I don't want to do a resolution upgrade to a 4k LCD when I could wait a little longer for OLED! Black levels are too important.

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#106 Posted by BigBlueCheese (81 posts) -

@wynnduffy: You mean picture noise? If you're talking about audible noise, on a bright scene I can hear a low volume whining from the back of my set. But only noticeable if there is absolutely no sound playing.

With other companies making OLEDs this year it should be a better/cheaper time to buy them (hopefully).

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#107 Posted by WynnDuffy (1012 posts) -

@wynnduffy: You mean picture noise? If you're talking about audible noise, on a bright scene I can hear a low volume whining from the back of my set. But only noticeable if there is absolutely no sound playing.

With other companies making OLEDs this year it should be a better/cheaper time to buy them (hopefully).

Yep picture noise, it's usually not noticeable but there are some situations where it becomes apparent. I heard Jeff and Will talk about it on the podcast, it's there to reduce the chance of burn-in/retention which I didn't actually know about. My TV is actually really quiet but it does have a quiet fan at the top somewhere I think.

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#108 Edited by BigBlueCheese (81 posts) -

I said screw it and just just picked up a refurbished wii u from nintendo. Looking forward to playing zelda, bayonetta 2, galaxy and other titles. Especially looking forward to bayonetta 2 since stumbling across giantbomb's videos on it on youtube.

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#109 Posted by BisonHero (10496 posts) -

I'm honestly sort of surprised that playtesting didn't pick up the issue of "rate of decent weapon accrual > rate of encountering even remotely tough/tanky enemies."

Jeff really harps on how he hates dealing with bokoblin camps because all of his weapons are decent and he doesn't want to waste durability just to kill them, waste a weapon, and then pick up a strictly worse boko club. This seems like it could've been alleviated if more mini bosses with a bunch of HP appeared out of nowhere and caused you to use some better weapons, but instead you spend like all of your first 10-15 hours with the game just fighting hundreds of bokoblins, blue bokoblins, moblins, and stal skeleton dudes, all of which have quite low HP and could be easily dispatched with a traveler's sword/spear. The game has some minibosses in the overworld, but it could use more. Something like a Dark Souls Black Knight equivalent, that's dangerous enough you feel obligated to use a better weapon on it. It just seems like such an easy fix instead of populating the overworld with sooooo many low health minions with bad weapons.

Other than that, I'll say I'm having a great time with the game so far, and Jeff's complaints about upkeep/maintenance with having to get certain buffs from cooking, disliking the stamina/climbing, etc. are falling on deaf ears for myself because those systems seem fine.

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#110 Posted by Kidavenger (4168 posts) -

I've only played for about 2 hours now, but I'm extremely underwhelmed, playing this straight off of finishing Horizon may have been a big mistake.

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#111 Posted by Capum15 (5694 posts) -

@bisonhero: Hmm, this ended up being more than I originally thought to type, but it consists of my general experience with the game so far regarding the enemies and weapon drops.

That's a true point for the first hours with the game, but it feels like it ramps it up over time. It seems like I'm constantly fighting blue ranks now rather than the chumpy red guys, though they aren't much stronger, and I'm getting much more black rank appearances along with them. The black rank dudes are tanks and I tend to avoid them if I can (firing an explosive arrow into a skull nest only to see 5-6 healthbars with only slight damage come sprinting out on fire was, frankly, fucking terrifying, but through tenacity, and many more explosions, I managed a victory). I've only occasionally seen white rank dudes, but the few archers I've passed seem to have some fucking mind-reading powers or modern weapons tracking systems on their bows, because I'm not sure if they've ever missed me.

There are quite a few mini-bosses in the world, but I don't think any of them "roam", so it probably seems like there's less than there are. The massive size of the world also probably contributes to that. I farm one of the types for stuff to sell, and I end up killing like 10-15+ of them per cycle, and I think there are four more types (not inluding sub-types) of mini bosses around.

Also I just learned today that Combat Shrines respawn with each blood moon, apparently. So I know what I'm farming the next time I play.

As for the weapon thing, most camps or groups of enemies are now dropping both 1h and 2h clubs that tend to match or occasionally exceed the damage my current set of weapons do, as well as pretty strong shields. Another enemy that's fairly constantly appearing are basically bow-pinatas that drop Duplex bows and I love it every time they show up. Easy money and a nice bow for almost no work. My basic load out consists roughly of a few specialized weapons (tending to be elemental, buffed or unique stuff), some good Boko clubs, and then utility (some kind of axe, sledgehammer - though the 2h club also works, leaf).

However, I will say this is many hours into the game. There were definitely trash weapons from Bokos and Moblins for a good while at the start, but even then I would find enough stuff in chests or shrines that it never truly mattered to me. But I could definitely see how it would matter for others.

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#112 Edited by Dan_CiTi (4578 posts) -

Hey this is a bit of a spoiler and I don't want specifics but I need to know before I invest too much into Hearts vs. Stamina vessels. I found the Master Sword a little bit ago and I wasn't quite strong enough to lift it out of it stone. I tried upgrading my hearts a couple times as well as getting two from two of the "dungeons" and I'm still not quite there. I have to ask, do I need to upgrade my hearts for this or do I have to pass some threshold in the story? I've also noticed characters reacting to me not having it (maybe having it would change that dialogue?), as well as picking up a sidequest related to it. Wondering cos I'm sitting on like 6 spirit orbs atm wondering if I should bother with hearts anymore.

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#113 Posted by Efesell (2343 posts) -

@dan_citi said:

Hey this is a bit of a spoiler and I don't want specifics but I need to know before I invest too much into Hearts vs. Stamina vessels. I found the Master Sword a little bit ago and I wasn't quite strong enough to lift it out of it stone. I tried upgrading my hearts a couple times as well as getting two from two of the "dungeons" and I'm still not quite there. I have to ask, do I need to upgrade my hearts for this or do I have to pass some threshold in the story? I've also noticed characters reacting to me not having it (maybe having it would change that dialogue?), as well as picking up a sidequest related to it. Wondering cos I'm sitting on like 6 spirit orbs atm wondering if I should bother with hearts anymore.

Hearts, not progress.

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#114 Posted by Justin258 (14373 posts) -

@dan_citi said:

Hey this is a bit of a spoiler and I don't want specifics but I need to know before I invest too much into Hearts vs. Stamina vessels. I found the Master Sword a little bit ago and I wasn't quite strong enough to lift it out of it stone. I tried upgrading my hearts a couple times as well as getting two from two of the "dungeons" and I'm still not quite there. I have to ask, do I need to upgrade my hearts for this or do I have to pass some threshold in the story? I've also noticed characters reacting to me not having it (maybe having it would change that dialogue?), as well as picking up a sidequest related to it. Wondering cos I'm sitting on like 6 spirit orbs atm wondering if I should bother with hearts anymore.

You need thirteen hearts to pull out the Master Sword. As soon as I found it, I focused totally on hearts, did nothing else, and was able to pull it out with a quarter heart left at thirteen hearts. Temporary hearts do not count, so put away thoughts of just cooking up some Hearty Durians.

I actually think this is something people should know. It's a Zelda game, so this isn't really a huge spoiler and it would suck to get to that part after putting most of your points into stamina. I would strongly suggest going all hearts until you get the Master Sword and just pause the game and eat some stamina-refilling elixirs or meals or whatever if you really need your stamina back - there is no point at which the game prevents you from doing that so all this talk of "go stamina first!" is kinda crazy with or without the Master Sword.

I've only played for about 2 hours now, but I'm extremely underwhelmed, playing this straight off of finishing Horizon may have been a big mistake.

My brother bought a copy of Horizon and borrowed my PS4 to play it, so I'm going to get to play that game at some point this year but I'm definitely going to space these two out for precisely that reason. Also I just don't want to play two open world games in a row.

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#115 Posted by Quantris (886 posts) -

@justin258: There's a way to trade stamina for hearts & vice-versa (for a small fee) so you wouldn't get totally stuck. I guess it is a bit missable but there's an NPC early in the main story path that points you at it.

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#116 Posted by Capum15 (5694 posts) -

@justin258: @quantris: Yep, you can swap for, I believe, 20 Rupees. I completely missed it initially and only found that out on a forum or something. I had put an entire bar into Stamina by the time I found the Master Sword and forest, so it was very helpful. I've been thinking about dumping a third bar into Stamina just because I really don't need the hearts. I think you can only have thirty total, even with temp hearts? So all my +20 heart meals are half wasted.

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#117 Edited by BisonHero (10496 posts) -

@capum15: Yeah, it's honestly kind of crazy how trivial it is to cook things that are either literally a max heal, or just heal such an absurd quantity of hearts that you may never bother to have even later in the game.

The danger still exists from certain enemies that can one-shot your entire health bar, but anything that deals partial damage pretty much elicits a "pffffft, whatever, lemme dig into my embarrassingly large quantity of healing meals" from me.

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#118 Posted by Capum15 (5694 posts) -

@bisonhero: I'm probably going to go for more stamina rather than more hearts now because all my "bonus heart" food is giving 20/21 right now (and subsequently being wasted due to the health limit) on top of full heals, it's pretty ridiculous. Not to mention all the other misc. buffs I have (good tip: 5 bananas). There's really not much that frightens me anymore, enemy-wise. Only in a more "do I want to use durability on this right now?" way.

Still, it did take a bit of work to get to this, considering how you start out.

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#119 Posted by jediknight00719 (199 posts) -

One thing i really wanted to talk about is how much it draws inspiration from other games. I think the Giantbomb crew touched upon this but it really made me realize how dominant the western game development scene has been in the past 10-20 years. You can see inspiration from Elder Scrolls games (and other open world games), Portal (all the shrine puzzles) and minecraft to name a few. While they may not admit it, its clear a lot of japanese developers have played a lot of western games and are clearly inspired from it.

I know its small but its something i keep thinking about when playing BOTW. I keep thinking Nintendo is a company that doesn't listen to the outside world, just does its own thing. Reminds me how globally connected we are through games and game design.

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#120 Posted by spraynardtatum (4368 posts) -

This game came at the right time for me. I'm going through a really tough time and Zelda is that feel good game that is also fucking fantastic. It is sort of perfect in my eyes and will always make me think of my dog that just passed away.

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#121 Posted by TheWildCard (327 posts) -

I've put in about 15-20 hours at this point. In short I'm enjoying it, although I do wonder how much it can sustain my interest for a whole 80+ hours. Because while there are lots of interesting things to investigate, the reward for doing so often isn't terribly worthwhile. Yeah the journey is the reward and so forth, but I'm already find myself less enthused about investigating every corner. I have a bunch of common criticisms (like the inventory management) but I'm still sorting how problematic they are vs. just being nitpicky after hearing "masterpiece" being thrown around.

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#122 Edited by GrayFoxbr (142 posts) -

After something like 90+ hours I have finally finished the main story. I don't know how it's possible but my WiiU Pro Controller still has some charge left. That controller is pretty awesome. One freaking charge lasting for 90 hours.

Speaking of the game, it's easily on my top 3 games of all time. This is truly a masterpiece. Breath of the Wild is a game that invites hyperbole with it's scale, incredible world building, physics based puzzles , combat, art direction, etc. It's just amazing how Nintendo managed to create this unguided open world adventure and yet the game has this "invisible hand" that just nudges you towards interesting things on the game. It's subtle yet highly effective and I think the main reason it works is the care put into building this world. Everywhere you look there is an beautiful vista claiming for your attention, an interesting spot to visit, a mountain to climb, a shrine to visit. Amazingly the world does not feel crowded and even the empty spaces of this games are filled with stuff to do: mushrooms to scavenge, animals to hunt, korok puzzles and more. I also love how they did the map. Open world game...towers...wait! I think I know where this is going... but no! You climb a tower to activate it and the only thing it does is revealing the map, no icons just the terrain details. That's the way the game tells you: GO! Decide where you want to go, look at something, think it's cool? Go there, we will not mark you map with a checklist of stuff to do, you select what you want to do.By the way you can climb almost any surface in this game. Have fun.

Overall my strongest impression was how cohesive the world/game turned out to be. There is as set of rules and basic laws of physics in the game that creates endless interactions and really promotes emergent gameplay. Nintendo nailed this part of the game.

I can't wait to see what Nintendo does in the future with this formula.

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#123 Posted by BigBlueCheese (81 posts) -

Recently picked up a Wii U and Zelda and enjoying the few hours I played of it so far. The game looked a bit washed out but changing the "dark" setting on my TV seems to make it look better. I think the only thing that's taking away from my enjoyment of the game is playing on the game pad. Any recommendations on a third party pro controller? 40 dollars for the official controller seems a bit steep.

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#124 Posted by Cerberus3Dog (785 posts) -

@spraynardtatum: My condolences for your loss. Zelda is definitely a great game to get lost in. I'm finished with the game and everyday I go back simply to be in the world.

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#125 Edited by Seikenfreak (978 posts) -

Guess I'm due for a little mental word dump.

Been playing Zelda for the past week on my Wii-U. Ive done about 40 shrines? Finished one of the dungeons. Generally explored about half the map. There's a lot of interesting discussion to have about this game so I don't even know where to start or how to restrain myself from writing a big rant.

  • I went straight from 50 hours on Horizon: Zero Dawn and getting the Platinum Trophy (only my third), then into Zelda. I really liked Horizon. I'm very curious about how Horizon and Zelda inter-mingle in someones head and how it affects their process/opinion. Similar to Jeff, I really liked Horizon, and then going into Zelda I can't help but compare it and feel like Zelda falls short in a number of very obvious areas. Where as, I'm hearing about a lot of people who LOVE Zelda, seemed to have skipped over Horizon for whatever reason. Just timing or whatever. I'm assuming these people will then feel like Horizon is a bit meh once they get around to it. Hard to explain the nuances here. I just expect a divide between these in Game of the Year discussions.. and its going to be people who play Horizon first vs people who played Zelda first lol Something like that.
  • Why is the framerate sooo bad?! ;_; Why can't Nintendo just make a console with proper "standard", up-to-date hardware? And if not, why didn't they just optimize the damn thing for ONE console? Going from Horizon, which is probably the most impressive design/visuals for terrain and creatures I have ever seen and running at a rock solid 30 FPS at "4K" on my Pro.. To Zelda which looks roughly like a Wii game? Looks like Skyward Sword from my memory.. Which was decent 10 years ago. Regardless, I'm not saying Zelda has bad visual design.. I just don't understand how Nintendo can make something that looks average (don't take it personally) AND has the performance of something like an un-optimized C-tier third-party game. If it just ran smoothly, it'd be easier for me to swallow. And I think as one of the guys mentioned, the whole thing about looking in the distance, marking stuff, exploring this vast world.. you need a game with some solid LOD for that.. As is, I can scope out the land from a tower but can hardly see crap except only the most significant structures.. or even stuff that is a short distance away when I'm running around or looking down a hill.. monsters won't load in etc. Can't help but think "Oh man the HD remaster of this game on whatever future system is going to be THE version to play.."

Other random complaints

  • The inventory management is pretty bad. Would've been decent with the Wii-U pad.
  • Voice acting is bad. Why can't I use JP voice over? Why do certain important scenes have voice over (memories for example) but an important scene after a boss fight with a key character and a bunch of dialogue (and that character has voice over in other scenes) do not have VO?
  • Why are weapons all so weak in terms of durability? I think they should've tweaked this so that you could carry less weapons but they lasted longer? Feels like I'm playing Pokemon with swords I guess.. Spending as much time scrolling through my weapon list as I am actually fighting. Give me a way to craft/repair my own stuff. And why can't I craft arrows? They should've had more crafting stuff to make new things (armor, weapons, tools, special bombs etc) and less inventory/health maintenance.
  • I think they fell short in the music department. Not really getting any memorable audio from this one.
  • The cooking system.. eh. I probably would've ditched the healing aspect of it and just left it for buffs, which still would've been useful, but I didn't have to stand there and arbitrarily cook a bunch of random junk just to get some basic healing stuff. And it kinda lets you cheese through a lot of stuff because you can just keep healing yourself over and over in a fight as long as you've created the meals. Also the lack of a recipe book (at least so far.)
  • Why can't I rebind the controls?! Ugh friggin Nintendo man.. the bubble boy of game companies. I bought Mario Kart 8 played it for 5 mins, couldn't rebind the controls or whatever and, just on the principal of it, said F this.. wtf is wrong with Nintendo.. And didn't play it anymore.

All that being said, I still am playing the game a bunch. It's my #2 game this year so far. 14 hours straight on my last day off. Probably the same thing tomorrow. I'm progressing and I guess I feel engaged.. but I don't feel super enthusiastic about the whole thing? I'm enjoying it.. but not having like a deep experience thats going to echo in my memory like it did with Ocarina of Time or something. Horizon like.. sucked me in. I wanted to keep exploring, see how the story played out, improve my gear/character, get better at combat etc. At some point I thought "I wonder if the Platinum is bs to get.. maybe I'll try and do that.." because I wanted to just BE in that world. Zelda is like.. Oh there are 10 billion things to do in this.. There is no way I can see them all and it doesn't exactly seem to matter if I do.. So I'll just wander around the world and do whatever and maybe I'll finish the game or I'll just get bored of looking for shrines and maybe I won't "finish" the game.

I find myself missing that "traditional" Zelda process. Those famous items and character improvements. It's making me want to look at the previous 3D games again.. I never did really play the 3DS Ocarina of Time copy I have (passionately loved OoT on N64, my top Zelda game).. I never opened my copy of Wind Waker HD (I liked Wind Waker).. I could go pick up Twilight Princess HD (I liked Twilight Princess).. Skyward Sword was interesting (I liked Skyward Sword).. So yea, It's this weird feeling I have. Playing Breath of the Wild is making me want to go back and try out that old game loop of theirs and I've never had that feeling before. I guess as Jeff has said, its like this doesn't feel like a "Zelda" game to me. Its just another big cool open world game.

tl;dr - In terms of overall quality, Zelda feels like a 7/10 (SO FAR), possibly because I came directly off of Horizon which feels like a 9/10 game.

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#126 Edited by FrostyRyan (1989 posts) -

After something like 90+ hours I have finally finished the main story. I don't know how it's possible but my WiiU Pro Controller still has some charge left. That controller is pretty awesome. One freaking charge lasting for 90 hours.

Forgive me for ignoring everything else you said but WHAT??

A fully charged switch pro controller lasts that long? What the flying hell? That makes me want to go out and buy one now

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#127 Edited by GrayFoxbr (142 posts) -

@frostyryan: It's the Wii U Pro controller and yes it has incredible battery life.

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#128 Posted by ThePanzini (397 posts) -

@seikenfreak: 7/10 Pretty much the exact same for me atm after getting the Horizon platinum I'm really struggling to get into BoTW (dozens hours so far) stamina is just killing me, after hating Wind walker I haven't touch Nintendo hardware since A,B being the wrong way round is painful I can't remember what Zelda felt like to me BoTW is a do-it-youself UbiSoft game.

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#129 Posted by Justin258 (14373 posts) -

@grayfoxbr said:

After something like 90+ hours I have finally finished the main story. I don't know how it's possible but my WiiU Pro Controller still has some charge left. That controller is pretty awesome. One freaking charge lasting for 90 hours.

Forgive me for ignoring everything else you said but WHAT??

A fully charged switch pro controller lasts that long? What the flying hell? That makes me want to go out and buy one now

I haven't played for 90 hours and I haven't played the game exclusively with my Pro Controller, but I haven't charged the Pro controller since I got Zelda. I charged it the night before the game shipped to my house, then started playing with it, and haven't charged it since. Sixty hours into the game and it's still got half its charge left. It's kinda crazy.

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