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Destructoid: Breaking down why Breath of the Wild is highly overrated

Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Destructoid: Breaking down why Breath of the Wild is highly overrated

d21lewis said:
epicurean said:
I've bought this bu haven't started playing it yet (trying to finish Persona 5 first). I'm a little worried though because I didn't like the last Zelda game I played (the one that came out at launch with the Wii), and I generally like games with good stories OR character progression (making your character stronger). I hope I'm pleasantry surprised, though. Any of you have reasons I should have hope? Is there a good story? Can Link become stronger? I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to Zelda games.

There's as much or as little story as you want. You can go around collecting tidbits here and there and helping people or you can just wandering aimlessly.

 

You can get stonger. In fact, a certain important event depends on how strong you are. Also, in what I think is a characteristic of the best games, you're going to have access to almost all of the best abilities early on. You're just going to become more and more creative and efficient in the way that you use them. The more you think "I wonder if this will work..." A the better you'll be. Link will get stonger but you as a player are going to grow, too.

 

And that's all I'll say. Go into it cold with as little knowledge as possible and holler at me in a month. You'll love it!

Thanks both for the info! I'm looking forward to playing it! 



Owner of PS4 Pro, Xbox One, Switch, PS Vita, and 3DS

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d21lewis said:
I'm okay with differing opinions but I'll say this:

I logged in well over 120 hours with BotW and loved every moment of it. I did my best to get 100% complete without a guide though there were a few missions I never completed and things I didn't find. I could easily name some flaws but, at the end of the day, this game made new happier than I could ever imagine and I look back at the whole experience with fond memories. It's the game that instantly justified the purchase of brand new hardware for me.

I'm not even the most fanatical as there's tons of people on this site that have dwarfed my playtime and love it more than me. If a game gives you nothing but happiness and satisfaction and, when the credits roll, you think to yourself, "That was amazing.", what more could you ask for? Especially in this day and age where audiences are more (nit) picky than ever.

I don't think the author is saying that there's anything wrong with people loving the game, or that the people that do are wrong. But he does have a couple of good points. Namely, that the game is actually pretty deeply flawed in a number of ways, and that there is a sizable group of people who turn into Piranhas any time someone says anything negative about the game.

This thread is a great example of that second point. He's a hater, he didn't actually play the game, this article is just clickbait, if you don't love the game you're wrong, ect, ect. It's just silly.



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Mnementh said:
epicurean said:
I've bought this bu haven't started playing it yet (trying to finish Persona 5 first). I'm a little worried though because I didn't like the last Zelda game I played (the one that came out at launch with the Wii), and I generally like games with good stories OR character progression (making your character stronger). I hope I'm pleasantry surprised, though. Any of you have reasons I should have hope? Is there a good story? Can Link become stronger? I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to Zelda games.

Can Link become stronger?: Yes, in many ways. But one of it is you getting better. Which is why one island strips you of your gear and gives you a trial. You can naturally stay away from it, if you don't like it.

Is there a good story? Very subjective. BOTW doesn't force a story on you, not much cutscenes or obligatory quests. Very early on you get the quest: Kill Ganon, which is the goal of the game. But there is a lot to discover in the game, including remnants of past events, side quests and so on. This will paint a story, if you let it. So, some like it, some not.

That island is a point in the game where you realize how much stronger you have gotten. It's slow and subtle the gains you make. Not like a typical RPG where you have flat out stats and see dps go up and so on.

But you go on an island and are stripped back to how you were in the beginning of the game (except hearts/stamina) and it is at this point that without all your upgraded armor/weapons/ect that you realize that you have become stronger or better at the game in huge ways. Enemies before that were 1 shotting you on the Plateau you are taking down in groups without fear. Sub-bosses aren't even a scary prospect, more an excitement of how can I beat this monster while naked and only a shovel.

I've yet to get the DLC, but I will. I'm excited to try the Master Sword trials, as that whole thing seems like an expanded harder version of that one small island.



It's not overrated, it's rated.



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I do agree that BotW is overrated to an extent, and I would not call it the best Zelda game ever. The author, while his writing style may need work, has some good points.

BotW has many of the same issues plaguing other open-world games, including repetitive fetch quests, and it even has "Ubisoft towers" needed to unlock portions of the mini-map (though it does them far better than any Far Cry game did). Few things aggravate me more than having to grind, grind, grind away at repetitive tasks. Some mechanics seem to exist purely to slow you down and be a time sink. BotW does often feel broad without feeling deep at times, and much of the game feels like repetetive busy work.

But most of all, the game is lacking some of the things that make Zelda what it is. The multitude of mini-shrines were no substitute for having a smaller number (but not too small) of unique, often distinctly themed dungeons that often contain a new weapon or ability need to beat the dungeon, or the boss, or generally help with Link's progression as a character. They're simply used as a way for Link to earn the orb "currency" now needed to "buy" Hearts or Stamina containers. Breakable weapons not only makes weapons feel either generic and disposable or (for the four unique weapons you earn after beating a Divine Beast) too awesome to use, it also makes you want to simply avoid most enemies. After a while, you simply stop caring about the act of finding a new weapon. An Edge of Duality or Royal Broadsword just starts to come across as less of a cool new discovery and more of a "its just the Traveler's Sword but with higher attack power" reaction, just another disposable item with little inherent long-term value. Many of the classic items are simply gone, while bombs are simply an unlimited-use item found early on and never feels as special as they did in older games. The rune system (at least as executed) combined with breakable weapons and the aforementioned lack of proper dungeons really does help negate that sense of progression as well as the sense of excitement over finding a new weapon or shield or item. The relative paucity of proper full-size dungeons is further complicated by the lack of boss variety. The various Blight Ganons pale in comparison to the boss rosters from older Zelda games.

An issue I have that the author doesn't have is my dislike of the very small enemy roster. There's a dozen normal basic enemy types (Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos, Wizzrobes, Chu-chus, Pebblits, Octoroks, Keese, Guardians, Guardian Scouts, flying Guardians, and Yiga soldiers), just given various palette swaps or sometimes elemental abilities to pad things out. You have the Lynels, Hinox, Talus, and Molduga mini-bosses as well. This seems like enough, but you'll be mostly fighting Bokoblins, Lizalfos, and Moblins most of your journey. Other Zelda games typically had much larger rosters. Most typically had at least 20 or more (LttP had close to 40).

BotW did have many strong points. The world does feel suitably expansive, and it was always fun trying to simply explore or discover a new place. BotW's Hyrule really was an engrossing place, even if there wasn't much to do of substance in that world. The combat feels great, and the game allows for some interesting ways to use the environment to your advantage. The AI is great. I actually enjoyed the survival mechanics, such as having to find food or sleep at inns to regain health, or having to dress appropriately for certain extreme weather conditions. The backstory was interesting, as was the addition of "magitek." That technologically advanced Hyrule of 10,000 years before BotW began seems like a promising location for a future Zelda game.

BotW was good, but could have been so much better. Having an open world is fine. Some older Zelda games were "open world" for their time as well (e.g., LttP allowed you to go most places off the bat, and the Dark World dungeons do not necessarily have to be completed in the order they are numbered). But there needs to be more activities of actual substance. The bones are strong, but they need more meat on them. The pool is wide, but needs more depth. BotW is a good starting point, but some improvements could be made, including:

●Proper full-sized dungeons, at least a dozen if not more, each with their own unique appearance, challengers, and theme.
●A wider variety of more unique bosses for those dungeons.
●A larger roster of common enemies. At least twenty unique types. Keep pallet swaps to a minimum.
●Unbreakable weapons and shield. Have each weapon type (short sword, spear, claymore, axe, bow, etc.) have its own unique properties and be represented by a single unique weapon that can be upgraded (higher attack power, elemental abilities, etc.). Do what most older games did with the shields (single shield that can get upgraded).
●Have a variety of special items return from previous games that function in ways similar to how they used to.
●Strike a better balance between linear progression & narrative and open-world exploration. Unlimited freedom can be almost as bad as no freedom.
●Side quests and other activities that are more unique and rewarding. Keep grinding and other tedious time sinks to a minimum.

Basically, try to combine the best aspects of BotW's massive open world with the best aspects of old-school Zelda.



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I agree with what the OP quoted yet I have to disagree with my agreement. IE: it's true that most (in fact, an insane majority due to their number) of the "rewards" for exploring are just Korok Seeds and Shrines. But the truth is that many (in fact, most) of the other rewards of exploration and progression are overshadowed by these. I mean... yes, what I clearly recall from my over-200-hours in BoTW, in terms of findings, is discovering a Shrine at the top of a mountain, or in a cave, or as the "final reward" for completing a sidequest. But if I think a little deeper I also notice that finding the 3 Lomi Labyrinths was also a reward itself. And completing them (finding my path to their end) was a reward on its own too. And the armor pieces I found in there were also nice rewards. And also, finding the Akkala Laboratory and the chance to forge my own ancient weapons was also extremely rewarding. Even finding a new Lynel location was rewarding, as was defeating them (and getting their equipment and parts as "rewards"). First time I encountered (and helped) a dragon was incredibly rewarding too. As was finding a new Fairy Fountain and getting for it the hability to upgrade my gear (or to revive my horse). Speaking of horses, the horse gear from completing that "horseback archery" minigame I discovered while exploring the south of Hyrule was an extremely cool reward (althoug some stats increasing attached to it would have been nice too). I could go on with the rewarding feeling of finding a new race or village, or a new sidequest, or the Monster Shop, but i think I've already make it clear that the authors perspective here is a little reductionist.

What I mean... Is that by any means is BoTW an "empty" game, or one that only gives monotonous rewards for the time you invest in it. I often found myself thinking how cool would have been to have this or that here and there, and wishing they include many new things in the DLC (more varied enemies, better bosses, more resistant and unique weapons and equipement, etc.), but that didn't make the base game less of a masterpiece, because what it offers is already way more than what many other games, both open and linear, offer. And I've come to see that, yes, other games throw dozens of "material" rewards at you for completing this or that* but, where BoTW sets, again, the difference with any other previos games is that the reward is not the item itself but, as someone mentioned here, the experience. The rewarding feeling of having conquered a summit, a bottom or the end of a maze while giving your best (in terms of orientation, deductive/inductive thinking, puzzle solving, combat skills, etc.) to complete the challenge they throw at you. The Shrine at the top of the peak is not the reward. Having been able to get there is. The Orb for solving the puzzle inside the Shrine is not the reward; having solved it is. And, during that time, all the weapons, monster parts, etc. you've find, add to it.

So... After my initial agreement, I have to disagree with the author of the article for I've seen that his conclusions are based in a very simple and superficial analysis of the game.

P.S.: There is one thing where I strongly agree with the article, and it is in the need of area-specific minibosses and enemies. I loved every enemy and miniboss (specially Lynels), but it would have been better to find beach/mountain/forest/desert specific creatures rather than have colour/elemental-based variations of the same Bokos, Molblins, Lizalfos and Wizzrobes.

* In fact, in some cases, WAY too many; I'm now playing The Witcher 3 and I've spent the last 20 ours with the same Griffin/Feline set, not caring anymore about the hundreds of "special" weapons and armors I found everywhere, as happes with other RPG like Skyrim, Fallout, Dragon's Dogma, etc. because, at some point, new "material" rewards just became pointless.





You know a games good when 5 months later people are still trying to argue that it's overrated. I'm pretty sure all that's left of this horse is dust.



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RolStoppable said:
Slarvax said:
Meh, I tried reading it. Most of the complaints are complete non issues to me. Less story means more gameplay, and that's always a positive to me. Not like Zelda stories were even that good before.
My favorite part is how "BotW has no charm, character or that 'Zelda magic' ". Beautiful.

The guy is scared because the games from his childhood are being outdone by Breath of the Wild. A guy in his 20s who puts a strong emphasis on Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker in his comparisons.

It's a given that it will win numerous game of the year awards considering the love affair the press has with this game. This has even prompted Nintendo themselves to suggest all Zelda games going forward will be "open-air" like Breath of the WildEnough.

The poor little fuck.  I feel lucky to not suffer from the bitterness half of nostalgia.  Enjoy the classics, respect them even.  But know when their time has passed and they've been dethroned.  It's a good thing!



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IkePoR said:
RolStoppable said:

The guy is scared because the games from his childhood are being outdone by Breath of the Wild. A guy in his 20s who puts a strong emphasis on Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker in his comparisons.

It's a given that it will win numerous game of the year awards considering the love affair the press has with this game. This has even prompted Nintendo themselves to suggest all Zelda games going forward will be "open-air" like Breath of the WildEnough.

The poor little fuck.  I feel lucky to not suffer from the bitterness half of nostalgia.  Enjoy the classics, respect them even.  But know when their time has passed and they've been dethroned.  It's a good thing!

agreed



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