So I’ve never played a Zelda game before. I’m about 6 hours into BotW, and I’m honestly struggling to enjoy it so far. I’m creating this thread bc I want to know if I just need to give it more of a chance. I’ve always been a PlayStation guy, but since I got my Switch (first Nintendo console), Nintendo has definitively become my second favorite console company.
Zelda has been my #1 most anticipated Nintendo game to play, and I expected to fall in love with it, so I’m really disappointed with my lack of love for it thus far.
Things I dislike so far:
-Biggest thing so far is just that I’m not finding the gameplay loop super interesting, rewarding, or addicting. This is causing me to have very little desire to do most side missions. I’m also not very interested in the story, but since I’ve never played a Zelda game before, I’m not sure if the story is supposed to be a major selling point. I do really love a good story in games, but I also play plenty of games that have no story at all.
-Having to read every piece of dialogue. Never been a fan of this. The Japanese quirkiness is a bit hard for me as well. :/
-Controls are unorthodox and sometimes feel counterintuitive. Most significant examples I can think of right now are: 1. Sprinting with the B button isn’t my preference, since it disallows you from moving the camera around while sprinting. Overall not a major deal, but...why is the sprint button for the horse then mapped to the A button? I’m sure I’ll get use to it eventually, but right now I still mix it up sometimes. 2. Pressing X to jump also feels odd. Overall not a huge deal, but it makes it very difficult to sprint and go directly into a jump due to the location of those buttons at 6 and 12 o’clock. Admittedly, Ive never changed a control scheme for a game from the default, so I haven’t tried to look for this option yet.
-Horse is difficult to control, and I don’t know why. He doesn’t seem to respond to my directioning sometimes. Is this bc I have to build a better bond first? I didn’t see any “bond” meter/level...
-Difficulty. There are many times where the game difficulty is fine and fair, but some other times it seems to incur a major spike, and I’m not sure why. Just spent 45min+ trying over and over to kill a group of 3 enemies, bc the one enemy needed to hit me only once to kill me. Have faced the same enemy prior, and this wasn’t the case. I also just took a similar amount of time trying to beat the “a moderate test of strength” shrine (I think that’s the name). I was doing well with it toward the end, but my hits were doing so ridiculously little to the mechanical enemy’s health bar that it was not only taking forever to beat it, but nearly all of my weapons broke by the time I got the enemy’s life just halfway down. I even used a weapon that has a level in the mid-30’s, and that seemed to do no more damage than my other mid-teens level weapons. The best I did was get the enemy’s life down halfway before deciding I was enjoying myself so little that I had to just give up—which I rarely do. Am I just in an area I’m not supposed to be? The difficulty of the other enemies in the area seem consistent, so not sure. Could it sometimes be due to the level of an enemy’s weapon?
-I just fast traveled while sitting on top of my horse, and the horse didn’t come with me. I’ve spent hours on that thing, and there seems to be some form of a bonding system, so I’m not thrilled about the idea of having to start with a new horse. Am I missing something here?
-Stamina: I used my only upgrade so far to boost my stamina, but this did very little for my ability to sprint longer. The very short time you can sprint is quite annoying at the moment. I’m hoping this gets much better.
Anyway, these are the negatives I can recall right now. I’m hoping that I’m either missing some things or just need to play longer, bc I’ve been excited for a long time to play this BotW. And clearly I would be in the absolute minority if I didn’t end up liking it, since it’s considered by so many to be one of the best games ever made. Hoping nostalgia doesn’t represent too much of what makes people love BotW, since this is my first Zelda.
Man, I didn’t plan for this to be so long. I’m sorry.
Botw isn't really representative of what other Zelda games are like. So, just because you don't enjoy this doesn't mean you won't enjoy others. As for your criticisms, maybe this just isn't your style of game.
You can change the sprint button... I think there are two options for it.
You need to bond with your horse before it will listen to you. You can check your bond at a stable. It shouldn't take terribly long to max out your bond, simply soothe the horse with L, or feed it apples.
The game lets you travel anywhere you wish more or less. This means that you're going to encounter enemies that are way above your current capabilities. If there's a group of enemies that is taking you 45 minutes to kill, then you should honestly be avoiding them, or you need some other strategies. It is theortetically possible to beat any enemy at any point, but you're better off spending time getting more powerful weapons.
In regards to test of strength in particular, are you able to dodge/flurry rush consistently? If not, you're gonna have a bad time. Also, ancient weapons are better at taking out ancient enemies. And, if you're still using basic armor, you're probably going to go down in a few hits. You can come back to a shrine at any time, so no need to be stubborn. If you're getting your ass kicked come back later.
If your stamina is problematic for you, increase it. IDK what more can be said about that.
Overall, BOTW doesn't hold your hand which is actually different than most other Zelda games. While other Zelda games guide you along so that you're never able to access a challenge you're not equipped for, it's quite possible for that to happen in this game. You can even go charging into the main boss fight almost immediately after the game starts. It's possible, and expected, that you're going to run into situations you're not ready for. The whole game is basically about preparing yourself for more difficult challenges. Whether or not you'll find that fun, I can't say. I love the game, but even with a game that's almost universally praised, it's just not going to click with some people.