The new Zelda Title is a Breath of Fresh Air
Anybody who kept track of Legend of Zelda’s Breath of the Wild’s release, knows of the memorable opening scene where both Link and the player are introduced the vastness that was once Hyrule, but the sounds of the orchestrated music and the controller in your hands truly makes this new game surreal.
“Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” is essentially a 2-D Zelda game (think the original NES title or Link To The Past) with 3-D graphics. Traditionally, 2-D Zelda games are more open-ended with the player able to choose the order in how to explore the world and complete the game.
Within the first few hours, I was able to go through The Great Plateau and further explore Hyrule after finally being able to get off it. When playing any Zelda game the first time around (or really, just any single-player adventure game), I prioritize going through the story and only working on the side quests once in awhile to boost up stats and to prepare for important battles, but I easily got caught up with the open-worldness of Breath of the Wild, that I could not get as far as I expected.
But I was definitely not disappointed by how far I went with my first few hours. This just meant that so much is still left unexplored that I will get to in the numerous hours I know I will invest into this world.
Because of how large the world was, I was worried that the traveling may get boring or tiring due to lack of memorable music or the inability to fill up such a large world. However, throughout most of my blind travels, the unknown continued to intrigue as I wondered what was on the other side of the mountain or as I reached closer and closer to a shrine.
Playing it on the Wii U, the controls were easy to follow, especially when switching weapons and the way in which the game weaved the tutorial throughout The Great Plateau, the first region you are able to explore.
The graphics style is reminiscent of Skyward Sword as well as some gaming mechanics (such as the stamina gauge). In addition to the abstract, soft colors of the world, the game is almost mixed with what seemed like Mesoamerican-inspired art during cutscenes of storytelling and the ancient shrines with some modern twists. The Sheikah Slate’s multipurpose use and style is both similar to the game pad’s orientation and of a smartphone. It’s a helpful mechanic and the design both looks pretty cool and finds its usefulness throughout the game.
Mechanics such as the limited usage on weapons to cooking really makes this adventure filled with more challenges and risks since restoring health is more difficult in comparison to previous games.
If I were to nitpick this, I do miss the usual, memorable soundtrack. Through The Great Plateau, lacked an overworld theme and the soundtrack only hit when enemies were nearby or if I was around certain parts of the land (such as The Temple Of Time). However, the lack of an overworld theme, did give the game a sense of emptiness that meshes well with the premise of the game. After Link’s long slumber, we enter into a land of Hyrule that seems almost post-apocalyptic because of Calamity Ganon.
As a long-time follower of the series, I do wonder how this game will change the series both in storyline and approach for future titles.
Nintendo is finally catching up to the mechanics that have existed for a while now and have adapted them to a Zelda game. One of the most highly-anticipated games of the year, I was worried that the amount of hype this game was getting would end up killing my experience with this game with the possibility of expecting so much from it.
However, “Breath of the Wild” has tapped into the potential of both Nintendo and one of its beloved franchises. I hope this game is just the start of what could be a bright future for the Zelda series.
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