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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Shouldn't Be This Good

Despite Breath of the Wild's forgettable quests and repetitive foes, it rises above its lackluster structure through other means.

Analysis by Doc Burford, .

Every game has a secret. We can, if we are so inclined, play a game, tell our friends whether it’s good or bad, and move on with our lives. For some of us, that won’t do. Haven’t you ever wondered why a particular game hits you just so? Since I first picked up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild this summer, I’ve been wondering why it works because, at a first glance, it seems like the latest Zelda game shouldn’t work at all.

It’s inarguable that Breath of the Wild works. This is a game that sold more copies for the Nintendo Switch than there were Nintendo Switches to play it. This is a game with an endless supply of positive, amazing reviews. Even in 2017, a year where it seems like every month had at least one incredible video game, Breath of the Wild stood out.

If we want to find the latest Zelda’s secret, the first thing we want to do is look at its structure: what happens from the time you start the game to the time you end it? How does it keep your attention as you move from point A to point B? As an example, one of the reasons I enjoy Bethesda games so much is the way that they put their mission objectives at distant points on the map, then pepper your route with distractions; The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim wants you to ignore the main story and do your own thing.

Breath of the Wild's Lack of Concrete Variety

Breath of the Wild actually works a lot like Skyrim, with the same kind of far-flung missions that entice you with distractions along the way. Unlike Skyrim, however, Breath of the Wild’s primary distractions are limited to just four activities: climbing towers, finding 900 Korok seeds, finding 120 shrines and solving their puzzles, and visiting towns and stables for simplistic fetch quests. The most involved quest in the game requires you to deliver something like 110 bundles of wood over four quest steps. There are no quality quests like The Witcher 3's "Bloody Baron" or Fable 3’s "The Game" to be found in Breath of the Wild.

When I said that Breath of the Wild shouldn’t work at all, this is what I meant: it’s just like every other big open-world game out there, but with even less variety. Skyrim, a game released in 2011 and re-released six years later on the Switch, has significantly more variety within its first hour. Plenty of other open world games, from Mad Max to Metal Gear Solid V to The Witcher 3 have better gameplay variety, story, quest design, and anything else you could possibly ask for. If we take Breath of the Wild purely on its structure, it’s pretty dull.

Consider this: the 900 Korok seeds are split up into a small handful of unique puzzles. You’ve got the “put the apple in the hole” puzzle, the “run or glide through a timed race” puzzle, the “put the ball in the socket” puzzle, and the “put the iron cube in the right spot” puzzle. There are a few others, but you’re going to have to put hundreds of apples and balls and iron cubes in the right spot to get all the upgrades you want.

The shrines are the same way; they all look the exact same, and nearly all of them are built around one unique puzzle, fighting one specific enemy type (the Guardian), or solving a simple puzzle outside the shrine. As a reward, you’ll watch the same animation every time, then get one upgrade token that will let you upgrade your health or stamina. That’s it. That’s the whole game.

There are only four truly unique dungeons in the game, and each one is basically the same thing: follow a champion to a giant animal, make your way inside, solve some puzzles, and defeat the final boss. The puzzles can be fun, but the bosses are all pretty samey, and every single dungeon follows the same story beats.

Systems on Systems

Breath of the Wild, quite simply, should not work. Its structure is like every other open world action-adventure game in existence. The tricks it has about drawing players through its maps have been done better and more creatively in other games. So why does it work? How can a game be as excessively bland in its structure as Breath of the Wild and capture the hearts and minds of gamers like few games before it?

Well, as it turns out, there are an awful lot of reasons.

First, there’s the charming attention to detail. Put a helmet on someone’s head in Skyrim, and you’ll be able to take all their things. Try something similar in Zelda, and they’ll express annoyance, demanding you cut it out. No one will notice when you strip down to your underwear in The Witcher 3 or put on a chicken hat in Metal Gear Solid V, but dress strangely enough in Breath of the Wild, and everyone will notice.

This attention to detail extends to the game’s element system: wear a sword during a thunderstorm, and you’ll attract lightning. Wear wooden gear into the hottest zones of Hyrule, and you’ll find your gear catching fire. Certain objects catch fire. Others create electricity. Heat generates wind. Kinetic energy builds up over time, and so on. We’ve seen this kind of elemental interaction in games before, but not on this scale.

While Breath of the Wild’s elements and charming attention to detail make it stand out, everyone knows about them. They’re part of what makes the game special, and they’re right out there in the open, for everyone to see. But there’s more to it than that.

So Long, Obtuse Game Logic

A long time ago, someone told me a story about their mother watching them play an older Zelda game. Apparently, this person was trying to travel somewhere, but had to locate some item to get there. Until Breath of the Wild, most Zelda games relied on this kind of “gain access to a special gadget that helps you proceed” sense of progression. This person’s mother asked him why he didn’t simply chop down a tree, use it as a bridge, and continue on his way. He explained to her that such a thing wasn’t possible. Their point was that game logic didn’t work like real-world logic. Sometimes, players have to follow byzantine game design rules to progress, rather than doing things that seem intuitive to most people.

Breath of the Wild captures that intuition; things happen because it makes sense that they would happen. Of course carrying a spear is almost certain to attract lighting! Yes, if there’s a cliff and you’ve got a nearby tree that’s long enough, you can chop it down and use it as a makeshift bridge. Rather than rely on dull, predictable game logic of “find the key to get through the lock,” a series staple that can be unfathomable to non-gamers, Breath of the Wild teaches you a new way to think. Yet this wouldn’t work without simplicity.

The big problem with open world games is how they drown you in information. Remember the complaints about Assassin’s Creed Unity’s map? The game itself was surprisingly fun after the performance patches, but the map was a nightmarish stew of icons. Unity had hundreds of icons dotting its map, all demanding your attention, but it was far from alone. Comparatively Sunset Overdrive, one of my favorite games, has a huge number of collectibles that all look different but are obtained in more or less the same exact way.

Breath of the Wild’s map is refreshingly empty. Much like Skyrim, you discover items in the world through proximity. Most open worlds give players a gigantic checklist to complete, but Breath of the Wild lets players discover its 900 korok seeds. Spot an interesting rock formation? Get curious. Try to figure out what makes it so special. You’ll almost certainly be rewarded.

Instead of a busy map, Zelda relies on a much simpler “find things as you go and mark them as you find them” approach. There’s no time for analysis paralysis after looking at a map with a thousand icons on it. Plenty of open world games have towers that unlock parts of the map, revealing more tasks to do; Breath of the Wild uses the towers with that same naturalistic approach to problem solving: climb up, look around, spot something interesting, walk over to it to check it out.

Another common issue with open world games is complexity. I’m playing Horizon Zero Dawn right now and I’m drowning in icons for metal flowers and special mugs and all sorts of other crap, which, as far as I can tell, isn’t that important. It’s more noise, a way of making the game feel varied, despite lacking variety. Zelda strips that all down.

The game only has two consistent stats: health and stamina. Health is depicted in a simple, easy-to-understand system of hearts, as it has been pretty much forever in the Zelda series. I’m not really sure what each health potion in Horizon does, but Zelda’s healing items always make health clear. At a glance, a player can look at their health bar, see they need three hearts, and find something in their inventory to give them three hearts.

We can see this same simplicity in the game’s inventory system. Armor and weapons usually only have one stat visible to the player. Better gear has a higher number, worse gear has a lower number. Sometimes, you’ll have descriptions that say things like “throws fireballs,” but it’s always kept simple and easy to understand.

This simplicity pervades Breath of the Wild’s design. It lets you focus on traveling and exploration instead of what gear goes where. It has no time for analysis paralysis, where you’re wondering if the sword with +2 damage but -1 speed is better than the sword with +2 speed and -1 damage. Just pick up whatever’s most powerful, throw out the weakest gear, use it until it breaks, and pick up something else.

Over time, you come to understand the game’s intricacies. While the cooking and crafting system in Skyrim is complex—I can’t always remember what this butterfly or that dragonfly does—every description in Breath of the Wild is clear, and every name is linked to the stat it impacts. Stamella mushrooms increase stamina, while rushrooms obviously impact speed, and so on.

Simplicity allows for readability and quick decision making, which keeps the game’s pace nice and brisk. There are no awkward slowdowns while you spend your time with inventory management. You don’t need to waste your time combing through countless map icons to find the objective you want; instead, you find them as you explore. There’s a clarity to the decision making process that can only happen because Breath of the Wild is such a simple game.

This simplicity cuts through a lot of the time-wasting elements of traditional open world games, so it’s a huge bummer that Breath of the Wild mucks it all up with its repetitive quest and shrine design. It’s a cliche, but in this case, it’s true: Breath of the Wild’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness.

Could Breath of the Wild be better? Nintendo’s fond of reinventing the wheel every time they make a game, so they may never improve on Breath of the Wild’s formula, but I’m sure someone will try. Cutting down on the Korok seeds and shrines while increasing the number of dungeons and depth of quests would be a good place to start. I’ve played games with better stealth, quests, world design, art, combat, story, and so on, but I’ve never played a game that balanced the richness of its variety with the simplicity of its systems. That’s its secret: Breath of the Wild keeps you focused on the journey, rather than letting you drown in an endless ocean of meaningless decisions.

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Comments 47

  • Avatar for Ralek #1 Ralek 9 days ago
    "Breath of the Wild keeps you focused on the journey, rather than letting you drown in an endless ocean of meaningless decisions."

    Well said, but honestly, most of this can be boiled down to what I've also been saying since I first laid hands on the game after the the Master Mode became available: What makes Zelda work and what makes it in it's own way so special, is that it is an open-world game that is decidedly not driven by it's interface but ... lo and behold ... by it's actual world.

    That's a small thing, or rather it should be a small thing, but in fact, the implications are huge. There are several aspects to this, but I think most importantly, being driven by the world itself, means that there is room for actual exploration and ... actual discovery in Zelda. It is just icing on the cake then, there are also a bunch of cool systems at play in Zelda that work well in conjunction with the world, which you can discover while you explore the world.

    One thing I noticed quite recently, more precisely when Sony announced Ghost of Tsushima, is that this might becoming a thing now. One of the Sucker Punch developers talked about how they created the game in a way that was meant to entice the player to explore, and provide him with stuff to explore, without turning it into a chore and without overwhelming him with information (as was pointed out, e.g. AC is fond of doing). In short they aim to create places that you'll want to explore just by the distant sight of them. That gave me instant flashbacks to many moments in BotW, which followed that design approach quite masterfully, down to the the way the world was used to constantly obstruct your view of itself and forced you to constantly move around to - quite literally - get some new perspective on it.

    So yeah, it totally agree, that combat has been done way better, so has stealth and certainly narrative-focused quests or RPGs in general. Zelda though stands out with the purity of it's purpose of it's design, as well as how well that design was executed (it's really worth taking note of the worlds geometry when playing and how, like I said, it constantly forces you to seek out vantage points and the likes).

    I don't necessarily agree that Nintendo will not return to this formula in the future, as remarks have been made, that potential even all future (3D?) Zelda games could be open-world. It's hard to imagine that they would go down that route but at the same time decide to return to a more traditional, formulaic interface-driven game design. Having said that, I don't quite see Zelda ever becoming as intricate as the Witcher in terms of e.g. quest design or narrative. It's not impossible of course, but it would make yet another extreme departure for Nintendo, who is really known for putting the experience of the gameplay itself first, second and third.

    There was great joy to be found in Zelda just by wondering what the hill in front of you could possibly be obscuring from your sight, and while the the discoveries often did not quite live up to one's expectation (many of the shrines started to feel a bit dull, repetitive and unexciting to me after a while), the sensation itself of having managed to find another one hardly ever receded. Hence I think Nintendo would be better off just focusing on what made Zelda great in the past (like the dungeon exploration and puzzles) and bringing those aspects more forcefully together with the design philosophy established in BotW. I don't quite see the need for a significant push then in terms of narrative, quest or even combat design. Sure the overarching story could use some more depth and more exposure but overall that's not what made the game work (though it's definitely my favorite incarnation of the actual princess Zelda yet), hence it's somewhat lackluster narrative nature does not really hurt the experience as much as it would in about every other comparable game (Not that anything exist on a portable device that could righteously be compared to BotW anyways ^^).Edited 2 weeks ago by Ralek
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  • Avatar for chilon #2 chilon 9 days ago
    It was great for 10 hours, nostalgia and cuteness is strong. After you learn to beat a Lynel without taking damage, you've gone to your 50th dark grey shrine (oh it was a guardian fight again) and you've put your tenth apple in a bowl it starts to get repetitive. I wonder how it would place in the rankings if the reviewers had more time with it before publish date
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #3 Kat.Bailey 9 days ago
    @chilon I'd still give it Game of the Year.
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  • Avatar for chilon #4 chilon 9 days ago
    @Kat.Bailey Mario Odyssey is better.
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  • Avatar for CrawDaddyMN #5 CrawDaddyMN 9 days ago
    I've been a die-hard Zelda fan since I was a kid and Breath of the Wild just seemed disappointing to me. I was expecting a Zelda game, and throughout playing it I couldn't help thinking to myself that this wasn't anything like I remembered playing as a kid. So yeah, I agree. Why all the hype over this game? I spent about a total of 20 hours playing, finished all major quests, and had no interest of playing any more or exploring. Plus the game wasn't challenging, I had enough food on me to beat Gannon 100 times over. On that note, anyone else feel like the Gannon fight was lacking oh idk, an actual Gannon fight.
    The game is missing what I believe are key Zelda elements, such as unique items, dungeons, bosses, special characters, an instrument etc. And well botw had none of these. Just a bunch of boring puzzle shrines, 4 Divine beasts (if you consider these dungeons play a real zelda game), and tons of useless quests. Ahh the disappointment.. And no this game does not deserve game of the year.
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #6 Kat.Bailey 9 days ago
    @chilon Hmmm... I think they're both great.
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  • Avatar for Kat.Bailey #7 Kat.Bailey 9 days ago
    @CrawDaddyMN This argument is a great example of the old Zelda problem: Nintendo does something new, and fans complain that it's stale and boring. Nintendo goes with the classic Zelda structure, and fans complain that it's too different. It's okay for a series to innovate and throw off the shackles of its old tropes.
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  • Avatar for CrawDaddyMN #8 CrawDaddyMN 9 days ago
    @Kat.Bailey If I wanted it to be just like an old Zelda game I never would have bought it. I knew it was going to be different, I was disappointed because there wasn't anything exciting enough to want me to play more or play it again, unlike most of the others. The game was okay, but it could've been so much better. Like you said, there needs to be a mix of old and new, but this was all new.Edited 2 weeks ago by CrawDaddyMN
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  • Avatar for Electryon #9 Electryon 9 days ago
    The arguments here could be made about practically ANY game. Games can't contain endless ideas and possibilities. Systems and synergy between those systems has to be balanced. I could say that Dark Souls is a joke once you learn to parry. Or that you can Igni your way through 75% of The Witcher 3. Doesn't make them any less than 10/10 masterpieces. Breath of the Wild is clearly about existing in a massive world where you are disempowered because of finite resources (and breakable weapons).
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  • Avatar for Xemus80 #10 Xemus80 9 days ago
    A good game, to be sure, but overrated. Doesn't even crack my top 5 for the year. Make Hyrule a bit smaller, lop off half the shrines, add about four or five classical "themed" dungeons- it'd be almost perfect.

    I'll tell you one thing, though: I never wanted a Zelda-themed cooking game more.
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  • Avatar for NiceGuyNeon #11 NiceGuyNeon 9 days ago
    I like to make bold declarations, and I still honestly believe Breath of the Wild might be the greatest 3D game I've ever played. I put 100 hours into it in two weeks. I called out sick from work for 5 days during those two weeks. That had never happened to me before in my life. I'm also very glad it came out before I started law school because I know my grades would suffer if Breath of the Wild was a November release or something.

    I think what I love most about Breath of the Wild is that the design of the open world and how you choose to interact with it is the true star here. It helps that everything is optional, that you are not obligated to do any of it. You can run straight to the final boss and challenge him if you want (I can't fathom it), you can focus on combat encounters and finding ways to take advantage of enemies, you can focus on exploration, the main quest, or simply wandering for the sake of wandering. For instance, I heard there's an amazing Ghibli-esque tribute to Iwata in the game which I have not yet found. I haven't googled a guide, I don't know what it looks like, but it's something I hope to find on my own. What this game brings is the joy of discovery and interaction like few games have before.

    When you turn off the HUD for Breath of the Wild you see the full world in front of you and that's where your attention shifts. Not to a minimap or a clustered HUD or a waypoint marker indicating you have 900 meters to reach your target or a list of objectives you need to check off. It's just you and Hyrule. Do you follow the main story? Do you go on a quest of exploration to find all 120 shrines? (which I loved and I don't want less shrines, I want even MORE shrines because that's what I derived enjoyment from in this game the most) It became a reason to stray off the beaten path, find the high ground and see what I could stumble into from there. A glass half-empty person thinks the reward are orbs, but for me the reward was the journey and the resulting challenge I reached as a result of that journey.

    The game never explicitly tells you anything outside of the tutorial area and I neglected the main quest until I felt I had cleared an area and only then attempted the quest in that region. So I remember wandering to a cliffside and seeing an island very blurry in the distance. But I thought, hey man, this might be a waste of time, but I want to fly to that island. And I did. And as I got closer I saw it was a full island, and then I got too close and drowned at sea. But I tried it again and I landed on some debris, swam to shore and one of the greatest challenges of the game presented itself. We live in the internet age now, anyone can bring up that island now. Heck, people probably know the name by heart. But I didn't use the internet, I flew there, and I was rewarded with an in-depth challenge that might be the highlight challenge of the whole game. The best challenge in the whole game, and it's completely optional. It's a bold choice by Nintendo, but their design so confidently encourages your exploration of the game that I can't think of why I wouldn't climb, fly, or swim through everything.

    Breath of the Wild rewards you for your interactions with Hyrule. It doesn't have any crazy story beats, it's actually laid-back and relaxing. It's a game I can return to again and again. Just explore and find something new. The fact that I found all 120 shrines makes me want even more. They were my favorite thing to find and I refused to fight Ganon until I found all 120.

    I remember when I reached Ganon, I looked up to the top of Hyrule Castle and thought, this could be an amazing photo-op. I scaled the entire castle before fighting Ganon and a stupid little Korok popped up and said I found him. And I was so happy!

    I spent so much time avoiding the main quest that I learned elemental weapons protect you from environmental hazards. I ended up in snowy areas without any armor to keep myself warm. I did the same thing in the tutorial but just ate food until I got to the shrine. That was an option and the game supported it and I admired that it didn't force me to follow the tutorial. Yet here I was freezing, no cold armor and I was fighting monsters in the snow and had no idea where I was going, I was just exploring. When I changed to a flame weapon I saw a subtle shift in Link: he was no longer shivering in-game, the great flame sword was keeping him warm! I was just floored at myself for that discovery! I could run topless through the environment if I wanted to, nothing could stop me... until I realized that my great flame sword was badly damaged and had to change my play style to survive with it strapped to my back until I found the next shrine.

    But that's what I love about Breath of the Wild.

    I cleared that area rocking fire weapons and some hot foods, and then I got to the damn Rito village and found the armor and I was like oh well, didn't need it. I still bought it just in case I ran out of fire gear, but the game never punished me for not using it. In fact, it rewarded me for choosing to play how I wanted. It did the same in the tutorial section where I ran out of patience and nearly froze to death to finish a section.

    Same thing in other environmental hazards in the game, it applies everywhere. You don't need in-depth quests or ridiculous collectibles on a cluttered HUD. You just need to be rewarded for how you interact with the world.

    It's for these reasons I can't imagine another game winning Game of the Year this year, not because I don't think other games aren't worthy or aren't good, but because I can't think of another modern game that has ever let me feel this way while playing it.

    I think Dark Souls made me feel the closest to this feeling. It's a completely different game and brought more of a sense of accomplishment than discovery, but like Zelda it engages your intellect on a different level from most other games. So, remember when I said Breath of the Wild is arguably the greatest 3D game I've ever played? That's because Dark Souls is still in the equation (and Persona 4: Golden but that's entirely different).
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  • Avatar for Iliya-Moroumetz #12 Iliya-Moroumetz 9 days ago
    Though, a legit criticism of it, and of the Zelda series as a whole, is how Nintendo always seems to portray dark-skinned people as either villains or fetishes to be indulged. Mostly, my friend from the UEA, is rightfully upset that ever since their introduction in OOT, the Gerudo are one big, ugly stereotype of middle eastern people with no research done and 'inspired' by racist Western perspectives from an exoticism lens.

    Nintendo would do well to actually hire people from the Middle East to help them design them rather than using the same unflattering design over and over again.
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #13 VotesForCows 9 days ago
    You know, this has done more to interest me in BotW than any review I've read. Sounds like a fantastic design philosophy.
    @Ralek You make a nice distinction. I've replayed both Witcher 3 and Skyrim this year, and what struck me is how bland the former's geography is. I'm almost never going somewhere because it looks interesting, but rather cos I have a quest marker or icon there. Whereas in Skyrim I wander - what's on that ice floe way out to sea, what's with that weird rock, etc.
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  • Avatar for hiptanaka #14 hiptanaka 9 days ago
    The problem with Witcher 3 quests like the Bloody Baron is that for all their narrative depth, they all boil down to following a dotted line over and over again.

    Zelda: BotW is the opposite. The quests are for the most part very straightforward, but you’re on your own to solve them. It demands of the player some amount of understanding and experimentation, even when it’s just ”I need to follow this river to its origin” or ”the yellow butterfly can only be found when it’s raining”. No dotted lines.
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  • Avatar for realchris2011 #15 realchris2011 9 days ago
    One of my favorites in the Switch game Category, other than Super Mario Odyssey.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #16 Ralek 9 days ago
    @Iliya-Moroumetz Sure they could, but that would imply that their point was to portray "middle eastern people" in their games. I don't quite think that was what they were going for. I mean you said it yourself, the Gerudo are supposed to be a bunch of desert-dwelling, exotic people in a fantasy game ...

    Hell, if you want to play it like that, you can point out that about 99% of fantasy games, books and movies are just "one big, ugly stereotype" of Europeans (around the middle ages). I'm not saying that one wrong makes up for another, if you really consider this an issue, but I am saying that this not something that is aimed specifically at people from the middle east.

    After all, it is not a portrayal of "a" people, but a fantasy that's taken clues from reality - as most if not all fantasies do.

    That's not to say that the 'dark ages' stereotype is inaccurate as in 'nothing like this ever happened' or 'this is is entirely unrelated to the actual people/time you are working' but rather that it is taking an incredible narrow view. I mean, how many people do you think, even in this day and age, even realize where the term 'dark ages' came from and what most historians actually refer to when they employ that term? I'd wager that were are talking single digits here in terms of percentage of the overall population, even within that region (Europe).
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  • Avatar for Ralek #17 Ralek 9 days ago
    @Iliya-Moroumetz Sure they could, but that would imply that their point was to portray "middle eastern people" in their games. I don't quite think that was what they were going for. I mean you said it yourself, the Gerudo are supposed to be a bunch of desert-dwelling, exotic people in a fantasy game ...

    Hell, if you want to play it like that, you can point out that about 99% of fantasy games, books and movies are just "one big, ugly stereotype" of Europeans (around the middle ages). I'm not saying that one wrong makes up for another, if you really consider this an issue, but I am saying that this not something that is aimed specifically at people from the middle east.

    After all, it is not a portrayal of "a" people, but a fantasy that's taken clues from reality - as most if not all fantasies do.

    That's not to say that the 'dark ages' stereotype is inaccurate as in 'nothing like this ever happened' or 'this is is entirely unrelated to the actual people/time you are working' but rather that it is taking an incredible narrow view. I mean, how many people do you think, even in this day and age, even realize where the term 'dark ages' came from and what most historians actually refer to when they employ that term? I'd wager that were are talking single digits here in terms of percentage of the overall population, even within that region (Europe).
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  • Avatar for Ralek #18 Ralek 9 days ago
    @Iliya-Moroumetz Sure they could, but that would imply that their point was to portray "middle eastern people" in their games. I don't quite think that was what they were going for. I mean you said it yourself, the Gerudo are supposed to be a bunch of desert-dwelling, exotic people in a fantasy game ...

    Hell, if you want to play it like that, you can point out that about 99% of fantasy games, books and movies are just "one big, ugly stereotype" of Europeans (around the middle ages). I'm not saying that one wrong makes up for another, if you really consider this an issue, but I am saying that this not something that is aimed specifically at people from the middle east.

    After all, it is not a portrayal of "a" people, but a fantasy that's taken clues from reality - as most if not all fantasies do.

    That's not to say that the 'dark ages' stereotype is inaccurate as in 'nothing like this ever happened' or 'this is is entirely unrelated to the actual people/time you are working' but rather that it is taking an incredible narrow view. I mean, how many people do you think, even in this day and age, even realize where the term 'dark ages' came from and what most historians actually refer to when they employ that term? I'd wager that were are talking single digits here in terms of percentage of the overall population, even within that region (Europe).
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  • Avatar for chilon #19 chilon 9 days ago
    @Xemus80 Healing items should work slowly also, it's a bit stupid how you just pause the game mid battle and then your energy is full again.
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  • Avatar for mrhumble1 #20 mrhumble1 9 days ago
    @chilon Post #2: THIS.

    I played for 95 hours, but was not impressed for many of them. I only played for shrine puzzles and when I got bored of them I just quit (I only completed one Divine Beast quest). I ran away from all combat that wasn't involving a Lynel or Guardian because I was sick of having my super-fancy weapons break against weak trash mobs. That is a MAJOR design flaw that nobody else seems to care about, but it totally broke the game for me. Combat should have been thrilling and fun, instead it was a stupid chore that cost far more than it earned.

    Considering the game had no story or characters to care about, I call it nearly a complete fail. I don't care if the world is grand if it's f'n impossible and frustrating to try and climb a damn wall in the rain. Oh so now the game is going to make me wait (until the rain stops) to get where I want to go? The game makes me NOT choose what weapon to use (because they all break)?? The false illusion of "open-world choice" is apparent to me, but so many of you are brainwashed into thinking the game lets you decide how to play it. I feel those design decisions are openly hostile to the player, and there was nothing else about the game that enticed me to look past those flaws.

    Also, there is also a huge disconnect between the "story" (and I only loosely call it that because there is no other word for it) and the world. On one hand you are told there is impending doom, but every town you visit is full of smiling happy people going about their business. Kids playing, animals grazing, people laughing. About every citizen you meet seems happy. Nobody gives a shit about you or your quest, really, except maybe the Divine Beast towns but I didn't care enough to visit more than one of them. That speaks volumes about the "story".

    Looks like I'm the only one who cares about this, though. Everyone else seems to be high as hell on the Kool-Aid.Edited 2 weeks ago by mrhumble1
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  • Avatar for wingzero98 #21 wingzero98 9 days ago
    @mrhumble1 the towns don't care because they have been existing with it for 100 years. They don't care because it doesn't really affect their day to day lives. It's like in Chrono Trigger and how after the Black Omen rises, everyone more or less ignores it since it doesn't affect day to day life either.
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  • Avatar for hiptanaka #22 hiptanaka 8 days ago
    @wingzero98 Yep. I liked that. A slumbering threat and monsters in the wild, but people’s lives go on.
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  • Avatar for Iliya-Moroumetz #23 Iliya-Moroumetz 8 days ago
    @Ralek The problem is, they didn't try to portray one people, they mixed everything even remotely desert themed they could find. Which is not how you go about doing it. Furthermore, white Europeans are rarely ever portrayed as the exotics or the savages. They didn't intend to, but they did it all the same. (Just like Capcom didn't 'intend' for Resident Evil 5 to come off as incredibly tone deaf and racist.)

    Kind of like how Capcom just took every Native American stereotype they could find and made T. Hawk.

    So, no, they didn't do it maliciously. They're just ignorant and they have no excuse. They should be doing better.Edited 2 weeks ago by Iliya-Moroumetz
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  • Avatar for DrCorndog #24 DrCorndog 8 days ago
    BotW shot straight into my "favorite games ever" list (a very short list), and it's stayed there.
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  • Avatar for AstroDemon #25 AstroDemon 7 days ago
    @Kat.Bailey I don't think it's making my top 10, but it's still a good game.
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  • Avatar for docexe #26 docexe 7 days ago
    All Open World games involve a certain amount of repetition. It’s inherent to the genre. The thing with the best ones is that they manage to disguise the repetition and keep the player engaged in spite of it.

    In the case of Breath of the Wild, I think the key is that the simplicity of its mechanics and systems allows them to synergize to a degree that you rarely see in games of this type. That kind of synergy incentivizes the player’s creativity and allows you to tackle the game’s challenges and tasks in pretty much any way you like. Combined with a world design that invites and rewards exploration (even in minor ways) and an UI that doesn’t handhold you for the most part, results in a game that remains engaging even after dozens of hours (or hundreds, in my case).

    Now, I do think that many of the secondary missions in BotW are kind of subpar as they essentially involve a simple fetchquest. That being said, there are a couple of memorable ones (like the one where you have to chase a barrel down the river). I also think that the shrines, the shrine quests and the Korok seed puzzles are more engaging. I would even rate a few of the shrine quests as some of the best sequences in the game.

    Frankly, if they release a sequel, rather than reduce the number of shrines, I think they should increase their aesthetic variety, as it’s really the fact that all of them use the same assets and music what eventually becomes tiresome. That being said, I do think they should make the primary dungeons bigger and deeper. The Divine Beasts are cool, but they are rather small compared to the dungeons in other Zelda games. More dungeons on the scale and complexity of this game’s version of Hyrule’s Castle would be really appreciated.Edited 2 times. Last edited 1 weeks ago by docexe
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  • Avatar for docexe #27 docexe 7 days ago
    @mrhumble1 I honestly don’t know if you are trolling or serious, given how so many of the “flaws” you complaint about the game are exaggerations or otherwise inaccurate (the one regarding the weapon’s durability for instance: Weapons are plentiful in the game and there are several ways to get them, so even if they all break, that doesn’t really limit your playstyle or options). For not mentioning that they are presented in a blatantly belligerent way, as if goading people to argue.

    Assuming you are serious, however, I’m just going to say this: It’s perfectly OK to dislike a game that other people like. It didn’t resonate with you for whatever reason, and that’s fine. But you do realize that treating other people who don’t share your opinion about the game as if they were “brainwashed” or otherwise less intelligent than you is the height of being self-centered and arrogant, don’t you?Edited 2 times. Last edited 1 weeks ago by docexe
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  • Avatar for chaoticBeat #28 chaoticBeat 7 days ago
    I really enjoy BotW and it's definitely up there as far as games of the year go. I like how vulnerable weapons are and that I had to switch up my tactics and hang onto really powerful swords for the elite enemies. It reminds me of the Souls games in how I could die trying to get back to my souls/blood echoes. Nothing is truly lost though because I'm always growing as a player. Breaking weapons is aligned with that same principle of being able to let go of in-game items with the knowledge that I'm always becoming a better player.

    My only concern with the game are the Divine Beast puzzle dungeons. Some of the puzzles are insidiously challenging and had me reaching for a strategy guide. I don't think I would have been able to conquer any of them without one.
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  • Avatar for Mooglepies #29 Mooglepies 7 days ago
    I liked it, enough to plow 80 hours into it according to my Switch, but I have no desire to go back to it now, or indeed at any point in the near future. I'm not sure exploration makes for great replay value and I have a feeling it's not going to get any replay value at all for me, personally. I'm not sure whether it's fair to knock the game for that, though.

    I think Odyssey was a better transition for a series to modern open world game, If I had to choose between the two (thankfully I don't). Apples and oranges though, Zelda with its single contiguous world wouldn't have been suited to Odyssey's structure.
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  • Avatar for mrhumble1 #30 mrhumble1 7 days ago
    @docexe Oh I am definitely NOT trolling, and you prove my point when I say some gamers are brainwashed by Nintendo's BS. That's not a statement on their intelligence itself, but it could be if they make inconsistent arguments as you did.

    How can you say my options are not limited when I cannot use the weapons I want to use?? This statement contradicts itself. I want to use a fire sword, but using it will cause it to break in my hands, so I CAN'T use it, even though I want to. Sure I COULD, but then it would break (in the middle of a battle, causing me to interrupt it and pick another weapon that I did NOT want to use) and then I'd have to venture out to find another one, which would also break. This loop forces me to do what the game wants, NOT what I want. Yet you say this isn't the case when it clearly is.
    You say this is about "letting go" and "always becoming a better player", but again that is Nintendo's BS. First, name one other game in the last decade where EVERY WEAPON disintegrates after a relatively short time. Go ahead... I'll give you a minute. You can't mention one because this is TERRIBLE GAME DESIGN. Second, "becoming a better player" is just verbal nonsense in a game that's not an RPG and offers no character progression. The combat is simple and basic, but would be a ton of fun if I could pick a weapon and just wreck with it. Instead you can't do that because in the middle of EVERY fight you are FORCED to switch to another weapon.

    BotW is an open world with an illusion of choice. You can choose some things, but when it comes to core gameplay you have no options.

    NOTE: I sincerely apologize if I come off as rude or insulting. I am VERY salty at the game itself for being designed the way it is, and that frustrates me to no end. It also frustrates me when others do not see it for what it is, and try to say it is something it is not.Edited 6 days ago by mrhumble1
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  • Avatar for novacav #31 novacav 7 days ago
    @chilon I agree Odyssey is better.
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  • Avatar for novacav #32 novacav 7 days ago
    @Kat.Bailey

    I agree, but it's different fans each time though. It's not as if the same fans are so inept as to not realize they are doing that.

    When Zelda's the same, certain people who loved OoT and have wanted Zelda to return to being the cutting edge hip cultural zeitgeist massive open game ever since (slot filled by Skyrim Witcher etc until BotW) complain.

    When Zelda's different and actually does do what it has with BotW (paradigm shift/big changes/innovation/becomes "the thing"), lovers of Wind Waker, TP, SS, etc, who enjoy tradition, continuous iteration and polishing of a gem (not to mention impactful and emotionally staying plot and narrative, which BotW sorely lacked imo) are more agitated.

    Those are just two simple categories, and I am probably generalizing as there are likely several more and much crossover.

    But the point is, it's not the same people whining. I'm not necessarily saying you said that either, just wanna point it out in the comments for people passing by.Edited 6 days ago by novacav
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  • Avatar for ATBro #33 ATBro 7 days ago
    @chilon I agree entirely.
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  • Avatar for novacav #34 novacav 7 days ago
    @mrhumble1 Hey dude, so I'm probably in a minority here that pretty much fully agrees with you, although I don't think I'm quite *as* salty. To me the game is like a 7 or 8 out of 10 depending on the day. I did enjoy it, exploring in particular, but for a Zelda game it was still rather disappointing to me.

    I would have forgiven all shortcomings if the story was in the same league as every Zelda since OoT by the way, aka compelling memorable and with emotional staying power, but there was none of that either. The bad voice acting was the last straw and hurt my heart.

    Anyway, I'm wondering what your opinion of other Zelda games is given your opinion of BotW.
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  • Avatar for docexe #35 docexe 7 days ago
    @mrhumble1 Ok, I have to admit I didn’t quite understood what you meant in your previous comment about the weapons durability limiting your options, but even then I still maintain that you are... well, inaccurate .

    The thing with the whole issue of “illusion of choice” you mention is that every single videogame in existence suffers from it to one degree or the other, because every single videogame is a computer simulation. The player is inevitably limited by the systems and rules that the game developers designed and programmed into said simulation. When people say that a game provides you with a lot of freedom and choices, they mean that it does within the context of the hard limits established by those rules and systems.

    In this case, BotW is certainly designed with the idea that weapons are a limited resource that must be managed, which indeed means that the game doesn’t allow you to use the same weapon forever and requires you to change weapons as well as scavenge for more. But even then, the game still gives you plenty of choice when it comes to how you acquire and manage your weapons. For instance, while it might be impossible to keep using the same fire sword for the entire length of the game, nothing prevents you from filling your inventory with nothing else but fire swords, if that’s indeed your preferred weapon type. It might require a certain time investment to accomplish it, but it’s completely possible to do.

    At the end of the day, the simple fact is that you personally didn’t like the “breakable weapon” mechanic itself at all and it turned to be a massive deal breaker regarding the game. That’s fine! Note though that several other people still liked the game in spite of that mechanic, or even ended liking the mechanic itself, and that’s fine too. For instance, rather than more weapon durability, I personally would have preferred a bigger weapon stash and a button prompt to quick swap whatever weapon I’m holding for one found at a chest or left in the ground.

    Edit: I might also add that the weapon’s low durability overall is not really bad game design or hostile to the player because, again, weapons are more than plentiful in the game.Edited 4 times. Last edited 6 days ago by docexe
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  • Avatar for mrhumble1 #36 mrhumble1 7 days ago
    @novacav Believe it or not, BotW was the first Zelda game I ever played (EDIT: I played maybe 5 hours of Twilight Princess on the Wii but HATED IT. I could not wrap my mind around the ridiculous grunting and moaning all the characters did since none of them spoke). A history of my gaming equipment will show why:

    -Commodore 64
    -Amiga
    -Sega Genesis
    -Atari Lynx
    -Sega Game gear
    -PC (for a looong time)
    -PS2
    -Sony PSP
    -XB360
    -Wii
    -PS3
    -PS4
    -Vita
    -Nintendo 3DSXL
    - Switch

    As you can see, there are no Nintendo systems on the list until recently, so I missed all the Zelda games. Not because I didn't want to play them, I just didn't own a Nintendo console.

    Honestly, I was SHOCKED when I played BotW. I was excited to experience a Zelda game after hearing all about how the stories were so good, and I knew there was a very dedicated fanbase. It was quite a disappointment to see BotW have virtually zero narrative. Note, I only beat one of the Divine Beasts, because I just didn't care enough to do more, but what I did see of the "story" was not at all impressive. I didn't care at all for anyone. Link is criminally "mute" (so he can talk to townspeople to buy things and get information, and can kinda interact with them via a dialogue tree, but he does not speak in any other sense????) and Zelda herself comes off terribly in the few Memories I uncovered.

    Add this to the list of reasons BotW was a big disappointment. I would give it a 6.5, maybe a 7, but that's it. Take away the weapon durability and it's EASILY an 8, or 8.25. I can't give a game with no narrative any more than that, not when games have been telling amazing stories for decades. Add in all the user-hostile game elements and I was frustrated the majority of my play time. The exploration and shrine puzzles were the only fun thing about the game, and that's not what I was expecting.Edited 6 days ago by mrhumble1
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  • Avatar for wingzero98 #37 wingzero98 6 days ago
    @mrhumble1 it could use a smithing component sure, but it's not that hard to replace most equipment in the game. There's only two or three truly unique items that once broken can't be replaced. Otherwise, everything else is prettt easily farmed.
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  • Avatar for docexe #38 docexe 6 days ago
    @mrhumble1 Breath of the Wild does have a narrative but is presented in a very fragmentary way: You have to complete all the main quests (not only the Divine Beasts, but also the Master Sword), recover all the memories, as well as find and read the character’s diaries in order to get the full picture. Personally, I think the main story itself is pretty simplistic on the whole, but I did found the characters charming and their tribulations engaging.

    That being said, if you prefer storylines in games to be presented with full voice acting or “cinematic values”, then the Zelda series is, plainly speaking, not for you. Link has always been a “silent protagonist” (one of those traditions in the franchise that Nintendo refuses to abandon), and the storyline in most games is presented in a very… well, “archaic” manner, aka: all dialogue in text boxes (sometimes accompanied with grunts or “giberish” voices) and silent cut scenes. BotW is actually the first game in the entire series to include any actual voice acting, and only in a few cut scenes.
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  • Avatar for mrhumble1 #39 mrhumble1 6 days ago
    @wingzero98

    Ok so instead of using a weapon I like in a normal manner as in other games, I have to remember where I found it on the map and then go retrieve it OVER AND OVER again after it disintegrates?? Oh, and this is only after it re-spawns, which is not every day. THAT is the answer??? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds??

    That brings me to the Master Sword. That thing is supposed to have been forged by a Goddess to destroy evil, right?? I went through the process of getting it, and was gleefully excited about slicing legs off Guardians (which is a lot of fun, actually), but then was extremely disappointed when I could barely make it through ONE Guardian before the damn thing runs out of energy. IT'S EVEN WORSE when it comes to trash mobs. So this sword, forged by the Goddess to yadda-yadda defeat evil yadda-yadda will run out of energy after bashing just a few generic Bokoblins on the head??!?!?? That's F'N useless as hell.

    This design decision, that everyone else just dismisses, is AWFUL. I should have been looking for bad guys to clobber, instead I ran away from almost every encounter. Why should I waste my weapons on those weak grunts?? What's to be gained?? NOTHING. No EXP, no loot, no skill progression. Nothing to gain, but yet there is much to be lost. What If I found that sword in the middle of nowhere? No way I should have to trek to the corner of the map over and over to get it back.

    I guarantee that if all of you who support it could turn it off and just wreck shop with whatever elemental or powerful sword you found, that you would do so in a split second. There's a reason why no other game like this has weapons that disintegrate. It's player-hostile, and even worse, it's FUN-hostile. Games are supposed to be fun, right?Edited 5 days ago by mrhumble1
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  • Avatar for docexe #40 docexe 5 days ago
    @mrhumble1 Except that fighting those grunts tends to give you more weapons, in compensation for the ones you spend battling them. Pretty much all the “infantry type” enemies in the game (Bokoblins, Lizalfos and Moblins) tend to carry at least one weapon with them. Also, as you progress in the game and complete the Divine Beast quests, stronger variants of those enemies start to appear in increasing frequency, and those also carry more powerful weapons, with increased durability as well. For that matter, the general rule that the game employs to weapon scaling is that the more attack power a weapon has, the more durable it tends to be (barring some exceptions, like the Sheikah weapons that you find in the final dungeon, or the weapons carried by members of the Yiga clan). Late in the game, weapons with special bonuses (including extended durability) also start to appear.

    Indeed, the easiest way to get particularly powerful weapons in BotW is actually to raid the enemy camps, so it’s not really pointless to fight the “trash mobs” as you call them. Talking about it, that’s one of the reasons why I would prefer a bigger weapon stash rather than more weapon durability: Late in the game, I was battling and killing entire groups of enemies, then finding myself surrounded by all the weapons they left behind (which usually exceeded the number of weapons that I spent battling them) and having a hard time deciding which ones to keep. Another advantage to fighting enemies is that they give you monster parts, which you can sell with the merchants or use to cook elixirs that give you temporary stat bonuses (including increased attack power).

    The elemental weapons are admittedly more rare than the standard ones, but they still spawn in several areas, and some enemies also carry them.

    All this is to say that the weapons and durability mechanics in BotW are not as hostile to the player as you paint them. They could use some improvements, sure: Making it more clear how much durability a weapon has left before it breaks for instance. A “smithing” or “reforgement” mechanic for all the weapons instead of only the champion ones would also be appreciated. In the end though, the game mechanics are not badly designed. If anything, I only found the weapon durability particularly grueling at the very beginning of the game.

    As to the Master Sword, the game actually justifies story wise why it loses its energy: it’s in a diminished state after Link fell in the battle with Ganon’s forces 100 years ago, and hasn’t recovered its full power. In any case, the first DLC addresses the complaint of such a divine weapon losing it’s energy against standard monsters: If you complete all the Trials of the Sword included in the DLC, the sword recovers its full power, which means it increases its attack stat and retains its energy permanently (of course, given how much you hated the “breakable weapons”, you might be rightly indignant about having to pay extra in order to finally get an indestructible weapon).
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  • Avatar for makia #41 makia 5 days ago
    Very long article and really o got tired reading this.Here is some review about There is amazing information is available there. Let me know if you get it.Edited 2 times. Last edited 4 days ago by makia
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  • Avatar for makia #42 makia 5 days ago
    Very long article and really o got tired reading this.Here is some review about this here on There is amazing information is available there. Let me know if you get it. I'm Marya From ALaska
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  • Avatar for mrhumble1 #43 mrhumble1 5 days ago
    @docexe
    @docexe

    Again, you are kinda missing the point. The point is the player should be able to choose the weapon they use in a game like that. Tomb Raider lets you choose if you want to use a bow or a gun. Horizon lets you use a variety of weapons also, and if you like a certain one you can use it all you like. If you go out of your way to find a special sword or weapon in Skyrin, Fallout, etc then you are rewarded for that since you can use the weapon as long as it's useful. CHOICE should rule in games that claim to be open.
    I also understand that the level of the enemies gets higher as you beat more Divine Beasts, but I never gave a shit about that (see my previous post about the story being non-existent). Again, the game says it's open and that you can do things as you please, but it also designed around me taking the path they want. If I don't do that, then all the random mobs have weak clubs. One of the reason I like the fancy weapons is because I spent so many hours with boring clubs and soup ladles.

    Also, and I hate to say this, you keep spouting Nintendo's nonsense. That Kool-Aid got you good!! You are defending their design decisions by saying they are "explained" in the game. I don't give a shit if they are explained or not, they are stupid decisions. So the Master Sword is weak because of *insert random nonsense here*?? Then make a quest that enables it to be unbreakable (This does not exist, BTW. Even if you complete the challenges in the DLC, the sword still has a durability rating and will run out of energy and need to recharge). Put in quests that reward the player with weapons that do not break, or hide them somewhere for players to find. The game doesn't really have many decent quests as it is, which is another thing everyone seems to ignore.
    Speaking of choice, even if these unbreakable items WERE in the game, you people who like having their weapons shatter like glass DON'T HAVE TO USE THEM. That's why I think it would have been better to include a mode that turns weapon durability off completely. If you like that then you can keep it, but forcing every player to deal with it is unacceptable.
    Finally, and this is the straw that broke my back and got me to stop playing immediately, weapons NEVER BREAK FOR THE ENEMIES. I found a spot where there were a few mounted Bokoblins with bows, so I put on my leveled-up Ancient Armor and ran around in circles picking up arrows on the ground. After I picked up about +250 arrows, I came to some conclusions:
    1. WEAPONS DON'T BREAK FOR THE ENEMIES. I got maybe 20-30 shots out of a bow before it broke, yet these guys were shooting over and over with no issue. The ones I picked up were far fewer than the total they fired, so there is no way I would be able to shoot that many arrows with one bow. So if the weapons are so damn fragile, why do they not break for the enemies????
    2. THEY NEVER RAN OUT OF ARROWS. I care less about this but still it is annoying.

    At that point, I closed the game and took it back to Gamestop to trade it in. Would I like to get back into it?? ABSOLUTELY. The world is great and I loved wrecking on Guardians and Lynels. I wish they would patch in some way to make the weapons last, but that is not gonna happen, and it's a damn shame.
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  • Avatar for docexe #44 docexe 3 days ago
    @mrhumble1 Sigh... No, I didn’t misunderstood your point, neither “drank the kool-aid” or are “brainwashed by Nintendo PR” as you love to say in order to invalidate arguments that don’t align with your own (I have to ask you to stop doing that, it’s extremely rude). Your point, at the end of the day, is that you don’t like the particular mechanics of BotW, because they are different from other games that you prefer and they frustrate you. I’m not disputing that, you like what you like. What I’m disputing are your asseverations that it’s a badly designed game and hostile to the player, because that’s not the case.

    True, BotW doesn’t provide the same feeling of reward and elation at getting a new weapon like other games do, because it treats all weapons as consumable/disposable items. But that’s not bad design in and out of itself, because the game is actually well balanced around that particular design decision: weapons are plentiful, tend to respawn in several areas and you still have plenty of choice of which weapons to use, how to get them and where to find them.

    Furthermore, the game doesn’t reward progression and exploration through the weapons you acquire, it rewards it through the other elements that you can find in the world and that allow you to get permanent bonuses: The shrines and the spirit orbs, the special clothes that you can wear and upgrade, the korok seeds, the Champions abilities that you get by completing the Divine Beasts.

    “But the enemies won’t start carrying stronger weapons until I complete the main quests, so the game is still forcing me to play it in a certain way, not how I want”. Man, pretty much every single Open World game with a storyline component locks content behind the main story missions, that doesn’t mean your freedom of choice is completely negated. You previously stated that I contradicted myself regarding that, but I didn’t. Rather, our definitions of what constitutes “freedom” in games are different. In my case “Freedom of choice” in videogames means “freedom of choice within the rules governing the game”, and BotW gives you plenty of freedom within its particular rules. For instance, the simple fact that you spent 95 hours completing shrines without tackling the main quests at all proves that the game indeed gives you freedom regarding the way you play it.

    Now, investigating a bit more, turns out that I was mistaken and completing the Divine Beasts is not the way to get stronger enemies to appear. The game apparently keeps track of the number of mobs killed and starts spawning stronger variants after you hit a certain count. So, by running away from the “trash mobs”, you were actually punishing yourself.

    In the end though, most of your complaints about BotW boil down to personal preference. In that sense, I can’t fault you for trading it. It’s clearly not the game for you, and you are better playing something else rather than returning towards it. All of that being said, I do have to thank you for correcting me on the issue of the Trials of the Sword. I have to admit I have not completed the last trial, but I had read that the sword became unbreakable after completing all of them. Seems that my source was mistaken.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #45 Ralek 14 hours ago
    @Iliya-Moroumetz What in particular was offensive to you about the Gerudo? The thing about stereotypes is that they work well to convey themes. Most if not all world builders and story tellers hence use them to communicate something, they rather not bother devoting any real time to mentionotherwise. Or at times, even to intentionally mislead the audience by playing a character against his/her stereotype. I can't necessarily say I agree with you, if I'm not exactly sure what about their version of stereotypical ancient oriental civilization offends you.

    I mean, let it put me this way: I'd much prefered it, if they had come up with something entirely new that still had the same cultural depth, but alas, that is pretty hard. With any stereotype people have a well of association to draw from, with something new (which is near impossible to create in and off itself) you have to provide all those associations yourself.

    I dunno, in many ways, it's just how we are wired ... in a weird fashion from todays vantage point. On average, it's takes us roughly 0.3 seconds to make take a 'first impression' of another human being, and then proceed to label them accordingly. That has nothing to do with political correctness or not being sensitive to other cultures or ethnicities for example, but everything to do with our evolution. Sure, you'd expected people to be willing and able to look beyond these first impressions and the labels they attached to others, but then again, this is a game, so we should be able to see it for what it is, yeah, but also what it was intended to be.

    I guess, it can be offensive to someone, sure, but I can't quit see how it is in any way particularly racist, esp. since I don't really see any negative stereotypes being enforced at all, and on top of that, it certainly was intended to be in any way racist. Also, I feel like the Gerudo being a society of emancipated women - if there ever was such a thing in a game like this - goes pretty much directly against most 'oriental' stereotypes, ancient and modern ways. Again, not saying that there is nothing here that could not rightfully offed, and that this is shame and that Nintendo should have done better, but overall I think it's a pretty good game, and I don't see anything ... well, approaching rampant racism or bigotry, that is poised to bring the whole edifice down.

    I think if anything, it is offensive because the Gerudo were rather obviously inspired by real-life people, cultures and regions - unlike most other races in BotW besides the Hylians of course. I mean, the whole judeo-christian allegories are kinda heavy handed in BotW and Zelda in general, and if I were to care about faith I would probably be offended ... on the other hand, it's so obvious and on the nose, that it often felt comical to me. Then again, we - or at least I for one - am so used to see those same patterns being repeated over and over again, that it would be hard to muster any kind of outrage, even if I were to care one bit about the mass delusion I had decided to keep participating in against my better judgement and in defiance of my rational mind, that has otherwise served me so well in life for decades (like I said, people are incredibly weird constructs ^^).

    The point I was trying to make is, that we should NOT try to overreach in terms of being as inoffensive to anyone imaginable as possible. And yeah, I know how that sounds, but I am quite serious about this. There can be no more art in this world, if every stroke of the pen or brush has to be preceded by an extensive research program, a couple of weeks of cultural sensitivity training and ... well, consulting a lawyer or something like that. I'm all for calling out abuse of malicious stereotypes, esp. in a primarly or purely commercial contexts, but I'm not sure that BotW falls squarely into that category. The best 'solution' to this kind of misrepresentation in the media, is that people who feel their heritage, culture, region, religion or whatever really, was misused speak out ... and then go on to prove that it can be done better.

    In that sense I would whole heartedly endorse more people form the middle-east making modern cultural products, just as videogames and Zelda. In a way, this is a step up even from what we could consider 'constructive criticism' to ... well, a critical constructiveness of sorts, if you will. Still, I think if you want to politicize it, which is fair enough, I feel like the message of the Gerudo, that women are strong and valueable, and well able to govern themselves is kinda neat if not exactly true - esp. in this day and age of Trumpism and sexual predators being demasked in leading positions all through society, even in the most liberals of bastions - and of course in a day and age where millions of women in the middle-east are all but regarded as fully realized individuals independent of any man, be it their father, brothr, husband or whomever.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #46 Ralek 13 hours ago
    @Iliya-Moroumetz What in particular was offensive to you about the Gerudo? The thing about stereotypes is that they work well to convey themes. Most if not all world builders and story tellers hence use them to communicate something, they rather not bother devoting any real time to mentionotherwise. Or at times, even to intentionally mislead the audience by playing a character against his/her stereotype. I can't necessarily say I agree with you, if I'm not exactly sure what about their version of stereotypical ancient oriental civilization offends you.

    I mean, let it put me this way: I'd much prefered it, if they had come up with something entirely new that still had the same cultural depth, but alas, that is pretty hard. With any stereotype people have a well of association to draw from, with something new (which is near impossible to create in and off itself) you have to provide all those associations yourself.

    I dunno, in many ways, it's just how we are wired ... in a weird fashion from todays vantage point. On average, it's takes us roughly 0.3 seconds to make take a 'first impression' of another human being, and then proceed to label them accordingly. That has nothing to do with political correctness or not being sensitive to other cultures or ethnicities for example, but everything to do with our evolution. Sure, you'd expected people to be willing and able to look beyond these first impressions and the labels they attached to others, but then again, this is a game, so we should be able to see it for what it is, yeah, but also what it was intended to be.

    I guess, it can be offensive to someone, sure, but I can't quit see how it is in any way particularly racist, esp. since I don't really see any negative stereotypes being enforced at all, and on top of that, it certainly was intended to be in any way racist. Also, I feel like the Gerudo being a society of emancipated women - if there ever was such a thing in a game like this - goes pretty much directly against most 'oriental' stereotypes, ancient and modern ways. Again, not saying that there is nothing here that could not rightfully offed, and that this is shame and that Nintendo should have done better, but overall I think it's a pretty good game, and I don't see anything ... well, approaching rampant racism or bigotry, that is poised to bring the whole edifice down.

    I think if anything, it is offensive because the Gerudo were rather obviously inspired by real-life people, cultures and regions - unlike most other races in BotW besides the Hylians of course. I mean, the whole judeo-christian allegories are kinda heavy handed in BotW and Zelda in general, and if I were to care about faith I would probably be offended ... on the other hand, it's so obvious and on the nose, that it often felt comical to me. Then again, we - or at least I for one - am so used to see those same patterns being repeated over and over again, that it would be hard to muster any kind of outrage, even if I were to care one bit about the mass delusion I had decided to keep participating in against my better judgement and in defiance of my rational mind, that has otherwise served me so well in life for decades (like I said, people are incredibly weird constructs ^^).

    The point I was trying to make is, that we should NOT try to overreach in terms of being as inoffensive to anyone imaginable as possible. And yeah, I know how that sounds, but I am quite serious about this. There can be no more art in this world, if every stroke of the pen or brush has to be preceded by an extensive research program, a couple of weeks of cultural sensitivity training and ... well, consulting a lawyer or something like that. I'm all for calling out abuse of malicious stereotypes, esp. in a primarly or purely commercial contexts, but I'm not sure that BotW falls squarely into that category. The best 'solution' to this kind of misrepresentation in the media, is that people who feel their heritage, culture, region, religion or whatever really, was misused speak out ... and then go on to prove that it can be done better.

    In that sense I would whole heartedly endorse more people form the middle-east making modern cultural products, just as videogames and Zelda. In a way, this is a step up even from what we could consider 'constructive criticism' to ... well, a critical constructiveness of sorts, if you will. Still, I think if you want to politicize it, which is fair enough, I feel like the message of the Gerudo, that women are strong and valueable, and well able to govern themselves is kinda neat if not exactly true - esp. in this day and age of Trumpism and sexual predators being demasked in leading positions all through society, even in the most liberals of bastions - and of course in a day and age where millions of women in the middle-east are all but regarded as fully realized individuals independent of any man, be it their father, brothr, husband or whomever.
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  • Avatar for Ralek #47 Ralek 13 hours ago
    @Iliya-Moroumetz What in particular was offensive to you about the Gerudo? The thing about stereotypes is that they work well to convey themes. Most if not all world builders and story tellers hence use them to communicate something, they rather not bother devoting any real time to mentionotherwise. Or at times, even to intentionally mislead the audience by playing a character against his/her stereotype. I can't necessarily say I agree with you, if I'm not exactly sure what about their version of stereotypical ancient oriental civilization offends you.

    I mean, let it put me this way: I'd much prefered it, if they had come up with something entirely new that still had the same cultural depth, but alas, that is pretty hard. With any stereotype people have a well of association to draw from, with something new (which is near impossible to create in and off itself) you have to provide all those associations yourself.

    I dunno, in many ways, it's just how we are wired ... in a weird fashion from todays vantage point. On average, it's takes us roughly 0.3 seconds to make take a 'first impression' of another human being, and then proceed to label them accordingly. That has nothing to do with political correctness or not being sensitive to other cultures or ethnicities for example, but everything to do with our evolution. Sure, you'd expected people to be willing and able to look beyond these first impressions and the labels they attached to others, but then again, this is a game, so we should be able to see it for what it is, yeah, but also what it was intended to be.

    I guess, it can be offensive to someone, sure, but I can't quit see how it is in any way particularly racist, esp. since I don't really see any negative stereotypes being enforced at all, and on top of that, it certainly was intended to be in any way racist. Also, I feel like the Gerudo being a society of emancipated women - if there ever was such a thing in a game like this - goes pretty much directly against most 'oriental' stereotypes, ancient and modern ways. Again, not saying that there is nothing here that could not rightfully offed, and that this is shame and that Nintendo should have done better, but overall I think it's a pretty good game, and I don't see anything ... well, approaching rampant racism or bigotry, that is poised to bring the whole edifice down.

    I think if anything, it is offensive because the Gerudo were rather obviously inspired by real-life people, cultures and regions - unlike most other races in BotW besides the Hylians of course. I mean, the whole judeo-christian allegories are kinda heavy handed in BotW and Zelda in general, and if I were to care about faith I would probably be offended ... on the other hand, it's so obvious and on the nose, that it often felt comical to me. Then again, we - or at least I for one - am so used to see those same patterns being repeated over and over again, that it would be hard to muster any kind of outrage, even if I were to care one bit about the mass delusion I had decided to keep participating in against my better judgement and in defiance of my rational mind, that has otherwise served me so well in life for decades (like I said, people are incredibly weird constructs ^^).

    The point I was trying to make is, that we should NOT try to overreach in terms of being as inoffensive to anyone imaginable as possible. And yeah, I know how that sounds, but I am quite serious about this. There can be no more art in this world, if every stroke of the pen or brush has to be preceded by an extensive research program, a couple of weeks of cultural sensitivity training and ... well, consulting a lawyer or something like that. I'm all for calling out abuse of malicious stereotypes, esp. in a primarly or purely commercial contexts, but I'm not sure that BotW falls squarely into that category. The best 'solution' to this kind of misrepresentation in the media, is that people who feel their heritage, culture, region, religion or whatever really, was misused speak out ... and then go on to prove that it can be done better.

    In that sense I would whole heartedly endorse more people form the middle-east making modern cultural products, just as videogames and Zelda. In a way, this is a step up even from what we could consider 'constructive criticism' to ... well, a critical constructiveness of sorts, if you will. Still, I think if you want to politicize it, which is fair enough, I feel like the message of the Gerudo, that women are strong and valueable, and well able to govern themselves is kinda neat if not exactly true - esp. in this day and age of Trumpism and sexual predators being demasked in leading positions all through society, even in the most liberals of bastions - and of course in a day and age where millions of women in the middle-east are all but regarded as fully realized individuals independent of any man, be it their father, brothr, husband or whomever.
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