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Article Marine Talks Games: Breath of the Wild

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Morgaine, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Morgaine

    Morgaine Goddess of Shinies

    (Litleo ♀)
    Level 3
    May 1, 2016
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    Marine Talks Games
    The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

    Just over a month and a half ago, the latest game in the Legend of Zelda Series was released: Breath of the Wild, for the Wii U and the Switch. The last console game before Breath of the Wild, Skyward Sword for the Wii, wasn't as well-received as other installments in the series. It had a tight grip on the player and what they were supposed to do next. That had become a general trend in most newer games that irritated the veteran player. Breath of the Wild defies the trend of games becoming more streamlined and locking the player in a linear story with no breaks from the story progress. This game offers an experience like no other Zelda game, or even most open world games. I remember watching a video in which one of the developers stated that Breath of the Wild was not an open world game, but an open sky game. After playing it to my heart's content after waiting almost nine months since I first played the demo, I have to agree. The world and the skies are yours to command.


    Gaining the Wings to Fly

    Breath of the Wild starts fairly easy. You wake up in the tutorial area, in your underwear and with a piece of equipment called the Sheikah Slate. After leaving the Shrine of Resurrection, the name of the cave, you are allowed to explore the Great Plateau to your heart's content. Gathering supplies is probably the first thing you will do, after you watch the title of the game flash across the screen while you were gaping at the sheer size of the new Hyrule. Aside from you, the only person on the Great Plateau is an old man that shows you the ropes and introduces you to the Towers and Shrines.

    The Sheikah Towers are your basic waypoints after you activate the Master Tower. They serve as landmarks and provide you with a map of the area. When I first looked at the map of the Great Plateau, I was flabbergasted. When I looked at the Great Plateau, it reminded of Ocarina of Time's Hyrule Field. It was about the same size. But on the map it, was only a pin prick. It was tiny in comparison with the entire map. And supposedly in that small area four Shrines are hiding waiting to be discovered by Link. The Shrines are small dungeons, tiny puzzles or small challenges that test your intuition and knowledge of not only the game, but also your puzzle solving skill. The four Shrines in the Great Plateau give you Runes: the Bomb Runes, with which you can blow up rocks that hide treasure, make lumber from trees, and even terrify your enemies, the Stasis Rune, that is usable on rocks that you can launch after hitting them enough times, the Magnesis Rune, which can be used to build bridges with iron plates, or fish treasure chests out of the water, and lastly, the Cryosis Rune, that can freeze water and make stepping blocks appear that you can use to cross bodies of water.

    The Shrines also give you Spirit Orbs. You will need four of these to gain another Heart Container or Stamina Vessel. After gathering the four Orbs of the Great Plateau, you learn why you were placed in the Shrine of Resurrection: one century ago Calamity Ganon rose again and you failed to fulfill your duties as the Champion of Hyrule, leaving the land to its fate. Now it is time to redeem yourself, and go out in the vast land that is Hyrule and gather the strength needed to save the land and its Princess that has been fighting for 100 years, waiting for you to awake.


    Trying out the Wings

    In the beginning area, it becomes clear that simply gathering weapons isn't enough. You need to manage them and make sure that you don't run out of weapons, because if you do you will be an easy target. Sure, you have bombs and they are great for distractions, but in the end they simply won't do. Don't be afraid to replace weapons even if they are still in working order. The improved durability of the weapon you pick up will make up for it in the long run. Enemies get stronger and stronger the longer you play and the more you slay while you are roaming Hyrule. You might be looking surprised, because the enemies on the Great Plateau didn't respawn. That is because you haven't been introduced to one of the most important mechanics of the game yet: The Blood Moon. The red moon in the sky will respawn your slain enemies, often stronger than before.

    Stronger enemies means that you need more weapons. But your inventory is severely limited at the beginning and managing it quickly becomes bothersome. Lucky, Hestu has a solution. Hestu is a gigantic Korok. You might remember the Korok from Wind Waker. They are small tree-like creatures that are hidden all over Hyrule in Breath of the Wild. 900 of them are hidden in various nooks and crannies and if you solve their mini-puzzles you get a Korok seed. You can trade in these Korok seeds for extra weapon, bow, and shield inventory slots. Hestu, the lovable Maraca Musician lost the Korok seeds that belong in his Maracas and needs you to get them for him. In return you get to carry more weapons. It will cost more seeds per upgrade, but it is worth it to be able to carry that extra Royal Broad Sword with you.

    But having more attack power means nothing if you cannot take hits. Trust me, you will be getting killed a lot- in the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of the game. Enemies grow stronger with each Blood moon and killing them gets progressively harder and harder. So it is time to suit up. The first village where the game wants you to go is Kakariko Village, a classic town in the series and home to the Sheikah people. This is also the first town that lets you buy new clothes. The Hylian outfit and the Sheikah garb are for sale here. The Hylian Outfit has more defense and the Sheikah garb gives you a stealth bonus. If you have enough rupees, think about picking up both sets. It is possible to upgrade most of the outfits in the game, by finding and freeing the Great Fairies. One is close by Kakariko, so go and check it out. When you have upgraded each piece of a set twice it is possible that it gains a set bonus, like Unburnable, Unfreeze able, or Heat resistant. Hoard all the materials!


    Fly through Hyrule

    The map has shown it already: Hyrule is immense. It is full of mountains, rivers, fields, even a volcano, and a desert. There is no place where you can't go and explore the area to find hidden Shrines or Koroks. Sub-bosses are found everywhere and without proper equipment you will find yourself running away more often than actually conquering the place where you wanted to go. When setting out a route on the chart, I found myself often getting sidetracked by different things: there was a shrine in the way; an enemy camp was begging to be destroyed; that looked like a place where a Korok might be hiding; there was a Lynel that was too scary to bother crossing that place. Traveling from one place to another takes a lot of time, especially on foot or by glider, because it is easier to go off course and explore a bit more before remembering you were going somewhere. When riding on horseback it is a bit simpler to stay focused on the goal, because who would put their beloved steed in danger? And the fact that they stay on the path by themselves, is also a huge help.

    If you decide to only do the main mission objectives and not explore more of the land, you will never get to see about 65% of the game. The main mission is just a small part and the objectives are confined to just the four main villages and the Divine Beasts. Link's memories take you to places that you must have seen to be able to recognize. And yet, it is all optional. You read that right. The whole story part of the game is optional. The moment you leave the Great Plateau and set foot in Hyrule Field, the world is yours to command. You can go and do the missions, meet the inhabitants of Hyrule, and bring peace to your friends that perished in battle 100 years ago, or you can go and fight Ganon immediately. It is not recommended, because, let's face it, you are a shadow of your former self. Weak and easily exhausted, you must be a good player to be able to defeat Calamity Ganon at the point in the game. But the game allows you to do it, and that is an important detail.

    While the game encourages you to get sidetracked and explore, it also says, go try. Conquering the Divine Beasts and the Shrines make you stronger, but they are not a requirement. Not even going to get the Master Sword is needed to slay Ganon. There is only Hyrule Castle and its guardians standing in your way. If you fail, you can grow stronger and then try again. No quests, no requirements, just your skills that decide if you are going to win or fail miserably. The game give you the freedom after the tutorial area to set your own path. If you want to slay Ganon, you can do that. If you want to find Kakariko, like the quest says, you are allowed to do that. If you decide to just explore and never bother with the main quests, that is fine too. It is all about you and your unique journey.



    Breath of the Wild breathes new life into the Legend of Zelda series. The series was falling into the trend of games becoming progressively more linear and tending to hold your hand throughout the game. The worst example being Skyward Sword, where Fi was constantly reminding you to go and get back on track. Breath of the Wild gives you the wings to fly early in the game and then lets you loose on Hyrule. You truly have the freedom to do what you want without constant reminders that you need to go and beat that temple. Aside from early game inventory management and the constant dying because I didn't upgrade my armor or carried enough food with me, there was little that annoyed me. Even the framerate drop during intense battles didn't bother me because I needed that small break to gather my bearings and see where the enemies were going to come from next.

    Breath of the Wild is a great game. It is so easy to become attached to the characters and the feeling of freedom, that it sometimes doesn't feel like a game anymore. Once I began I was hooked. I had to know the rest of the story. The spirits of the Divine Beasts made me tear up. Their stories were just as important as mine and I kept them close as I fought to regain Hyrule. It wasn't just a game, it was an experience.

    Note: The game is compatible with Amiibo. However, you need to manually switch on the Ability to use them in the main menu after restarting your game. You can then find the possibility in the Rune Menu in-game.
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    #1 Apr 27, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  2. SnowboundBecca

    SnowboundBecca Scarf Enthusiast

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    Feb 25, 2017
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    What I love the most about this game is how it handles the battle system. Imagine travelling along the road and notice a monster encampment to the side. There are all sorts of things you could do to infiltrate the encampment instead of, say, rushing in only to alert the whole camp and probably getting beaten to a pulp as a result. The game encourages players to experiment and plan a preemptive strike to gain the upper hand.

    For instance, you can roll a boulder on top of them from a cliff. You could use Magnesis to knock them around with metal crates. You could loose an arrow to knock off a lantern, lighting the explosive barrels and blowing the place up to smithereens. You could light a campfire, rest until nightfall and stealth-kill them all in their sleep like a freaking ninja. Or if you've found Kilton's monster shop, you can blend into their group with a monster mask and they won't suspect a thing (unless it's a Lynel. They'll be confused for a moment before they inevitably figure out your shenanigans).

    One of my favorite moments of the game was Eventide Island. The challenge there was finding 3 orbs and putting them into 3 alters without dying, all while you're stripped down to nothing but your boxers, just like you were at the beginning of the game. Everyone completes this challenge differently, taking their experiences they had with the game in order to overcome the trials the island presented them. There's a huge sense of growth upon completing it, showing us that learning the ways of the world and our experiences as the player are what makes us stronger.

    I hope everyone gets a chance to play this game. It is truly a breath of fresh air. :D
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  3. ClefairyKid

    ClefairyKid (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)

    Dec 15, 2016
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    This is a really great article because it's in-depth but also appeals well the series noob (aka me)
    Having not been swept into playing more than a few minutes on a few previous Zelda titles I come into something like this with literally no preconceptions at all, and although the aesthetics are wonderful and I'm a fan of the open world design and freedom of it, I can say that without some fairly explicit clues like the kinds of suggestions given here, I wouldn't last long on my own, because I'm the kind of play who usually relies solely on grinding to get to a safe enough level to explore. I do love this idea of collecting all the korok seeds though, because thats some serious collecting and I'm always up for that in video games :D I also appreciate your inclusion of graphics to help break up the text too.
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