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  #2041  
Old 05-25-2018, 10:32 AM
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I'd argue the point. The fact that the game doesn't have a strong central narrative momentum is a feature in this case, not a bug. Almost every open-world game has the same pacing problem where they structure their stories like films without considering the fact that the gameplay encourages the player (and thus the character) to wander off into the woods and do whatever. Zelda steps around this pitfall by setting almost all of the major events of the game in the past, and allowing the player to engage with it as much or as little as they care to. And because the game doesn't present any kind of time pressure, even theoretically, it can maintain its gradual, expansive tone throughout its entire length. The game is about exploring, so the game is careful never to make it seem as though exploring is the incorrect thing to do, as it would if the sidequests were all stories that were implicitly hustling you along.

I also appreciate how the game avoids generic open-world staples like factions to join or story arcs separate from the main quest. A lot of other games try to give the sense of depth to the world by including a lot of incidental story that you can participate in or not as you choose, but they have the drawback of always feeling absolutely superfluous. It doesn't matter if you take over the thieves' guild or end the war or not, because the story isn't about those things, so they're just kind of there. BotW focuses all of its content onto a single goal -- "Defeat Ganon" -- and every single thing you do in the game is premised around getting strong enough to complete it, and there's enough stuff in the game that you can get strong enough to complete it in an infinite number of ways. Nothing you can possibly do is irrelevant to your ultimate goal, so any kind of forward progress, from completing Divine Beasts to shaking down moblins for treasure to looking for cooking ingredients, is helpful and useful to engage in. When you feel like you've done enough -- using whatever definition the player prefers -- you can go and finish the game without having to run through a bunch of "story missions" to set the stage first.

As for the mechanics, the game is almost unique in the way it emphasizes understanding the way items and other objects and phenomena interact with each other instead of finding The Solution (TM). I myself would have preferred a few tougher brain teasers in the game, but I think it's disingenuous to characterize the puzzle as basic. I haven't seen anything quite like BotW in the way it's open to alternative solutions and using physics and item properties to your advantage. If a puzzle seemed easy, that was because there were a half-dozen ways to complete it, and the game did not arbitrarily gate off your logical solution in the way that a lot of games (including most Zelda games) would have so that you'd have to figure out Their Way.

And that same sort of evasive, open, figure-out-a-way-that-works-for-you attitude is applied to everything from navigation to treasure hunting to combat, because the physics and the area design work in such elegant harmony to enable it. It's breathtaking how little the game says "No, you can't do this." If you're going to make an open world and emphasize the player's freedom, that's how you do it, not by sprinkling a bunch of generic action-adventure crap across a huge, samey map and telling the player they can do it in any order.
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  #2042  
Old 05-26-2018, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Tanto View Post
The game is about exploring, so the game is careful never to make it seem as though exploring is the incorrect thing to do,
Mostly true! One big exception to this is when the king says Zelda can't hold back Calamity Gannon much longer. He would have stayed truer to the game's theme by saying all she can do is hold back Calamity Gannon without giving the sense of time pressure. I forget if Impa ever implies a time limit.

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It's breathtaking how little the game says "No, you can't do this."
Mostly true! One big change I would have made is have the world be a globe so the map would have no hard boundaries and world would have no unreachable areas. I also never understood why the game blacks out and reloads your checkpoint when you walk close to the completed divine beasts. Their lack of gripable surfaces already make them impossible to re-enter. Isn't that enough? Also, it would be fun to get a one-hit kill if you run into their beams.
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  #2043  
Old 06-17-2018, 03:34 AM
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I finished the game with all four divine beasts and all 13 memories. Wonderful experience all around!
I forced myself to finish the game, otherwise I'd still be wandering around Hyrule instead of doing more productive things. I also went for an all memories all beasts ending, plus the Master Cycle and the fully awakened sword. Great, great game. I can't believe Nintendo gave us the open world Zelda we had been asking for ages and they pulled it off so masterfully - in a post-apocalyptic, cyberpunkish setting, to boot.

I also found myself caring about the story a lot, something that I had considered superfluous to Zelda since the 16-bit era. I find interesting that in a game that is centered in exploration and great open spaces the story centers in two teenagers finding out who they are - one because she can't seem to become what everybody expects her to be and the other because he has completely forgotten who he used to be. This game plays the "amnesiac hero" trope masterfully.

It does have a couple drawbacks - only four "real" dungeons with the same structure, I find some of the voice acting lacking, boss design is limited and did we really had to focus on parrying as the last boss weakness? - but it hit all the right buttons for me. I've always been more of an Overworld than a Dungeon fan of Zelda, anyway. This is now my favorite game in the series. Sorry, Link's Awakening, but you had a very good run!

Now I want a prequel DLC that is nothing but a pre-Calamity Zelda exploring Hyrule looking for shrines and ancient Sheika artifacts. Heck, make it a dual-timeline game where we control Link in the present as he escorts Zelda while she reestablishes civilization in Hyrule.
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  #2044  
Old 06-17-2018, 07:21 AM
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I like that itís post apocalyptic and cyberpunk, but both elements are subtle enough that it doesnít become distracting and it still completely feels like a Zelda game.

I picked this up again last week and finished off the last divine beast, and I have one memory left (in Hyryle Castle). However, Iím probably not going to be able to play again for another month or so.

I donít think Iím going to pick up the DLC now (itíll be a nice change when I replay it in a year or two), and I finished the Tarry Town quest, the three mazes, and Summerset Island. Is there anything else you all recommend checking out aside from the shrines and koroks?
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  #2045  
Old 06-17-2018, 07:45 AM
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This was on sale, miraculously, so I figured I'd get back into it after not having a Switch back during release last year. It's OK but I experience some pretty bad dissonance with how the game would presumably like me to interact with and inhabit itself and how it actually comes across to me.

the more i play and think about botw the more upsetting it is that it's still subscribing to this retrograde depiction of link
even if they want to stick to the definite naming for voice acting's sake, i just wish there was more to it outside of that
and it was treated like the prophecy or inherited title or whatever it's supposed to be, for real
mainly: i wanted there to be a character creator, accounting for every race
or at least the ones the game is pushing as the champion representatives
in the end this is all a pretext for me to get to play the game as a gerudo, but you know
one of the many things that makes majora's mask good is how it plays around with the identity of link and how it manifests in all these different social and racial contexts
and in that it's this very playfully morbid case of assumed identity a lot of the time
botw would've been the perfect avenue to do a twist on that with actual cultural founding as to your Chosen Link

fucking hate how otaku het botw is
impa's granddaughter who's constantly blushing in link's presence and calls him master
super old grandma prof but oops she's in a pre-pubescent body fsr
all the trans and homophobia
like, ocarina is already a harem game on a level as bad as ys, but if anything it feels like it's gotten even worse in botw
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  #2046  
Old 06-17-2018, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Positronic Brain View Post
It does have a couple drawbacks - only four "real" dungeons with the same structure
I recently spent about 90 minutes going exploring Hyrule Castle, and I felt it was the most like a traditional Zelda dungeon, and quite a satisfying one at that. Found a pretty damn good shield in there as well.
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  #2047  
Old 06-17-2018, 01:13 PM
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I recently spent about 90 minutes going exploring Hyrule Castle, and I felt it was the most like a traditional Zelda dungeon, and quite a satisfying one at that. Found a pretty damn good shield in there as well.
The big thing making it not like a "real" zelda dungeon is it doesn't have much in the way of puzzles. I don't mind, honestly, since in BOTW simply exploring and climbing IS the way it crafts "puzzles" in the world, and I'm kind of over "push this block" or "light this torch" style puzzles. I loved how organic things like the hidden rooms in the library felt. And also, Zelda has had plenty of enemy gauntlet dungeons.

I would love to play more of BOTW style areas like the castle. I'm sad we didn't get anything at e3, but I'm still holding out some dim hope for a Majora's Mask style iteration that uses the same engine to make a new game quicker than a full Zelda usually takes.
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  #2048  
Old 07-07-2018, 02:46 PM
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Not sure if I voiced this opinion before and I don't think I'll ever voice it again, but as someone who's not big on Zelda at all... BotW is the best Zelda game for me, but no Zelda game comes even close to some revered GOAT game or whatever. I don't think I'd place a single non-BotW Zelda in my top 50 games ever. I just got around to playing Twilight Princess and it put me to sleep!

BotW is a good open world game. Much better than something like Assassin's Creed or MGSV. But I don't think it's all that much better than some of the more serious open world games, like STALKER or The Witcher. The move away from puzzles to combat challenges is a smart move, and Link controls like a dream, something I can't say about the other 3D games, but it's still just a bit bloated and meandering and doesn't seem to "solve" any issues of open world game design like I keep hearing. It's just that it feels like it comes from 2005 instead of 2017, a time when games weren't afraid to screw you over and let you figure out things for yourself, making it novel and refreshing, but not without its issues.
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  #2049  
Old 07-15-2018, 03:05 PM
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This is what I did, and it was a blast.
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  #2050  
Old 07-15-2018, 10:17 PM
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I made my way to the last boss. Wow, thatís crazier than I expected. I guess I need to learn some of those timing based skills that Iíve avoided for the entire game.

Also, Iím still missing the memory from Hyrule Castle. Also, maybe I should upgrade some armor & make some useful food for the fight.
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  #2051  
Old 07-21-2018, 05:49 PM
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This was not the first game I got for the Switch but it was the cheapest thanks to an online Target coupon fuck-up. I am a content tourist and a baby so Iím skeptical that Iíll enjoy this as much as people who are good at video games and enjoy long ones.

So far I have avoided a quest to get an anti-cold... thing... because it asked me to fish, but the fish never attack me so who am I to attack them, and fishing in video games, which Iíve hated before I cared about fish, is something I can choose not to do now, as an adult. Iíve also several times wandered near some people who are otherwise not hunting me but do attack when I come near them. They probably assume I intend to burgle them and that is the result because the game directs me towards chests containing... things? Which I wasnít looking for and as of now donít value. At this point, it seems villainous and sociopathic to keep approaching them. I know better.

Anyway, these peppers do not give me very much warmth. I thought Iíd only have to traverse one cold mountain to get a sick hang glider. Maybe I was wrong, or maybe I wasted them earlier. Gotta hunt up some peppers.

Iíll say this: love firiní arrows here after a liftetime of despising video game archery. Maybe itís really good here; maybe it was just time.
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  #2052  
Old 07-21-2018, 05:51 PM
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You don't need to use fish or meat to get anti-cold protection. There are, in fact, several solutions to that. What exactly are you doing with the peppers?
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  #2053  
Old 07-21-2018, 05:56 PM
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Go ahead and spoil me! Love a spoiler.

I was, uh, throwing the peppers in fires. I guess I shouldíve been throwing them in a pan. Iím not good at this.
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  #2054  
Old 07-21-2018, 06:04 PM
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Good, you've at least figured out how to carry ingredients. That one took me an embarrassingly long time. Open this section to learn how cooking works:

Find a cookpot with a fire under it and drop up to five ingredients into it at once and you'll cook them together. Only food ingredients make food (i.e. don't add monster parts or insects if you want to make food - those make elixirs instead). Some food items have an effect other than restoring hearts; peppers in particular grant you cold protection. Adding more food with effects to a dish increases the effect, so that i.e. more peppers = more cold protection. Some ingredients affect the duration of the effect rather than its intensity. But the exact combination of ingredients used doesn't matter, as what you end up with will just be the sum of the effects of its ingredients.

Exception: if you put ingredients that have different effects in there (e.g. the cold protection of a pepper and the attack boost of a banana), they will cancel each other out and the only thing your food will do is restore hearts.

Dropping ingredients directly into fires can roast them, which increases the amount of hearts they restore but prevents them from doing anything but restoring hearts.

Meat is only useful for restoring hearts, but many fish have strong buffs when cooked with. I don't think any such fish can be found where you're currently at, though.


Food is just one of the sources of cold protection that you can find on the Great Plateau. Two others that you might wish to seek out are finding warm clothing and carrying a lit torch, which keeps the area around its flame warm.
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  #2055  
Old 07-21-2018, 06:29 PM
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Thank you. Another question: is there a reason not to just drop weapons as soon as the game tells me theyíve degraded or whatever? Probably not at this point.

Just fell off a cliff because I saw some jewels. Excellent.
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  #2056  
Old 07-21-2018, 06:31 PM
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They were not jewels; they are mushrooms with the power of Speed. Love it.
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  #2057  
Old 07-21-2018, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizzarino Sbarro View Post
Thank you. Another question: is there a reason not to just drop weapons as soon as the game tells me theyíve degraded or whatever? Probably not at this point.

Just fell off a cliff because I saw some jewels. Excellent.
Those weapons are three strikes away from breaking *anyway*. You could throw them at something if you like.
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  #2058  
Old 07-21-2018, 06:47 PM
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Weapons can't be repaired, but they don't degrade in the way you seem to think. When it says it's running low, that's warning you that it's about to break. The last hit when it breaks does double damage.
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  #2059  
Old 07-21-2018, 06:55 PM
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I think it does more if you throw it...?
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  #2060  
Old 07-21-2018, 07:10 PM
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Thrown weapons lose more durability, and I think there's an attribute some weapons have that make them always do critical damage when thrown.
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  #2061  
Old 07-21-2018, 07:20 PM
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Also, and this is the most important part, smashing a monster in the head so hard your sword breaks is extremely satisfying.
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  #2062  
Old 07-21-2018, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
Thrown weapons lose more durability, and I think there's an attribute some weapons have that make them always do critical damage when thrown.
A weapon that is not designed to be thrown will break on contact with the enemy, regardless of durability. As with other scenarios, an attack that breaks the weapon that makes it does double (critical) damage.
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  #2063  
Old 07-22-2018, 08:46 AM
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Also, and this is the most important part, smashing a monster in the head so hard your sword breaks is extremely satisfying.
The best sound in the game is wailing on a gaurdian with the Master Sword.
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  #2064  
Old 07-22-2018, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
A weapon that is not designed to be thrown will break on contact with the enemy, regardless of durability. As with other scenarios, an attack that breaks the weapon that makes it does double (critical) damage.
Doesnít the game remind you of this repeatedly?
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  #2065  
Old 07-22-2018, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
Food is just one of the sources of cold protection that you can find on the Great Plateau. Two others that you might wish to seek out are finding warm clothing and carrying a lit torch, which keeps the area around its flame warm.
The other solution to cold protection is to brute force it and just constantly eat food to heal yourself.
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  #2066  
Old 07-22-2018, 02:17 PM
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I started a new game the other day, with HUD turned off. Playing on the TV instead of portable. Drinking in the details. This game is really so much more interesting to restart from the beginning than to keep collecting a thousand meaningless doodads. I wish it was designed a little more with that in mind.
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  #2067  
Old 07-22-2018, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Sanagi View Post
I started a new game the other day, with HUD turned off. Playing on the TV instead of portable. Drinking in the details. This game is really so much more interesting to restart from the beginning than to keep collecting a thousand meaningless doodads. I wish it was designed a little more with that in mind.
Did you crank it up to hard? The game is completely different when you have to really think about every combat, at least at the start.
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  #2068  
Old 07-22-2018, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Karzac View Post
The other solution to cold protection is to brute force it and just constantly eat food to heal yourself.
The speed-run strat! Always fun to watch them creep through the snow at 1/4 heart trying to make the timing right to that shrine.
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  #2069  
Old 07-22-2018, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Karzac View Post
The other solution to cold protection is to brute force it and just constantly eat food to heal yourself.
Fire rod or swords help too.
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  #2070  
Old 07-23-2018, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Daikaiju View Post
Fire rod or swords help too.
I don't think you can get either of these in the Great Plateau. Also, the warm clothing solution won't work in a pacifist/vegan run, since it requires fishing. But cooked peppers or hoarding apples should work.
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