BOTW

I’m a bit late to the party but nothing has been lost in the delay – I’ve almost finished The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. Shelley got me a Switch for Christmas and the game. I have less time for gaming these days but the quality of the platform and the quality of the game mean that I’ve been determined to see it to the end. 

My last big investment in the franchise was Ocarina of Time when it was first released on the 64. All things considered it’s definitely one of the best RPGs ever made. I’d actually started replaying it towards the end of last year but it got put back on the shelf once the Switch arrived. I’ve probably got another few hours to go before I finish the main storyline in BOTW. Given that it’s now June, I’d be happy to say that 6 months of entertainment for the purchase price was more than worth it.

Where Hyrule in Ocarina of Time felt big on the 64, Hyrule on the Switch feels huge. The relatively non-linear progression really contributes to the feeling that the world is your oyster. The art direction is great and the performance on such a low-spec machine is impressive. There are frame rate drops occasionally, but I’m a PC gamer and it doesn’t bother me. I’m not a completionist when it comes to games, but the amount of side-quests that I’ve finished is a testament to how well they’ve woven the busy-work into the main story arc. It’s kept me curious, and it’s meant many, many hours of exploring. It took me quite a while to get used to some of the new mechanics and I’m still undecided on the approach they took with gear. It seems a bit odd not being able to repair items and having to use the inventory regularly during times where you’d expect combat to be fast and free flowing is an adjustment. It really does interrupt the pace of the significant battles. But if you think about it from more of an oldschool RPG mechanics perspective, there’s nothing unusual about what is essentially turn-based strategy. I think I prefer it somewhere in the middle ala The Witcher 3 – where things slow down while you’re making decisions about gear and magic but don’t stop. All that said, take these as comments rather than circisms.

If you haven’t played it and have wanted to return to all your favourite Hylian locations from games past, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll get to discover new ones, too. There’s a significant amount of Japanese and modern humor woven through it all. If you see it on sale, you can’s lose if you pick it up.