Dan Dias

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Current Hour Count: 15h 45m

I’ve been playing this game for the past 3 weeks. I put about an hour a day when I can. That excludes the first day we bought the Nintendo Switch and the game. I was sick the next day (actually sick, but convenient timing!) and got almost 5 hours. Playing it on the Switch is handy since there can be competition for the screen with my wife or my two year old.

My Thoughts So Far

Many games exist within a large, open world but this one of those is one of the best. The gameplay systems and the interaction between them is what sets Breath of the Wild above the rest. Stamina, temperature, cooking, material properties, destructible objects, and sound/hearing all blend together in satisfying ways. The upshot of that is that when you ask the question: “Can I?” the answer is often yes. This leads to surprising moments that when you find them or someone tells you about, you find yourself saying, of course that’s a thing!

I have a friend at work who is a major part of me wanting the game. She started telling me about her adventures with Link and it sounded so cool. I was doubtful I’d ever be able to play it since my wife and I have a 2 year old and an almost 5 month old. My free time is limited. It surprised me that the game is still satisfying in small doses.

Most open world games you fire up with the understanding you are going to be there awhile. They take a certain amount of mental prep to even fire up. I don’t get any of that from Breath of the Wild. There’s always bite sized tasks you can perform; prescribed by the game or not. One night I did 15 minutes where I set my goal to climb a particular mountain and that was engaging and fun.

I’m starting to notice I’ve been able to take on greater challenges, despite the fact there’s no leveling system. I’m not sure what the secret is to this. I suspect it has something to do with enemy group difficulty and the usefulness of items that monsters drop. The end result is it enhances the feeling of mastery over the game’s systems. I finished my first boss/dungeon which was a satisfying accomplishment.

While I’ve played most of the 2D games in the series, this is the first 3D Zelda game I have played. From talking to others, there are some pretty notable ones: Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Wind Waker. I wonder if I’ll be able to go back to those after playing this. By all accounts, this is a different game than those so hopefully my brain won’t do that thing where it yearns for one work to be something altogether different.

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