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Nick's Video Game Reviews (38)

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Cthulhu Saves Christmas 4/5
The Legend of Zelda: Br... 4.5/5
A Hat in Time 3.5/5
Metroid Dread 4.5/5
Fez 4/5
Old Man's Journey 3/5
Cthulhu Saves the World 4.5/5
LIMBO 4/5
Sumoman 3/5
The Incredible Adventur... 4/5
Bridge Constructor Port... 4.5/5
Dungeon Defenders II 3.5/5
Titan Quest 3.5/5
Dungeons & Dragons: Chr... 2/5
Dungeon Defenders 4.5/5
Borderlands 3/5
New Super Mario Bros. U 4/5
PixelJunk Eden 2.5/5
Tales of Graces f 1.5/5
Rayman Origins 3.5/5
Trine 3/5
Dungeon Hunter: Alliance 3/5
Dokapon Kingdom 3.5/5
Gran Turismo 5 4/5
Blaster Master 5/5

Next 13
 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild   Nintendo Switch 

A Breath of Fresh Adventure    4.5/5 stars

Breath of the Wild deviates from the traditional Zelda formula and storytelling. Set in the new expansive kingdom of Hyrule, Link awakens from a century-long slumber and needs to recover his memories and slowly discovers he needs to defeat the menacing Calamity Ganon and save Hyrule. The story unfolds gradually and non-linearly, allowing players to uncover the mysteries of the world at their own pace. The non-linear approach to storytelling is a departure from the series' conventions, but does allow the player to explore, unlock memories of the past, and discover and unlock the mysteries of Hyrule's looming fate. Not all the main story quests are required to be completed, but you do paint a more complete picture and get full enjoyment of the game if you complete them all.

Presentation
Breath of the Wild is a visually stunning and expansive open world, which sets a new standard for artistic design in the gaming industry. The vibrant landscapes, diverse climates, and attention to detail create an immersive experience. The art style grew on me over time, but there is quite a bit of haze and fog, which is part of the art style and adds some mystery, but probably also helps keep the framerate up while playing the game. It also makes it possible to avoid having any load times while in the overworld, which adds a lot of depth to the game. From the subtle rustling of leaves and waving grass, to the majestic views overlooking Hyrule, you quickly realize how many hours you will be putting into the game. The audio emphasizes ambient sounds with subdued musical elements. There’s a lot of silence when exploring, but fortunately, very dynamic and vibrant music in major combat scenes.

Gameplay
Breath of the Wild steps away from the other Zelda series with its expansive, re-configured, open-world structure of Hyrule. The introduction of the Sheikah Slate provides players with new tools and abilities, requiring problem-solving in the form of puzzles and enemies found along the way, mostly in the countless shrine locations you discover. Physics-based interactions, such as manipulating objects with the Magnesis ability or creating makeshift bridges with metal objects and stasis, add a sense of accomplishment a little bit at a time while you play. I didn’t have any trouble with any of the puzzles presented to me, so they were enjoyable without frustration. The freedom to follow storylines in any order and the inclusion of a dynamic weather system contribute to an unparalleled sense of exploration and discovery.

Pros
• Non-linear progression
• Open world exploration
• Shrine puzzles
• Divine Beasts
• Sheikah Slate abilities
• Koroks
• Weapon and armor unique traits and abilities.

Cons
• Weapon durability
• Cooking and crafting elixirs
• Haze, rain, and other weather elements
• Armor sets and fairy upgrades
• Ending story and cut scenes

The pros are self-explanatory in my opinion, but for the cons I should note the only one I had a huge problem with was weapon durability. Why? Because it changed the way I went about playing the game. I avoided enemies… a lot. I used stealth ninja tactics whenever I could and hoarded all the good weapons I could find, so when I really needed them, like in test of strength shrines, main story quest bosses, or un-avoidable encounters, I had the power I needed. Cooking and crafting elixirs seems an afterthought. It can help get the most out of what you gather, and an elixir here and there is helpful, but not a necessity in the game. I probably gathered a few thousand apples, as a main source of health restoration, and sold baked apples for rupees. Weather elements make for more realism, but they are also very annoying. Like with rain and lighting, you simply had to wait them out, there were many times I was passing time on my phone while on the side of a mountain waiting for the rain to stop. Armor sets and fairy upgrades had a lot of potential, but I found it was just a time sink, and didn’t provide any huge advantages when advancing the game. And lastly, the ending story and cut scenes should have been better and longer given how many hours I played. I beat the game including all the divine beasts, and with and without completing the Captured Memories main quest, and there was very little difference.

Originality
In terms of originality, Breath of the Wild took Nintendo many steps forward in game design. Between the new reconfigured open-world Hyrule, the innovative approach to puzzle-solving, and the freedom to tackle challenges in any order set a new benchmark for game design at Nintendo.

Replay Value
The vastness of Hyrule offers so much to do. There are 120 shrines, countless side quests, seemingly limitless Koroks to find, labyrinths to explore, and many armor sets to acquire and upgrade, you could play this game for a very long time even after beating it.

Recommendation
Play it if you haven’t already, it is a fantastic game. And then you have the sequel too, Tears of the Kingdom, to enjoy next.

Stats
Hours Played: 100 hours or more (according to my switch profile)
Divine Beasts: 4
Shrines: 79
Korok Seeds: 66

Ratings
Story: 4/5
Presentation: 5/5
Game Play: 4.5/5
Originality: 5/5
Replay Value: 4/5
Overall (not an average) 4.5/5

 

 


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