03-07-2017 10:47 AM
03-08-2017 05:31 AM - edited 03-08-2017 05:55 AM
I only purchased the WiiU version of this game, as I really didn't want to deal with all the drama of trying to get my hands on the Switch (that, and $400 is a bit steep for me as the console is only launching with one major title and promises of other features to come soon - Virtual console anyone?).
So far, from my experience, I really like the landscape and the environment. Not only is the terrain expansive and variable between numerous climates, it's huge vertically as well. There are mountains that are literally hundreds of feet off the ground and you can climb to the top of any of them provided you've got the right clothing and stamina.
So far, very little of the story has presented itself to me, and while I have quest markers for a few different areas, a number of them are currently unreachable because I don't have the right clothing for the climate (either too cold or too hot) and the game gives very little information about how to acquire these things. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it forces exploration to discover new things so that you can move on to the next phase of the story. It's a definite departure from the usual "go here, help the locals, get access to temple, get new item, beat boss, repeat" from previous Zelda titles.
***MINOR NON-STORY RELATED SPOILER FROM VERY EARLY IN THE GAME***
One really solid example of this was right at the beginning of the game. I was tasked with finding four spirit orbs so that I could trade for a key items needed to access the rest of Hyrule. One of the shrines was in an area that was too cold for me to access without receiving damage. The game did not tell me what was needed to stay warm or how to go about getting it. Through exploring, I found a cabin where the Old Man I had been conversing with elsewhere had left a diary containing part of a recipe for a dish that would keep him warm, and that if someone could remember the missing ingredient he would trade his warm doublet for the recipe. I then had to figure out what the missing ingredient was, find it somewhere in the wilderness, and then cook it and bring it to the Old Man. There were very little prompts about how to do all of this, and had I not been exploring about it's entirely possible that would have missed it completely. It's possible that I could have made a food dish that would have given me cold resistance and never received the warm doublet at all while still accomplishing the same goal.
One of my complaints about the game is the durability of weapons - it doesn't seem to matter what the damage you're able to deal is, all the weapons are pretty brittle. I tend to only get two kills with a weapon before I get the "Your weapon is badly damaged" warning. I hope as the game progresses I can find more durable weapons, because it gets pretty annoying pretty quickly when your weapons fall apart almost as fast as you can find them.
Graphically the game is beautiful. I haven't played the Switch version, but the WiiU version is stunning. The main issue I have with the graphics is there is fizzing around the edges on a lot of textures, almost like they are too detailed for the hardware. There are some slight frame rate drops if I am in a "busy" area with lots of things going on and I try to move the camera around. Those things might not be present in the Switch version. I am also disappointed with the lack of gamepad support on the WiiU. Especially when the Sheika slate is essentially a virtual WiiU gamepad, I was surprised that you're not able to use the Gamepad for things like quick map access or crafting. I realize that the Switch is the new thing and Nintendo is moving on, but the Sheika slate is something that was clearly a hold over from the early stages of development when the Switch probably wasn't even a concept yet, so it's really disappointing to not have any functionality with the Gamepad. It's to the point where I am considering picking up a Pro controller just so I don't have to have the stupid "tap here to play on Gamepad only" message go away. This isn't a deal breaker for me, but this is a definite failure on Nintendo's part here.
The fact that there are many different ways to approach the story and to solve the problems you are faced is what makes this game great. I'm intrigued by the story, but I will save my thoughts on the story itself for when I am further into it. The gameplay is nice, and while it still looks and feels like a Zelda title, it's something much more than your standard fare.
This is definitely a shift from the norm, and it's definitely a good thing. The environment and the atmosphere about the game are keeping my interest level high, and I am really interested in seeing just where this fits in the overall Zelda timeline. Definitely recommend the game for Zelda fans, despite some of the negatives that I mentioned above.
03-08-2017 11:35 AM
Gotta admit, this game is OPEN WORLD. Completely!!! I've played many if not all Zelda games for the last 25 years, and never have I felt this "lost" as I am in this one. Where to go? What to do?
Since it's not my first Zelda rodeo, I decided to just walk around, pick up stuff, talk to people and try to gather as many clues as possible and see what would happen. As you, the "cold" was a challenge. Figured in a second that I needed "something" to go thru but how... Then I remembered that story that big guy said about "surf & turf" and blablabla... Pretty straight forward to understand the missing ingredient then but YEAH, this "first" puzzle is the start of MANY I'm sure.
Love the game, love how to handle a horse (as before), love how to fight but HATE to "switch" weapons every 3 hits. This bugs me A LOT. Last night, I was in a fight on a beach with 7 ennemies.
1- kill 1 (big one) with my bows & explosive arrows
2- kill 2 with a big hammer (level 16)
3- kill 2 with a sword (level 10)
4- kill 2 with a sword (level 20)
meanwhile, taking several... SEVERAL hits and eating about 50 apples to be sure to survive the attacks. That's what a though one...
But still... love the game, love how to interract with my "Zelda Pad" and so far, can't regret for a sec my PRO controller!
03-08-2017 11:46 AM