Thoughts on “Zelda: Breath of the Wild”

A little while ago, in anticipation for Nintendo’s presentation at E3 this year, I wrote a post detailing what I was hoping for in regards to the new Zelda game, which was going to be the main showcase at said presentation. Now, since E3 has come to pass and I’ve learned a ton about the new game, I thought I’d run through the list I wrote and talk about whether my hopes were met or not.

So let’s jump right into it!

When the live stream of Nintendo’s presentation took place, I wasn’t at home, so I just watched the footage later in the day when it was uploaded to YouTube. The first thing I watched was the official trailer:

And you can probably guess that my reaction was an embarrassing combination of big stupid grins and weird squealing noises. It was so much to take in! Voice acting! The gorgeous aesthetic! The glorious music! Link in a suit of silver armor! The wide, open landscapes just waiting to be explored! The new mechanics like cooking and the Sheikah Slate! And so on and so forth and what have you!

Watching the gameplay footage afterward was possibly even more exciting. I was positively floored by everything I saw, and according to Nintendo, they only showed about one percent of the whole game at E3. ONE PERCENT! I fully expect that this game is going to take me months to finish, and I’m sure I’m going to be fully invested every step of the way.

To elaborate, here are the bullet points of what I was hoping for and details on whether I got it:

“A title. I’m really, really sick of calling it “Zelda Wii U.” I’d like to know the final title, whatever it may be. I enjoy my Wii U and my games for it, but let’s face it: “Wii U” is pretty much the dumbest console name ever.”

Thank goodness! No more “Zelda Wii U!” The newest game in the franchise is officially titled The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. To be honest, my first thought about the title was something like: “. . . Really? That’s it? That’s the title for the new Zelda game? Breath of the Wild? What the heck does that even mean?”

As I examined the trailer more and watched the gameplay footage, though, the title grew on me pretty quickly. The game seems largely centered around the idea of exploring the wilderness of Hyrule. You fight for survival, you hunt and cook, you gather weapons and other useful items for yourself, and you have much more free reign on where you can go and when than in previous Zelda games. That’s incredibly exciting to me, and I think the title fits it perfectly!

zelda-breath-of-the-wild-0005-1500x844

“A full trailer. I want to see the characters. I want to get an idea of the story. I want to see many, many more examples of what is going to make this game awesome and what is going to make it stand out in the Zelda series.”

Well, I definitely got a full trailer! I didn’t get exactly what I was hoping for here, though. You don’t really see any characters besides Link, and you just hear the voice of another, unknown character. As for the story, there are only vague hints about what it could be, particularly with that evil purple cloud thing at around the two-minute mark and the multi-legged guardian thingamawhatsits.

On the other hand, I did get many examples of what’s going to make this game awesome and how it’ll stand out! Everything from the hunting and gathering mechanics to little details like using different clothes for different weather environments to exploring the futuristic-looking shrines and giving your Sheikah Slate new abilities — it’s all so compelling even just to watch! Actually playing it, though? Man . . . I can hardly wait to experience that!

“Lots and lots of quality gameplay footage. I want to see this game in action. I don’t want to see TOO much for fear of spoilers, but I want to get a good idea of what it will feel like to play this game.”

Oh, yes. Heck yes. There were several videos — quite lengthy, too — that showcased the game in action, and I gobbled most of them up. To avoid spoilers, I didn’t watch one particular video in which the player journeyed outside the starting area. But my gosh, just watching all that gameplay in the first area of the game fascinated me. I can see myself spending hours and hours just exploring and messing around with the environment in various ways, let alone actually spending time trying to figure out how to progress the story!

Zelda_E3_11am_SCRN073.0.0

“A music sampling. This will hopefully come with the trailer, but I’d like to hear some of the music from the new game! The Zelda series is well-known for its excellent music, and I can’t wait to get an earful of yet another amazing soundtrack.”

Do I really need to elaborate on this one? The music in the trailer is fantastic. No idea if it’ll be like that in the game, since the music in the gameplay footage is pretty quiet and piano-based, but who knows?

“Reassurance. This is basically a summary of all of the above. After hopefully getting to see and hear all of this, I want to be reassured that the wait will, indeed, be worth it.”

The short answer: yes. I’ve been reassured. The wait will be more than worth it.

The long answer:

This game looks freaking incredible. Everything about it is utterly captivating. The visuals are stunning. The gameplay looks fun and fluid, and it appears to be keeping a great balance of familiar and innovative. It sounds great, both the soft piano music and the myriad of nature sounds.

But besides all of that, what makes me the most excited is this. I’ve seen just one percent of the whole game, and I’m already astounded by what I’ve seen. How many more amazing surprises will this game hold? We’ve only seen a small portion of the enormous game map. We haven’t seen any towns. We haven’t even had the tiniest glimpse of a dungeon!

Clearly, Nintendo is putting their time to good use with this game. It may have been frustrating having to deal with two delays, but after what I’ve seen, I’m completely willing to let that frustration slide. 2017 is quite a ways off still, but when Breath of the Wild is finally released, I’m sure we’re going to find that the wait was worth every second.

I’m pumped. This game is going to knock my socks off. I’m sure of it.

zelda_nx_main-1200x675

I hope you’re as excited as I am! What are you most looking forward to about the game? Let me know in the comments!


NEXT TIME ON “OH, THE HUMANITY!”: I talk about Harry Potter and how it has inspired me and helped shape me into who I am today. Stay tuned!

The Next Adventure: Zelda at E3 2016

Depending on how long you’ve been reading my blog, you may or may not know that I’m a big fan of the Legend of Zelda series. Ever since I played The Minish Cap on my little Game Boy Advance when I was nine, I’ve been hooked on the sweeping, epic quests filled with monster bashing and puzzle solving that have been going strong ever since the original came out in 1986.

Naturally, when the next big installment in the series was first announced at E3 (that’s Electronic Entertainment Expo for you non-gamers who may be reading this) in 2014, I was pretty excited. Okay, really excited. I may or may not have let out a couple of squeals of joy.

That trailer, despite having a lot less information about the game than I was hoping for, was still more than enough to get me pumped. The new aesthetic style instantly appealed to me, and I relished the idea of more nonlinearity and an even bigger world to explore. At the time, 2015 seemed like a long wait. Luckily, later in 2014, Nintendo surprised everyone by showing some new footage from the game at the Game Awards — check it out!

Naturally, this only got me more excited. This was looking so good! I couldn’t wait to play it. 2015 wasn’t that much father away, was it?

Well, no, it wasn’t. But the problem was that the game got delayed to a 2016 release instead.

My first reaction was something like: Dangit! Why, Nintendo? Why must you make us wait longer? WHY?

My second reaction was a bit more reasonable: Well, I’m sure they have good reasons for it. They said they just need more time to develop ideas they’ve come up with as they’ve been working on it. I’m sure the wait will be worth it.

For a while after that, news about the new game was pretty much nonexistent . . . up until late April this year, when Nintendo announced that the new Zelda was being delayed a second time. To 2017. And it would be released on both Wii U and the new system, currently codenamed “NX,” which is also releasing in 2017.

the-legend-of-zelda-wii-u-link

I have to admit that I was kind of ticked when I heard that. I still feel kind of conflicted about it. On one hand, they’re taking their time, so it (hopefully) means the game will be really, really good once it’s (finally) finished. On the other hand, according to my knowledge, every major Zelda game in the past has been delayed at least once, so I can’t help but wonder why Nintendo can’t seem to get an accurate idea of what timeframe they can finish a game in.

But hey, I’m far from an expert on how the video game industry works, so who am I to talk? All I can really do is just wait and see what they give us. And when they announced the most recent delay, they also announced that this year at E3, they’ll be focusing a lot on the new Zelda — in fact, it will be Nintendo’s only playable demo at the expo. That makes me happy, because it means (I hope) that we’ll be getting a LOT of new information about the game.

Here’s a a quick rundown of what I’m hoping for!

  • A title. I’m really, really sick of calling it “Zelda Wii U.” I’d like to know the final title, whatever it may be. I enjoy my Wii U and my games for it, but let’s face it: “Wii U” is pretty much the dumbest console name ever.
  • A full trailer. I want to see the characters. I want to get an idea of the story. I want to see many, many more examples of what is going to make this game awesome and what is going to make it stand out in the Zelda series.
  • Lots and lots of quality gameplay footage. I want to see this game in action. I don’t want to see TOO much for fear of spoilers, but I want to get a good idea of what it will feel like to play this game.
  • A music sampling. This will hopefully come with the trailer, but I’d like to hear some of the music from the new game! The Zelda series is well-known for its excellent music, and I can’t wait to get an earful of yet another amazing soundtrack.
  • Reassurance. This is basically a summary of all of the above. After hopefully getting to see and hear all of this, I want to be reassured that the wait will, indeed, be worth it.

That’s about it. Obviously, I’m not entitled to all of this just because I’m a Zelda fan, but at the same time, we’ve had two delays and very little news about the game ever since it was first announced. So, I think it’s about time we get the real scoop on what this game is going to be. Can’t wait!

Are you excited for the game? What do you hope E3 will bring? Leave a comment to let me know. And don’t forget that Nintendo will be streaming their press conference live from E3 on June 14th, 9 AM Pacific Time!

See you guys later! My next post will most likely be a review of the long-awaited Finding Dory. Stay tuned for that!

Dear Netflix, Please Don’t Screw This Up

Have you heard the news? Netflix is apparently planning to make a live action original series based on The Legend of Zelda!

And, honestly, I’m really not sure what to think. Perhaps it’s a combination of these reactions here:

OH MY GOOOOOOOOSH!!!!!!

OH MY GOOOOOOOOSH!!!!!!

NO NO NO WHY THEY'RE GOING TO SCREW EVERYTHING UP

NO NO NO WHY THEY’RE GOING TO SCREW EVERYTHING UP

But... what if they don't? What if it's really awesome?

But… what if they don’t? What if it’s really awesome?

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO THINK?!

WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO THINK?!

Yeah, I think that about sums it up. *nods*

Many of you reading this are well aware that I’m a huge fan of The Legend of Zelda, and so I think it’s pretty easy for you guys to see why I’m conflicted about this. The announcement came out of absolutely nowhere — this is pretty much the LAST piece of Zelda-related news I was expecting to get anytime soon!

My first thought: I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about how these things go, but I’d like to think that Nintendo has already given their seal of approval on the whole thing. Why else would the report come out? Going further, is Nintendo going to be involved at all in the writing? The casting? The production? Is Koji Kondo going to be involved with the score? SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS.

Now, if Nintendo is going to be somewhat involved, then I have to admit that I’m pretty hopeful. If done right, this could be really good! But it also brings up other questions. For one thing, in the Zelda games, Link is a silent protagonist. It’s assumed that he does have the ability to talk, given the fact that you, playing as him, are able to speak to NPCs in the game. But we never actually hear him form coherent sentences (nor do we hear anyone else, but we do see text boxes of their dialogue). So how are they going to handle Link in the Netflix series? Is he going to talk? Would that be considered too jarring for fans? But if he’s silent, how are the writers going to keep him interesting to people who aren’t familiar with Zelda as a whole?

So yeah, those are just a couple of my thoughts on this. We hardly know anything yet. So, in short, I do have some concerns/wonderings/fears. But I’d like to be optimistic — if they pull this off, it ought to be really entertaining, plus it’ll bring even more people to the Zelda games (I assume, anyway). I guess only time will tell!

Just one more thing, though . . . Netflix? Remember when people other than Nintendo were given permission to use the Zelda characters for their own stories — in their own games and in a short-lived cartoon? Remember that? Well, please don’t go the same route that those people went.

GEE IT SURE IS BORING AROUND HEEEEEEEERRRREEE

GEE IT SURE IS BORING AROUND HEEEEEEEERRRREEE

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

zeldacdi

tumblr_m0qs3sFscv1qa8sgzo1_r2_500

Please.


 

What are your thoughts on this? Excited? Nervous? Flat-out against it? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see ya next time!

My Top 5 Favorite Legend of Zelda Games

So, I think by this point just about everyone knows that I’m a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda video game series by Nintendo. I mean, come on — one look through my past profile pictures on Facebook will tell anyone that. There are many reasons why I enjoy them so much: an excellent balance of combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving; a variety of graphical styles across the series; wonderful music; themes of heroism and courage; etc. So, I thought I’d make my first real post on my blog a list of my top 5 favorite games in the Zelda series.

I’ve played many of the games, but there are still a few titles that I haven’t gotten to yet, and I’m also currently in the middle of one. Thus, this list may change in time. For now, though, my current top five favorite Zelda games!

5. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992, SNES)

I just recently played and beat this one for the first time not too long ago. It was the third entry in the series, and one that set the groundwork for every Zelda game that would come after it. It’s quite a challenging game in more ways than one, but the difficulty is perfectly balanced, so you almost never feel like throwing your controller down in rage — instead, you grit your teeth and try, try again until you finally succeed, and it makes you feel completely awesometastic. I’m very glad to have had the privilege of playing it, even more than twenty years after its original release. Ah, the wonders of technology.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000, N64)

Confession time: I absolutely hated this game when I first started playing it. Well, not immediately — the first couple of hours or so were quite compelling. But after that, I was almost forcing myself to keep playing. In the game, Link’s mission was to save Clock Town from being flattened by the quickly sinking moon within three days. So, for the first time in a Zelda game, the player was under the constraint of a time limit. I was not used to this, and I hadn’t yet discovered every way to manipulate the limit… so I cheated and looked a few things up on the Internet. This helped a lot, though, and once I’d gotten used to the rhythms of the game I was really drawn in. Many consider Majora’s Mask to be the best of the series, and while I don’t agree, it’s pretty high up on my list. Fantastic game.

3. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002, Gamecube)

When this game was first released, many criticized it for its bright, cartoony art style which deviated from every Zelda game before it. In doing so, they overlooked one of the very best games in the series. I happen to love the art style, and the game itself is spectacular: the story, the music, the secrets — everything! This time, the kingdom of Hyrule was covered by a vast sea dotted with many islands to explore, and so a sailing element became a big part of the adventure, and quite a welcome one in my book. I look forward to playing the HD re-release of this one once I get a Wii U.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006, Wii/Gamecube)

I still clearly remember the first time I played this game — it was with a great friend of mine at a sleepover, and it was a completely new game to both of us (it was also my friend’s first Zelda game, while I had already played two or three of the games before). We were hooked from just about the very beginning, drawn into the world that was being covered in the dark curtain of twilight and compelled to do everything in our power to save it. Hyrule is huge in this entry, and packed with things to do and discover. At the same time, the main quest is wonderfully absorbing, fascinating, and challenging. It’s no wonder many people call this one their favorite Zelda game.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (2011, Wii)

This game floored me. The visual style, the 1:1 motion controls, the fully orchestrated music, the amazing dungeon designs, the boss fights, the story — this game was close to perfect in my book. The ending was so exciting that I actually jumped up off the couch and swung the Wii remote and nunchuck down for the final blow to the final boss. While this game is both praised and criticized by the Zelda fanbase pretty equally, it is hands-down my favorite title thus far. I can’t wait to play it again.


 

Well, there you have it! If you haven’t played a Zelda game before or you just haven’t gotten around to some of the titles on this list, I urge you to check them out!