The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild has been anything but a simple exhale this past couple of weeks. It has been a titanic sized tornado that has blown away a significant majority of those that happened to be in its presence. It has truly been a long time since we have seen a game be this polarizing or have such an enormous presence in everyone’s daily buzz. And it has been longer still, that we have had so many critics and gamers alike asking themselves just what makes this experience so enrapturing. In the essence of gaming, what do we look for regarding what makes it great? What do we seek to take from it in our experiences? Who is it for, and is it better if it does not even ask that question? Or could it be that instead, it has all the answers to questions you did not even know you had? Breath of The Wild raises questions in the skeptics’ minds while it seems like the blatantly obvious answer to everyone who has played the game. We can start finding these answers in one of the most common themes I recognized in all the surrounding buzz of this New Zelda game. Let’s look first at this quote from Jason Schreier’s review at Kotaku. Kotaku's review standards. In gaming’s current state we have been surrounded lately by this faux sense of freedom that all of these new open world games offer. We are supposed to marvel at the crowded and spattered excessive sidequests we have the ability to take on, the vast empty plains we can traverse to get to our next objective or these elongated stories that only the best of the best manage to keep enticing enough to continue all the way through. Rarely do these games give the absolute sense of freedom that remains the biggest buzzword the masses of PR throw in your face. And yet, we have this game here that appears to have finally achieved just that. Looking at IGN’s review of the game it is the very concept Jose Otero leads off. From IGN's Gameplay Showcase at E3 2016 The very same is echoed in a majority of the reviews for Zelda. You may be thinking that it could be the freedom alone that became the big buzzword for this game and led to its success. And while it is certainly a driving factor, there is a lot more at work in this machine that is Breath of The Wild. Nintendo knows that Zelda is a childhood franchise to many. It’s what sparked a lot of creative wonderment in the minds of those that first picked up a controller in their youngest years. In their efforts these past few years, there has been a hollow sentiment that Nintendo was banking on nostalgia all this time and that the magic was too difficult actually to recapture. So as the gamer had to grow up, so did Nintendo. Zelda itself needed to strip itself of the aging green tunic for modernized mechanics. But the real beauty of it all was modernizing itself in a way that didn’t leave behind the quirks and mechanics that made it so enchanting in the beginning. When I look at Breath of The Wild as an outsider, I see the core of a Zelda game that I recognize from my youngest memories in gaming. As I progress and continue to explore the world and its smallest quirks, I appreciate how expertly crafted it is. I have watched streamers route speedrun paths that contradict others but save the same amount of time. I have seen casual players die over and over to seemingly unfair enemies while I saw the elite conquer areas without so much as losing a single heart. I watched a man throw his metal sword in the middle of a bunch of monsters during a storm and watched the lightning strike it to kill the enemies. I’ve observed that fire swords can keep Link warm in cold weather, and noticed the minute changes to his expressions in varying weather conditions. When you reflect that guardian laser#TheLegendofZeldaBreathoftheWild pic.twitter.com/QPgj5mFpEk— MarachiiSoup (@SoupChannel) March 14, 2017 It’s this culmination of all the small things that truly complete this massive game and set the standard for why it’s so bewitching. It did not have to do anything new to succeed. It had to refine and nail what makes its competition so successful and put its charm into those elements. Jontron 10/10 With all these adjectives that tug at your heartstrings, you’d think the game truly was this untouchable angel of a game that had no issues. But not everyone is so easily pleased and with good reason. Critics and opinions are what drive developers to continually innovate, fix issues, and stay away from huge mistakes and unwanted mechanics. We’ve seen this argued consistently within our community, a sentiment that while I do not entirely agree with, can find understanding. GBAtemp's Review Banner for Breath of The Wild Just as the smallest things can bring a game together, the minor things drive a rift into your enjoyment that you take from the experience. I don’t think Tom’s review, or Jim Sterling’s review, or anyone that had bad impressions to take away from Breath of The Wild, are inherently wrong in their thinking. I, in fact, give them credit for being willing to discuss the things that irked them enough to put that effort into bringing them to light for other people to see. And even with those critique’s, they still enjoyed the game enough to think of it highly. They still managed to take something away from the game that made them enjoy it, even after their heaviest complaints. Sure, their voices were cynical. We know who they are, we understand how they feel, and there is a sort of endearment to how they have such sharp tongues and angry approaches to things, but that shtick is still valid in a critical atmosphere. It’s necessary even to keep companies always driving to do better and better things for their games. Your expectation of others opinion does not define overall experience. The beauty of gaming is its ability to personally craft experiences for every individual that encounters that game. Something many games struggle to do, and others do so immensely it stirs up the conversation we are having at this very moment. Breath of The Wild's current standing on Metacritic Breath of The Wild ranks among the greatest video games of all time on Metacritic, which seems to mean a lot to people. Do you know what it was standing side by side with before a couple of reviews took it down to 97? Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2. Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. The current top 4 ranked games on Metecritic Is this truly how we measure gaming perfection? The half-assed, tacked on numbers at the end of a review? Or is it in fact much more important to go back and read the words that make up the review itself. See the sentiments and base your opinions on that? Share the experiences of the bigger voices and create your own with your voice and your playstyle? I asked a lot of questions at the beginning of this long article. “In the essence of gaming, what do we look for regarding what makes it great? What do we seek to take from it in our experiences? Who is it for, and is it better if it does not even ask that question? Or could it be that instead, it has all the answers to questions you did not even know you had?” Ask yourself this when you look at Breath of The Wild. Ask yourself this when you read a review you don’t agree with right before you leave that snide comment. Ask yourself what your experience seeks to benefit from one voice over others. Is Breath of The Wild a perfect game? If you ask the majority, it seems to be pretty damn close, and the gameplay sure does speak for itself. But that leads me to my final question. Is it perfect, simply, to you?