GBAtemp Exclusive Gaming Perfection...? Breath of The Wild

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by chavosaur, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. chavosaur
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    Contributor chavosaur Austin Trujillo

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    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.


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    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.

    zeldae311amscrn047-1466019833767.png
    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.

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    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.


    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.

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    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.

    review_banner_legend_of_zelda_breath_of_the_wild.jpg
    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.

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    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.

    Screenshot+2017-03-15+02.22.00.png
    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?

     


  2. flame1234

    Member flame1234 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I like unscored reviews because people focus on the scores, not the game, and getting rid of the scores helps people focus on the game. They usually reduce scores to three: yes, no or maybe. Maybe usually has a description of the type of gamer who would like it. This type of review ends up being more useful than a scored one.

    Unscored reviews: Kotaku, Ars technica
     
  3. FierceDeityLinkMask

    Newcomer FierceDeityLinkMask Member

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    Wow, that was beautiful.
     
  4. VinsCool

    Member VinsCool Figuring How Dreams and Reality Overlap

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    Excellent article!

    7/10 good clickbait :D
     
  5. ItsKipz

    Member ItsKipz l33t hax0r

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    I think BOTW has made one thing clear to me: the out of 10 and out of 100 scoring idea needs to go. If someone is getting threatened and ddos'd over a 7/10 (which is a 70/100, a C, technically passing in my book :P) maybe the problem is that there needs to be a new way to score games - not on how you would score the game, but maybe how much you would recommend it.
     
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  6. Saiyan Lusitano

    Member Saiyan Lusitano GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Amazing game in all fairness but the technical problems might lose some points in peoples' opinions, I went from a 10/10 to an 8/10. There's just no way that Zelda:BotW is worth a 10/10 as it isn't a flawless game, but it sure does feel the Breath of the Wild! :D

    One of my favourite aspects is that it's dubbed in Spanish (no Portuguese dub but that'd probably be shit because that's how most Portuguese dubs are). ^_^
     
  7. s157

    Member s157 Grinder Extraordinaire

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    Great game, but a clear example why reviews should be unscored as most people don't even read the review then and just either blindly agree or blindly bash the reviewer.

    Kinda disagree with this part:

    "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."
    (yes I didn't bother to use the quote feature because my knowledge of how these forums work borders near illiterate)

    It's possibly has the smallest numbers of Legend of Zelda tropes in it. I personally see an open-world action RPG with small hints of LoZ in it. And to many, shying away from the standard LoZ formula was a great move. To some others, it wasn't.

    All opinions of course, so I'm neither right or wrong.
     
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  8. Viri

    Member Viri GBAtemp Maniac

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    I adore the game, but no game is a perfect 10/10 imo.
     
  9. skawo

    Member skawo GBAtemp Regular

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    Nope. 7-8/10. Sort of hope they go back to the old ways of Zelda next, too.
     
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  10. Xzi

    Member Xzi Console Hacker and PC Gamer

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    Do I think BotW is a perfect game? No. I also don't think a game has to be perfect to receive a 10/10, though, and nor do I think it's likely there ever will be a perfect game in the literal sense of the word. BotW is not perfect, but it is innovative and a masterpiece. What many thought of as really good or great previously released open-world RPGs were put to shame by BotW. Frankly that's why I find it funny that Skyrim is coming to Switch, that's a game completely out of its depth on the system already unless it includes mods.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Mar 15, 2017
  11. Kikirini

    Member Kikirini Zelda Fangirl

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    I don't think it's a perfect game (or a perfect Zelda game either), but it did bring a much needed breath of fresh air to the series. I'm hoping the series from this point on keeps the open-world approach, it just felt so right.
    That being said, framerate issues and breakable weapons are what I wasn't fond of.
     
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  12. Pluupy

    Member Pluupy Woof!

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    I'm not really feeling it. I don't dislike it, I just...don't feel enthusiastic about this Zelda game. Very odd considering I am a fan of both Zelda and open world games. I just don't think it's perfect. The game feels very lifeless for a Zelda game. While I am impressed at Link's new repertoire of physical and magical abilities, I feel like this game lacks the normal spirit of a Zelda game and was made by someone trying to emulate a Zelda game.
     
  13. DaFixer

    Member DaFixer Dare to be stupid

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    Nice read and if get a switch I also want to play that game.
    But for me as a gamer the only game that knowns what perfection is The Witcher 3.
     
  14. s157

    Member s157 Grinder Extraordinaire

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    What is the deal with everyone and comparisons? Does your actions heavily affect the world in BotW? Can you join multiple factions or betray them? Can you slaughter innocents at your will?

    Or looking at the other side, can you paraglide in skyrim? Is Link that much better at rock climbing than the dragonborn? Is Skyrim as action based as BotW is? Does skyrim have as big of an emphasis on physics?

    These games are good at what they do. If I want to bend a dragon to my will with mostly my voice, or if I wish to slaughter innocents, or if I'm looking for a first-person RPG experience where my choices affect the world, I'll play skyrim. If I wish to explore a vast, beautiful landscape, or if I wish for a fun third-person combat system in an open world RPG, or if I want to just hear some breathtaking music (sparse as it is), I'll play BotW. I can't say I'll play it for nolstalgia as it's a huge shift from the traditional Zelda formula.
     
  15. Xzi

    Member Xzi Console Hacker and PC Gamer

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    Not sure what leads you to those conclusions. The villages are absolutely reminiscent of other Zelda games. The cuccos are still there. Shrines and puzzles are 100% Zelda but slightly more difficult.
     
  16. BlueFox gui

    Member BlueFox gui SOMEONE

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    when i will play it? T^T
     
  17. Marko76

    Member Marko76 GBAtemp Addict

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    Botw is not only the best Zelda game ever its quite possibly the greatest game of all time.
     
  18. Xzi

    Member Xzi Console Hacker and PC Gamer

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    That's just my opinion. Skyrim without mods is like a 7/10. With mods can get as high as 9/10, but BotW is still a 9.5 for me at a minimum. Partly because Okami is also in my top five games of all time, so obviously I like this style of gameplay when done correctly.
     
  19. skawo

    Member skawo GBAtemp Regular

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    Erm...
    Look, I know Zelda isn't exactly rocket science, but BotW's puzzles can literally be skipped a lot of the time. How is that more difficult?
     
  20. Xzi

    Member Xzi Console Hacker and PC Gamer

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    You can skip just about everything in BotW, but my pride won't allow Zelda puzzles to defeat me, having beat two of three Dark Souls games so far.
     
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