Gaming Skepticism for BotW

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I wrote like a 6 paragraph "thoughts on" piece about this game in the review section now that the game is out and I have finished it.
https://gbatemp.net/review/the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild.563/
The following post was speculation from before the game came out and honestly I wasn't too far off from what I predicted here.


I'm a big Zelda fan. Huge. Twilight Princess is one of my all-time favorite games ever. I'll eat up anything with the Zelda name slapped on it and its usually pretty good anyway. However, Breath of the Wild has me very concerned because what I feared the most and predicted what would happen with this open word transition is seemingly true. This game is going to be plagued with what makes your generic open world game so uninteresting and borderline pointless.

Let me explain, and before you sound off with "The gams not out yet u moran", I know but we have seen plenty of it and more than enough to understand what most, if not all of it, will be like. Let's take a look at what could make this game a forgettable, monotonous, poorly designed experience. This is gonna be a long one.

First I want to talk about the main feature of the game, the thing it's named after, "the wild". You can, supposedly, go anywhere you want whenever you want. Isn't that something? What do you want to go do then now that we have that possibility? ....... hmmm.... what could we possibly want to go do... you'd think it'd be obvious but there's really zero reason to want to, for example, ignore the entire opening area and walk all the way across the map to do things there first. And don't worry angry billy, I'll be sure to tell you why.

Let's look at the slim number of things BotW decides to populate it's worlds with. First and foremost there's Bokoblin camps. These are where the game hides away seemingly most of its battles. In the hours and hours of gameplay footage I've seen, there have been hardly any enemies just out and about, they're all at these camps. These camps alone introduce their own set of structural problems but thats for later. So along your journey you're just gonna be seeing tons of Bokoblin camps that are all more or less the same thing, kill 5 or so and then get a debatably pointless reward, again more on that in a bit. Woohoo. What else is there to populate our expansive, bigger than Skyrim, map? Oh! Horse Stables! You can register horses you find here for easy access to them later. That's cool. Except for the fact there's way too many of them. In the new area they've been showing off at the Switch events, there's at least THREE of them. And they're all really close to each other! Why do you need that many of this thing that serves such a miniscule purpose in the game? If there's already that many in just one small area, how many will there be across the entire map? If this area's anything to go by, I'm willing to bet at least a hundred. Again these serve hardly any purpose yet they're a main thing populating the world. And now the last main thing they use to make the world seem less empty and pointless. The main game part of the game. The Shrines.

The Shrines honestly are the most disappointing aspect of the game to me. Instead of making real dungeons (I know real dungeons are probably coming but the rumor is only 4 and that's not nearly enough for the biggest Zelda game ever)
(EDIT: Actually there AREN'T ANY LMAO http://nintendoeverything.com/aonuma-on-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-development-shrines-art-style-more/)

Sure theres 120 or something of them but think about what they are and watch gameplay of them. Its go in, solve one stupidly easy puzzle and get whatever the reward is. That's no supplement for enemy filled dungeons with tough puzzle segments and finding the right way to go at a given time and figuring out layouts and getting new key items. And here's a thought: You may think "Oh since this world is open Im gonna go do this one all the way over here". Why? Whats the point in that? You don't know whats in any of them untill you go in. You also don't know what rewards you'll get. Hell you might not even be able to complete it because you don't have the proper items if you wander off too far. On top of all of that, they all look the same. I want uniquely themed stuff, the Gorons worship shrine, the catacombs of the Royal Family, a freaking Yeti's house.

And thats it. That's about all the Breath of the Wild has to populate it's world. I'm sure theres gonna be a couple villages here and there but there's not going to be much else. And it shows. The world is barren. I have absolutely no idea what could possibly be fun about exploring this world if there's little incentive to do so.

Remember when I said the idea of gating enemy encounters off to camps and select areas was a problem? Let's get into that. Basically, there's not point in going out of your way to fight them, or to not just walk around them. Not only this is because the rewards suck horribly, but because of the breakable weapons system. You're just breaking weapons, and using up other equipment to kill everything in these camps. And guess what you get back? Equipment. wait that sounds like a certain paper mario game oh no. And not even a lot of it. I saw one guy take out a whole treehouse of Bokoblins and all he got was 5 arrows. Another took out a riverside camp and all they got was a piece of fruit. That's extremely stupid. I'm sure there's gonna be a small handful that do have decent rewards but most of them will be crap like this. No reason to bother with them.

Another broken mechanic is food. No more scavenging for heart's or hoping theres some in the boss room. Just pause and eat. It seems as if you can hold tons and tons of food too. Nothings stopping you from making a bunch of the OP food either. This pause and eat mechanic effectively destroys any and all challenge that could possibly be in the game.

Last but not least, the lack of music in the game. There's no music in the game because "muh environmental immersion". Instead there are small piano loops every once in a while when somethings nearby. This hurts me especially because Zelda has tons of gamings best music tied to its name and now it has very little if any music at all. Great...

And that's my problems with BotW. Yeah the games not out. Yeah I'm still gonna play it. Who knows, maybe it's going to be amazing, I'll come back to this thread and happily eat my sock(I really will) if Im proven wrong. But I am just very cautious because upon close inspection this game just looks bad design wise. On a positive note, the trailers make it seem like there will be a great story in the game, the story is always one of my favorite parts of Zelda, and voice acting is a great addition.

Sorry for the long post, here's hoping this game isn't another Metal Gear Solid V, and Zelda at least has that beat already by having a story. Update: It doesn't have it beat by having a story, it was terrible and short. This is literally the MGS5 of Zelda
 
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SomecallmeBerto

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No I have to agree with TC here.

If anything think of this game like Skyrim but with a Zelda skin. Sure exploring dungeons, cities is fun but after about 20 hours you have seen and done everything in those games. What Zelda needs to do is have good side quest that flesh out the word and give the people and world a personality. If it doesn't then it will be another No Man's Sky.
 
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From what little I've seen of the game (because I try to leave everything a suprise. Keyword on "try"), my opinion right now is:
"Look, it's Skyrim with Zelda mod. Also, they totally stole the "stamina circle when running or climbing" from Shadow of the Colossus!"

Now, before any of you bashes me because I'm wrong (and I probably am), re-read my post.
 
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flame1234

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It seems like the standard formula to me.
You play the intro sequence, then you make your way to each temple, make your way through each temple, fight a boss and collect a trinket at the end (and a heart container). You repeat that a few times and after that, a final dungeon.
This time around it seems there's more optional stuff to do when making your way to each temple, like goblin camps, and the process of getting to the next temple will probably take a long time compared to previous games. It's been a trend that this part of the game has been taking longer and longer. Goblin camps didn't look too fun, but challenge battles did. I wouldn't appreciate it if there were too many enemies in the open world. Instead there's somewhere you can go if you want to fight enemies. Link doesn't level up, so there's no real need to fight enemies outside of "obstacle" enemies.

There will be a warping feature so I don't think you need to be so worried about backtracking. It's a big area though, and you'll probably be required to explore most of it.

Regarding difficulty it has to be easy enough for a below average player to clear. That is standard for Zelda. They included a challenge option in Link Between Worlds (after clearing the game) so hopefully they will here, too.

Summary of your post:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheyChangedItNowItSucks

If "Open world Zelda" sounds good to you I'd go ahead and preorder. If not, wait for reviews. Reviewers will mention these flaws, and probably say they liked it despite them.
 
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Arras

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From what little I've seen of the game (because I try to leave everything a suprise. Keyword on "try"), my opinion right now is:
"Look, it's Skyrim with Zelda mod. Also, they totally stole the "stamina circle when running or climbing" from Shadow of the Colossus!"

Now, before any of you bashes me because I'm wrong (and I probably am), re-read my post.
The stamina circle was in Skyward Sword too, actually - it's not new to this game.
 
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specht

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I agree with your sentiment, but I'll still give it a shot because Zelda. Metal Gear Solid V suffered from the same issues but just barely made up for it with great gameplay. And with the chopper you can play it as if it wasn't open world at all. But they did end up using arbitrary helicopter speeds just to pad out the game early on and give players something more to upgrade. I wonder if fast horses will be less common until you finish some shrines or something. Those beacons will probably be a form of fast travel.

I know it's a marketing term but the open-air concept does intrigue me. MGSV was laid out with some roads acting as corridors with untraversable cliffs on each side. When clipping through you can tell they didn't bother to model anything that wouldn't be seen, which is reasonable, but makes the open world feel less genuine. Ideally BoTW would let you climb anything (with fully upgraded stamina) and have a flight mechanic by the endgame.

...and then we find out you can't climb anything with a bush in front of it or something.

I told people its just babies first witcher game, they didn't want to believe me...

Just like Super Mario RPG is baby's first Final Fantasy.
 
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I agree with your sentiment, but I'll still give it a shot because Zelda. Metal Gear Solid V suffered from the same issues but just barely made up for it with great gameplay. And with the chopper you can play it as if it wasn't open world at all. But they did end up using arbitrary helicopter speeds just to pad out the game early on and give players something more to upgrade. I wonder if fast horses will be less common until you finish some shrines or something. Those beacons will probably be a form of fast travel.

I know it's a marketing term but the open-air concept does intrigue me. MGSV was laid out with some roads acting as corridors with untraversable cliffs on each side. When clipping through you can tell they didn't bother to model anything that wouldn't be seen, which is reasonable, but makes the open world feel less genuine. Ideally BoTW would let you climb anything (with fully upgraded stamina) and have a flight mechanic by the endgame.

...and then we find out you can't climb anything with a bush in front of it or something.



Just like Super Mario RPG is baby's first Final Fantasy.
MGSV doesn't have good gameplay though. Pretty much everything I wrote about seamlessly applies to MGSV except it's open world is even more empty and more pointless. The missions were the same thing every single time and the, arguably, most important aspect of an MGS game, the story, was completely ruined in the most mind boggling ways possible.
 

specht

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MGSV doesn't have good gameplay though. Pretty much everything I wrote about seamlessly applies to MGSV except it's open world is even more empty and more pointless. The missions were the same thing every single time and the, arguably, most important aspect of an MGS game, the story, was completely ruined in the most mind boggling ways possible.

I thought we were criticising Zelda here... MGSV is pretty divided and disappointed a lot of MGS fans, and you apparently. But after getting over the launch hype I was able to enjoy it. Though the less is more approach they took with the story kinda fell flat.
 
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To the OP, you say there will be no dungeon...
But hey, anyone remember that statement that was made by nintendo around 2013-2014? :
Dungeon in this game will be as big as the entire map of ocarina of time
Remember?
I don't particularly remember that but if that was said, it's not the case anymore. All sorts of interviews came out yesterday and pretty much confirmed everything I predicted/talked about here.
 

SirAileron

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– Nintendo has done away with dungeons that have a particular theme

This means the dungeons are not Fire/Ice/Forest/whatever themed. There are at least 4 main dungeons in the game, aside from the 120 shrines. As far as speculation goes, the 4 massive machine beasts are going to be the dungeons of the game, particularly derived from footage inside massive dungeon-like structures, which are far bigger than shrines, and matching footage depicting the said 4 machine beasts in trailers matching with the map, which after translated, the border spoke of the Sheikah's folly. The dungeons are corrupted Sheikah superstructures, such as the giant bird airship you saw in the "Life in the Ruins" trailer, which is one of them.

One thing that was shown in the Switch presentation was smaller settlements, like the horse stable settlements, and the encounters with hylians fighting off monsters (similar to things like thug encounters in TES games). And the large open space was heavily utilized when one of the Treehouse players was trying not to get utterly wrecked by a guardian. Open spaces can be incredibly dangerous if the enemy you're fighting warrants seeking cover. There's likely many more systems and layers to the game that have yet to be revealed. Even 4-dungeon Zelda games had way more than 4 "dungeons".

Your concerns for the most part are valid, though. Meaningful loot is an important aspect to any kind of game revolving around exploration. Being that the team behind this game is largely a younger developer force, we're definitely going to be in for a lot of things that may have never been considered part of the Zelda "experience" before. It's going to get weird.
 
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