Thursday, April 6, 2017

Switch and Zelda

The combination of immense hype, a separate enthusiasm on my own part, and a large tax return led me to pick up a Switch last week along with a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

The Switch is still hard to come by, just a month after launch, but I happened on a small stack of about 7 in my local Best Buy, and eventually temptation won out. As the console itself goes, its nifty. I like the pretty seamless transitioning between handheld and TV modes, and I like the system interface and styling. I am a little reserved about the build quality and robustness of the console, though. For now I have applied a screen protector to the system and am not letting my kids know about the system. This is still feasible while they go to bed earlier than I, and I can keep the system put up somewhere. They have found the dock and joy-con grip, but don't know what they are or what they are for. Yet.

As far as Zelda goes, I like it. It has really been quite some time since I was into a new Zelda. The last was Ocarina of Time, actually, of which my impression has suffered over the years just due to the unwarranted amount of ludicrous worship the game has had in the years since it came out. I have played, briefly, subsequent games in the series, but not much cared for them on the whole, to the point where I had basically dismissed the series as uninteresting. To this day I would say my favorite Zelda game is the original, followed maybe by The Adventure of Link just because it is such a different thing, and I could take or leave the balance of the series. That might sound harsh, but I honestly never see myself playing A Link to the Past or Ocarina or any of the others through again in my lifetime.

All that in mind, Breath of the Wild seems like a real departure for the series in how it dispenses with all of the hand-holding some of the other games have opened with, and gets right to the adventure. Not a lot is explained to Link until several hours in, when the player has had the chance to get out and get some experience and have some fun in the world, and is ready for some plot and guidance. This is the point I'm to now, having just left the Great Plateau with the semblance of a mission to carry me through the rest of the adventure.

This Zelda is also really interesting in that it is a very open game with a lot of systems that intersect freely and in interesting ways, a lot like a Stalker or Far Cry or any number of other more modern games, even things like FROM Software's Souls series or the wave of survival games on the PC that are so big these days. It's interesting because Nintendo seems to be taking the game in a new direction, perhaps due to there being a new generation of folks working on the game, with newer influences and goals.

I'm not very far in, really, and from what I've heard this is an absolutely huge game, so I'm sure my overall impression will evolve as I continue to play, but I feel like it's pretty promising.

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