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Breath of the Wild
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geggis
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April 25, 2017 - 5:30 am
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I was hoping to finish Steamworld Heist over the weekend so I could make a start and binge on Zelda yesterday (my birthday!) but it's been a tougher game than expected and a lot more enjoyable for it too. Seriously good stuff.

Sooo this weekend I hope to start Zelda. Your praise has been noted xtal and I can't wait.

With regards to the visuals I'd say it's leaning towards the Wind Waker's stylisation which, for me, is a huge plus. Games that don't aim for realism I find age much more gracefully.

Steerpike
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April 25, 2017 - 9:25 am
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I don't think I've ever bought a console for a single game, though a single game has usually been the tipping point. Like xtal, I'd have been happy with my PS3 if Demon's Souls were the only game I ever owned for it, and indeed Demon's Souls was the final decisionmaker. When added to the already-strong gravity exerted by Valkyria Chronicles and curiosity about Uncharted, the pull was strong enough, and I've never felt any regret.

Still, I can understand the idea of buying a console for one game. Let's be honest, sometimes there are games that are worth nearly any investment to play; which games they are vary from person to person. Hearing Breath of the Wild compared to Half-Life and Dark Souls is inspiring to me. It's the essential-ness of these games that are under discussion; obviously I doubt gameplay in BoW has much in common with Half-Life's corridor shooting, and I'd be surprised to hear it was nihilistic and bleak in the way of Dark Souls. But those qualities aren't what made those games great. In most cases something more nebulous and undefinable makes a game great, and if Breath of the Wild has that greatness, I sure do want to try it out.

As we've reflected elsewhere, this has been a crazy time. Not only have several big releases happened, they've been several big releases of big games -- Horizon is among the shortest at a fairly traditional 30-ish hours (much more serious explorers). Mass Effect Andromeda, despite all the bleah, is going to get my attention and that's 200 hours. Persona 5 is my current obsession and some sites are saying 500 hours for that. Breath of the Wild is one I don't usually include in my personal calculus just because I don't have the platform, but I absolutely want to add it to my list. Just... where??

--

Actually it occurs to me I did buy a platform for a single game, more or less... I bought my first PC in 1994 chiefly so I could play Wing Commander 3, though DOOM and Arena and X-Com and Civ and Gabriel Knight and a whole host of others were part of it. But Wing Commander 3 was the reason it happened, and again, no regrets.

what are the differences, pray tell, between Breath of the Wild on Wii U and Breath of the Wild on Switch? Visual fidelity? Performance? Controls? Anything?

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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April 25, 2017 - 9:51 am
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Here you go Steerpike: http://www.eurogamer.net/artic.....u-face-off

In the end the differences were negligible, as evidenced by the videos there. Definitely worth a read and a look.

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Dix
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April 25, 2017 - 10:16 am
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I played Breath of the Wild on WiiU since I've only recently gotten that system and wasn't compelled by the Switch's launch line-up, and although you lose the ability to take the game on the go (which many of my Switch-owning friends did a lot), otherwise the differences are pretty minor. I guess if you're the type who really quibbles over 720p vs. 1080p or is bugged by very occasional minor slowdown you'll want the Switch version; otherwise the WiiU version is just fine.

I mean, hell. You can still see pretty obviously where some material was removed from the game to accommodate Switch, since it was originally intended as a WiiU game.

As far as the WiiU goes, I'm sure the prices will drop soon enough, as the Switch gains traction. I also wouldn't say you're buying for just Breath of the Wild, even if that's the breaking point; once you have a WiiU, you've got access to various other really great games - various Mario titles, Wind Waker HDBayonetta 2Tokyo Mirage Sessions, the list goes on - so I think you can get some pretty good mileage out of the console itself. That's what I'm doing.

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

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Synonamess Botch
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April 25, 2017 - 10:25 am
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You're right of course Dix.  I know there are a few games my kids will want to play on the Wii U (good gracious that name is so ridiculous I feel like a dork just typing it.  I always see an image of Reggie Fils-Amie looking like an uber-dork while saying it).

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Steerpike
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April 25, 2017 - 10:48 am
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That Eurogamer article sums it up nicely, thanks Gregg. I recall this was originally developed for Wii U, and Dix, I remember you saying it felt like certain things were meant for Wii U-specific controls that aren't in the Switch. As for resolution differences, thanks to BoW's art style, it seems like a pretty negligible issue. Good move on Nintendo's part to focus on retaining the more readily noticeable visual elements across either platform. So it seems like the final word is "yes there's a visual difference between the two, no you won't actually see it."

Since the Switch will be sold out until 2315, it's nice to know the Wii U is a good potential alternative. As for me, I think I might follow xtal's suggestion and see if there's any rental options around... after I make more progress in Persona.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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April 25, 2017 - 11:31 am
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Well it is good news that the differences are only in the resolution plus a few other minor things.  The deal-breaker for me would be actual content differences, which appears to not be true.

I also prefer the more stylized look of WW vs TP, as I've said way too many times here (so what's one more!?).  And I'm more than a little baffled by the war between the two graphics camps.  Zelda fans certainly are a strange bunch.

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xtal
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April 25, 2017 - 12:00 pm
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I will vouch for the Wii U version - it performs just fine. There are framerate drops; usually in an area where there's some forestation or weather effects kicking in - but it's so negligible to the overall experience. And the patch released a couple weeks ago actually seems to have reduced the amount of framerate dipping, in my own experience.

I've thought this to myself but forgot to mention until now: the graphical style is like a living painting.

This game is probably a technical afterthought to a lot of people. And still, in that Nintendo way - when they're operating at their best - they make things work on their own hardware; much like Naughty Dog's mastery of development for PlayStation.

My opinion is probably slanted by bias of how much I enjoy the game, but this really is one of my favourite looking games, artistically. Blades of grass and fire blowing in the wind. Rainstorms, sunsets, sunrises, they all look so good. The things beamed into ones eyes by this game are beautiful.

I just have so much to say about this game. The editor in me is having a fit.

If some of you ever catch up to where I'm at, I'd love to dedicate a podcast to the game, like we did with The Last of Us.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Dix
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April 25, 2017 - 1:02 pm
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Synonamess Botch said
Well it is good news that the differences are only in the resolution plus a few other minor things. The deal-breaker for me would be actual content differences, which appears to not be true.

Yeah, there are no content differences presently, nor do there appear to be any plans to change that.

I also prefer the more stylized look of WW vs TP, as I've said way too many times here (so what's one more!?). And I'm more than a little baffled by the war between the two graphics camps. Zelda fans certainly are a strange bunch.  

I think some of this runs back to the good old days when "graphics" were the most important thing about a game. I knew several people who were taken in by the comparative realism of early 3D ("Yes, this is an actual screenshot!") that they saw Wind Waker as moving away from that. I think it also is a matter of when you became a Zelda fan - people brought in by Ocarina of Time, I find, think of Zelda as a darker, more mature franchise than those that had been playing previous Zelda games.

 

Also, I would absolutely podcast about this for hours. I've finished the game, and it's been weeks now, but I probably remember most of it.

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

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xtal
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April 25, 2017 - 2:14 pm
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Finished! Wow! Question for ya:

Did you do all the divine beasts? And how many shrines did you get through? I think I'm just under 40 shrines now, and I don't have many more sitting in plain sight. Though I don't even have the whole map uncovered; the four areas on the western edge of the map I haven't explored. But I've heard the total number of shrines is 120, which is crazy. There must be so many more hiding.

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Dix
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April 25, 2017 - 2:31 pm
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xtal said
Finished! Wow! Question for ya:

Did you do all the divine beasts? And how many shrines did you get through? I think I'm just under 40 shrines now, and I don't have many more sitting in plain sight. Though I don't even have the whole map uncovered; the four areas on the western edge of the map I haven't explored. But I've heard the total number of shrines is 120, which is crazy. There must be so many more hiding.

I did do all the Divine Beasts, but I accidentally went to the final boss battle before I had at one point (I lost in the end because I hadn't brought many healing items with me; I was just exploring Hyrule Castle and kept going even when I reached the Obviously Triggering the End Boss room because I was curious what would happen). It is possible to beat the game without doing them, but the climactic battle is a bit harder for each one you neglect. You also miss out on getting the associated memories and thus the full ending.

I did about 90 shrines. There were others I knew about and just didn't go find; I think a lot of the ones I didn't do were connected to a shrine quest to make them appear, rather than just sitting out in the open. Especially if you've got some good meals, you don't need to do even that many to have a pretty reasonable shot at completing the game, though that does partially depend on how many you've spent on stamina versus health.

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

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xtal
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April 26, 2017 - 3:12 pm
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Yeah I'd heard the divine beasts are optional and they're more or less a way to make the final boss easier. Having completed one though, seeing the bonus ability it offers, I'm definitely going to do them all.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Dix
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April 26, 2017 - 3:16 pm
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xtal said
Yeah I'd heard the divine beasts are optional and they're more or less a way to make the final boss easier. Having completed one though, seeing the bonus ability it offers, I'm definitely going to do them all.  

The bonus abilities are all very nice, and even though the Divine Beasts are pretty short, they're still fun puzzle dungeons, I think. Each one has a specific transformative gimmick that lets its puzzles stand out a bit from the other Divine Beasts and the shrines. Besides, doing them is the only way to piece together the entire story of what happened 100 years prior.

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

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xtal
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April 28, 2017 - 1:55 am
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I got really stuck on Vah Ruda (Zora area). I left that alone for a couple weeks. I completely missed something (that I could get into the map room), and forgot or didn't know I was looking for that.

The other one I've recently done is the Goron area. That divine beast went a lot smoother for me. I liked that place, it had a weird vibe.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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geggis
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May 2, 2017 - 9:23 am
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So I started Breath of the Wild yesterday and sunk a good 10+ hours into it. Mind dump incoming. Thoughts WIP.
 
I have no real Zelda nostalgia, or outright love for open world games or even Souls games for that matter, so I've not fallen under its spell like most folk have. I mean, I want to keep playing it but it's not exactly blowing me away just yet.
 
Everything's pretty much as I expected it to be with the biggest surprise being the emergence, y'know, like using a fire arrow on an enemy, setting it on fire then the enemy's weapon dropping to the floor and setting the field ablaze with you and your horse in it. One of my favourite moments was knocking a Bokoblin chief's weapon out of his hands, dashing to pick it up, then seeing the shock on his face when he had nothing to defend himself with. That kind of thing is just so great. I love the way the wind effects which direction the fire spreads too.
 
I'm more surprised by how annoying some fundamental things are about it given the universal raving. I mean, I've seen lower profile games lynched for much less.
 
The menus for inventory management, whether healing myself mid-combat or dropping items to pick up better ones, are needlessly long-winded. I'm only 10 or so hours in and I'm already getting sick of plunging into my menus for basic stuff. This is by far the worst thing.
 
I spent a couple of hours trying to take down a stone talus before bed. Probably above my ability this early (four hearts) but I nearly killed it so many times, the only thing which was giving me a headache was the camera while trying to circle it (and the hill that I kept tumbling down every time a rock hit me).
 
If I used target/focus camera my horse would just gallop straight towards it, killing me in no time. If the focus didn't lock then I'd lose view of the talus altogether as the camera snapped forwards. If I used target/focus AND aiming with my bow, my horse would stay its course and the camera would lock beautifully on to the talus allowing me to circle it perfectly. That's what I wanted from standard targeting/focus, without having to bow aim to stop suicidal horsey.
 
So I have two choices when fighting these things: control the camera manually which I think is unreasonable given there's a focus button, or hold LZ (focus) and RZ (bow). The latter works but it's unwieldy especially while L thumbsticking and tapping A to adjust speed and navigate. Add to this holding down the d-pad to select a new bow or different arrows while using the R thumbstick to cycle them, pressing B to cancel aiming if I need to (this sometimes dismounts Link if I'm not careful), pressing X to switch to melee (and having to either unhook from targeting/focus to maintain control or manual controlling the camera). It just feels needlessly cumbersome. I don't remember Wind Waker or Shadow of the Colossus being like this.
 
Sprint and stealth should be the other way round. Sprint on L stick, stealth on face button. Possibly sprint toggle. Being unable to sprint and move the camera at the same time is annoying.
 
The controls overall just don't feel intuitive. Dare I say awkward. Even after 10 hours I'm still feeling clumsy with basic stuff like switching gear in combat, targeting and throwing. And what's with the 'Near' and 'Far' thing on the d-pad when you're dropping something? That's just weird.
 
I've spent the last 10 hours mostly doing the same sorts of things. Bokoblin camps (oh look, more explosive barrels and precariously balanced boulders...), jelly Chuchus, bats, chests with the same stones and consumables in them, ancient mechanical parts that the game insists on describing to me every time I pick them up, shrines featuring familiar (but still enjoyable) puzzles with the same scripted bits bookending them.
 
The voice acting doesn't sound that great either. Hire actors who natively speak in the desired accent!
 
Final (minor) nitpicks: I think there's only 3 or 4 post-death Battle Tips on the loading screen and they get very repetitive very quickly after a few deaths! I'd rather see it cycle through the same pool as when you load your save. And Link's climbing noises are repetitive.
 
Things I love:
  • The lovely sparse music that flirts with some of the familiar themes from the series. Very relaxing and compliments the atmosphere perfectly.
  • The cooking and sizzling jingle/animation! I love that thing so much.
  • The day/night and weather cycles and how they play with the lighting and colour palette of the environments. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff. Loved it in Wind Waker and particularly Miasmata.
  • Paragliding. I want to paraglide everywhere.
  • Cutting down trees to make bridges.
  • I noticed a big barrel I could hide in after I'd killed the nearby Bokoblins. Sob.
  • Being told off for stealing the Old Man's baked apple and axe. Shame I couldn't give an apple back!
  • The subtle sound differences between different types of gear made from different materials clinking and clunking on your back, or when you walk on different surfaces. I love that sort of attention to detail.
  • Link's rosy cheeks in the cold areas.

That sounds pretty negative, and I'm not trying to be, but I wasn't expecting quite so many things to rub me the wrong way, particularly for such a highly praised game. Early doors yet so we'll see what else is in store...

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xtal
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May 2, 2017 - 11:55 pm
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I think most people who have been raving about it, they actually still have a soul. Gregg, you see. So. That might be a starting place.

I kid. You have a soul of course. It obviously just died a long time ago.

 

But really, I get your complaints. One thing I didn't realize until you just said it there, how the ancient parts picked up from dead guardians always show their info thing like it's the first time you picked it up. I never even thought about that. They seemed like chests more or less.

I (and many people) agree the controls are the most unfortunate part of the experience. I find Nintendo's control scheme irritating to begin with; being stuck with the reversed button thing that's common in Japan. Using the damn Wii U is rewiring parts of my brain that have stored PlayStation and Xbox knowledge and fucking it all up. And the run and jump buttons being the top and bottom...Yeah that's just a bad mistake.

Still, none of these complaints bother me because I just love playing the game so much. I think something might actually be wrong with you, Gregg. You're just....You're dead inside there's no other good way of saying it. I'm sorry that's the case. I'm sure it's a hard life, one with no joy.

 

Anyway, you'll be alright. Keep exploring the world and giving it time, if you at least enjoy it enough. To me it continues to be rewarding.

Tip: max out your stamina before bothering with hearts; it ups the challenge of combat for a little while, and will allow you to climb higher and glide farther, faster. The most important things.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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xtal
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August 15, 2017 - 12:58 pm
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So, has anyone else jumped on the BOTW train over the summer? (Or winter, if our friend Jarrod is reading) I'm still going at it, loving every minute. Did some exploring of Hyrule Castle but didn't want to have what you said happened to you, Dix (ending triggered), so I retreated when I found a convenient exit hole in the castle wall.

I bought the dlc packs (which Nintendo has you buy all or none of) so I now have the Master Trials to do. It sounds like a fun challenge, like a hyper Eventide Island. Also there's apparently a Korok seed-detecting mask in the dlc, which could be helpful.

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Dix
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August 16, 2017 - 1:22 pm
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I have not returned to it yet. I've had lots of other things to play, and I think I'll probably hold off on returning until the rest of the DLC is out. I'm more interested in the narrative DLC anyway, although once that brings me back I'm sure I'll mess with a lot of the the stuff that the first DLC pack added.

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

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