Before I get into this post – it will most likely contain spoilers for Breath of The Wild. They won’t necessarily be big spoilers, but to talk about the game properly, there will most likely be some things that people will consider spoilers – there will also be some screenshots I’ve taken whilst playing the game. If you’re playing it and don’t want to know anything about the game, this probably isn’t the blog post for you!
Also - it's a pretty long chatty post, so you may want to go and get some snacks/a hot drink and settle in :P
Being a pretty big Nintendo fan, I knew that I wanted to buy the Nintendo Switch as soon as they announced they were working on a new console – I wanted it even more after they revealed they would be releasing the new Zelda game, Breath Of The Wild, on this new console, as well as on the Wii U. There’s also a lot more games in the works that I will be buying, I didn’t literally only buy the Switch for Zelda, but it’s a pretty impressive start!
I’m going to split this post into two sections – the Nintendo Switch section, and the Breath Of The Wild section. I may overlap slightly, as I’ll be talking about how I feel the Switch handles Breath Of The Wild, etc, but I feel like it’ll be easier to split it this way.
First thing – the battery life. Nintendo say you should get between 2.5 – 3.5 hours of battery life when you’re playing the Switch undocked – it varies for different games, but I think Zelda was one of the 2.5h ones tested. However, I think that I ended up getting a faulty Switch, as my battery life doesn’t last anywhere near that long. Even when mine is fully charged, it lasts 45 minutes at most before I get the “low battery” notification. Often, when I plug it in after this notification, the battery instantly leaps from 15% (when it tells you you’re low on battery) to around 42%. Also, if I fully charge my Switch before I go to bed, then turn it off, when I turn it on the next day it’s often already down to around 74% or something similar. I have emailed Nintendo about this issue, as it means I can’t really take advantage of the whole portability factor they were pushing for the Switch, but I can’t really give a fair review on the battery life until I get it sorted!
I also haven’t had a chance to play my console while it’s docked yet, but I’ve been my brother play his and it looks amazing – the quality is really clear on the bigger screen, and it just looks amazing, with little lag.
The “puppy dog controller”, as it’s been dubbed, is extremely comfortable to play on, I’ve found – I don’t have a pro controller, as I don’t have the money to get one currently, but I like the way the puppy dog controller feels in my hands – it’s easy to use and looks good, plus it’s comfortable for people with bigger hands to play without their hands/thumbs overlapping too much.
Personally, I always play on handheld mode, as I find it most comfortable to do, plus I need to plug my console in a lot, so it’s just more convenient for my needs at the moment. It’s smaller and thinner than the Wii U gamepad, too, which makes it comfortable to play for a long period of time.
There’s a lot of amazing games coming out this year for the Switch, too – Mario Odyssey, Fire Emblem Warriors, Splatoon 2, Mario kart 8 Deluxe and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, to name a few – so if you’re on the fence about buying a Switch, I’d definitely go for it if you’re excited for as many of the games for it that I am! There’s also a lot of third party games coming out – including games like Skyrim – so there’s something for everyone!
I also opted for the grey joycons – they have neon ones, too, so one is red and one is blue. The neon ones were a bit too garish for my liking, but they will appeal to more people who may want something a bit brighter and eyecatching than I wanted. They’re also planning on bringing out some bright yellow joycons later this year, so keep an eye out for those if that’s something you’re interested in!
Overall, I’m really liking my Switch so far, despite the battery life issues I’m having. It’s small, light, runs fast and has enough different ways to play it to appeal to everyone! Plus, it looks good, in my opinion, and there’s so many different games planned for it that there’s something for everyone, no matter what your taste in games is like.
ZELDA – BREATH OF THE WILD
This game turned out to be everything I wanted and more. I knew it was going to be amazing anyway, as Monolith Soft (the company who worked on one of my all time favourite games, Xenoblade Chronicles) worked on it too, but it definitely ended up surpassing all my expectations!
I really like the way they chose to do minimal music in this game – usually, I like having constant music playing in all the different areas of the game, but in Breath Of The Wild, there’s less music than there usually would be – however, the music they do have compliments each area and enemy perfectly, it’s very well done and I really like it. My personal favourite music is either the Talus battle music, or the music in Rito Village.
They went with a slightly more muted colour pallette for the most part in Breath Of The Wild – some areas, such as Death Mountain, are more vibrant, but I like the style and colours they chose for this game, it’s very pleasing to the eyes.
One thing about this game that people were sceptical about is the fact you don’t just have a couple of weapons to use throughout the game, as is usually the case in Zelda games – you usually get a boomerang, hookshot, arrows and the Master Sword, for example. In Breath Of The Wild, you can hold up to 20 melee weapons, 20 bows/types of arrows and 20 shields. The items are also limited useage – once you’ve used it completely, it’ll break and disappear. There’s a few special weapons that you can get repaired, but it’ll cost you! I personally really like this, for the most part – it means you get to try out a lot of different weapons, but it can also get annoying if you have a load of great weapons already and you find another one you want, but you’ve run out of inventory slots for your weapons. You start off with 8 melee weapon slots, 6 bow/arrow slots and 4 shield slots.
Throughout the game, you can also get different clothing – which is also something different for the Zelda series, as usually you have the green tunic and hat. Some of the clothing you can get will also come with some kind of effect – you can get ones that help with heat resistance, for example. If you can a Zelda amiibo, you can also sometimes get special items, weapons and clothing – for example, if you use the Ocarina of Time Link amiibo, you can get the clothing of time or a Biggoron Sword, or if you scan the Super Smash Bros Zelda amiibo, you can get the Twilight Bow (as the Zelda from Super Smash is the Zelda from Twilight Princess). You can only use each amiibo once a day, so bear that in mind! They will also give you supplies, such as raw meat, fish and plants.
I also really like how big the map is – if you can see it, you can get to it, for the most part. Of course, eventually there’s limits to the world, but there’s a very vast area to explore too – I’m around 160 hours into the game and I’m still finding new things every time I play! Not only are there 120 shrines to find (I hit 110 at the time of writing this blog post), but there’s also mysterious being called Koroks to find. They’re hidden all over Hyrule – some are harder to find than others – and when you find one, they’ll reward you by giving you a seed, which you can later use to expand your weapon inventories. There’s 900 Koroks in all, so you can imagine it’ll take quite a while and a LOT of exploring to find them all. I currently have 281, so still have quite a long way to go! I also currently have one melee weapon slot to go, 2 bow slots and 8 shield ones, so I have a way to go yet to fully expand.
Another really cool feature they added to Breath Of The Wild is the fact that, instead of potions, you can now collect food/ingredients and cook it! You can kill animals, pick up plants/insects/fruit that you see, and even use rock salt from ore deposits to make food and elixirs. When you kill enemies, you can grab their remains – stuff like horns, guts, etc – and cook them with some insects, you can create an elixir based on the effect the insect will bring. For example, using a hot footed frog will create a speed elixir, while a fireproof lizard will create a fireproof elixir.
The story is pretty cool for this game. You wake up in the Shrine of Resurrection with a voice telling you to open your eyes. When you wake up, you see a glowing terminal, so you have to go over to it and interact with it. The voice tells you to pick up the Sheikah Slate (it looks a bit like a tablet, and comes in very helpful), and that it will help explain what happened so long ago. The voice gives you a bit of a tutorial as you find your way out of the shrine – you will also find some clothes in chests on your way out.
Once you leave and have started exploring, you will find an old man. If you speak to him, he'll tell you to come and talk to him again if you want to know more, and you can steal his baked apple - he'll be important a bit later on.
After a while, the voice will prompt you to head to the place marked on the map. If you do this, you will find a terminal, where you will be instructed to place the Sheikah slate on it – once this is done, it actives multiple towers all over the land, including one which sprouts directly beneath you. The map of this area will distill from the terminal once the tower has sprouted. From the top of the tower, you can see Hyrule Castle, and you hear the voice urging you to remember the events of 100 years ago – you will also see Calamity Ganon around the castle.
Once you climb down the tower again, the old man will fly down with a paraglider. He tells you a little bit about the events of 100 years ago. He asks you if you’re planning on trying to get rid of Ganon, then explains you can’t get off the Great Plateau by climbing, as it’s too steep, then he says he will give you the paraglider if you get the treasure out of the shrine that’s next to the tower and gives it to him – however, once you do that, he changes his mind and says he wants the treasures out of all 4 Great Plateau shrines before he’ll hand it over.
Once you’be done that, he’ll give you the paraglider, and your adventure can truly begin! One of the cool things about this game is that Nintendo have stated that, if you so please, as soon as you leave the plateau you can head straight to Hyrule Castle to try your luck against Calamity Ganon – you don’t necessarily have to do any other story first, unlike other Zelda games. I like that they gave you free reign, pretty much.
Instead of the classic Zelda dungeons, there are 4 Divine Beasts – one for each main area. You will have to activate terminals inside these beasts, then defeat the mini boss inside each. Doing these will help you greatly against Ganon, if you choose to play this way.
So, in conclusion – I definitely feel like Breath Of The Wild was well worth the delays and it may even be my new favourite Zelda game – sorry, Ocarina Of Time! The story is enticing, the graphics are amazing and the whole game has a really nice feel about it, from the music to all the small things like korok hunting and figuring out how to find all the shrines. I like that there’s not a set way to play, also – both my brother and I ended up taking completely different routes and played in different ways, which was interesting. Me and my best friend have also been playing completely differently – she decided to get all the towers first, while I decided I wanted to do an area at a time and try to do as many shrines for each area as I could, before tackling the Divine Beasts.
Do you have a Switch, or Breath of the Wild? Are you planning on getting either? Let me know!