[Playing Things] The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (And Da Flippin Switch)

Two weeks ago, I was ready to list my worthless video game collection on eBay and self-destruct this terrible blogger site. Now I truly feel blessed to have two glorious games in progress. I’m having loads of fun doing whatever the hell I feel like, and I laugh as I hear my powerless backlog monster clawing in vain at the seal on its cage. I’m going to enjoy this emotional high while I can, for what goes soaring up, usually comes crashing back down.

Oh and I’m trying really hard not to do this:

Welcome to My Family, Nintendo Switch!

First off, I’m going to add my noise to the buzzing professional internet chatter and ramble about my experiences with the Switch thus far. If you’re looking for a professional review, go check out the far better bloggers out there.

The setup process was a breeze:

  1. Re-box dust covered Wii U console
  2. Carefully un-box precious new console
  3. Connect two wires that can only fit where they are suppose to go
  4. Turn console and TV on
  5. Obey the console’s simple instructions
  6. Try to remember what the hell my WiFi password is
  7. Download & install small update
  8. Create a new Mii with pink hair and badass sunglasses
    mii-avatar
  9. Register 5 shiny new Amiibo figures
  10. Insert bitter tasting game cartridge
  11. Get filled with a sense of wonder while Zelda opening plays

Done! The whole process took about a hour.

The console UI is clean and easy to useJust like the epic Final Fantasy XIII, the Switch’s menu system is pretty straightforward and impossible to get lost in.

The Joy-Cons are very responsive and feel light in my hands – For my style, I’ve been playing with a Joy-Con in each hand, and no controller part in the middle. I find this very comfortable. It almost feels like I’m not holding a controller device at all. I’ve heard people were having sync issues, but mine have been working perfectly so far.

Switching to portable mode is slick (OMG, the name finally makes sense to me!) – I have been mostly playing in TV mode (I don’t like going out into the cruel real world unless I absolutely have to), but the few times I have un-docked the screen, it worked flawlessly. I have heard this switch can scratch the screen, but I splurged and bought a screen protector, avoiding this dire issue.

The screenshot feature is fantasticWith the touch of a button, you instantly capture a precious photo of the game screen to cherish forever. Sharing through social media is also very quick. If you are unfortunate enough to be following me on Twitter, you may want to stop. I’ve been resisting the urge to tweet a picture every time I see something cool, but I’m not sure how long I can hold off.

I’m both impressed and underwhelmed by the construction – My first thought when I opened the box: “D’aww!! It’s so tiny.” After setting it up, the base seems a little cheap to me, but the screen is really stylish. I can see the constant sliding in and out of the Joy-Cons becoming a fault down the road. Anything that moves a lot is prone to breaking.

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My bouncing baby Switch posing with statues of my two sheros. This thing is so small!

I’m extremely annoyed by all the “add-ons” being pushedI’ll share a bit of the conversation I had with the overwhelmed retail employee when I picked up my loot:

“Would you like to buy a Pro Controller? We only have a few left!” No thank you. They’ll be on sale soon enough.
“Would you like to purchase the extended year warranty? It’s a new console so there will likely be issues with it.” Uh, no thank you. If this breaks, I’m never buying another damn console again. Clearly even Nintendo has no concept of quality anymore.
“Would you like to buy the season pass DLC for Zelda? There is some great stuff out today that you can get with it!” Are you kidding me?! It’s day damn one and there’s paid DLC already? I have a staunch no DLC policy, and not even dear old Nintendo can’t change my views. I hate the concept of paid DLC and I will NEVER buy it, ever! Truthfully, I considered canceling my Switch preorder when I heard Nintendo had jumped on the greedy season pass DLC bandwagon. My rage subsided though, and I’m just going to ignore it (like I do with every other modern day game.)

Same old tired stock shortage issuesOh would you look at that. There are a bunch of resellers flipping the Switch. I guess Nintendo didn’t make enough of a launch product. I’m shocked… NOT! Very disappointed though.

Same old tired lack of games – There’s honestly just Zelda going for this now, and you can get that with a Wii U. Mario Odyssey and Fire Emblem Warriors are coming soon. That’s awesome! Then what? (Please say Metroid Prime 4… Please!!)

Fancy Plastic Statues

So overall, the console is nice! Now I’m going to ramble about the Breath of the Wild Master Edition. I lucked out and managed to score a preorder for this elusive product by using a work break to stand in line at a game store. I solely wanted it for the plastic Master Sword statue, and I was pleased with it. The base is solid, the plastic flower is very detailed (kind of fragile though), and the legendary blade looks beautiful. It also came with a Sheik style case for the console that resembles the slate Link carries in the game. A cute collectible coin I have no use for, a nice ancient style map, and the game’s soundtrack were also included.

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The Master Edition is nice for the retail price, but it is so NOT worth the dirty reseller prices.

That nagging voice in the back of my head that constantly howls for “MOAR AMIIBO” was also satisfied. A whopping 5 new Amiibo were launched with this game. I know I say this for every Amiibo, but these are the best looking ones to date! The Guardian is very massive and just looks so terrifying. Its legs are bendable and it feels really sturdy. It almost looks likes its could crawl away at any moment. The Links are so finely crafted that my words can’t do them enough justice. Zelda and the Bokoblin are cool too.

The Game

Wow that was a lot of swag! After all these beautiful material goods were sorted out, it was at last time for me to play this game. I tried to avoid reading any reviews before I played it, but everyone kept telling me this was the best Zelda ever. I was prepared for a catastrophic hype train crash, but I was delivered an epic experience as promised.

ss2
The to-the-point Old Man is much better than an annoying fairy. (or chatty Master Sword spirit)

There is quite a hefty story that gets introduced off the bat. This is much more than the typical go save Princess Zelda plot line. I won’t spoil anything, but Zelda is actually doing something useful in Hyrule, for once. I still prefer the art style of Twilight Princess, but the cel shaded graphics in BoTW are truly magnificent. A few minutes into the game, Link gets an item called the Sheikah Slate that resembles the Switch console (cute Nintendo!). This is your map, inventory tracker, equipment manager, quest tracker, etc. Link’s equipment system is also radically different from the previous games. You can equip him with various pants and shirt ensembles (if you want), and there are tons of different melee weapons/shields/bows you can acquire by killing things. The weapons do break after using them enough times, but I’ve always had a full inventory of pointy objects. Oh and add in a cooking system for some fun times!

ss1
So there’s a complex plot and the ability to climb anything? It feels a lot like Assassin’s Creed Hyrule to me. I’m totally okay with that though.

Zelda is known for legendary gameplay, and I can say this title continues that great tradition. In addition to the shiny new inventory system, the Sheikah Slate also has abilities called Runes. I’ve acquired a magnet, remote bombs, time halt, and water freeze abilities so far. These are all very innovative and I’m looking forward to solving many dungeon puzzles with them in the future. The environment also has some nifty mechanics. There is a new temperature meter, and Link takes damage if he gets into places that are too hot or cold (what a wuss). You can chop down trees, and harvest plants from the world too. There is a sort of annoying stamina mechanic to deal with. Link gets tired when climbing things, running, etc. When his meter is depleted the poor guy needs to rest for a few seconds. If your meter runs out while climbing, Link will fall (usually to his death in my experience)

Combat is simple and fun, but also challenging. I’ll admit I have been slaughtered by certain Guardians several times already (I need to learn when to run). There is also a stealth mechanic that makes this feel Assassin’s Creed-ish to me. Link can crouch and slowly approach enemy camps to get the jump on them (or you can just throw bombs at them like I’ve been doing). I could ramble about many more things, but I’ll close this post out by saying this could very well be the BEST ZELDA EVER! I haven’t even left the starting plateau yet and I’m already in love with the game.

ss3
Next mission: Gliding on over to Kakariko Village! Apparently, I also have the option to go say hi to Ganon already. I’m guessing that would result in a quick death though.

Wannabe Writer’s Notes:
-If anyone from Visa comes looking for me, I was never here.
-I’m still loving Horizon Zero Dawn! I’ve been sort of successfully switching between Aloy and Link’s adventures. Unfortunately, the control schemes are almost exactly the opposite so I usually need to watch them die horribly while I adjust.
-Lightning has reestablished herself as my badass idol. I was listening to the FFXIII battle music the other day, and “the feels” it triggered reminded me why Lightning is so important to me. Aloy is a very close second though!

49 thoughts on “[Playing Things] The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (And Da Flippin Switch)

  1. Nice write up! I skipped out on getting the Switch at launch. It looks cool, and I love the idea of a Nintendo tablet (Which is basically what it is.), but I wasn’t spending that kind of money for ONE game. (Two I guess if you count Bomberman.) so I ended up rolling with the Wii U version of Zelda. I wouldn’t stress about the DLC for the game. It is nowhere near done, and they’re essentially going with an expansion pack. The way PC RPGs did through the 80’s, and 90’s. It will probably get them some extra dough as people will want to play the extra missions. They didn’t do the DAY ONE DLC crap of cutting part of the game out to get extra cash. at launch. Instead they’re giving us an entire game for MSRP, and THEN giving us an expansion pack later. So it seems like it will be the better route.

    I also wouldn’t take the retail experience too badly. I can tell you from experience, selling electronics is always like that. Reason being, most consumer electronics (Computers, TVs, Game consoles, etc. etc.) have little to no profit for a store. When you bought your Switch, the store made, maybe $10. Come holiday season when there’s a sale, they’ll actually LOSE money. That’s why they need you to buy warranties, and accessories. Those are where the store can make its money back. Unfortunately, in most chain stores this means that employees are constantly flogged, and derided every time a customer doesn’t buy these add-ons. And this isn’t the sales reps fault. They can’t MAKE anybody buy anything. They can only tell you the benefits of the items, how they apply to your situation.

    The best sales reps are great at the latter. Asking questions to understand your specific needs. They’ll then figure “Ok. this person seems savvy, isn’t taking it anywhere. Probably not getting the warranty. I’ll just mention it to not get yelled at. (Even though I still will) But won’t push it. Not going to bother mentioning the carrying case. However they DID say they liked Zelda more than any other Nintendo IP. So I’ll make sure they know about the amiibo functionality, and I’ll point out the guide in case they get stumped.” The next customer is say, a parent with bratty kids. “Better offer the insurance, because those little shits will throw the Switch when they lose, and Nintendo doesn’t cover screen damage. Yeah the insurance is $100. But $100 to get a credit to buy another Switch is way less than buying another Switch.”

    That said, to the top brass, only 100% attachments on 100% of sales is acceptable. So even the best sales associates are going to get yelled at

    Also I’m not attacking anyone. Because absolutely NONE of this is the customer’s problem. If someone goes “Wow. A Switch! I’ll just go drop my $300 on one, and get the other stuff as I can afford it.” that’s their business. But a lot of people simply don’t know or understand what happens once they go out the door with just the core item. The story about Gamestop a couple of weeks ago really surprised a lot of people. But it didn’t surprise me at all.
    It’s why I’m glad I don’t do it for a living anymore even though there were a lot of good customers I loved to help, and other things I liked about the work. Fortunately this doesn’t really occur with small businesses to such a terrible degree. So if there’s a reputable independent game store in your area give them your patronage instead.

    Anyway, I’ve been loving Zelda on the Wii U. It’s been pretty much exactly what you’ve described. I didn’t even do many main quests yet, and I’ve been playing most of the day, and I’m sure tomorrow as well. I highly recommend screwing around with the cooking system! You’ll get so many crazy results mixing in all kinds of weird concoctions. I even discovered one called “Dubious food” which had the most hilarious description.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the thoughtful comment! I’m such a sheep when it comes to Nintendo things. They are the only company I need to buy their stuff Day One (until they disappointment me, which hasn’t happened yet). Zelda is the only game I’m interested in so far, but it will keep me busy until other things are released. I guess I’m just cranky about paid DLC in general, especially when it gets announced on Day one. Thanks for explaining what Nintendo is doing! It seems less greedy than I thought, but I’m still not pleased.

      That makes sense! I didn’t realize the profit margins were so thin. A part of me always feels bad for the sales rep when I turn down their offers, because I know it is their job to sell me things. As the customer, it’s ultimately my money and I don’t want to buy the extra things. The retail industry is so brutal! I’ll have to start supporting my local independent game stores more often I think 🙂

      I’m so glad you’re loving Zelda too! The cooking system is so fun. I haven’t found the Dubious Food yet, but that sounds hilarious, haha. Happy gaming!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. To hell with retailers and their pushing of additional products! You buy what you want! To be fair, I get that they’re doing their job and doing what they’re told to. Doesn’t stop it being annoying though.
    I look forward to reading your continuing adventures!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s all been glorious so far. I downloaded the Shovel Knight package as well (highly recommended) and just arsing about and enjoying the Switchiness. Zelda is phenomenal and, well, I’ve been even scratched the surface yet.

    Despite this, I will still pay attention to my beloved, third-party neglected Wii U as there are so many lovely exclusives on it. But the Switch develops on its ideas and delivers what the Wii U should have done in the first place… I can play Shovel Knight in bed!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ll have to check out Shovel Knight (if I ever finish Zelda that is). I’ve just been roaming around aimlessly and it’s so much freaking fun! The Switch really feels like it improved upon the concept that the Wii U was going for. You can play it ANYWHERE! Why I am I even typing things here? I need to go play moar Zelda!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve started stalking WiiUs on eBay, going to get BotW for WiiU and save £200.

    Also, not being argumentative, but how do you rationalise your hatred for DLC and Amiibos? They really are the physical manifestation of DLC.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now is the time to buy a Wii U for sure! I hope you get one for a smoking deal 🙂

      Haha, that’s actually a great question. Thanks for calling me out on that. I do seem like a bit of a hypocrite eh? 🙂 To me, I’ve always seen Amiibo as collectible figures. Their usually useless in game functionality means nothing to me, I just want to display them on my shelf. If the BoTW ones did nothing in the game, I still would have bought them. Since they do give a nice boost, I will be using them to do something in a game for once.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice overview of the system, hardware, amiibo and games! Did you pick up anything other than Zelda? Breath of the Wild on Wii U arrived on the 3rd for me, and I’ve been very much enjoying that so far too. (I’m too conservative to make any pronouncements about “best Zelda ever” just yet, but yeah, only a few hours in and already extremely impressed by what Nintendo have accomplished.) Alas, no new Switch for me… not yet. Glad to hear you’re liking the new hardware though, and that Guardian amiibo looks fantastic!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed my ramblings 🙂 I just got Zelda. It’s the only game that interests me, and I am playing through Horizon Zero Dawn on my PS4 now too. There’s no time for anything else, haha. Ocarina of Time is still my personal best Zelda ever, for now. I can’t wait to see what happens in BoTW. It’s always smart to hold off on getting new hardware. I’m just not smart when Nintendo does things.

        I’m glad you like my Mii, haha. 🙂 I spent way too much time messing around with the Mii creation features. The Switch has many hilarious poses and options for them.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I am truly envious of your haul! Perhaps the only thing I am not jealous your credit card/bank statement! I can’t wait to play Zelda and I’m sure you will be enjoying it for weeks. I also love to see your Amiibo and figure collection grow too. It means the bad influence/addictive nature of figures is working haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so jealous of your swag! Horizon is all I’ve been playing and haven’t really convinced myself to buy the new Zelda game yet because if I do I want to buy the Switch and I just haven’t really justified to cost of it yet. lol I’m so glad you are enjoying the new game. Thanks for the Switch info too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to play Horizon more too! I wish Zelda wasn’t out at the same time. It’s hard to strike a balance with these two great games. You are smart to hold off on the Switch! Let the games come, and us early adopters work out the bugs first, haha. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Professional blogs are boring :p I’d much rather read something from a real person who isn’t trying to impress the “standard” gamer (whom I also find boring). One of the LPers I follow is already doing a let’s play of BOTW, but I’m still in the midst of watching ME3. Now if a certain retro game collecting queen whose initials are HG were to do a Let’s Play, I’d abandon my watching of the ME3 LP for a time :p

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Blogs are suppose to fun release anyway! I really enjoyed rambling on this post, and that’s all that matters 🙂 You are racking up quite a LP backlog, haha. I would love to watch the mighty HG playthrough this game!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I need to organize it! It’s not as bad as my playing backlog. I have to finish up ME3, and I’m watching HG play through Ys whenever she uploads. Then I want to watch the same LPer who’s doing ME3 play BOTW AND since I’ll be done with Mass Effect, I’m going to watch Athene from AmbiGaming play the first ME, soo yeah, it is quite a backlog :p I have a LP backlog list on Grouvee, too so I can keep them all straight.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I just finished Miracle Warriors the other day, and I’m watching HG’s Ys one now. I’ve been watching them during boring cardio machine time, haha. I admire your amazing organizational skills! No wonder you get so many things accomplished 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Man… the Switch. I know I’m going to buy it eventually. I know it’s not likely going to drop in price because that’s generally not the way of Nintendo. I waaaaaaant it. But still, gotta wait for those games to come out and support it. Breath of the Wild is a strong performer, and they’ve got some lined up that I’m definitely going to want, but yeah, can’t convince myself to take the dive just yet. Patience is painful sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. You gotta go and say hi to Ganon! I couldn’t resist the challenge and ran on over. It’s pretty cool how the game actually lets you try to tackle the final dungeon. It took a lot of stealth and hit and run tactics, but I was able to clear the final dungeon immediately and got to fight Ganon. I got him down to half health, but eventually he tagged me and any hit from him or the minions that are there is a one hit KO. I have a feeling that it was just his first form though so beating him without any upgrades would probably be nigh impossible. I’m going to head to the village myself next, but it’s a really fun experience. Trust me, you’ll feel the tension when heading to Hyrule!

    As for all those add-ons…yeah, I’m not buying them either. The Day 1 DLC pack doesn’t even sound that good and the lack of games for the Switch is why I’m just going to wait til Christmas. I couldn’t wait for Breath of the Wind though considering all the hype.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow! You got skills! I love how they made that an option, but I’m too terrified to go see him now. I might give it a try since you make it sound awesome, haha. I took the mountains into Kakariko Village (I didn’t realize there was an easy path around, haha), and ran into some pretty crushing monsters before gliding into the town. I love the exploration in this game!

      Good plan! I’m happy Zelda will keep me busy for a long time, but there isn’t anything else out now that interests me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! Yeah, I went through the mountains as well by mistake. The one sad thing is that I keep seeming to pick the wrong quest. You know how after the village they let you go to one of 5 different points? You could tackle one of the 4 main beasts or head to a Sheikah Tablet expert. Well, I went to the beast on the right, but we can’t get into the village yet because it’s too hot so I had to head all the way back. It was fun taking on a few dungeons along the way, but my intuition needs work. I definitely agree that this game will last for quite a while, there’s just so much to do!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Zelda is amazing. I can’t believe all the new systems they have added to the series’ core gameplay. The world is so much fun to explore. I am having a blast.

    I’m a little less into the Switch, but it is pretty cool. I was hoping not to have to buy any additional stuff beyond the system and Zelda for now, but I had to order a screen protector and Pro controller as soon as I could. I don’t like the dock and how the system slides into it as you mentioned, so a screen protector seems necessary. Luckily I haven’t had any unsyncing issues with the Joy Con, but I don’t love the button placement and they are a bit too small for my hands so I decided to order a Pro controller. I’ll need a second controller and a real d-pad at some point I figure, so might as well grab one now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zelda is a true masterpiece! It’s so much fun just wandering around in the world.

      I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with the Switch so far. I plan to buy a Pro Controller if I ever see it on sale.

      Like

  12. Wow that’s a nice collection of stuff you got! I love all the new Amiibo 🙂 Thanks for sharing your first impressions of the Switch/ Breath of the Wild! It seems like a great game. I didn’t get a Switch just yet, but I know later on down the road I will be purchasing one!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Awesome write-up! Seems like Nntendo hit a home run with BotW! I’ll have to wait and see if the Wii U prices come down and see if I can snag a copy that way… or maybe wait and see what the Switch game lineup looks like.

    Also, your Mii is very badass! I like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yay! Thanks for sharing all of your lovely thoughts and pictures! It was such a delight to read! And the amiibo and Master Sword statues look wonderful! Yay amiibo! Even Bokoblin is going to need to go on my list of “to buys.” I’m happy you’re enjoying your Switch and Breath of the Wild! It really is shaping up to be the BEST ZELDA EVER. I can’t stop playing it. And thanks again for friending me! Hope to play something multiplayer with you sometime! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 The BoTW Amiibo a truly spectacular! They really made a beautiful Zelda game. It’s so much fun just wandering around Hyrule. A multiplayer game someday sounds like a plan! Maybe Super Smash Bros. Switch will happen soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That would be awesome! Regardless of game, I’d love to play something with you! 🙂

        Also, I agree with you on the amiibo! I think you know I’m also addicted to amiibo, but somehow I thought I could resist the urge to pick up one of my least desired amiibo, the Bokoblin. But nope, here I am with the Bokoblin currently sitting on my table. 😛

        Hope you continue to enjoy the beautiful world of BotW’s Hyrule! I know I will too!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. For sure! I’m sure Nintendo will release many awesome multiplayer games soon.

          Yes, I was aware you have also fallen to Amiibo addiction. They are just too cute! haha.

          Thank you! I’m glad you are having fun on your journey through Hyrule too. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  15. I enjoyed hearing your Switch story. I’ve got my Switch and have many similar complaints to what you’ve pointed out here. Just got Amazon confirmation that Zelda has arrived so I’ll be trying it later tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow, I love the Amiibo figurines. I could collect those … instead of cats.
    Seems you fell off my notifications for awhile, then came back.
    Now, I have a Lightening Ellen’s Release backlog! LOL!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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