[ SPOILERS FOR BOTW]
Ten months and forty-five hours later I can, without a doubt, say I was absolutely wrong about Breath Of The Wild. I’ve been known to say – on record – that I feel like botw’s world felt empty. While I still sort of stand by my claim, it’s subjective to the player. From a story standpoint, I think it’s reasonable to feel the world was barren. There are monsters & guardians lurking all throughout Hyrule Plains; one of the larger areas of the game. A great deal of my initial playthrough was in this area so I felt the game had no life, especially when comparing it to other open world games.
Fast forward to a week before the new year and my entire opinion on the game is shattered. The last two Divine Beasts are probably some of the most fun I’ve had in gaming all 2017. Last year, for some strange reason, I wasn’t all that compelled to beat a lot of the games I bought. I slacked on a lot of good titles by never getting around to beating them, but Zelda was one of the games I knew I had to beat before the year’s end. All the Divine Beasts are fun and unique in their own way, but Vah Medoh & Vah Naboris are my personal favorites. The atmosphere and music in both dungeons were spectacular and soothing while puzzles were engaging and took some creativity to solve.
The other Divine Beasts aren’t hard but can provide a slight challenge if you aren’t paying enough attention. While Windblight Gannon was cool, trying to figure out Thunderblight Gannon turned out to be more challenging than the others, for me. Its first phase is easy enough but his second phase with his fast movement was intense. It caught me off guard my first go (and I only had two shields at the time so blocking normally wasn’t going to work for me. My perfect dodge game had to TRANSCEND HISTORY AND TIME)!
Needless to say, I died quite a few times. After beating those two, just exploring the world finding random items was a blast. I found this evil shrine where I can exchange stamina for hearts. It was a life and time saver for me, being that I prioritized stamina over hearts. (You still need 13 heart containers to get the Master Sword. Way to cheat the system Link).
Now storming Hyrule castle for the final battle was epic; fighting guardians along the way, parrying the laser shots to advance further to Gannon was just epic. All the different ways you can traverse the castle? Just dope. I was too excited to explore the castle my first run so I just climbed up to the very top. Finally getting to Gannon after freeing all the Divine Beasts, to have them attack him all at once was a huge payoff; Not only the story but the atmosphere of the final battle to come. Beating Calamity Gannon then Dark Beast Gannon, to have Zelda go full-on God of Destruction mode was well worth the time it took me to beat this game.
All in all Breath Of The Wild left an amazing impression on me after months of negligence. After having a bad taste in my mouth from non-open world games’ transition to open world, to games just not being as good as they should be (*Cough*Destiny 2*Cough*). BOTW was clearly a game born of passion & love; something that games seem to be missing these days. So to Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Eiji Aonuma, Manaka Kataoka, Yasuaki Iwata & the rest of the talented folk at Nintendo who helped make this game thank you!
PS: I didn’t collect all the memories when I beat the game the first time I beat the game but I did the second time ;D