04-08-2017 06:48 PM
For the Love of Zelda
I grew up with Zelda ...
... well not exactly growing up per se but my wife did tell me to grow up and stop playing games :-P
perhaps growing old with Zelda would be a better descriptor as well as raising my kids on Nintendo.
Back in those days, the first Zelda game was based on a cell system of which I meticulously mapped out the entire Zelda world, cell by cell. That was when I fell in love with Zelda and the whole Nintendo franchise. It was my go-to world, to rescue a princess when my own life was not so adventurous and I would swear that I married the female version of Bowser.
Subsequently as the years flew by and as each Zelda game was released, I grew older, my children grew up and moved away, my gaming finally took it toil on my marriage and by the time Legend of Zelda Four Swords was available on the Gamecube in 2004, I was alone; but it was a blessing in disguise as I was no longer fearful of a Bowser attack in the middle of the night; "stop playing games! come to bed!!" she would yell suddenly behind me, in a darken room lit only by the glow of the TV, as my avatar was crawling through a dark and mysterious cavern towards fighting with Ganon.
I bought the 3DS several times because I would buy it whenever a Zelda game became available, then after I completed the game I would sell the whole system. Nintendo would then announce the next Zelda game and I would buy the 3DS again and so forth. I do not know if the reason that I bought the latest 3DS XL version was because of another Zelda game or it was because of the built-in eye tracking thing which made playing in 3D a bit more comfortable but after buying everything again last year, I think I'll keep this lastest 3DSXL along with my Zelda game collection for my grand kids.
I did not play all the Zelda releases because somewhere along the Zelda-line, the games started to get more and more linear and there were many times that I had to check the internet whenever I got stuck and I got stuck quite frequently. Getting stuck in a linear game means that you cannot move forward until the current puzzle is solved. It got to the point where I got lazy and simply followed the walk-through from the internet and just walked through the whole game.
For me, gone were the days of discovery and doing things in random order.
When the Switch was announce, I thought the technology was outdated; a gaming system that you can take on the road and when you return home, insert it into the docking system and continue playing on the TV Screen; I thought, isn't that like a 3DS with a HDMI connector?.
If you read my "Bought my Nintendo Switch from a Guy at a Shell Gas Station(Gift receipt from Best Buy)" you would have thought that I was desperate to buy into this system, but really I wasn't. I had just followed the script of being curious, that someone would sell one on Craigs and I made first and second contact and then I ended up buying it because I was there, looking at this brand new in-the-box gaming system complete with a Best Buy gift receipt and both the guy and the Switch looked legit; so I thought, why not, since I'm here. It was almost like impulse buying except I made all the end-to-end arrangements. :-P
It wasn't until I brought it home and plugged it in and with the appearance of Zelda and music, it all came back to me; all the memories of hours of gameplay and the missing years of my life along with the raising of my kids with my wife Bowser; it brought back tears.
I did not expect this.
When the power failed last night from our Vancouver hurricane and the TV went off, I pulled my Switch from the dock and continued playing Zelda on the couch, in the dark, by myself, oblivious to the storm outside; It was the first time that I appreciated that this wasn't just another console running off the power grid.
When I first started playing this game, it was like all RPGs where you simply wander around getting killed and respawning multiple times. Slowly you begin to discover that a tree branch or a waving Bokoblins arm can be used to kill your enemies. Cooking your food gives you better health than just eating it raw. To shoot an arrow you press the right shoulder button, wave your controller to aim and let go of the button. I've snuck up on a bunch of Bokoblins behind a rock and picked them off, one by one.
When you find the castle and although it doesn't quite look like the castle that you met Zelda in your prior gaming life, but your memory starts to overlay what you see with all the years that you had wandered about in a similar castle. It is now decrepit since a hundred years has passed. There is a sense of nostagia and you are slowly pulled into the story. Everything looks familiar but not. You wander around for ages and you find your first Shrine of Trials and acquire an orb that allows you move heavy metal objects. As I wandered north, it got so cold that without a fire nearby, you would die; a torch kept me warm. You move a metal gate to fix the bridge to get across a stream .... just when you think you are lost and freezing to death, you find another Shrine of Trials...
I've spent hours upon hours in this Zelda world. This open world of Zelda is exactly what Nintendo needed to bring back the excitement of RPG gaming. This one game renewed my faith in the Zelda Franchise and I did not even consult the internet even once. This time I am going back to my 1980s roots of of gameplay of just wandering around aimlessly :-P
When everyone else, Xbox and Sony, has moved onto 4k and VR systems, Nintendo brings us this rag-tag 720p/900p, not even 1080p, underpowered console and you think "How can they even hope to compete?" The Switch is not even backward compatible with the WII U or WII?
It is a good thing that Nintendo introduced the Switch along with Zelda, otherwise I think the Switch would have ended up like the WII U. Zelda is a definite winner. This combination of Nintendo and Zelda makes you realize that there is no other console like Nintendo. Of course we need all the other unique Nintendo games afterward, like the Mario worlds, Yoshi worlds, Mario Kart and hopefully Tennis or ping pong and bowling to complete this Nintendo purchase but I would not have bought it if the only game available at launch was Mario.
Slowly I've managed to buy up everything Switch; the Switch Pro controller along with the Joy-con Charging Grip, another Switch AC Adapter so I can charge the Pro or the Joy-cons while I sit on the couch, I also bought another set of joy-cons so I don't have to pull the joy-cons off the charging grip when I want to go portable. The Nintendo Carrying case arrived today allowing me to prop the switch up within the case for desktop playing or simply zip it up to go out I'm looking for another Dock so I can connect to my computer monitor and play Zelda in my office chair. The original Switch Dock has found a narrow place between my Playstation Pro and my VR headset, under the TV.
As much as I hate Nintendo for nickel-and-diming me on the various system pieces like the Joy-con charging grip which should have been included with the system, this is the only the one time that I can actually sympathize with a company as they are trying to make as much money as it can on this retro system before everyone moves onward to VR or 4k but then again it might just be an ingenious move by Nintendo for their shareholders to make as much money from this retro selling as it seems that everyone wants to stay retro as proven by the sale of the Nes Classic still being sold out; it seems that people still wants vinyl records and classic video games.
One thing for sure, my daughter, wants a Nintendo system for her kids as Nintendo has always been a family console. She was thinking of the old WII, but if Nintendo migrates all our favorite games to this console, Ninttendo will continue to be the console that everyone grows-up and grows-old with.
Is it too late for Nintendo?
This was the Zelda game that I had wanted a decade ago. This was the system that I would have died for.
After buying the Playstation VR, I thought that there was no place for Nintendo today....
... but after playing it for hours at a time, I think it is safe to say that I've found closure. This Zelda game will probably be the last Zelda game that I will play, not because I'm old but because I've grown tired of saving the princess, growing tired of playing Mario Kart and this will be the last time I will buy ALL the games really, unless they bring the next version into VR. I love Zelda and I love my Craigs-meet-at-Gas-Station Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo has done it again and became my favorite gaming console.... even though I only have two consoles...
.... but it surpasses my Playstation VR by a slight "Breath of the wild".
04-18-2017 01:39 PM
So I thought I follow up on my post about Zelda.
To be honest, I haven't really played that many hours of Zelda but for the last couple of days or so, I have been pulling an all-nighter. It has been a long time since I have had this much interest and passion to play a game overnight. If you have this passion, don't let anyone tell you that you are wasting your life playing games. This is life, really! You are definitely training eye-hand coordination along with fantastic brain activity which is probably more than 95% of the world of people that doesn't play games :-P
The Zelda world is huge and it is a wild ride with Sunny days, rain with lightning and thunder storms, snow with freezing weather, lava vocano and so much more. You can climb mountains, ride wild horses and tame them, chop trees for firewood, start fires for campfires, cook to mix items in elixirs, heart refills (you don't need milk bottles anymore), stamina refills, glide down with the paraglider, bomb everything with the unlimited Bomb rune power which offers remote bombing. Freeze water into blocks for walking across water. Rupees are no longer something that you simply collect, instead you have to find things to sell to acquire vast sums of rupees in order to buy things that costs vast sums of rupees. Of course you need rupees to buy the multiptude of outfits like armour or perhaps just a jacket that keeps you from freezing in the north. Plus a multitude of weapons, shields, bows and arrows with bomb arrows, freeze arrows, fire arrows and so on.
Even though the world is large, once you activate a shrine (there are a 120 shrines) you can use the shrine to warp yourself back to that location instantly from anywhere in the world; in other words if you are tired of wandering around and from where you are standing at the moment, simply select a shrine and you are warped there instantly.
You are never lost. Breath of the Wild always gives you a destination plus a few tools including maps with push pins that you can mark so you can head towards the pin, a Sheikah Scope which beeps when the object (you choose what object including shrines) that you are looking for is nearby and beeps when you are going in the right direction and an X marks the spot where you last died.
None of the Shrines are difficult and they are much like the old Zelda dungeons except there are 120 of them. Once you get the orb from the shrine you can trade 4 orbs for a heart container or to increase your stamina. Stamina is used when you climb, swim or glide on the paraglider thus if you increase your stamina you climb higher, swim longer or glide further. Optionally you can find Stamella Shroom (like a mushroom) and cook them at a campfire pot into a usable item to be used to refill your stamina in the middle of a climb for example. if you run out of stamina you will fall when climbing or paragliding and drown when swimming.
If you are a Zelda fan, yup this is the Zelda game that you have been looking for. Until Zelda is written for a VR world, this game cannot get any better than this.