Breath of the Wild: no plot spoilers, but I am going to, you know, talk about the game, so if you don’t want to know anything about it, maybe don’t read this. In fact, it would be far better for us all if you closed this browser window, picked up a Wii U or Switch controller right this moment and either purchased or began playing this game immediately because you have to. I said so. And only if you willfully disregard my words should you proceed down this page (see how I did that?)
I am amazed at just how fucking hard the new Zelda can be. It is very easy to equate difficulty in a game with the ancient Dark Souls code: Dying is learning; Get gud, bithc. Indeed, Death is a red-faced scolding mentor in Breath of the Wild, and more on-hand and ready to dispense its wisdom than in any other Zelda title. Can you say one-shot kills? Because you will get fucking wrecked by enemies and missteps alike in a way you haven’t experienced since the old King’s Quest games. Or if you played Dark Souls, then Dark Souls.
One could make comparisons to other games all day long, and that’s just what I’m going to do because I want to have a comprehensive list here that touches on so many other titles that it reveals and spoils near to nothing for its confoundedness. Also, I have a whole day at work with jack fucking shit to do except pine for the gorgeous terrain of Hyrule and wish that I was home.
- Dark Souls – did this; read the paragraphs above (or don’t). Any game that can one-shot you in a battle that is technically possible to win is fucking Dark Souls. But are we not forgetting other elements besides the sheer difficulty that makes both of these games so remarkable? How about the flowing, singular, contiguous environment? It all fits together and what you see is really there. Also, enemies remain dead for a time, then come back to life after a fashion. You collect weapons from them, and you will have to switch up your arms according to the situation. Also, it’s fucking hard.
- Skyrim – that’s an easy one – yes, in this chapter of The Legend of Zelda, yours is a sprawling open country that could take you a finite forever to walk from one end to the other, but it can be done, and done convincingly because Nintendo fucking borrowed the godcraft necessary to make Hyrule the gigantic living world it has always deserved to be. It is outstanding. And I hold up the example of Skyrim for its rich variation of natural occurrences such as mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes, as well as the contrivances of its sentient inhabitants. We got wild animals, too – and we shoot / stab them for food.
- Red Dead Redemption – remember Grand Theft Horse? Well, we got wild horsies, all right, and riding them through the land is a treat sweeter than Chex Mix with Lembas Bits for your wearying journey. They are magnificent beasts, and some are blue. Not sad blue – blue blue. Toilet bowl blue!
- Wander and the Colossus (Shadow of the Colossus) – So, in addition to the horsies mentioned above, scaling vertical surfaces is critical in this game – as critical as jumping is to Mario, to make a sort of tawdry familiar analogy. Oh yes, and you can jump, too, with the push of a button, for the first time in any Zelda game since II: The Adventure of Link – which now that I think about it is a rather stupid title. What Zelda game is not an adventure of Link? Anyway, climbing requires stamina – just as it does in Colossus, and there is a meter that must be monitored when in use and expanded for greater odds of success – just as it must in Colossus. Indeed, the mechanic is practically lifted straight from the game, but I don’t begrudge it too much, since games where you climb on shit are usually fucking rad, and this is no exception. The colossal natural and wrought structures that Link must negotiate are a marvel to behold, and often afford you glorious views from their summits. Actually, I want to take something back – fuck the stamina meter. The game is complicated enough, and managing stamina is perhaps the least necessary or meaningful pains in the ass that we could do without. But hey, in for a rupee, in for a.. silver rupee, I guess.
- Final Fantasy XV: I’ve come up with a new recipeh!
- Portal (2): The shrines you visit in Breath of the Wild are technical trials devised by the sages of old which serve to teach Link the finer points of his enchanted artifacts and their many useful functions. They are wonderfully reminiscent of the laboratory testing chambers of Aperture Science, and each one is more devious than the last. Link’s clever manipulation of physical law and magical instruments give players a whole game’s worth of mind-diddling puzzles to solve and wrack their brains upon.
- Uhh.. Zelda? Because this game is Zelda through and through. The silent protagonist, the Trifecta of Hero, Heroine, and Villain, the setting, the fantastic races and other annoying humanoid dildoes who dwell there, the puzzles, the beauty, the subtle horror and dread, the tools, the Sword, the enemies, the all-consuming desire to restore the worthy land of Hyrule to peace and prosperity, the chickens, the.. well, the list goes on longer than my shitty list of other games this one resembles. Or maybe it doesn’t and I should have put my last item somewhere in the middle. Nevertheless, after but a single major dungeon I can say with swollen and presupposed authority that this is an exceptionally outstanding addition to the Zelda series, with exploration and discoveries that will assuredly continue to delight for months and months to come. ‘Tis epic and I fucking love it. Oh yes, and Lynels are dicks.