Gaming

Three Guys Talk! | The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is Just as Engaging 4 years After Release

GABRIEL: Welcome back! We’re here for another Geekly Goods all-out conversation about videogames.

This is Three Guys Talk!

Today, we’ll be talking about the so-called masterpiece “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” (let’s refer to it as BOTW from now on), released almost 4 years ago but still making the conversation as a true classic. Isaac, let’s start with you. What do you think about BOTW?

ISAAC: Well Gabe, I first started playing BOTW during Christmas 2018, almost 2 years after its release. I had heard good things about the game, and was interested in The Legend of Zelda (ok with you if we call the series Zelda from now on?) series, after watching one of my friends play Twilight Princess. 

GABRIEL: WAIT! This was the first Zelda you ever played?

ISAAC: Yep. I actually mainly played Sonic, Mario, and Lego games. However, I still liked Zelda while not actually having played any other games. That is how much impact BOTW has had on me. I have gotten so many Zelda games, and even found some that I like more than BOTW (“The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” (Shameless plug)) I even have bought the multiple mangas that Nintendo have published, as well as the “Goddess Trilogy” of Zelda lore books. I have to say that I have become a Zelda nerd. What about you, Gabe?

GABRIEL: Well, at risk of making me look old, I’ll admit that the first Zelda I ever played was… wait for it… “The Legend of Zelda” for NES. Yes, I’m that old. It was such a difficult game to play.

ISAAC: “The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link” is more difficult than LOZ for NES, and I hate how different it is. . .

GABRIEL: Yes, but that one sucks. Can we agree on that?

ISAAC: Yeah, it’s the worst game in the series, besides the Phillips CD-I games, which almost everyone who loves Zelda knows about. 

GABRIEL: I’ll pretend I know what you’re talking about and slowly move on. My true love for Zelda did not come until the N64, and the beautiful “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”. What a game. Since then, I’ve played all the 3D Zelda games, and I’ve loved them. I do have to admit, however, that I really disliked BOTW when I first played it in 2017…

ISAAC: WHAT THE @#!%! How did you dislike this gem of a game? I mean, I do understand how some people might not like this game. BUT WHY THOUGH?!

GABRIEL: Allow me to explain. A big point that Nintendo was trying to make with BOTW was that they could deconstruct the conventions of Zelda and create something entirely different without losing the heart and soul of the series. By definition, that meant that they’d change a lot of what made Zelda great in the first place. My biggest interest in every Zelda game was the story, and the almost-cinematic experience of playing it (that is why, as you said, Majora’s Mask is a highlight). In that sense, the BOTW “story” elements are not really as relevant. I failed to understand that the heart and soul of this thing was exploration. And it’s truly what makes it great.

ISAAC: I have to say, BOTW lacks in the story department. It’s one of the greatest flaws of the game, especially because of how wonderful the stories the other games in the series have, especially Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess.

GABRIEL: It really does. There’s only 4 “true” dungeons, and tons of shrines that tend to get a bit old when you realize that they all look exactly the same and have the exact same annoying music. This is not really a big criticism, it’s almost like a nitpick. But the game more than makes up for it with the amazing landscapes. Once you get into the fact that it might take you half an hour to climb a mountain and that when you get to the top, all you’ll get is a Korok Seed, then you start going with the flow and enjoy it. 

Do you have any other nitpicks?

ISAAC: I have a one word nitpick…. RAIN! You talk about how it is amazing climbing a mountain but, because of the rain in BOTW, IT TAKES TOO MUCH TIME AND MAKES EVERYTHING ANNOYING!

GABRIEL: Yes, I agree. Also in the rain territory: getting hit by lightning is one of the dumbest things in the whole game. 

ISAAC:  Well, there is the rubber armor, and the Lightning Helm… So that nitpick isn’t really valid…

GABRIEL: IT IS. LEAVE ME ALONE.

ISAAC: What is your opinion on the weapon system? Especially with how the weapons break after a little bit of use?

GABRIEL: That also annoyed me a bit when I first played it, especially because even the Master Sword runs out of energy very quickly, and it’s not even the most powerful weapon in the game. But, over time, I got used to it and now I love having many different kinds of weapons. You?

ISAAC: I also really enjoyed the amount of weapons that the game gives us. The amount of swords, clubs, bows, and spears are amazing. 

GABRIEL: And they even squeezed in small homages to older Zelda games with making tree branches weapons. Why not, right? You take what you can. But wait… we have someone else joining this conversation, our friend Leo!

LEO: BOTW might just be one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life, let alone Zelda! What’s going on guys?

GABRIEL: Isaac is complaining about rain and I’m complaining about lightning. So, not much. Guys, where do you think this ranks among Zelda games?

LEO: We have weapon breaks and it’s the lightning that you choose to complain about?! Come on now, the lightning is a fun challenge! Among all of them, I might put this in my top 3 along with Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask… maybe. 

ISAAC: Majora’s Mask is the best Zelda game, with Ocarina of Time or Link’s Awakening being close second and third, and BOTW being fourth. Get with the times, LEO!

GABRIEL: I have trouble with anyone calling Majora’s Mask the best Zelda game. I absolutely love it, but it’s pretty short and highly derivative of Ocarina of Time (mostly the same gameplay and exactly the same visual style). I think the game that I’ve enjoyed the most is Ocarina of Time, but it would be followed by The Windwaker. I think this could be ranked after those and Majora’s Mask. It’s hard to pick favorites in a series of so many amazing videogames. 

Speaking of the series, what would you guys want from the sequel to this game? Something similar (i.e., like Majora’s Mask emulated Ocarina of Time), or a new kind of game with different visuals, settings, etc?

LEO: Oh no, how did I forget about Windwaker?! I love that game! I think that’s my number two, with Majora’s at 3 and this at 4. 

In the sequel I would like a new world. I’d like to explore an even larger map, with more add-ons to the game. I also want a longer main story, the main quest seems slightly short. And even the ability to play as both Link AND Zelda. 

ISAAC: That would be cool. We even got a hint of that with “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity”, which is a semi-prequel to BOTW, (I even reviewed the demo for Geekly Goods) The amount of story that was fitted into that game was amazing, and I hope that BOTW 2 would have that amount of story, and at least have Zelda and Link playable.

GABRIEL: Yes, that is what I’m looking for, too. I’ve liked what they’ve done visually over the years, so I’d love to see a completely different visual aesthetic. I’d love to get a chance to play as Zelda, but I’d be worried about making this cooperative. Zelda has always been about this lone warrior… and I’d like to keep it that way. And of course I agree with making the story more prominent and important this time. Maybe make it more about exploring towns and cities, because this one seemed to be a bit constrained in that front – it’s mostly fields and mountains. But I wouldn’t mind massive castles and towns.

ISAAC: You even get to see the towns and castle in Age of Calamity, which I fully review on my YouTube channel! (Shameless Plug). 

LEO: Nintendo has no business making Age of Calamity $60 like it’s a full Zelda game. This should’ve easily been $40 because it’s clearly a side release. Any of these “Warriors” games only deserves to be so. 

ISAAC: I felt that it was worth $60 bucks. It was a full game, with all the voice actors from BOTW returning for this story. Its main story is around 20 hours, with 40 more hours of content.

LEO: Well in terms of Zelda, I’d like it if she got her own “mode” or “story” so to speak. I don’t know if I like the idea of her and Link traveling together, either, but I do love the idea of being able to play as a female warrior version of Zelda. The princess in the castle trope is done. 

GABRIEL: I think that, after what we saw with BOTW, Nintendo does not seem to be afraid of taking risks. And that is what has, ultimately, made BOTW one of the best videogames ever made and without a doubt the best game ever released on Nintendo Switch. I play it almost every day, and I often see you guys playing it at the same time (especially you, Leo!). But, with that, let’s move on. This has been an honor, gentlemen!

LEO: Great time talking BOTW! I want to elaborate that the open world gameplay, horseback riding, combat, and overall look of the characters and world add an experience more unique than any of the other games. Nintendo continues to innovate and it doesn’t seem like they’ll slow down! 

ISAAC: Wow, that went fast. I feel that we need to do this more often. Same time next week?

GABRIEL: Always in! See you all in our next Three Guys Talk into videogames.

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