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Played in 2023
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The fucking Master Sword STILL breaks?????
Anyway, it is genuinely shocking how this took all the gripes I had about Breath of the Wild and mostly fixed or tweaked them all.
The story is genuinely great this time, I was hanging on every one of those flashbacks wondering "where is this all gonna go???"
The building mechanic. Holy shit. I can't believe how good this is. A whole week of game time was just creating wacky inventions, made a working motorcycle out of a post, made a big walking dog creature out of a bunch of tires glued to each other for legs and logs for the body, which actually broke loose and ran wild smashing into enemies before finally falling over dead (I luckily caught a clip of this). The scope of what you can do is insane.
There are still a fuckload of shrines that all look pretty similar, but the building system gives most shrines 1-3 more solutions than you had in BoTW, so they get boring less frequently. So many times I realized what the shrine wanted me to do, and went, "Nope!" And just built a really long bridge out of junk and blocks and said "Fuck your puzzle." And it never stops making you feel like a genius lmao. Even when you stumble upon a solution accidentally, you think, "Ah yes of course I meant to do it that way."
There was a shrine where you needed to whack a ball into a target by putting these picks in the ground and making a bat thing to hit a ball, and I just stuck the pick on the ball, stuck the pick+ball into the target, wiggled it around a bit and the game said "YOU HAVE SOLVED THE PUZZLE, GOOD JOB." The difficulty of the game is only limited by the scope of your imagination, and that feels so fucking good.
But when you get bored of shrines there is still stuff to do, the story like I said is actually interesting the main dungeons and bosses are actually better this time. There are fun and creative side quests now, the world and towns feel more lived in and dense, and exploring the depths gives big rewards like classic costumes and currency for bigger battery space for your toys.
This is Breath of the Wild fully realized. I never understood how people could spend 7000 plus hours still in BoTW, to me the well had been tapped dry a long time ago. But this game is gonna stick with me forever.
I still remember the first night this game was out, watching a friend play it and both coming up with insane ideas that the other of us would say "No, no way. That would never be possible." And it then it actually worked. That feeling of discovering the ways you can work within the game's systems is the main draw of Breath of the Wild. And that night is still one of my favorite of all the games I've played. For that it will always hold a special place in my games library.
The problem comes when you move beyond being initially impressed by those things. Then you think "okay time to do side quests," but the quests are all boring fetch tasks with very little thought/plot.
"Okay, then I'll do shrines," but there are so many and they all look so samey it's hard to stay engaged with them for too long.
"Okay then I'll just do the main story," but the story is pretty boring this time around, and legacy dungeons, the divine beasts, and their bosses are so similar I genuinely can't remember which is which or in what region it was in.
BoTW is a good proof of concept that loses steam when you go "Okay I realize I can roll a rock down a hill to buldoze over a group of moblins, that's a great physics engine. What else U got???" And unfortunately the answer is not much.
And FUCK this weapons durability system. How are you going to tell me the fucking MASTER SWORD breaks??? At least there's no chance they'll repeat that little mistake in the sequel. 👁️👁️
Every week a new person brings up a new or pre-existing issue to 343, either on Reddit or Twitter. This dev then responds to the players issue by telling them how they are wrong, because their internal statistics show them something else. BULLSHIT. You have the player, right in front of you, talking to you, telling you how to improve your game, and then you just shrug all that off to be hard-headed and go your own way and keep the game in the bullshit state that it is in.
This game, like 343, is a complete failure. And it just gets me more mad every time I engage with it. Everyone knows that the core is fun, but 343 refuses, POINT BLANK REFUSES to fix the games issues. Fuck this game, and 343. Give Halo to a random person on the street instead. Would the franchise be in ANY worse a state??? Ridiculous.