By Zack Downing, Staff Writer & Jacob Condo, Contributing Writer
Nintendo’s new console, the Switch, surprised many after outselling the 2006 Wii at the beginning of its sale cycle. A large part of the reason it sold so well is the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
When announced over two and a half years ago for the Wii U, Nintendo proclaimed the new title would be an open world game, which is a diversion from the traditional format of the series.
Many fans were excited, but some were skeptical, owing to the big change in gameplay style and the mediocrity of Zelda’s last title, Skyward Sword.
People waited two years before hearing about significant development of the unnamed game, and it became apparent that it may not come out before a new console would be announced.
Indeed, the Nintendo Switch was previewed in late 2016, and soon after Breath of the Wild was officially slated for release.
The game the fans received quickly became one of Nintendo’s best-reviewed games in recent memory, and satisfied or impressed almost everyone.
The game’s bright colors and sharp visuals are visually stunning. What stood out the most, however, was the enormous world Link can explore on his horse.
Breath of the Wild’s map is larger than that of Skyrim, which is surprising to see in a Nintendo game, since their consoles are considerably less powerful than the competition’s.
Another first for the series is being able to customize what Link wears. He isn’t necessarily the forest-green hero we know; you can give him special armor, helmets, boots, and more.
From magical adventure to Dark Souls hell spawn: the story of a speed-run to Ganon in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Thank you Zach, I’ll take it from here. Now there has been a lot of hype about the Switch, but my associates and I got a chance to actually get our hands on Nintendo’s newest consoles, and attempted the impossible. A warning gentle reader, there be spoilers ahead!
On March 8, my roommate Paine Train brought his new Nintendo Switch to our happening bachelor pad. It was on this fateful evening that Paine, Michael Weston, Chuck Finley, Dennis, and I, the illustrious Jake Condo took on Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Being the founder of our proverbial feast, Paine took the captain’s chair and had the first go at this latest installment of the Legend of Zelda. Link awakens to the grand expanse of wilderness what encompasses the remnants of the Kingdom of Hyrule.
“This game makes you feel like a kid again” I found myself thinking, as Link leapt and bound through the forests and hills. On one hand bleak and ruined, on the other, vibrant with life, you feel as though you’re in a fully realized world, and it’s inviting you to explore it.
This open world environment hosts a detailed physics engine, high definition visuals, and an insanely vast map, of which every inch is navigable. Like every Zelda game, you must rely on your wits, and explore shrines and temples across Hyrule, to gain the skill and abilities needed to save Hyrule.
When it came Chuck Finley’s turn to take the reins, he demonstrated the uniqueness that is the Legend of Zelda experience. After conquering the first few shrines and receiving a paraglider from the wise old man who serves as your helpful guide, he ventured into the wild.
In this installment of the game, Link must travel the wilds and prepare himself to fight the menacing “Calamity Ganon” who after being imprisoned by Princess Zelda one hundred years ago, activated ancient machines which destroyed the Kingdom of Hyrule.
If allowed to break the seals which bind him and Zelda in endless battle, the dragon-like entity that is now Ganon will consume the land.
Now most players would wisely take the path dictated by the questline, expecting it to take them to all the places on the map that would prepare them for the final boss battle with Ganon, but not Chuck Finley.
As he used his own personal style of hurling bombs at everything that moves, Chuck Finley turned to us, eyes full of determination and said, “Let’s go get Ganon!”
Despite our insistence, Chuck Finley held his ground and won us to his cause. We watched transfixed, as he walked right up to the hellscape that had become Hyrule Castle.
The ground itself changed from lush grasses, to toxic heaps of slag on city steps.
Everywhere you turn, the sentinels blast the unwary away. We each began to take turns getting further into the city, but to no avail. The path before us was clearly meant for players who had leveled up through hours of gameplay.
The game allows you to climb anything and traverse anywhere, so he left the booby-trapped road behind, and using a freezing spell built a stairway of ice all the way up the river which cascades down the castle walls.
The childhood adventure not only turned dark, but turned into an experience of dread similar to a Dark Souls game. Every hit could send you half an hour’s progress backwards.
Long into the night Chuck Finley toiled, but ever we went on. Death after death, obstacle after obstacle, the legendary Chuck Finley finally snuck his way to the Sanctum.
Armed only with the weapons he scavenged in the castle, Chuck Finley began to battle it out with Windblight Ganon. While ultimately defeated, Chuck proved an important point; he proved that in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you can really play the game with no limitations.
When it was all said and done, Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece of a game on a truly innovative new console. The Nintendo Switch is a sleek machine, with controllers a player can configure to their own personal style.
Where the Wii U was ultimately unsuccessful due to an inability to gather titles to the console, maybe the innovative Switch will succeed.
They already have a masterpiece of a game, and maybe that will be enough until titles like Skyrim and others become available.
Perhaps Link’s real mission in Breath of the Wild is to save this fledgling console.