Posts Tagged ‘breath’

My Top 20 Zelda: Breath of the Wild Moments

In less than one week, it’s probably fair to say the most anticipated game of the Nintendo Switch’s life will release at last. It follows the single longest development cycle for a main series Zelda game in history, six years and two months after Switch launch title Breath of the Wild. To mark this momentous occasion, I’m going to do something I’ve never done before: resurrect an old article I’ve had floating around in my drafts folder for years and publish it in a fresh light.

This one was initially thrown together in the hazy afterglow of completing BotW in late May of 2017, envisioned as a 20-screenshot roadmap of my own (at the time) 140-hour path through the game. However, the draft was already well past 30 entries and nowhere near the end of my journey when I first gave up on it, as I was unable to cut out anywhere near enough moments to prevent the list from ballooning into a true word count monstrosity. It’s also easy to forget in 2023 just how many articles, critiques, videos and morsels of general coverage this revered game was receiving a mere two months after launch, so I hardly felt like I’d be making enough unique noise to stand out from the crowd and justify such a massive piece.

That task is much easier now. Separated from the game by more than half a decade – I have not touched this one since its excellent dungeon DLC came out at the end of 2017 – only the moments I remember the strongest get to stay. Thus, right before the launch of its sequel, we can reflect on the legacy of one of Nintendo’s most impactful games and have a bit of nostalgic fun along the way. After a touch of reformatting and an emotional scroll through thousands of compulsive screenshots, here are my top 20 moments from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, presented in chronological order.

1. The Plateau

It’s been said in approximately a million video essays: The Great Plateau of Breath of the Wild is one of the best tutorials in gaming. Over an area that feels impossibly massive at first, you learn and test interlocking mechanics over four multiple-solution tests that get you well and truly into the groove of the weirdest Zelda in decades. For me, this was undertaken in the small hours of the morning while staying at a mate’s place post-midnight-launch, with my body screaming at me for daring to deprive it. I obviously didn’t care; after multiple rewatches of various gameplay demos from the previous year’s Zelda-only E3 show, I was enthralled at how many new approaches were still apparent.

2. Out of Link’s Depth

I cannot separate my memories of Breath of the Wild from the conversations I was having with anyone I knew or met who was playing at the time. And nor would I want to; in my opinion there have only been two games since that could possibly challenge it for water-cooler chat value: 2020’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons and 2022’s Elden Ring. From those very chats I picked up rather quickly that most people go directly east after the Great Plateau, following the only real suggestion the game gives you other than the refreshingly direct “Defeat Ganon”. But I wasn’t about to let a game that bragged about being this open tell me what to do: I went north, towards the castle. I died. Again and again and again. Soon enough I discovered a shrine and eagerly dived in to escape the high damage output all around me – only to be met with one of the game’s longest and most intricate shrine puzzles: the Trial of Power. Yeah, that took a while, and it left me with some massively overpowered weapons, but I adored the feeling that I could do it anyway.

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What I Think of the Nintendo Switch

Well Nintendo, you’ve done it again. You’ve successfully, shall we say, been Nintendo.

It’s been an insane weekend for the Japanese videogame giant. The curtain is now (mostly) up on the tremendously exciting Nintendo Switch, the home console that can also be played as a portable (Not the other way around, as Nintendo seems very keen to emphasise). And the general complexion of the reveal event was very, very different to what the seemingly endless supply of corroborating rumours and prediction videos would have us believe. For all the credible leaks from credible sources about specific games and features that may very well still ring true, the big Tokyo event still managed to be an almost complete surprise both in its general content and where it decided to put its focus. If “Switchmas” had been right about what we were expecting, it wouldn’t have quite felt like a Nintendo show. We Nintendo fans as a general group have a habit of forgetting that, but for better or worse, the Big N was more than happy to throw us a few reminders. This is a company that does not like being predicted, but as it turns out, even the collective power of the internet’s most well-connected sleuths couldn’t quite spoil everything. And in true Nintendo fashion, said surprises have divided the internet right down the middle.

I could go through the whole presentation bit by bit and talk about my thoughts on each individual revelation (I’ve watched the whole thing twice now, plus the entire five-hour Treehouse stream that followed half a day later and countless YouTube hands-on reactions), but there’s a better way to do this.

– Nintendo’s Modern Console –


The raw processing specs of the Nintendo Switch remain elusive in any sort of official capacity, though I have every reason to believe that Eurogamer’s December leak will turn out to be a fairly decent approximation. That leaves us with a console that’s more capable when sitting in its dock/outputting through the TV than when played on the go, but only as long as we’re talking about display resolution and theoretically (though hopefully not) frame rate. In it’s weakest configuration, we can expect it to be more powerful than the Wii U – that much is supported by the impressions coming out of the public-facing events of the last two days – but even at it’s strongest, it’s almost certainly going to come off weaker when compared to the standard Xbox One and PS4 models. That means the biggest triple-A third party releases will probably be skipping the Switch, unless it really takes off sales-wise and it becomes worth the extra financial investment to port down. It also means Nintendo’s first party games will continue to look amazing, and just about every big indie hit you can think of should be able to make it over to the Switch, uncompromised and fully portable. Ditto for the vast majority of Japanese RPGs and such. Swings and roundabouts, time will tell etc.

What’s much more concrete – and refreshing, it must be said – is just about every other Switch hardware detail that has come to light over the last few days. The system will not be region locked (there are no words for how happy this makes me), it has a 6.2 inch, 720p capacitive touch screen (i.e. multi-touch, like the PS Vita or a smartphone), supports the current standard 802.11ac Wi-Fi spec, allows up to 8-player local wireless interaction, charges via super-fast USB-C – which is only just now becoming widespread on Android phones – and supports expanded memory via the reasonably cheap and easy-to-find Micro SDHC/Micro SDXC cards (At least up to 256gb according to one moment during the Treehouse stream, which would have been more than enough to fit everything I’ve ever bought on the Wii U). Its battery life is quoted as being between 2.5 and 6 hours depending on the game you’re playing, which is about what we could have expected; certainly not enough to last an international flight, but coupled with that USB-C charging port, it should easily be juiced enough to cover your daily work commute no matter what you’re playing. This is all very good news if you ask me, especially when combined with the generally premium look and – based on what I’ve read so far online – the feel of the system. This is a sleek, modern device.

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