Hey, listen! Is that the faint cry of Navi the fairy calling? No its the ancient gamer trying to get up out of his chair!
The Nintendo Switch launched about 18 months ago and it bought with it quite possibly the best entry in the LOZ series to date, so let’s jump right in and glide on through to Hyrule.
if you’ve played a Legend of Zelda game previously you’ll know the format and how things work, heads up though Nintendo have been bold and decided to shake things up. This is the first properly open world Zelda game and it is just fantastic and the art style is truly beautiful. Think of the art style as in between Windwaker and Twilight Princess. Nintendo’s decision to shake things up has worked, this game, unlike others in the series, doesn’t follow a normal linear path, you can complete quests in whatever order you discover them AND should you wish to you can try to take on the final boss pretty soon into the game….but I wouldn’t…you’ll die quickly.
When you first dive in, as usual the hero of Hyrule is having a sleep and Link awakens (see what I did there), with literally nothing. So you find yourself in a cave with nothing but your boxers on (bit weird). Pretty soon you’ll find your Sheika Slate and the adventure truly begins, you’ll need to find some clothes and make your way out of the cave you woke up in.
The sheer scale of the world is thrust upon you as soon as you leave the cave. It’s massive and the views are glorious. It becomes very apparent that this world is going to take a while to explore.
The great thing about this game is being able to tackle things when you decide, it’s non linear approach is great and means you can do what you want when you want to, a nice fresh approach to the series. I love the fact I can explore the vast world and sneak up on an enemy camp, if I have lots of food and ammo I can decide to come back later and sneak away.
I constantly find myself in a state of disbelief at how wondrous this game plays and looks, the level of complex puzzles is frustrating enough that I always come back for more.
I love how you can experience so much, some parts of the map you will explore lush green fields and church like ruins, the next you will find yourself in a snowy environment and climbing frozen peaks. Link as you would expect will react to his surroundings, if it’s cold he will be shivering and you will need to go through your vast inventory to find appropriate apparel to keep our hero alive. There are so many different locations and they all look beautiful. I do love finding a Stable and resting my weary head or checking the walls for recipes…many a side quest can be discovered here or info on side quests. If you have tamed a horse or scanned an amiibo to receive a certain horse of legend (EPONA!), you can board them or take them out of any or all of the stables across the land.
this is a fantasy adventure game but there is some level of reality throughout the game, so your fire arrows may cause your surroundings to burst into flames and you can pick fruit from the trees etc. New to the series is the ability to cook meals, so you will find in your inventory things like fish and meat and salt, you can try different combinations to discover different meals that provide different attributes, it’s a great addition and it’s a bit of fun to try out new ideas.
The action adventure game never stops and there is so much to discover across the map. I love the ability to climb pretty much anything you see in front of you and the fact that when it rains you will find the ledges and mountains slippery and your stamina will deplete quickly. The great thing is, if you can see it you can pretty much get there and the constant battle against the elements or working out how to get where you need to is both fun and frustrating. Your greatest tool is the paraglider which helps you get to your destinations, it’s a fun piece of kit and like using horses is a quicker mode of transport around the vast map.
As you continue on your quest across Hyrule you’ll discover Shrines and these puzzles are brilliantly designed and completely frustrating at the same time. In the basic game there are 120 of these little beauties to find and complete. Once you finish one you will get awarded a spirit orb and these are used to increase your health or stamina as you progress through the game. Trust me it gave me a great sense of satisfaction to complete all 120 in the main game.
I cannot explain how enjoyable the combat is in the game either, using your multiple weapons that you will pick up along your journey is great and the fact that your swords will break adds that little touch of realism to your battle. Using your bow and arrow is amazingly satisfying and horse back combat is brilliant. Battle heavy scenes will suffer from some slowdown but to be honest if I’m lost in the game I have never noticed enough of a slow down to bother me that much.
If you have any Zelda Amiibo you can scan these in to get chests, some will contain weapons, fruit, fish or meat and some will contain sets of armour or clothing from across the series.
This game is breathtaking, I have put over 200 hours in to this game and the DLC is added value should you purchase it. We here at Ancient Gamer Blog chose to give this an Outstanding Award, It’s that good, if you own a Nintendo Switch you must buy this game it is a triumph!
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