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Is Botw actually bad?

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Dec 14, 2021
Maybe I'm just a filthy millenial, but botw kinda feels like it was just a mish mash of a bunch of puzzle ideas and combat scenarios that jist got thrown around a big open world. The best parts are where you actually have questlines like the Zora area. The rest feels fairly boring and pointless.

When you find a shrine it feels good but then you do the puzzle and its over. If they just took the time to put all the puzzles together in a cohesive way and shoved them in a proper dungeon it would feel a lit better.

What're your thoughts?
 
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Yeah, you're not alone in wondering what all the hype over BoTW is. I'm currently playing through it again and noticing the same thing, the huge open world is technically impressive and fun to explore, but a lot of the content feels randomly placed in the world and it's pretty obvious which areas received extra attention and polish for their story quests. Combat for me at least also gets old really fast with the super annoying weapon breakage and poorly balanced combat damage and damage sponge enemies later in the game that rapidly eat up weapon durability.

I personally found the shrine puzzles to be one of the weakest aspects of the game, I liked finding the shrines themselves since they're fast travel points and give spirit orbs, but the puzzles themselves largely felt like a chore with only a handful of actually interesting shrines. Not to mention that most of the shrine puzzles look like something put together with a fairly basic level builder tool using a bunch of simple prefabs. In other words, the shrine puzzles feel really rushed. My favorite shrine puzzles were the shrine quests that revealed the shrine which just had a treasure chest inside, as the quest itself to find the shrine was the puzzle, and often was far more interesting than another throwaway one-off puzzle with an annoying gimmick. My least favorite shrines were the ones with motion controls. Nintendo needs to stop having parts of their games locked behind such a gimmicky, frustrating and unreliable control mechanism.

However I have largely enjoyed the town quests, even if the divine beasts themselves were largely disappointing. Neat concept of having a dungeon in a giant active machine that can be manipulated, but way too little content in them, especially the Rito and Goron ones.
 
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twilitfalchion

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Really depends on what you enjoy. For me, BotW's everything I love about Zelda, so I enjoy it quite a bit. And many feel the same. On the other hand, there's plenty of folks who didn't feel like BotW met what they expect or enjoy from Zelda, so they don't like it.

It doesn't make it bad or good for having those specific emphases, strictly speaking. Just something that appeals to different preferences.
 

Chevywolf30

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I had a lot of fun with BotW, but it's not the same kind of fun I have with a game like TP or OoT. Traditional Zelda games are fun for me in a following the story sense, while BotW is more about just running around doing whatever.
 

Dio

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It's technically not BAD however there are aspects of it which make it feel more of a sandbox than a proper adventure game like the other entries in the series. This of course led to disappointment from myself and others.

I can see that many enjoyed making their own fun in that sandbox. Personally I am not amused by attaching octobaloons to some wood and catapulting myself across the world. I'd like the developers to provide a lot of the fun for me in terms of a coherent well thought out narrative.

I did not enjoy having to actively seek out most of the backstory only to find it isn't even that interesting or had much thought put in.

Having the final boss and the ability to complete the game right there from the beginning is something I also dislike as from a narrative perspective it limits the story that can be told. There can be no plot twist that alters the direction of the story as there is always the option to kill the final boss at any point and that never changes.

The thing is I think that this type of game could cater to both those who enjoy making their own fun and also to those who enjoy having a great narrative, they just skimped on the narrative and storytelling with BoTW1. I hope BoTW 2 has a more focused story and allows people to mess around outside of it as well to ensure both sides are satisfied.

Also weapon breaking is bad and having to change them every few swings jarringly pauses the action. I hope that this feature is moved to some kind of master mode for the next entry.
 

Mikey the Moblin

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Really depends on what you enjoy. For me, BotW's everything I love about Zelda, so I enjoy it quite a bit. And many feel the same. On the other hand, there's plenty of folks who didn't feel like BotW met what they expect or enjoy from Zelda, so they don't like it.

It doesn't make it bad or good for having those specific emphases, strictly speaking. Just something that appeals to different preferences.
This thread isn't really about it not being a Zelda game
 

thePlinko

What’s the character limit on this? Aksnfiskwjfjsk
Is it bad? No.
Is it painfully generic, riddled with horrendous design flaws, and overall lacks a lot of what made the series so great to begin with? Absolutely.

BotW feels like aonuma took a look at every other open world game in the past decade and said “so that’s what gaming is supposed to be.”

BotW is quite possibly the most generic open world game on the market, and despite clearly taking most of its inspiration from other open world games, it doesn’t do any of the mechanics taken from them particularly well. It’s to the point where the only reason I’d ever play BotW over Oblivion is because of its admittedly superb physics engine, and the simple fact that it’s from my favorite video game franchise ever.
 

mαrkαsscoρ

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needless to say it wouldn't be continuously praised as much as it is if it were bad

even so, I'm also not a fan of the open ended-ness direction that it took since it seemed to come at the cost of a narrative structure, so while the gameplay is fun and there's plenty to do, it was hard for me to really care about any of it once I beat ganon and saw the credits
 

Fraxinus

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It uses a lot of experimental ideas in a very extreme way. I don't think that makes it bad per se, but it has opened itself to controversy for that, definitely. I'd say some parts of Breath of the Wild really shone due to its strange approach, but other aspects of it also felt neglected because of it.

I don't think you have to like or hate the game to acknowledge that the game could have used just a touch of structure to keep the midgame from just plateauing in difficulty--because BotW's difficulty scaling was purely oriented in numerical values; after they peaked, the point of combat essentially disappeared and instead became a waste of weapons. This kind of, caused me personally, to avoid combat most of the time.

I think what most people choose to say is that it's a good or decent game, but doesn't really meet the standards for what they'd want from Zelda in its pacing. The freedom could be a step forward, but as an experimental game, the devs will need to find a way to better harness it in a Zelda way in the future.
 
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It doesn't make it bad or good for having those specific emphases, strictly speaking. Just something that appeals to different preferences.
That's how alot of Zelda games are made it would seem, as certain games in the series focus on different aspects(SS focuses on dungeon design, MM focuses on sidequests and NPC interaction, and BotW focuses on open exploration).

BotW is fantastic, IMO. One of my favourites in the series. The combat is ridiculously varied, mechanics such as gliding and climbing make exploration feel like a puzzle in of itself, the Shrine Quests have an awesome focus on riddles and I hope to see more of them or some equivalent in the next game, best physics in the series, some of the most fun puzzle solving in the series(alot of them even make use of the previously mentioned physics system), etc.
 

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