It would not be appropriate to say that people are going “wild” over The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
That isn’t to say people aren’t enjoying the game. “Wild” just isn’t the best way to describe the impact the game is having on the people who have played it. If you still wanted to describe it using a word from the game title, it would be better to say that it is taking people’s breath away. With all the attention the game has been getting, it would seem that it is one of the best games of all time, much less one of the best console release games that Nintendo has ever put out with the birth of the new system. In fact, the reviews for the Zelda game are better than the reviews for the system it is introducing: the Nintendo Switch.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an immersive, open-world adventure game. It was released with the Nintendo Switch on March 3. The move to an open-world game is a new take for the Zelda series, and many were skeptical at first that this new way of play would detract from what Zelda fans love about the previous games. Most fans were not disappointed, however, as the larger world only added to the qualities of previous Zelda games. Other new game elements are weapon durability, cooking, and a lack of hand-holding, all of which have been accepted warmly by most players. It is reportedly a hard game to put down.
An article form the Time magazine said, “Exploring its expansive collage of verdant, gelid and sun-scorched zones is akin to tromping onto the set of a painterly Studio Ghibli film. It’s like nothing else Nintendo has made, an experience so simultaneously prodigious and accomplished that it feels like a mind-blowing mic drop to the sort of “open world” games (Grand Theft Auto V, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, The Witcher 3) the industry seems bent on proliferating.”
Despite all of its praise, Breath of the Wild is not a perfect game, nor is it liked by everyone. Some players have found the constant weapon breaking to be tedious and others have found the map too expansive and forgettable. One common complaint that all players have made is about the constant drops in frame rate. This happens when there are many animations going on at once in the area your character is in, animations such as fields of grass and trees swaying in the wind. However, these drops are most common in the beginning area of the game, and players have found that there are drastically less past that part, so it is a small issue.
Though it is a testament that a new Switch almost can’t handle its first major game, which isn’t a good sign. For the most part, Switch owners like their new consoles. The materials it is made of are sturdy, the controllers aren’t as awkward as people thought they would be, and it has a fair battery life. All these elements make the portability of the console practical and convenient.
There are several inconveniences as well. Though the dock is neatly designed, it is nothing special, and can possibly scratch the screen if the user isn’t careful with putting it in or pulling it out. The Switch also performs noticeably worse when it is played on the television, in reference to the previously mentioned frame rate problem. The Switch screen has a kickstand so it can be propped up while played on a table or other flat surface. However, the charging port is on the bottom of the device to accommodate the dock, making it impossible to charge while the kickstand is set up.
Many Switch owners have experienced problems that have not been problems for others. For example, many players have experienced connection issues when they detach the controllers from the screen and then something like someone walking by comes in between them and interferes with the communication. Others have tried to re-create this issue but have not been successful in re-creating the problem. Some have had problems with inputs from the left thumb stick, but again, others have only heard of this problem.
The Zelda-Switch relationship was appropriately described by YouTuber Chad “Chadtronic” Bergström:
“I feel like the full potential for this game was only held back by the system it has to run on. I would have really liked to see this game, and play this game, on a system that is not the Nintendo Switch.”
According to the reviews, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will take your breath away, but you may have to hold it for the Switch.