Monday, March 20, 2017

Rose colored reviews

Ok, well, Zelda ended. Or rather, I played enough of it that making a run at the final area was not a total fool's errand. Thing includes defeating all four divine beasts and obtaining the master sword. There were entire areas of the map that remained unexplored, but with there be no promise of anything more than more shrines there, I didn't feel a need to climb one more tower before trying to kill Calamity Ganon.

No real spoiler here, but Calamity Ganon was not the problem. Indeed, at the outset of the final part of his battle Zelda gives you the weapon that you need to beat him. Hint, it's not the master sword. The problems were two lionel fights that served as minibosses on the way to the throne room. Those bastards hurt, the second taking be from fourteen hearts to half a heart in one swing. It was brutal but it was a challenge borne of my own reluctance to wander around the world looking for more bits of junk to hand over to fairies (whose lairs I also had not found) so that they would upgrade my armor.

It was a problem of my own making and that, somehow, made it okay.

There is some genius to this design. The entire game, post the escape from the starting plateau, can be skipped. People are already doing it:

47 minutes. It took me 34ish hours. It has taken some people well over a hundred. The short person who lives in my house may never finish it. We are all playing the same game.

Yes, I bitched about Breath of the Wild, and I stand by all of my bitchiness, but I cannot deny that a game that can be so many different things to so many different people should be appreciated. Weapon damage sucks (for me), large areas of the world that offer no story reason for the exploration suck (for me) and the combat was mediocre at best (for me). Others, and there are more of them than there is of me, are not bothered by these things. Some even count them as strengths.

...fuck weapon damage though, seriously.

The current metacritc review score of 97 is a joke, bolstered by rose colored reviews of Nintendo products, fueled by lost childhoods and the legions of grown ass men and women seeking to reclaim them. I am one of those men. Hell, it's why I bought a Switch, but I am not willing to cast aside 30 plus years of accumulated gaming knowledge, experience and jadedness and pretend that this is the greatest fucking game that I have ever played. It isn't even the best game that I have played in the last twelve months.

Breath of the Wild is good. Good. Good enough, anyway.

Now what am I going to use my Switch for?

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