Back before the days of instant answers to all your questions and the desire to be the first to beat a game, there was a time where we enjoyed the thrill, personal journey with constant successes and failures in our video games. Some of us still have that desire and will not seek online assistance until after you at least beat a game once. That rule still applies in my own little small community of gamers. The Legend of Zelda: BOTW provide the level of satisfaction in SPADES. (One day I will show you the fundamentals of this if you still do not understand the serious of the card game) This is one of those games that encourages you to find your own solutions to a various array of puzzles, obstacles and challenges that are both simple and engaging. You will talk with you friends on how you defeated a certain “Lynel”. One will tell you he defeated one with a quickly timed dodge while another friend will tell you they used a bow to stun, while the other will inform you that they beat a Lynel simply using a Stasis + to freeze the Lynel while you attack with your most powerful weapon. The point is that this game provide a multitude of methods when approached every task, every Shrine, every battle. That is what makes this game so special, so unique is that it encourages exploration with trial and error. I will at least try to explain in a few excerpts below…
The game begins with you awakening from the Shrine of Resurrection where you will begin your adventure with options on how or when you actually complete each objective. There is an element of order when it comes to the best way to approach each of the four Champions of Hyrule Bosses, but the games provides you the flexibility to attack each Boss battle in your own time with the tools provided. It’s up to you whether you use upgraded weapons and armor provided or you want to use brute strength with the few hearts you have in inventory, the choice is yours.
Shrine’s are small bit-sized puzzles that will reward you with some much needed treasure to take with you along the adventure and a Spirit Orb in which you can use to increase your number of hearts and provide you a small boost in stamina. (Trust me you will need as much as possible to access certain areas of the game) Your arsenal of choice will be a combination of six pieces of gear to compliment your Sheikah Slate. The combat system is both simple yet provide enough variety to keep you full engaged. Starting with your weapon of choice, a bow with various arrow types, trusted Shield and you three pieces of Armor; Head, Chest and Legs. In Addition you have your Sheikah Slate that enhances certain abilities (Runes) and allows you to get past certain objectives. Circular Remote Bombs, Square Remote Bombs, Magnesis (To grab on metallic objects held in a magnetic snare that can be lifted up and moved freely, Statis (can be used to stop time on certain objects and enemies), Cryonis (Creates a pillar of Ice from any water source, and lastly you trusted Camera to take picture along the adventure of a lifetime. All can be enhanced and modified as you progress through the game
With a map as HUGE as this game you will need a few options to travel from place to place. Starting off, if you decide to foot it on take a mount to travel, it’ll take you a while to get from one place to the other but it also gives you the opportunity to appreciate the scenery, the creatures that populate Hyrule and you will without question find tools, weapons, and materials to help you on your quest. You can create combinations of meals using uncooked meat you’ve gathered, creatures you’ve defeated and materials that you’ve gathered to create a plethora of advantages. For example you can combine Raw Prime Meat with Bright-Eyed Crab and create a meal that will both replenish you heart in addition to providing you a stamina boost. You have elixirs that can help with handling heat, cold, even provide you a stealth boost to sneak past enemies.
There are 4 Champions that for unforeseen circumstances need you assistance in releasing there spirits and its up to you to defeat the Divine Beast’s to free each individually. It would serve you well to approach each in order but your not forced to follow such a linear path to completing the game. As you can see in the image above I REALLY took my time before I decided to battle the final boss GANON. That’s the beauty in this game. If provides you the freedom and flexibility to do as you please at your pace, then talk amongst you fellow gamers and discuss how you approached each obstacle every Shrine and share strategies, THATS THE BEAUTY!!!
This game will provide you with at least 100 hours of exploration, confusion and satisfaction with every Shrine you master. Each Divine Beast you defeat or pieces of Armor you upgrade with the help of strategically placed fairies will force you to seek even better upgrades and replay certain missions seeking new ways to defeat old foes. So what do you do after you’ve beat the game? We’ve only scratched the surface. Remember you still have 120 Shrine to locate and master, in addition to two expansion DLC packs. Pack one contains the Master Trial. Trials of the Sword is an example of objectives that provide you with the bare minimum of tools needed to survive with 45 floors to complete . If you are lucky enough to complete all floors you get a pretty great enhancement to your trusted sword. Pack two The Champions Ballad is the second DLC that provided you a new storyline quest and new Shrines to explore. The Champions Ballad gives you a pretty cool weapon with a HUGE advantage and a HUGE disadvantage. It’s a one hit kill weapon on any and every enemy in the game, but also give you a quarter of a heart so that if you get hit once, you START ALL OVER. It’s challenging and not too difficult once you get the hang of things. These expansions will give you AT LEAST an additional 50 hours of playtime. In this day in age, a game that provides so much content is hard to find and much appreciated and this game has that in SPADES.
I would compare this game to a nice plate of Mayi Moulen with sòs pwa and crab with zabooka (Avacodos) on the side. There is so much going on in one plate you have no idea where to start. Traditionally you will receive each part of the meal in separate bowl or plate. Do you combine the sòs pwa with the Mayi Moulen and mix your meat in and eat it together, or do you eat it individually one at a time savoring each portion of your meal, you start with the crab work your way to the sòs pwa, snack on some zabooka in between Mayi Moulen bites the choice is yours. That is what The Legend of Zelda: BOTW provides, a plate of delicious food that you can choose how to approach it, but regardless where you start you will leave satisfied, full and begging for MORE!