Video Game Tuesday: Breath of the Wild Final Thoughts

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering what I thought of my time with the latest Zelda game. It’s my Breath of the Wild Final Thoughts.

Puzzles: I’ve already covered how I loved how Nintendo handled puzzles, but I will say one thing in addition. The puzzles weren’t necessarily difficult but there were puzzles all over the world to uncover various Korok seeds, or Shrines. I enjoyed stumbling across them in my exploration of Hyrule and I attempted to solve them on the spot as soon as I found them. For the most part I was able to do so every time with only a few exceptions. Those were ones I had to leave mostly because I had insufficient supplies to continue either exploring the area or complete the puzzles or challenges. The target balloon challenges in particular were my biggest headache, especially in the Death Mountain region because I was unable to retrieve those arrows after firing them. However overall I enjoyed coming across these random and small puzzles and solving them. Sometimes you had to throw a rock into a ring of some sort, or you had to put a metallic block in a specific place on a structure. Sure they might not take much time, but the sheer number of them was highly enjoyable.

Gear System: I also already covered that in a separate post, so check that for specifics. One more thing I will add is that I’d have loved to made my helmets invisible sometimes for certain armor sets, like the Radiant set.

Enemies: The enemies grew as I did, with some of the easier enemies showing up not at all after I had cleared all the Divine Beasts, which was a nice change of pace and kept me on my toes in my travels. Running across any Guardian was at best a headache for a majority of my playthrough, until I had finally accumulated enough materials and Rupees to acquire the Ancient armor set to allow me to not get absolutely destroyed by their laser blasts when I was unable to interrupt them with an arrow to the eye. Even then however I was still cautious around any enemy except the Chuchus.

Bosses: The bosses were for the most part, pretty easy and the world bosses were all incredibly easy as long as I had come prepared for a fight against them. The final boss was also fairly easy, but I hadn’t attempted it before I was well and truly ready to end my time with the game, which meant I had completed most of the Shrines and all the Divine Beasts. That being said if I had not attempted to do them prepared or done a speedrunner-esque playthrough I could easily see how they might be quite difficult.

Story: The story was good, and I’ll admit I had a couple tears in my eyes during my time with the Zora. Seriously though, Link caught the eye of nearly all the high born ladies in Hyrule. That was more than a bit amusing.

Artwork: I played the game exclusively in the portable mode of the Switch, and I was rather impressed with the quality of graphics. I experienced a slowdown only a handful of times and that was only when I purposefully pushing the system by blowing up 8 or more trees at once to see how the physics handled it.

Music: The music was also pretty awesome, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Overall: I’m really impressed with the game, and frankly I really hope that Breath of the Wild is the new standard they’ll use for every Zelda game going forward. The freedom allowed was incredibly refreshing and being able to go pretty much anywhere was incredibly fun. If I wanted to rain death from above on any enemies I could go climb that cliff next to their encampment and get the drop on them easily.

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Video Game Tuesday: Eventide Journal Entry 02

Hey all I’m back with my tale of revenge on that damn island in Breath of the Wild for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. It’s my Eventide Journal Entry 02!

What did you come up with?:  I had done a Divine Beast after I failed so spectacularly and found that I might want to get all the Champion’s blessings. So I waited until I had really gotten myself buffed up with a ton of hearts and stamina as well as upgrading my various runes and unlocked all the Champions Blessings. In fact I was going to wait as long as possible before re attempting the stupid thing. I was still pretty upset about failing so close to the end the first time I attempted it. So I came back right before I went against the final boss, with 16 hearts, 2 stamina orbs and 14 weapons slots unlocked and 8 Bow Slots. I also had found a reliable source of incredibly powerful weapons that respawned every Blood Moon on top of one of the Sheikah Towers.

So I stocked up on a bunch of those and some powerful bows and shields and headed to the peninsula I had first attempted to glide from. Before jumping off though I made sure to deplete my Master Sword’s energy in an attempt to see if I could game the system and let it reappear after it restored it’s energy. I also figured I could try dropping my weapons and shields on the ground of an island right off Eventide to see if I could retrieve it after formally entering the trial and being stripped of all my gear. I made sure I wasn’t going to get hit by a Thunderstorm so I didn’t get blown off course again and proceeded to glide to the island. I attempted to land on the Sheikah platform off the coast of Eventide to see if I could drop those weapons and attempt the trial.

That didn’t work, because as soon as I landed on that platform the trial started. Luckily I had saved just before taking off so I reloaded the game from that point and tried again. Figuring I could try with some rocks poking out of the water right next to that platform I glided to those, and landed on them without triggering the trial. So I dropped all my prepared gear and walked on to the island to start it up, after I got stripped of everything I tried to go back to those rocks to get my gear. I wasn’t able to get to those rocks without leaving the trial which beat the entire purpose of me dropping them in the first place. So I reloaded for a third attempt, with my plan to get into the shallow water right at the edge of the island since I hadn’t triggered the trial until I actually got out of it and onto the island itself. This time my plan worked, thankfully , and I proceeded to quickly clear the enemies out near the first orb and put it on the platform in the ocean I had just attempted to land on a few minutes before. Figuring I should try to avoid making the same mistake as last time I decided to do the orb I had done third the last time I was here in order to avoid getting blindsided with a blood moon again. I quickly made my way up the hill and found that another thunderstorm was going to occur. Fortunately some of the enemies had dropped wooden bows so I wasn’t going to attract lightning, but I still had to scramble around to avoid getting my ass handed to me by the enemies with much nastier weapons than my tree branches I had picked up as I was clearing the forest for some easy food. Thankfully I was able to take advantage of the storm and it dealt with the nastiest enemy which was a Moblin. I took down the rest, occasionally using a metallic weapon I had brought with me for a few seconds before re-equipping a tree branch before I was hit by a lightning strike. I then put the orb in the nearby platform and decided to tackle the Hinox, this time I was able to get onto it’s chest and steal the final orb with ease. I did however wake it up as I was running away with the orb.

Thinking quickly I used my improved Stasis Rune to freeze it for a few seconds before I fled around the hill and got out of it’s line of sight before it unfroze while carrying the orb. I cleared out the final set of enemies in my way and was about to put in the orb before I remembered I probably should un-equip my smuggled gearand drop them before clearing the trial or I’d probably lose them for good knowing my luck. Then I put in the orb and got all my stuff back minus the gear I had dropped just a moment ago. I picked that up and decided to thoroughly destroy the damn Hinox as a form of petty revenge while I made my way to the Shrine that had just appeared on the Island. I got my revenge and got the spirit orb from the shrine, which thankfully didn’t have any puzzles since the entire trial to get to it in the first place would count as such.

That’s it for my time with Eventide Island, and it was memorable enough. I enjoyed going back and thoroughly taking advantage of breaking the system.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

Video Game Tuesday: Eventide Journal Entry 01

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m doing something a little different. I’m chronicling my first attempt at what I’ve found to be the toughest “puzzle” in Breath of the Wild yet. It’s my Eventide Journal Entry 01!

Eventide?: There’s an island way off the eastern coast in Breath of the Wild and me being the curious type I decided to try getting there and seeing what it held, it’s called Eventide Island. I failed miserably trying to glide there and died to drowning in the ocean, but that was more due to a thunderstorm occuring and blowing me off course than it was due to me not trying hard enough or packing enough food to sustain my stamina gauge. I did forget to heal up though, so when I drowned it was game over for me.

So what next?: Well I decided that there was no way in hell I was going to wait out the storm and because the rain douses any fires you try to set to use the resting system to skip time, that option was out as well. Than I remembered I had a handy and reusable tool to freeze water into pillars, so I started skipping across the ocean from another island closer to the mainland. Well not really skipping, more like gliding for a few feet and grabbing hold of the pillar that was far away as possible to lengthen the space between each use of the Cryonis rune. Then I got attacked by some Lizalfos sporting of all things, lightning attributed weapons. That almost killed me, due to me losing my weapons from being shocked and standing on a bunch of water. Thankfully I quickly equipped a couple tree branches that I keep in case I need to throw something fragile to beat annoying enemies, and proceeded to do just that in order to buy me time to get out a wooden bow and equip some lightning attuned arrows of my own. Payback is a bitch, but it was pretty funny to watch them getting fried.

I finally reached the island and got onto it. Then I was really thrown for a loop when some text appeared from a shrine saying that I was relying on my equipment to do stuff and that I wasn’t resourceful enough. Next thing I know I’m completely naked with only my Sheikah Slate on an island full of really nasty enemies. The goal was to pick up three orbs and put them into three different platforms. So I quickly started to sneak around and proceed to grab an oar as a temporary weapon, along with a half dozen tree branches courtesy of me bombing the hell out of the beach’s treeline. I found one orb and tried getting it to the small island it was on just off the shore of Eventide. I had a bit of trouble until I remembered to use Cryonis to freeze the water under it to throw it onto the island.

Things were going pretty well, until I ran into one of the world bosses called Hinox that had an orb around it’s neck. I tried to sneak up and get onto it’s chest to grab the orb, but only woke it up. After dodging it swinging around a good dozen trees for about 10 minutes and me tossing bombs at it, I finally got the orb knocked off it somehow. So I dashed in, grabbed it and booked it for a part of the island I had cleared. I proceed to put the orb in another platform and start looking for the last one, coming across a hill with a ton of enemies on it. I clear it off and proceed to cook up some food for the last hill which I had guessed might have a ton of enemies on it.

Turns out I was completely correct and this had the worst pack of enemies yet, even the Hinox didn’t cause me too much problems as long as I kept away from it, it being fairly slow. Remember that storm that occurred and blew me off course? Well it hit again and this time I was in the middle of fighting a ton of nasty enemies with metal weapons that made my tree branches look pathetic in comparison. Thankfully the storm actually helped me out this time and struck a majority of them to death with a lightning bolt. I was pretty ecstatic and was glad to be almost done, right up until the sky started glowing red just as I had picked up the last orb.

Sky glowing red?: Yeah, for those unaware when the moon is full it glows a really nasty shade of crimson and it causes every single monster to respawn. EVERY MONSTER. The island that I had nearly cleared out? Not so clear anymore… I grabbed the orb and was trying to dislodge the stone covering it so I could place the stone in when they all respawned. Queue pandemonium and me running around throwing bombs again, and trying to live. The only problem was that the orb I had placed to keep safe ended up getting knocked down a hill by an enemy I had blown back. I caught up to it just as it was going over the edge into the ocean, and fumbled the controls. So I jumped down to get it out of the ocean like I had the first orb, 15 minutes later I was finally on land again with the orb. Except that I couldn’t get up the hill with the orb. I had absolutely no way up with it. After trying to wall run my way up the side of the hill, I ended up sliding down and dropping it onto the Hinox causing it wake up and grab the nearest tree. I had just started running away when it killed me.  Next thing I know I’m once again completely naked with no items at the same spot I started this stupid trial. That details my first time trying to clear it. I’ll write up my second attempt next week, hopefully it’s the last attempt. I’ve got some ideas to break the system in my favor to allow me to easily deal with this.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday? Do you like me writing this kind of post? Please comment below with your thoughts.

Video Game Tuesday: Breath of the Wild’s Durability System

Hey all I’m back with my thoughts on last year’s probably best game’s, that I only just got to play this last weekend, only flaw. It’s all about Breath of the Wild’s Durability System!

Durability System?: For those unaware the weapons in Breath of the Wild all have a set durability that prevents you from keeping any one weapon indefinitely. There is an exception though, but the base game still prevents that exception from being usable 100% of the time. This is highly annoying and causes you to constantly scrounge up weapons. For hoarders like myself we hate having to waste good weapons on trash enemies, but sometimes we are left with no choice but to do so.

What can you do?: Well thankfully there are trees everywhere so if you get really desperate you can always throw a bomb at a tree to knock it down to get a quick weapon i a tree branch. Unfortunately they last as long as you’d expect a stick to last, which is to say not long at all. They also do absolutely crap damage, so you won’t be taking down any real enemy quickly with it, only the easiest of monsters will fall before the branch breaks.

Does it get better?: Like I said there is one weapon that doesn’t break, but with just the base game you won’t ever be able to use it all the time, as it also has a durability and has to wait a few minutes before being usable again.

My hope is that in future Zelda games they never include the durability system in this form again. I’d really like to be able to at least repair some of my weapons for a few Rupees.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday, do you enjoy the Durability System in Breath of the Wild? Leave your thoughts below in the comments below.

Video Game Tuesday: Patch Notes

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a topic many gamers should read a heck of a lot more often. It’s all about Patch Notes!

Patch Notes?: Patch Notes are notes of any and all changes that occur when a game is updated. These are most of the time fairly boring reads, especially in the bug sections, but nevertheless such things are really worth reading. Especially the bug portions, because it might just help you avoid getting a game breaking bug, or getting corrupted save files and losing all your progress in a game.

All of your progress, really?: Yeah, really. In MMOs it’s especially worth reading any and all Known Bug sections of Patch Notes before playing. The ideal time to do so? While your game is updating. In fact it’s also worth having your phone or tablet’s web browser open to any community sites, be that a fan site like Blizzard Watch for Blizzard games or a really active subreddit like the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit. This should be done during any major patch, and especially during Expansion launches. They’ll put up things like PSA’s about what not to do. For instance in FFXIV’s latest expansion Stormblood, there was a particularly nasty bug with the first Primal fight players experience in the expansion at level 63.

If you entered the instance and were sitting or doing any emote at all prior to entering you would be kicked from your character and be unable to log in to that character at all once you finished the instance. This was particularly bad, and was just one of the many issues that were occuring during Stormblood’s launch. There were also congestion issues and server issues that were occurring due to DDoS attacks on the FFXIV servers, and later on to the actual ISPs themselves.

Okay so back to Patch Notes, they are not all boring. Some games actually have a ton of fun with their patch notes, and it’s just a fun thing to be reading when you are bored. Crusader Kings II is one game whose Patch Notes are genuinely hilarious almost all the time. Like this little jewel “-No longer possible for AI to plot to assassinate self (unless they are a lunatic).” Brilliant, and it’s actually relevant!

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. Are the any particular Patch Notes that you remember just being absolutely hilarious? Feel free to share them below!

Video Game Tuesday: E3 2017 Reactions

 

Hey all I’m back with my thoughts on this years Electronic Entertainment Expo! It’s my E3 2017 Reactions!

Nintendo: Holy crap they announced a new Metroid Prime and a remake of Metroid II! Not only that, but they announced a couple of DLCs for Zelda: Breath of the Wild and gave us a release date for Super Mario Odyssey. Honestly I’m just happy at the fact that new Metroid games are coming out, but everyone should take this with a grain of salt. The last Metroid game to be released was Other M and we all know how terrible of a game that was.

Sony: Nothing really major, but they are definitely doubling down on the PlayStation VR. They also told us that God of War’s next game is set to release in Early 2018. Not only that, but they showed off what might become the best Spider-Man game ever released. I’m actually excited to play that, and we’ve had official confirmation that we won’t be chasing balloons!

Microsoft: They formally announced Project Scorpio’s details, and gave it’s final name, Xbox One X. Frankly they should have just kept Xbox Scorpio, it’s not as ridiculous a name. You’d think they’d have learnt from Nintendo’s mistake with the WiiU.  Crackdown 3 is finally getting released though, so there’s that to look forward to.

Ubisoft: Showed off the now officially confirmed Assassin’s Creed: Origins that takes place in Egypt. I got burned badly by Unity so I’ll probably skip Origins unless I get a review copy. They also showed more of Far Cry 5, and announced Skulls and Bones, which takes AC4: Black Flag’s ship combat system and makes it a standalone game. As I actually enjoyed the ship battles in Black Flag, I might be interested in playing, but I also enjoyed going over and taking down the enemy crew after ramming them.

EA: More sports games of course, Star Wars Battlefront II (DICE) and a new IP from the people behind Mass Effect, Anthem that is pretty much Destiny. If you’ve read my past columns on Destiny you might be able to guess at how thrilled I am by the prospect of another “Destiny”. /run EndSarcasm.exe

Bethesda: Skyrim for the Switch, boring. Wolfenstein II is a real game and is releasing on October 27th though, so maybe Bethesda didn’t just go for obvious cash grabs for the year.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday.

Retro Game Friday: Spirit Tracks

spirit_tracks

Hey all I’m back with the “sequel” to The Phantom Hourglass for this week’s Retro Game Friday! It’s The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks!

Plot Synopsis:

Spirit Tracks takes place one hundred years after the events of both The Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass. The game is set in the land of New Hyrule, a new kingdom founded by Tetra, some point after the events of Phantom Hourglass. An incarnation of the protagonist Link, an engineering apprentice ready to become a qualified train engineer, travels to Hyrule Castle to receive his engineer’s certificate from current incarnation of Princess Zelda (Tetra’s granddaughter/descendant). Although Zelda’s adviser, Chancellor Cole, believes the ceremony is pointless, as the Spirit Tracks that make up the train systems around Hyrule are slowly disappearing, Zelda continues with the ceremony.

Plot: The plot is okay, pretty decent, but frankly the gameplay wasn’t quite as good as the previous game.

Characters: The characters were good for the most part. Not super duper amazing though.

Gameplay: It played a lot like Phantom Hourglass, but the Train system wasn’t as good as the sailing system used in Phantom Hourglass. Frankly the dungeon design was also fairly frustrating as well, with the puzzles in the Tower being frustratingly difficult at times.  At least that’s how it was for me, granted that I hate touch screen controls, I just didn’t like using them all that much. Give me a standard control scheme over gimmicky ones and I’d be fine with the level of difficulty.

Art: It’s aged poorly. But that’s 3D artwork for you.

Music: Classic Zelda, nothing more need be said.

Overall: If given the ability to play with a normal control scheme this game would’ve been much better, but otherwise this wasn’t the best Zelda game I’ve ever played.

For those who like: Trains, Action, Adventure, Zelda Games, Decent Plot, Okay Gameplay, Good Music.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.