Slow Your Roll, the New Zelda Is Far From Perfect

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Or, The Legend of Zelda: Halitosis

The new Legend of Zelda is out and, if the critics are to be believed, it’s the greatest game ever made. The buzz around it has led some journalists to make a few outlandish statements, “Breath of the Wild is the greatest game ever made. I will literally fistfight anyone that disagrees with me.” – Anthony Armstrong of TheNerdingGrounds. I’m not certain how much I agree with those opinions, especially when you objectively look at some of the shortfalls. Specifically I take issue with this game’s lack of quality music, uncompromising control scheme, and overall bugginess.

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Why Can’t I Remap These Controls?

The controls, at least on the Wii U version, are middling at best. I see what they were trying to accomplish by mapping inventory management to the control pad. Unfortunately, it’s far too cumbersome to deal with in the middle of combat. It feels like Nintendo made these controls as a direct response to the constant need to change weapons as they break mid combat. In this respect it seems Nintendo decided to fix one problem by creating a whole new one. I find it much easier to pause and mess with my equipment in the menus. On a related note, the lack of customizable controls was a major oversight. Customization could have allowed me to fix what I consider to be one of the cardinal sins of gaming; tying in the sneak/crouch function to the L3 slot. Its infuriating to die in combat because I’m flicking the left analog stick a little too hard. This results in Link popping a squat when I’m trying to get better positioning on some shitheel lizalfos.

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Dafuq My Music at Nintendo?

The music in each Zelda is usually some of the best in the industry. Every game has memorable tracks that tend to live on far beyond the game that spawned them. However, this time around the soundtrack is drab and uninspired. My dream of new compositions of Gerudo Valley or Lost Woods will forever elude me. Instead of their usual brand of symphonic brilliance, Nintendo opted for an ambient minimalist soundtrack. The argument I’ve heard for this choice is that the player would get tired of heavily produced music repeating itself in an open world environment. That claim feels fallacious and shortsighted. Look at how Oblivion, Skyrim, or World of Warcraft approached this issue and then try telling me memorable music and an open world can’t coexist. They could have even used the Sheikah Slate as a radio controller similar to the Pip-boy mechanic in the more recent Fallouts.

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This isn’t Skyrim. Why so Buggy?

On top of those previous issues, this is also the buggiest first party Nintendo game in recent memory. I’m not saying the game is an unplayable mess. It’s well put together and never glitched enough to ruin the immersion, but this is Nintendo after all. They are notorious for the level of polish they put into their work. To date I’ve dealt with sudden framerate drops, the game freezing up for several seconds, insane physics mishaps, bugged shrines that wouldn’t reset, and enemies falling through parts of the map. BotW is nowhere near the level of buggy as the average Bethesda title, but still worse than I’ve ever seen in one of Nintendo’s flagship franchises.

These are all minor complaints at most, and don’t let my nitpicking sully your experience. BotW is a masterful achievement by Nintendo that is a serious contender for best Zelda ever made. I can’t stop playing it and will continue to do so as soon as possible. Enough about me though, what do you think? What’s been pissing you off in Link’s latest outing? Are you as bummed about the music as I am? Will you be taking up Anthony’s fisticuff challenge? Comment below.

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2 thoughts on “Slow Your Roll, the New Zelda Is Far From Perfect

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