Full disclosure: I ain’t really the biggest Zelda fan. There, I said it. Not Sorry. The stories are never all that interesting, save for a couple games, the gameplay favors “Go figure it out” a bit too much for my liking, and I’ve just been unable to get into any of them since Wind Waker, which for whatever reason really resonated with me. So, I may not be the best person to review this game…
…Or maybe I’m the right person and could be seen as a sampling of a much broader audience in which this Zelda finally reaches?
You play as the ever child-like warrior Zelda, in your quest to save the princess, whatever her name is, against the evil Pig guy.. Neil Gaiman. So, you wake up a couple hundred years after Princess lady messed up and didn’t save the kingdom or something. I dunno, I honestly wasn’t paying any attention, it’s pretty much the same story over and over. She’s gone, you’re left behind to clean up the mess, save the lands with a set of special items, abilities, and restore the Mushroom Kingdom and defeat Bowser with your brother.
The twist this time is that you get a horse to speed up your snail’s pace movement hampered by a ridiculously short stamina bar and since there isn’t any fast travel system, like better games before it have incorporated, have fun holding up on the control stick. Compounding this “movement-the-speed-of-a-stuck-turd-after-eating-a-pound-of-cheese” is an utter lack of a hundred objective markers on the map and that aforementioned missing fast travel to just skip all the open world stuff, and that really kills the fun. They should have just made it like Call of Duty; linear, objectives all over the screen, almost on rails, and slightly racist. I think the game would have been much better for it instead of trying to shoehorn in a bunch of survival sandbox junk like Minecraft, ARK, DayZ, Rust, etc etc, blah blah blah, which are all just a flash in the pan trend when it comes to gaming and aren’t tried and true system mechanics like First Person Shooters.
Since this is on the Switch the graphics aren’t very good. I mean, sure it has that Nintendo charm about it, but it’s gotten so tired and stale that I don’t think the big N should be allowed to coast by on their past anymore. We get it Nintendo, you’re cutesy and harmless and lack balls, get over it. The game, with it’s Outsourced cartoon look rivaled only by shit cartoons from the 80’s can’t even manage 30fps in a lot of situations, and anything under 144hz for my huge, 4K 144hz monitor is completely unplayable. Nintendo really dropped the ball and should have made the Switch way more powerful than the Xbox One and PS4 Pro combined. That way they would sell more systems and make those who matter; the gaming elite, happy. Stop catering to casuals. But I digress. The game itself resorts back to the cartoony, borderlands-esque style that everyone hated about Wind Waker with just a few more colors and polygons. I guess since the Switch can’t do anything much better, and it clearly can’t even do this very well, they had to cut corners or else this stripped bare tablet would just choke and die.
Same, boring Zelda sounds with a fresh coat of paint. Seriously. I get naustalgia (get it, “Naustalgia” like nauseating and nostalgic? ) sells games, but give it a rest. Literally every single sound and musical note is the same as every Zelda game from before just re-re-re-recorded through a better mic…nothing has changed, nothing innovative which is really weird for Nintendo since they get an erection over “innovation.” Even when Zelda swings his weapon his grunt and the swoosh sound are identical. It’s like they had just HD’ed the sounds from older titles. It’s kind of pathetic. I swear all they did was have some fanboy play the original Zelda and record him doing it with a fancy mic, cutting out all his gross, erotic moans and whatever else Zelda fans do while playing, and run it through an auto-tune Lil’ Yachty style.
Also, a huge letdown is the utter lack of music when being forced to slog through these empty spaces in between the action. Saving on the production budget, are we? Some upbeat or rock style music would really help liven up that boring walking. Just 30 hours of fuckin’ walking.. what is this, Lord of the Rings??
From trekking back and forth between lands in the huge, empty world to climbing something as insignificant as a mountain or even just opening a freaking chest. Everything has to be this long, drawn out ordeal that just says into the rest of the game, which isn’t much because it’s essentially just running around a big empty sandbox with no toys. Nintendo should have taken a queue from Rockstar when developing this as it’s clear they don’t have any idea how to craft open-worlds. The reason it takes 30+hrs to beat just the main story is because it takes 30min to back track from half the map to the other.
Combat is standard fair, nothing innovative, nothing interesting. Tilting to aim is weak sauce, but still there because Nintendo has a boner for “innovation”. “innovating” gets them so hard.
Also, get ready to cycle through weapons and shields like a flu sufferer goes through kleenex, because this games equipment is less durable than tissue. For Christ sake, every battle ends in broken everything and it makes you not even want to bother picking up good weapons. The PTSD style trauma that comes with seeing something good drop is overwhelming and the knowledge that you’ll only have it for a few short swings is a real ache you start to get in your chest. Nintendo, I get you want to play with the big kids in this whole Sandbox, adventure-survivor orgy you’re wanking it to, but you know nothing… Go back to making toys for kids, oh wait, you are and you are just placing them in your shitty games.
Wow, everyone waits for a new Zelda game like the second coming of Christ and even when it’s a shit in a box, like this, people will jerk off over it while weeping tears of joy.
Score: 2.8 out of 10