Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Nintendo Switch Weekend: Zelda BotW & Minecraft

So I spent a good chunk of my weekend playing my Nintendo Switch, and I had every intention to blog about it yesterday. But that was before I came down with this cold/flu business, and before the Stormblood hype took my attention away.

I juggled between Zelda and Minecraft most the weekend, and overall had a pretty awesome time with them both.

Minecraft

Most of what I did in Minecraft this weekend was to take the little village I discovered and start building protection around it. Seen here, it has a nice snowy mountain backdrop and everything.

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I built my own house as part of the town, and tried my hand at actually building something more than a box for once. It’s not fantastic, but functional for now.

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As I started putting a fence around the village and placing torches, I found a hill I decided I wanted to level so I could use the land as pasture or more building space.

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As I started pulling it down, I discovered there was a tiny underground cave with a pool there. I thought that was kinda neat, so I kept the water and turned it into a village swimming pool area. Here’s what it looked like after I got it cleared and fixed up.

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Me being me, I also captured a bunch of horses, including this mother and son pair. Once the son grew up, I tamed him, too!

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I’ve got most of the fencing and lighting complete, and have been testing it at night to see where danger might come from. I’ll be building more houses to hopefully expand the population soon!

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Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’d wanted to chronicle my adventurers of Zelda, but lost momentum with that back when a power surge took out my Switch’s dock and power supply. I did get this repaired, and actually was able to replace the power supply of all the gadgets I owned, except for my TV (RIP). I ended up replacing my TV with a nice monitor, so all is well.

However, with the Switch out of commission, I didn’t make my goal of defeating my second Divine Beast in Zelda in April. Over the weekend, however, I rectified that!

Warning: Spoilers!

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I went in thinking that Rudania would be as difficult or harder that Ruta. I was really surprised when I breezed through it, including the boss fight. Unlike Ruta, I only got stuck on one of the doors, and it was due to a technicality.

So I beat up the boss there and gained a new protection skill for Link!

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Following that, I cleared a handful of Shrines, and found a new fairy for gear upgrades!

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I then tackled clearing some of the towers, including one up in the north that I’d been puzzling over for a while. This unlocked a bunch of the map I didn’t have before, and I felt pretty darn accomplished. I still have a lot more to go, though.

I headed off to the south west where the land turned dry and desert. Though I’d faced Death Mountain, which required fire resistance, this area required heat resistance instead. It’s still very neat and atmospheric.

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I got my first glimpse of the next Divine Beast on my list. This looks like it’ll be a doozy with sandstorms and lightning.

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And then, I run into Gerudo Town, which doesn’t allow Link to enter because he’s a guy. Of course, the answer to this was pretty simple.

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Anyhow, I got in to talk to the chief there, and they gave me a quest to recover a stolen artifact to prove I’m really a legendary hero. And…. that’s pretty much where I left off.

Honestly, my quest log in BotW is getting quite long with unfinished quests to the point I’m getting antsy and feeling a bit behind in that area. I know it’s not important and that you can play the game at your own pace, but I don’t like a messy quest log. So I might have to clean that up before I keep moving forward.

Disgaea Disappointment

One last thing about the Switch. Disgaea 5 came out today, and though I pre-order a copy from Amazon a week ago, my copy didn’t come. It seems Amazon had oversold their pre-order stock or something, and they don’t know when they’ll be getting any more in.

Seeing that between the Prime discount and some Amazon trade-in credit I got the game for an extremely discounted price, I’m going to try and wait it out on this. I’ve got plenty enough to keep my attention with Zelda and Minecraft, especially after hearing just how deep down the rabbit hole Disgaea can take you.

If you want to know more, check this out:

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Posted in Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Waking up in a New Hyrule

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This is going to be the first of a series of play through blogs for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This world it way too open with too many experiences for me to edit myself when writing about it. So, take a blanket spoiler warning instead.

If you want to remain 100% free of knowledge about this game and all its special moments, I completely understand. I’d like to share mine, but not spoil yours. So please heed above warning!

First Impressions (Non-Spoiler)

LoZ has been a series that I’ve loved since I first played it as a child. I haven’t kept up with all the newest games, and there are a number I have not played yet, despite the fact that I do own them in various ways. So, I’m not going to be someone who plays this with the point of view of a gamer trying to find where this fits into the rest of the Zelda timeline, or scrutinizing the lore changes, etc.

I wanted to play this Zelda the moment I heard it was going to be an open world experience. Some purists look at this change and scoff that it has strayed so far from the traditional Zelda game that it can’t be considered one. I looked forward to it eagerly. There was never a question in my mind whether I’d buy and play this. At first, I was going to get it for the Wii U, but then, when I became impressed by the Switch, I jumped on that ship instead. I’ve loved every minute of it so far!

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Open World. That picture up there? You’ve seen it before, I’m sure. It’s not just promotional stuff. This is the real game engine. Everything you see there is something you can explore. Imagine a game with the whimsy, puzzles, and clever design of Zelda, meshed with an open world. Yeah, it works wonderfully. I’m always discovering something new and amazing.

It has it all. All the fun fluff elements that you’d hope for from an open world game are here in some form or another. Mounts. Pets. Housing. Cooking. Crafting(ish). Dyeing. Every time I stopped to think “wouldn’t it be nice if…” sure enough, BotW surprised me with exactly what I was hoping for.

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Interactive world. Not only is it open world, it’s a super interactive world. You can destroy things. Light things on fire. Climb trees and pick apples. Chop down that tree for wood. Climb anything, actually, that you have the stamina to approach. Catch things. Gather things. Cook things. Beat on a monster, knock its weapon out of its hand, steal the weapon and proceed to slay it with its own weapon. Heck Yeah!

Story. The story isn’t super-super deep, and it follows a number of tropes to shape it the way that it does (hero wakes up, has no memory, etc.). But it’s kinda neat to see an post-apocalyptic fantasy world in the aftermath of a kingdom’s solid defeat where technology has turned on the ones who relied on its protection. The story is subtle enough not to hold your hand, and acts as more of a framework in which the world sits.

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Ganon is out there, but he can wait! The NPCs even tell you to wait before approaching him, and to explore all the world has to offer first.

Major NPCs have strong character, and usually are parts of the main storyline. Minor NPCs also color the world and provide small quests for you to achieve. I have to say, though, some of the best moments I’ve had in game dealt with the people who just live in the world and their reactions to Link.

Link is a hazy, historical figure in this game. It’ll be interesting to see how that all works itself out.

Difficult. This game is tough. But it’s tough because it doesn’t place limits on the player. You can explore and exploit, and usually get away with anything you can think up. But expect there to be consequences… either with enemies, physics or other dangers.

The one nit-pick that I do have about the game is that weapons just don’t last long enough. I understand the idea behind weapons being a limited resource, and that you can always go and pick up another, but it’s still annoying to be in a battle and go through three different lesser-weapons while trying to clear one camp. I’m okay with weapon degregation and understand that it’s meant to be part of the game’s strategy, and I’m sure things will (hopefully) get better in the future. I’ll cry if the Master Sword breaks!

Now, on to the playthrough!

Wake Up, Link!

You can’t have a modern Zelda game if you don’t have the famous “Wake up, Link!” scene. This one doesn’t disappoint. You’ve got Link waking up from some kind of sci-fi sleep pod stasis. This instantly sets the scene for a world of fantasy that borders on one of technology, a theme that is strong in this game.

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The first few moments of BotW seem like something out of a Sci-Fi movie. Link wakes up. He’s given this tablet-like device called the Sheikah Slate, which becomes your one-stop shop for most of the tools and mechanics in the game. It’s also quite clever because this slate is much like the tablet the player is using, either with the Switch itself, or the Wii U’s tablet controller.

Once that’s sorted and you get the mysterious voice, you’re let loose in the world. The first thing I did, was experiment with everything. Tree? Climb! Apple? Pick! Wood stick? Get, equip! Mushroom? Pick! Cliff? Almost fall off only to catch the side and climb back up again.

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Wow!

I run across an old guy on my way down the hill. He gives me a few pointers and makes fun of me for picking up his cooked apple. I see a sturdy wood axe nearby, but choose not to steal from the old guy.

Instead, I’m off on my way, exploring and learning how the battle system worked. Fighting with just a branch led to losing my first weapon quickly. I remember having to retreat and look for a few more branches in the nearby woods.

Returning to the lone enemy, I took note that during our battle exchange, I knocked the club out of its hand. Sure enough, I could pick it up and finish him off with his own weapon. Now that’s ironic justice and savagely satisfying.

With the scent of battle in the air, I began clearing out enemies, discovering that rolling rocks on them and using your environment were also good options. Also, some camps give treasure chests when cleared.

Pretty quickly, I was stacking up on the loot and the stolen weapons. I had myself a bow, some arrows and lots of hand-me-down things. Life was good.

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Then, I discovered story. Or maybe it discovered me.

Somewhere out in the plains, I ran across this slightly submerged structure, which was marked on my Slate from the beginning of the game (though I’d just been ignoring it). Within the structure, there was a panel that I recognized — something Link could interact with using his Slate.

So I did it, and it changed the happy-go-lucky world Link had been living in up until now.

It woke the Towers.

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It gave Link a regional map.

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And made Link aware of the evil that infests the land.

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Alright. Time to start playing hero, I guess.

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo 3DS

Completed: LoZ: A Link Between Worlds!

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One of my May Goals was to beat the Desert Palace (where the boss had me stumped for a while) and make progress in Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. I joked that I’d love to finish the game this month, and much to my surprise, tonight, I did!

I’m stoked about this because this marks the first console/handheld game that I’ve beaten in many, many years. It’s possibly been a decade. Really, I have so many unfinished games it’s embarrassing.

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Most of the PC games I play are very open-ended, so actually playing a game all the way through has been unheard of lately. Now, I didn’t unlock every secret, get every heart, nor did I beat all those challenge treasure dungeons, but that’s okay. I saw the story from beginning to end, and that’s what counts to me.

I also got all the important upgrades, including the red mail and the fully upgraded Master Sword.

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I made sure to buy out everything that Ravio was selling, as well. He started taking it easy once there was no shop to tend.

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The story wasn’t anything earth shattering, and I guessed the nature of my enemy pretty early on. But, the attempt was there, and I enjoyed what there was.

It was more of a puzzle game than anything else, to be honest. I was proud to have figure out about 98% of the game on my own. There were only a few times that I had to go to guides or videos to get help. Usually the things I couldn’t figure out were really simple little things I overlooked. I gave it a good try, but didn’t waste too much time on stuff I couldn’t get after a while. That helped me keep moving forward towards the end.

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I took a number of screenshots (Warning: Spoilers!), which is a real pain in the behind since everything has to go through MiiVerse to do so. But I guess it’s better than nothing!

I really loved this twist in the story – it was one I didn’t see coming.

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Had to get some shots with the Triforce since it’s so rare to see it all in one piece!

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And, of course, a happy ending. 🙂

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Overall, I didn’t do too badly! Some of those end boss fights were pretty tough!

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And now I’m feeling more confident about picking up other games, hoping I can finish them like this one. I’m thinking about going back to my copy of Pokemon X, which I only played for 3 hours, and seeing where I go from there!