So here, we are then. Zelda inevitably goes open world. Could Nintendo possibly do it? Transport the tried-and-true patented Zelda formula to a massive sandbox without sacrificing any of the series\' soul? Could they aim this remarkable momentum and create One Legend to Rule Them All? As sad as I am to have to make this statement... it couldn\'t have failed to achieve this harder if it had tried. To be fair, the first few hours of the game were everything I could hope for and more; gone was the 3D games\' increasingly arduous \"prologues\" (for lack of a better word) stringing you along for literal hours with breadcrumbs of gameplay before finally letting you roam \"free\", though more often than not, still tied to linear and predetermined progression. Finding shrines and using cute physics-based psychokinetic powers were great training for the real meat of any self-respecting Zelda\'s gameplay: extensive dungeons, and the awesome multi-purpose equipment they hold! Let\'s go, man! The world\'s my oyster and I am the bloody Walrus; goo goo g\'joob, motherfucker! ...The horror... THE HORROR...! In only a scant few hours of extended game play, I came to the slow realization that—bloody hell— they really do mean for some repetitive few hundred puzzle rooms and some barely-extended versions of the same to, like, be the game, don\'t they? What\'s more, its focus on item crafting and boilerplate \"fetch X number of troll sphincters to get an item that\'ll be worthless in a few hours\" quests turn the game into nothing more than an endless grind for better equipment that will break at the most inopportune moment with little chance for recourse, because that was just so much fun in earlier games, roight? Yep, all Breath of the Wild is, is 100+ hours of gathering resources so you can upgrade your weapons to get better resources to make better weapons to get better resources to realize that you deeply question your life choices. This approach, ultimately, renders every thing the game does right, things of infinitesimal inconsequence. They don\'t as much create a new direction for Zelda by incorporating recent trends, as they do their hardest to make Breath fit that often unimaginative and rote mold by cutting off parts so they can fit a square peg into a round hole. At what cost, Nintendo? At what cost? How can a flame that burned so brightly suddenly burn so pale...? Needless to say, Breath of the Wild is the biggest disappointment of my life as a video game connoisseur this side of the millennium, and that\'s even before the damage it will cause to a continuing series can be assessed in full. I sincerely wish it had never been made at all. If future games are to model themselves on its profound, singular mediocrity, then we two are no more. All legends must have an end.
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