By Bunni Smith
Despite being a diehard Nintendo fan, as well as the owner of every console Nintendo has ever made since 2006, I’ve never really sat down and played Legend of Zelda (“hypocrite!” I hear some of you yelling). Not for any particular reason, other than lack of funds and lack of interest - the fantasy genre as a whole has always seemed terribly predictable to me. So, when my good friend offered to lend me Breath of the Wild, I was a little hesitant to accept his offer. With a little insistence, (and his generousness in letting me make him sit through an hour of dying my way through Metal Gear Solid) I decided to give the game a whirl, and I’m glad I did, as I’ve done nothing but play that god forsaken game for a week.
Now, Breath of the Wild is not a new game by any means. This isn’t going to be a hot, fresh off the press review, but rather a recommendation for those looking to invest their time in a worthwhile experience.
It has the typical Zelda setup - blah blah Link, blah blah kill Ganon. I couldn’t care less about the lore, no offense. What hooked me first was something relatively simple: horse riding. You have no idea how much I flipped out when I figured out you could catch and ride wild horses in this game, and that’s where the love began. This is an open world game and having my trusty steed, Big Boss, around to help me traverse it made me appreciate the landscapes that much more. The lighting and shadows are beautiful, and you have the same unshakable urge to take photos that an Instagram model has on a summer vacation.
I said I didn’t care about the lore, but the characters grew on me - I was always happy to see Beedle when I stopped by a stable, and he was always happy to see me. The gentle asiatic feel of Kakariko Village and its inhabitants gave me happy flashbacks to Okami. The Gerudo are a special favorite of mine, and anyone who knows me could probably guess why; I’m a sucker for tough ladies and desert vibes. Even Zelda’s character in this rendition stuck out to me, though I confess to not having quite finished the story yet, so all I have to go on for her are memories from the album. Did I mention there are bird people? There are bird people.
Sidequests abound as well if you’re just looking for something fun to do; try searching around Kakariko for a villager’s runaway chickens, or catching crickets for a lovestruck young man to give his sweetheart. If you're looking for some even more mindless fun, go hunting moose in the Hebra mountains with a horse; they’ll keel right over if you gallop into them at top speed, and they drop high quality meat you can sell - cha-ching! Go out to the nearest village and spend your earnings on stupid clothes you know you probably don’t need.
As an open world game, it’s got its fair share of secrets to. You can find hot springs in the middle of the arctic tundra, and if you have a couple extra rupees and an hour to kill searching, you can try to find a Great Fairy to enhance your clothes or just to hear that famous Zelda tune again.
I honestly can’t nitpick about this game - though if I had to find one thing to gripe about, I’d choose the common complaint: you can’t pet the dogs. That being said, this is still one of the only games I would unabashedly rate with a 10/10. It has something for everyone, even if you don’t care about Zelda games at all. Seriously, go play it.