Open your eyes: 2017 is the year to return to Hyrule
December 17, 2016 10:48 AM   Subscribe

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a forthcoming sandbox game for the Nintendo WiiU (maybe not) and (forthcoming) Switch consoles. Originally revealed in 2014, this 19th Zelda game is much anticipated; the more recent trailer (recommended) adds detail, a few more demos here, and a glimpse of playability, with much more analysis previously. Zelda games often review-score highly; previous. (Oh, and Happy Snowboarding Holiday)
posted by Wordshore (20 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You're 9 days early for Zelda Day. Just sayin'.

And if you're interested in trying the Nintendo Switch before it's vague Spring 2017 release date, here are "demo days" in the US, starting in January.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:15 AM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

You're 9 days early for Zelda Day. Just sayin'.

Other Zelda posts may emerge on that day :-) Part of the reason for doing this one right now is to maybe give people thinking of buying a WiiU for Christmas in anticipation of a forthcoming Zelda game pause to think.
posted by Wordshore at 11:21 AM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

We'd preordered Breath of the Wild for my son's WiiU. A while back we got a notice that it was pushed back like 6 months, so we got our money back.
posted by signal at 12:34 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

I am pretty interested in Breath Of The Wild (not so much now if no WiiU), but the title has me fearful that in typical Nintendo style I'm going to spend a lot of time blowing into the controller microphone.
posted by sourwookie at 12:36 PM on December 17, 2016 [5 favorites]

I have been trying to sort out if a Wii U is going to be as useless as the regular Wii I bought a couple years back is now - kind of sounds like it. I practically only buy Nintendo consoles for Zelda titles and a couple Mario ones. Beyond them I am barely interested. So now I'm just gonna...wait it out?
posted by SassHat at 12:46 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

Little bit of Zelda, little bit of Tomb Raider, little bit of Skyrim, even a little bit of Ico. Looks pretty, especially the more puzzley or creative-solution elements that sandboxes are good for.

If they're killing the WiiU version, it may be because the Switch lacks the kind of breakout launch title that might turn it into a must-have console. Which is to say, a WiiU version could still come later. One of the articles suggests this.
posted by rokusan at 1:31 PM on December 17, 2016

I bought a Wii U two Christmases ago just because Breath of the Wild was announced for it. I am going to be so annoyed with Nintendo if it doesn't happen. Where can I get a refund?
posted by drnick at 1:42 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

There was something a few months ago about (vague) people trying out the forthcoming Zelda on the WiiU and finding the frame rate struggling in places. It could be that they've decided it's not worth trying to compromise for the lesser specification kit and are going all-in on the new console. I just hope that, if that's the case, Nintendo aren't delaying the announcement of a cancellation in order to shift remaining WiiU hardware in the run-up to Christmas as that would not be cool.
posted by Wordshore at 1:47 PM on December 17, 2016

I'm another who was dumb enough to buy a Wii U in advance of the next Zelda game. Gutted.
posted by gnuhavenpier at 4:05 PM on December 17, 2016

If you got a Wii U in anticipation of this game, might I suggest looking into Splatoon, Hyrule Warriors, or Super Mario Maker? (esp SMM, which a number of MeFi members have made courses for....)
posted by JHarris at 4:13 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I've never much cared about Zelda games and have very little nostalgia about the franchise. But console controversy be damned, I'm so psyched about this one. Everything I've seen about it shouts "the open world Ghibli style game you've always wanted!" and if I can't play that until 2020 I'll still be excited. I've waited this long.
posted by Mizu at 4:29 PM on December 17, 2016

I picked up an Ocarina of Time playthrough again today. I'm weirdly cool on Zelda in general - I absolutely slogged through Twilight Princess, I'm generally only interested in OoT until you get the Master Sword, and have little nostalgia for earlier games, fave is probably Wind Waker - but I'm pretty intersted in Breath of the Wild. My 3DS sits abandoned and forgotten, and even the Wii U barely gets playtime these days. Even with all that, I might swing a Switch for this.

Think my favorite thing about Zelda is the music. I have zero interest in the orchestral concerts, but I have a couple of books of sheet music and just found my ocarina again today.
posted by curious nu at 4:40 PM on December 17, 2016

Part of the reason for doing this one right now is to maybe give people thinking of buying a WiiU for Christmas in anticipation of a forthcoming Zelda game pause to think.

You got trolled. There's nothing at all suggesting that the Wii U version is going to be cancelled.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 4:45 PM on December 17, 2016 [4 favorites]

I am sure someone else has already posted it, but re: the "open world Ghibli game" vibe, this mockup trailer of Ocarina of Time as a Ghibli film by Matt Vince is achingly beautiful and lovely.
posted by byanyothername at 5:34 PM on December 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

I recently bought Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS) on the Wii U virtual console because for reasons I couldn't remember I'd skipped it on release. It turns out the whole damn game is based around the touch screen, the WHOLE DAMN GAME. Movement? Tap the edge of the screen. Swing your sword? Tap the screen. Use an item? Tap the menu, choose the item, tap the item icon in the top corner, then tap the thing you want to bomb/shoot with arrows/boomerang. Sword spin? draw a circle. Roll? Draw a different circle, no not like that, no not like that either, nonono- just don't roll.
It's all especially grating after playing Oceanhorn, a cellphone-targeted 'totally-not-zelda' that uses touch screen controls to deliver a really fun zelda experience. That's not to say Phantom Hourglass is entirely bad- the zelda formula is so solid that I'm still hooked.

So here we have a Zelda game where the gimmick, instead of being a functional musical instrument (great) or time travel (okay) or shitty motion controls (bad) or shitty touch controls (nooooooo) is "the developers played skyrim." I'm pretty happy with my wii u- smash bros, mario maker, mariokart, bayonetta, runbow, rayman legends, hyrule warriors, mario 3D world, pikmin 3, affordable space adventures, etc- but I would cook and eat my wii u heavy metals and all and buy a new console for a thousand dollars to play a zelda game with a gimmick that solid. The switch is probably going to be closer to four hundred, so fuck yeah.
posted by fomhar at 8:43 PM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

Glad to hear I got trolled!
posted by gnuhavenpier at 1:36 AM on December 18, 2016

I'm excited about a new Zelda game, never played any of the versions for handhelds but I bought the N64, GameCube, and Wii specifically for the Zeldas.

Did NOT get a Wii U and now I am reminded that I haven't yet played Skyward Sword. So hooray, I have that to look forward to now... and also, introducing my son to Zelda, now that he's old enough to handle the controllers...
posted by caution live frogs at 9:01 AM on December 18, 2016

So here we have a Zelda game where the gimmick, instead of being a functional musical instrument (great) or time travel (okay) or shitty motion controls (bad) or shitty touch controls (nooooooo) is "the developers played skyrim."

Skyrim would never have happened without Zelda. In a real sense, this is the series getting back to its roots: a huge open space to explore, non-linearly. And besides, all those fakey fantasy tropes from open world CRPGs kind of get old after a while, my doctor says I have to limit my intake of spurious apostrophes.
posted by JHarris at 11:07 AM on December 18, 2016

Enhhh. As I read this post I am wearing the thin and holey special edition tee shirt I got for pre-ordering a gold OoT cartridge for the 64. I've bought most Nintendo consoles just to play the Zelda games, not even bothering to buy other games. I think the series has had its ups and downs; I found Twilight Princess to be enjoyable but strange, loved Majora's Mask but could understand why others hated it, and was disappointed when they reworked the water dungeon in OoT for subsequent releases. I'm also a huge fan of sandbox games, spending most of my time playing Minecraft and Terraria. But I'm not certain I want a Zelda sandbox or for Bethesda games to have any influence on what has always been a platform-y action game with RPG elements and some puzzle solving. I'm a weird gamer, though. I pretty much hate Bethesda games, finding their RPG system easily exploitable, most of the questlines without narrative merit, and their aesthetics to be just more CGTextures realism spam without much thought given to color, composition, and light. As an action-oriented RPG that requires a fair amount of hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity, I find Dark Souls to be a more natural successor to Zelda games than anything Bethesda has produced.
posted by xyzzy at 1:09 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think the whole Bethesda/Skyrim thing is more of a Western games media thing. Exploration is one of the hallmarks of Zelda, so emphasising that doesn't mean Nintendo will forget to make the gameplay loops fun, add random flying dragons or litter the game with random lore. And yeah, I also think there are more similarities with Dark Souls in some respects.

To me the greatest challenge will be meshing the traditionally important role of items with crafting, durability, and these weapons pilfered from enemies. I imagine there will be a Master Sword at some point, likely unbreakable, and maybe the game will feed you stronger weapons that break like the big sword in Ocarina before you completed that quest.

Regarding Phantom Hourglass, the rolling is atrocious ( thankfully used once) and the last dungeon can get tiring... but it had one of the better final bosses. If you stick with it, Spirit Train was better designed (though trains and Link seemed kinda funny)
posted by ersatz at 11:39 PM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

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