Playing It Wrong

I’ve been playing Breath of the Wild since I got my switch and I am definitely not a speed runner. Most people I know who picked the game up at launch have already defeated Ganon, and I am far from that. In fact I have not even made it to the first “Dungeon” (trying to avoid spoilers).

In a game as wide open as Breath of the Wild I always feel like I am “playing it wrong”. I have the adventure log full of information about the main story quest, and all the side quests. Thing is I find that I don’t tend to follow those quest lines. As is I have put in at least 40 hours in the game and I feel like I spent most of it wandering.

The game has a map unlock aspect, similar to synchronization in Assassins creed, and I have found myself trying to unlock the map of each region rather than playing story. The other map aspect involves shrines, which unlock fast travel points. The thing is, shrines are also puzzles and challenges which unlock spirit shards to let you upgrade your heart or stamina containers. What that means for me is that every time I see a shrine and go for the fast travel unlock, I get tempted to solve the puzzle and end up going in rather than moving on to the story or side quest I had been headed too.

Basically I feel like I play the game like a dog from Up. I will be running along until SQUIRREL…and then get completely distracted. The game is great for that, and doesn’t punish you fro exploring by any means which I absolutely love. The only problem is that by wandering you can just wander up to a boss and suddenly get squished by a giant if you aren’t careful.

I’ve definitely wandered into fights well past my ability more than once, and it tends to showcase how poor I am at the actual combat. The moments of feeling very under powered are the closest feeling to punishment that I have found in the game, but it is when I really feel like I am playing things wrong. It tends to make me feel like I ought to be in combat more, and better at the combat mechanics. The good and bad thing about the lack of directions given by the game is that I can’t tell if it is that I am doing something wrong or if it is intended that way. I could go look online, or get one of the gorgeous prima guides, but I have hoped to get through this one without the guidance. It feels like the kind of game that is best enjoyed as you discover it.

I have started to come to terms with the fact that Zelda may well be like Skyrim was for me, where I enjoy the time I put into it but I never end up finishing it. I would like that to be different, and since the switch is so portable I think it has a better chance to actually be finished. It will just depend on if I get distracted as more titles release for the switch.

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