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What’s in Your Box: Straight to the Heart

/ Mar 18th, 2017 No Comments

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Each week, we here at Gaming Illustrated are always playing a number of different video games. However, we may not be talking about them in reviews or editorials. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth talking about, but for any number of reasons an avenue to speak on them doesn’t come up. To remedy the issue, we’re going to ask our staff (and you, honestly) what’s in your box?

What’s in Greg’s Box

It’s been a long week: I killed some assassins, learned to roast meat and – oh yeah, saved all of Hyrule from unspeakable evil.

My Nintendo Switch says I’ve put over 100 hours into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but it feels like a lifetime.

While I have completed the main game, there is still so much to do post-game that I may never complete it all.

What makes Breath of the Wild so great? Freedom, specifically the freedom to do nearly anything I want. The bosses can be done in any order, the land explored as players see fit and enemies toppled in a myriad of ways.
 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Time to get sweaty with these bros.


I cannot stress enough how amazing this game is, and while there are cracks in the armor, it’s still a crit 20 in nearly every regard.

When not all cracked out on that Zelda fix, I’ve been enjoying Snipperclips: Cut It Out, Together! quite a lot. A Nintendo Switch exclusive, that is available digitally for $19.99. It offers a variety of puzzles with multiple methods of solving.

The puzzles are all self-contained mini-levels that are selected from a greater menu screen, and provides the perfect pallet cleanser following Breath of the Wild or gearing up before playing it.
 

Snipperclips

Snipperclips is more fun with others.


Gameplay consists of each player being able to chop off parts of the other, all to reform into shapes that can complete the task at hand.

I’ve replayed many of the puzzles multiple times, not only to ease my friends into Snipperclips but also to try new methods of completing each puzzle.

There are no timers or high-scores, it’s simply about finding a way to solve each puzzle with a friend. Snipperclips does feature a singleplayer mode, wherein the player switches between the two characters, but it feels hollow after having played with others.

On top of that there is a four player mode, in which teams can compete to solve puzzles faster, or battle it out in a free-for-all where players attempt to chop each other to bits.

What’s in Kalvin’s Box

Much like my good friend and colleague, Greg I have been deeply immersed and obsessed with the Nintendo Switch, or more accurately the Zelda machine.

Unlike Greg, I still haven’t finished up the game and saved Hyrule yet. I’m getting there, but my desire to clear the shrines is preventing me from killing that last Divine Beast.

I’ll keep it shorter this week since if given my way; I’d talk forever about Breath of the Wild. I’ve spoken about the smart change to the structure, the freedom of gameplay, and its general addictiveness. It is all those things and more.

If you haven’t checked out the 30 minute behind-the-scenes features Nintendo put out recently. It goes into the beginnings of development, designing the open-air concept, and planning the story beats and characters.

Story and characters is what I wanted to talk about a little bit. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything major, but obviously some spoilers may pop up.

It may be too early to call it, but Breath of the Wild may be the strongest story The Legend of Zelda series has ever had. What is not up for debate is this is the strongest characterization has ever been in the series.

What the mini-documentaries go into extremely well is how the team approached the various facets of the series. Special attention was made to designing and re-introducing Link, Zelda, and Ganon.
 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Zelda is an incredibly complex character this time around with many facets to her personality.


It shows in the way each character comes across throughout the game at first glance, but becomes more obvious and impressive as you dig deeper into the game’s story. Zelda is an incredibly complicated character and this is her most nuanced and deep portrayal.

It is refreshing to see her as more than a damsel in distress or a holy figure, but a more human and complex character with wants and frustrations that not only apply to fighting Ganon.

Fighting Calamity Ganon is a catalyst to highlight all these interesting personality strengths and weaknesses like feeling jealous of Link’s destiny, her own perceived inadequacies, her love of rare fauna, and her willingness for personal sacrifice. Discovering Zelda as you discover the game’s story is an absolutely delight.

The story itself is also unique, much of it owed to the non-linear open-air (world) concept of the game. Link wakes up after a 100 year slumber without any knowledge of his past. It is up to you to visit areas around Hyrule to spark his lost memories. These memories tell key moments in the story from 100 years ago.

Since you can view them in any order depending on how you explore the game, each memory is given a special poignancy. Whether it is telling an important event or a compelling character aside, you get this sense of what was at stake, what Zelda is risking her life to recover, and why Link needs to defeat Calamity Ganon.
 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

We do too…


The presentation of the story from delivery, art direction, and tone is also refreshing. Even though Calamity Ganon won ushering in this monster run Hyrule, there is still hope. It isn’t a grim dystopia. Life still flourishes in spite of darkness, however, meager it may be.

Speaking of story I have a special shout out to one of the best story moments in any Zelda game: the Divine Beast Vah Ruta. Not only is it one of the best dungeons and boss fights, but it has the most touching and bittersweet story moments in the game. It is so good, I nearly cried.

The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – The Beginning

The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Open-Air Concept

The Making of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Story and Characters

 

Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. While he is Orange County born, he now resides in Portland, OR. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

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