Jump to content

IPBoard Styles©Fisana

Photo

Finished ALBW! Misc non-spoiler thoughts


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 lord-of-shadow

lord-of-shadow

    Max Nichols

  • ZL Staff
  • 1,979 posts
  • Location:Boston.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 08 December 2013 - 09:34 PM

First of all: Definitely my favorite Zelda game since The Wind Waker, and probably my favorite game of this year.
 
Miscellaneous thoughts (spoiler-free, other than some gameplay info):
- I am a little bit disappointed that the game felt the need to lean on a Link to the Past so overtly. Learning from LttP (arguably the best in the series) was clearly important; wholesale copying the layout of it's overworld probably wasn't necessary. I hope that they take what they have learned and apply it to a more original Zelda game. 
 
- Non-linear dungeon order: fantastic. It does have a major downside: every dungeon is designed with the assumption that you only have that dungeon's item, so each dungeon lacked puzzle variety a bit. It didn't turn out to be a big problem though: there were enough stumpers and challenges even when you knew what tool you needed to use. It meant there was 100% emphasis on figuring out how to use the tool properly in that situation, and 0% on figuring out which tool to use. 
 
- The new loot acquisition setup is... an interesting and successful experiment that I'm not quite satisfied with. At first I thought that renting/buying equipment from Ravio was to support the non-linear dungeon order, but sinve every dungeon was designed for just one item, that... wasn't actually necessary. The real reason they did this was to give value to rupees, which meant they could have meaningful rewards of varying degrees spread across a greater number of places. And it certainly succeeded at that goal. I think I still prefer the more classic approach: I'd rather find items a few times than find money a bunch of times. It makes for a more punctuated high moment, and it makes the world feel more rich. Items in ruins tell a story, at least of a sort: rupees do not. 
 
- I love the ability to place markers on the map. It's something that every Zelda player has always wanted, and Nintendo implemented it in an ok way in Phantom Hourglass, but this was the best implementation so far. Still some room to improve, I think. 
 
- World design: fantastic. I mean, it's stolen wholesale from LttP, so of course it is, but it's worth repeating. LttP and ALBW's overworlds achieve an almost perfect balance between giving the player fairly strong direction while maintaining a sense of exploration.
 
- Difficulty was pretty good. I could have gone for a LITTLE bit more challenge, but I was at least challenged enough to value things like potions, so that's good. 
 
- Music was fantastic. I was afraid for awhile that only the LttP remixes would be good (and they're really good!), but there's also some great original stuff in here. Very happy about that. 
 
- I really liked the implementation of the Maiamai quest, and damn were the rewards meaningful, more so than any similar quest I've ever seen.
 
- The gimmick: was fantastic! I expected it to be kind of annoying and obtrusive, something that I'd have to deal with to access the gameplay I really wanted. I couldn't have been more wrong! It was seamlessly integrated with the moment-to-moment gameplay, it was original, it was clever, it created puzzles that haven't been seen in Zelda games before, and it was a constant source of interest even for a jaded old Zelda fan like me.


#2 Masamune

Masamune

    not here but you never know

  • Members
  • 4,347 posts
  • Location::noitacoL
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:07 AM

My biggest complaint is that I didn't run into Maiamai until nearly the last dungeon. So now if I want to enjoy all those swanky upgrades, I need to do it in a new game (which wouldn't be an awful thing to do!) or post-game while I try to collect everything. 

 

But that's mostly my fault. Oops.



#3 Twinrova

Twinrova

    The Fallen

  • Members
  • 14,738 posts
  • Location:Rova Scotia
  • Gender:Female
  • Romania

Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:15 AM

Wat. Did you not play with the volume on? Those things were everywhere. xD

#4 deep

deep

    .

  • Members
  • 4,292 posts
  • Location:Fishers, IN
  • Gender:Male
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Posted 09 December 2013 - 10:53 AM

My biggest complaint is that I didn't run into Maiamai until nearly the last dungeon. So now if I want to enjoy all those swanky upgrades, I need to do it in a new game (which wouldn't be an awful thing to do!) or post-game while I try to collect everything. 

 

But that's mostly my fault. Oops.

 

haha! That sucks. The minute I was introduced that quest I went on maimai hunts. I had an upgraded Flame Rod before I got to the dark world, and it was crazy overpowered.



#5 Veteran

Veteran

    Time for adventure!

  • Admin
  • 10,891 posts
  • Location:Yorkshire, UK
  • Gender:Male
  • Falkland Islands

Posted 09 December 2013 - 12:39 PM

Wat. Did you not play with the volume on? Those things were everywhere. xD

They're only visible if you visit the Mother, otherwise you'd never know they were in the game.


Anyway, I love this game with all my heart. ^_^

#6 SteveT

SteveT

    100% a Dick

  • Members
  • 5,060 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 December 2013 - 05:34 PM

I know what I (home I)'m doing when I get home on Christmas.  Or during Christmas dinner.  

 

As someone who had absolute contempt for Skyward Sword, will this game heal my soul?  Because I've read nothing discouraging so far.



#7 Veteran

Veteran

    Time for adventure!

  • Admin
  • 10,891 posts
  • Location:Yorkshire, UK
  • Gender:Male
  • Falkland Islands

Posted 09 December 2013 - 07:24 PM

I hated Skyward Sword as well, this game rocks my world.

#8 SteveT

SteveT

    100% a Dick

  • Members
  • 5,060 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:41 PM

Outstanding.  I hope it sells well and Nintendo gets the message.  Based on recent Aunoma quotes, he seems to understand now.



#9 Fin

Fin

    Alpha Trion

  • Members
  • 5,320 posts
  • Gender:cutie
  • Ireland

Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:04 AM

I haven't played a Zelda game since Twilight Princess (cursed be its name), but I'm seriously considering picking up a 3DS to check this one out. First time I've been excited by a Zelda game in quite some time. :3:

#10 lord-of-shadow

lord-of-shadow

    Max Nichols

  • ZL Staff
  • 1,979 posts
  • Location:Boston.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:08 AM

Masa: Wow, that sucks. I remember wondering a few times during play if the game had anything to help make sure you noticed Mother Maiamai, for people who missed her. I guess it doesn't. That's a flaw, although one that only a few people will run into. It'd be like locking the GOld SKulltulas until you did a minor sidequest - that you might accidentally miss! Except unlike the Gold Skulltulas, collecting these is actually important. 

SteveT: I, too, disliked Skyward Sword. ALBW isn't perfect, but it was the opposite of SS in almost every way. It emphasized non-linearity and exploration (rather than, you know, doing away with those things entirely!), it actually had a world to explore, it didn't have excessive hand-holding.

It's a successful return to a form that the Zelda series has been gradually losing.



#11 Masamune

Masamune

    not here but you never know

  • Members
  • 4,347 posts
  • Location::noitacoL
  • Gender:Male

Posted 10 December 2013 - 01:41 PM

Yes I think the game would have benefited from having the Maiamais the entire game until you figured out what to do with them. Having them inaccessible created a lot of odd moments where I'd get to a place where I'm EXPECTING some kind of reward, but there's nothing there (because it wasn't unlocked yet). It was mildly frustrating to realize this so late in the game.

If was my own fault mostly. I SAW the cave that led to her, but I didn't have bombs at the time, so I figured I would leave it 'til later, since I'm sure it would either be a small treasure or I'd be forced to come back to fight the monster inside. 

 

Also I never figured out what to do with all the monster parts. 

 

Minor flaws, yes. But that's what I encountered playing the game straight through with no outside aid. 


Edited by Masamune, 10 December 2013 - 01:43 PM.


#12 Veteran

Veteran

    Time for adventure!

  • Admin
  • 10,891 posts
  • Location:Yorkshire, UK
  • Gender:Male
  • Falkland Islands

Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:18 PM

I'm reminded of one of your comments from ages past, l-o-z, in that one of your favourite things in A Link to the Past was the Ice Rod just being an exploration reward.

 

If I had to think of something to add to ALBW it'd be putting the Boomerang in a similar position. You don't need the Boomerang at all in any of the dungeons so I found myself not renting or buying it during my second playthrough.



#13 Twinrova

Twinrova

    The Fallen

  • Members
  • 14,738 posts
  • Location:Rova Scotia
  • Gender:Female
  • Romania

Posted 10 December 2013 - 06:06 PM

Also I never figured out what to do with all the monster parts. 

 

Idk if you're actually asking what they do or if you're just saying you didn't find out til after you'd finished, but the parts are used to make potions you buy from the witch.



#14 Sir Deimos

Sir Deimos

    Harbinger of the Fall.

  • Members
  • 10,344 posts
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Gender:Male
  • Swaziland

Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:03 AM

Oh... I have max monster bits because fairies forever.

#15 deep

deep

    .

  • Members
  • 4,292 posts
  • Location:Fishers, IN
  • Gender:Male
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:13 AM

yeah, I just used fairies. I never made one potion. I don't see them being useful aside from the only one that restores more hearts than a fairy, except fairies are pretty much infinitely replenishable. I might make a few when I do the enemy gauntlet a second time for the super net.



#16 lord-of-shadow

lord-of-shadow

    Max Nichols

  • ZL Staff
  • 1,979 posts
  • Location:Boston.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:21 PM

The potions become important when you're playing hero mode and dealing with particularly difficult sections (high level street pass enemies, some of the bosses, the Treacherous Tower, etc.).

Vet: Yep! I'm glad you remembered that. It's always been my go-to example of exploration done right in a game. LA did it with the boomerang, too, and that would have been a great choice of item to do it with here.



#17 FŽanen

FŽanen

    Timeless

  • Members
  • 1,410 posts
  • Location:Cat Land, NY
  • Gender:Male
  • United States

Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:23 AM


- Non-linear dungeon order: fantastic. It does have a major downside: every dungeon is designed with the assumption that you only have that dungeon's item, so each dungeon lacked puzzle variety a bit. It didn't turn out to be a big problem though: there were enough stumpers and challenges even when you knew what tool you needed to use. It meant there was 100% emphasis on figuring out how to use the tool properly in that situation, and 0% on figuring out which tool to use.

 

Yeah, that's the downside to total non-linearity. I'm wondering if good compromise might not be having a choice of three dungeons, then another three when you beat all of them and so on. It's a bit more linear, but it allows the developers to to assume you have certain items by a certain point.



#18 Masamune

Masamune

    not here but you never know

  • Members
  • 4,347 posts
  • Location::noitacoL
  • Gender:Male

Posted 15 December 2013 - 12:07 PM

Either that, or just good opportunities for character development in between them. Or dungeons that have a larger plot centered around them than just 'get in, get the sage, you're done'. 

 

In Prince of Persia 2008, they went completely nonlinear. I won't say it worked incredibly well, but it made up for it by having dialogue that only happened in certain places that touched on the two protagonist's backstory, as well as individual main bosses for each area that had their own story as well. It wasn't fantastic, but it was a decent set up that could have easily been improved upon. 

 

One of my favorite dungeons in both AlttP and ALBW is the Thief's Hideout one, because there are glimmers of a story there. But this even more so with the original, because Blind actually deceives you into wandering around the castle to try to distract you from finding the real maiden. This was always a stroke of brilliance to me, because it gave this one boss out of the whole game a personality, a motive, and some semblance of investment in the game itself. I find myself wishing that more dungeon bosses were like Blind or even like Volvagia. The story telling would benefit from having bosses that have some story significance, with dungeons that have reasons to exist other than 'well we have to put the sage SOMEWHERE'.

 

3D Console Zelda games tend to do this fairly well with giving the dungeons identities and a general sort of purpose and motif, but rarely do so with the end dungeon bosses, who just tend to be there because... well, something has to be there, right? 



#19 lord-of-shadow

lord-of-shadow

    Max Nichols

  • ZL Staff
  • 1,979 posts
  • Location:Boston.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 15 December 2013 - 12:20 PM

I always thought Link's Awakening did a good job with that - but it's true that most of the bosses in most of the games just exist to give you a big sack of hitpoints to whittle down. 

One of the other big downsides for the non-linear dungeons is that the difficulty curve gets thrown off. In a linear game, it's much easier to ramp difficulty up and down over time to create the right pacing. When you've got this non-linear setup, there's a chance that players will do hard dungeons before easy ones, etc. 

 

I didn't really notice problems arising because of that, but it's definitely possible that I just got lucky and did them in a good order. 



#20 Masamune

Masamune

    not here but you never know

  • Members
  • 4,347 posts
  • Location::noitacoL
  • Gender:Male

Posted 15 December 2013 - 07:44 PM

I went all over the place and only noticed this slightly.  Some dungeons felt easier than others, some I beat by the skin of my teeth. Which ultimately I didn't mind. I like a good challenge.

 

It would have been easy to do multi-colored enemies of increasing difficulty, like in earlier Zeldas, and distribute them based on how many temples you've beaten. But I'm sort of glad they didn't do that. Artificial difficulty can be annoying and is counter productive to making yourself feel powerful.


Edited by Masamune, 15 December 2013 - 07:49 PM.


#21 lord-of-shadow

lord-of-shadow

    Max Nichols

  • ZL Staff
  • 1,979 posts
  • Location:Boston.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 17 December 2013 - 05:12 PM

They did that a little bit - Lynels, castle soldiers, and a few other enemies got re-colored super versions of themselves as the game progressed. But they were location based, not progression-based, so it wasn't quite the same dynamic you're referring to. I'd agree; resorting to that would have been very transparent and felt like it undermined the experience a bit. 



#22 TheAvengerLever

TheAvengerLever

    The Crispin Glover of LA

  • Members
  • 4,105 posts
  • Location:On Youtube.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 12 January 2014 - 01:30 PM

Apologies. I am typing this from my phone, so my thoughts are kimd of stunted. I think this game hit on something that the recent 3d games have always lacked. The dungeons that you go through in this game reward you by giving you an item that made you stronger. These kinds of items were the ones that were so rewarding in the first couple of games, because they made you a stronger warrior. In recent games items don't reward you by making you stronger, they just help you get past a puzzle obstacle. That's why I appreciate that this game gives you the puzzle obstacle items right from the start, leaving you to find the cooler items both through exploration and dungeon crawling. Gives this game a very rewarding feeling. Egoraptor was right in his spiel about Mega Man X, and that analysis can also apply to the Zelda games too.

#23 MikePetersSucks

MikePetersSucks

    Actual Japanese Person

  • ZL Staff
  • 4,174 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 January 2014 - 09:20 AM

- The new loot acquisition setup is... an interesting and successful experiment that I'm not quite satisfied with. At first I thought that renting/buying equipment from Ravio was to support the non-linear dungeon order, but sinve every dungeon was designed for just one item, that... wasn't actually necessary. The real reason they did this was to give value to rupees, which meant they could have meaningful rewards of varying degrees spread across a greater number of places. And it certainly succeeded at that goal. I think I still prefer the more classic approach: I'd rather find items a few times than find money a bunch of times. It makes for a more punctuated high moment, and it makes the world feel more rich. Items in ruins tell a story, at least of a sort: rupees do not.

 

 

Indeed, the Ravio-rental thing was pretty great....except I never died in the game,and thus the item just never felt rented for me. I was just waiting around to earn the right to upgrade my items, basically. :P

 

And renting items is ridiculously cheap as it is. They could've suffered to be more expensive, because you can pretty much rent everything after the first dungeon.

 

 

Also HOLY HELL the wall mechanic was awesome. Best Zelda gimmick ever, hands down.






Copyright © 2017 Your Company Name