Another week passes, but it was an important week for gamer’s as a new console launched, and a legendary series returned in potentially it’s greatest iteration yet. This week’s GR has been a little bit taken over by Zelda, but there is more than just Zelda this week, just keep scrolling, just keep scrolling. Here’s what we’ve been up to and what’s been going on in the world of Geek.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
It’s not a dream, It really happened. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launched alongside the Nintendo Switch and on WiiU. I picked up a copy on Wii U. 2 reasons for this. One, I can’t afford a Switch right now, but do expect i’ll own one later in 2017. Two, I’m not making the mistake I made when Twilight Princess launched on Gamecube and Wii. I opted to get the Wii version on launch, only for the Gamecube version to go on and become extremely difficult to get a copy of due to limited prints. So I grabbed the Wii U version on launch day during my lunch break.
Where do I begin? Friday afternoon in work took an eternity to pass, with my copy of Zelda sat proudly on my desk. I Keep glancing over at the box, willing time away, wanting returning to Hyrule. My wife was going on holiday on Saturday, so I’ve got 7 days to enjoy this without feeling bad neglecting my wife, I do have a few social outings to partake on during the week which will also go against my Zelda run, but still, it’s a good amount of time to play it.
Friday I wouldn’t have much time, in fact I only played it for an hour and 44 minutes. But what an incredible hour and 44 minutes.
You wake up confused after a long slumber, you make your way out of The Shrine of Resurrection wearing some tatty old clothes you find, then the first thing you see is the above image. Unfortunately you cannot capture the complete skyline, but the world was absolutely breath taking, you know those moments in games that stick with you forever, be it a game reveal or event taking place in the game, this is one of those moments that i’ll be talking about in future features about memorable gaming moments. So my initial first hour was just getting to grips with whats in the world and making slow progress through what is effectively a tutorial mission. It teaches you the basics of movement, shrines, towers, cooking and the environment.
I was blown away the first time I chopped a tree down. Seriously, so simple, but was an amazing moment. Picking up so many resources as I wasn’t aware of what will be needed or not. CLIMBING Trees! So as you can see my first hour and more was pretty much messing around with the environment and getting the know how of the game and controls. My first attempt using a bow an arrow resulted in me finding out you need to aim using the motion controller of the Wii U pad, this annoyed me so I checked the settings and thankfully could see that you can turn this off and rely on just analogue sticks for aiming.
Day 2 of Zelda, after taking my wife to the airport and giving the kitchen a thorough clean (keeping in the good books) I went to Zelda again and this was my longest sitting of the weekend. Still not a massive one though, only 5 hours. During this session I progressed from the Great Plateau which is essentially the tutorial stages and made my way to Kakariko Village past the past the dueling peaks. On route I made sure to complete shrines that I found and climb the tower to unlock the full map of the area I was in. It was on route to Kakariko that you learn how to tame wild horses. And naturally I did just that. I found 3 horses grazing together just past the stables by the dueling peaks entrance and approached sneakily towards them. I approached a majestic blue and white spotted beauty. After the initial panic of trying to rear my first horse ( I remember similar panicky moments from Red Dead Redemption) I made the connection and have my first horse, Blue.
I noticed some unusual blocks on a wall on route to Kakariko, and one of the blocks seemed to be out of place and looked like it could be moved, so naturally I had to explore this and put the block back in it’s place. Amazingly after doing this I was greeted by a happy little Korok who I remember so fondly from Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, turns out that there are a fair few of these weird little puzzles scattered around Hyrule and you are rewarded with Korok seeds which can be used to increase you inventory. I love this game so much for the little things like this.
And onto the final day of my latest binge, Sunday evening after watching a few films (I know why did I watch films and not play completely all day). I got 3 hours in before calling it a night and going to bed.
Now I’m tasked with finding the 4 Divine Beasts to aid me in defeating Calamity Ganon. You’re sent to each end of the world to find the experts on said Beast. First one I’ve headed for required me to go to Zora’s domain. However I only came to this conclusion as when trying to head south I found an ocean and dead end so figure I’ll need to go that way later on. I did stumble across something rather terrifying that did result in this stunning picture.
So anyway after going to Zora, I came across King Dorephan’s son, Prince Sidon and the next part of my adventure is now about to begin.
Generally I’ve not experienced any massive issues with performance. Visually as you can see the game is beautiful. When entering villages you do find the buildings appear to be a little blocky but you can look past that purely because of how stunning the rest of the world is. The shrines scattered around Hyrule remind me of tests in Portal, they’re not excruciatingly challenging, they’re pure fun. Shrines are how you upgrade your stamina or heart containers. When you complete a trial you’re gifted a Spirit Orb, 4 of these allow you to attain a new stamina bar or heart container from a shrine. The Runes that you attain during the Plateau tutorial are fantastic new mechanics to Zelda which help in so many ways. An example I found was using the freeze power to cross a stream that would wash me down the stream due to its powerful current. And annoyingly there is a huge collecting element to the game, and when I say annoying, it’s not because it’s a bad part of the game, it’s annoying because it looks like it’ll be as addictive as Animal Crossing, which when playing New Leaf ruined any free time I had (seriously lunch breaks I’d spend in my car capturing bugs to get bells, and making sure i caught specific fish at certain times, I needed help!).
There is definitely a massive difficulty spike in this game as your weapons now are not invincible. You might find an incredible looking weapon, but after a certain amount of use, it’ll break and weapon repairing is not a feature of the game so it’ll be gone, so you need to ensure you manage your weapon use efficiently to save your more powerful weapons for dungeons or bigger enemies you might encounter.
I feel I’ve hijacked the Geekly Review with Zelda this week, but I think a game of this magnitude deserves the hijacking. It deserves all the critical acclaim and publicity it can get. 10 hours in and I’m stunned by it. It’s addictive, fun, engaging, inventive, challenging, beautiful. We’re only 3 months into the year, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a game to beat this for Game of the year. Red Dead Redemption 2? Ball’s in your court Rockstar!
Star Citizen is game I’ve wanted to play for a long, long time, and I said to myself that the next time to cheapest packages went in sale I would get one, well they did a little while back and over the weekend I spent a little bit of time getting to know the ‘Verse’.
Initially I took a tour of my hanger where you can wonder around your ship – I went for the Mustang package, and basically take in how lovely it looks. Then I took my Mustang for a test flight in a private arena where I could just freely fly around to get the hang of the controls. I actually found flying a lot easier than I thought it would be and much easier than in Elite Dangerous.
I also played a few rounds of Star Marine which is the first person shooter module, I only played the one game mode with was basically a death match. It was pretty good fun and it a good way to get to know the shooting mechanics. The levels seem pretty cool with a mixture of open zero G areas and close quarters corridors.
Finally I decided to jump in to the open world element of the game. I spawned in at Olisar Station and basically just wondered around taking in the incredible sights. I didn’t fly my ship – I’m a little bit nervous about it, I just walked around. I went out on to landing pads and watched a few ships come and go, some small, some huge, it was very impressive. The game is stunning and actually ran fairly well which I was surprised about.
I’m very excited to play more of it, but I feel that before I set off in to space I need to get better at flying,
I hosted another board game night on Saturday and it was a good session with us playing some Pandemic, Ascension: Realms Unraveled and Dead of Winter: The Long Night. I won at Ascension by a fairly large margin, I basically worked towards creating a deck using Void characters who seems to be pretty good at dishing out damage, this let me take on all the tough monsters. Ascension continues to surprise me with how much I like playing it!
The group I was playing with hadn’t played Dead of Winter: The Long Night before so I had to get them all up to speed with it. This is the one downside to board games, having to learn how to play so many games and then be competent enough at actually explaining the rules, it takes a lot of my capacity and I’m pretty sure I’m probably pushing other useful information out of my head by learning all these games. But we got through it and we actually won, no one was the traitor and one player managed to complete their secret objective too.
Next up for us is Seafall!
Overwatch season 4 is here and I’ve been slowing working my way through my placement matches. As always seems to be the way I end up playing Lucio, I don’t mind this because I really like playing him, but sometimes I don’t want to be the healer. I’ve also been playing a couple of games as D.Va with relative success. I’m 8/10 matches in with 4 victories, 1 draw and 3 loses. I don’t expect to place all the high, probably high sliver. I didn’t play a lot in season 3 as I got a little tired of the game, but I feel slightly invigorated at the moment. Getting in to Gold will be my target.
Also, the next character was revealed! Orisa – a tank class and she looks cool!
In The News:
Switch Sells 80,000 Units in UK
Nintendo’s Switch had a very respectable UK Launch looking at the figures. It doubled the Wii U’s launch numbers in 2012 which will be a relief for Nintendo Europe. Comparison of other Nintendo UK launches show it as a better launch than GBA and Gamecube:
Game Boy Advance - 67,000 Nintendo GameCube - 69,000 Nintendo DS - 87,000 Nintendo Wii - 105,000 Nintendo 3DS - 113,000 Nintendo Wii U - 40,000 Nintendo Switch - 80,000
Compared with other none Nintendo consoles:
250k – PS4
165k – PS3
150k – XB1
113k – 3DS
105k – Wii
80k – Switch
70k – 360
40k – Wii U
So a good start for the Nintendo Switch.
UK Also really Like Horizon: Zero Dawn
A bumper week for gaming is led by ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ which tops the chart as Sony’s biggest ever PS4 launch of a new IP (ahead of No Man’s Sky). Released on Wednesday ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ is also the biggest launch of the year so far and Sony’s biggest launch since ‘Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’.
What an incredible week to be a gamer.