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Author Topic: Tears of the Kingdom  (Read 3340 times)

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Cuzz

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #50 on: June 27, 2023, 06:25:06 am »
0

Well second (Zora) temple done, and man was I disappointed, compared to the Rito one. It felt extremely short and easy. Never had to stop and think about where to go next, or to figure out the layout of the rooms and whatnot. The boss was good, or at least ok.

Just did this one and I totally agree on the temple, but hated the boss fight. Also I still do not really understand the power that Sidon gives you. You get a bubble of water around you, and I get that it can protect you from fire and heat, but it really doesn't make sense to me why you need to use it to activate the faucets in the temple, or why you need to use it to touch the boss, especially because it has no effect on the sludge that's on the ground...? In contrast to the powers from Tulin (useful occasionally) and Yunobo (extremely useful all the time) I don't really know what I'd ever use it for outside the temple. 

Overall, I think the temples are disappointing. They all have the same basic premise, the looks are one-note, and they're still way less intricately laid out and complex to navigate than the dungeons in OoT, e.g., which came out 25 years ago (and which had twice as many of them). I don't even think they're really any improvement on the Divine Beasts, which was a pretty low bar to clear, but which at least had the interesting puzzle box mechanic.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #51 on: June 27, 2023, 10:42:24 am »
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Also I still do not really understand the power that Sidon gives you. You get a bubble of water around you, and I get that it can protect you from fire and heat, but it really doesn't make sense to me why you need to use it to activate the faucets in the temple, or why you need to use it to touch the boss, especially because it has no effect on the sludge that's on the ground...?

Though I generally agree, it sounds like you may have missed one thing about Sidon's power during the boss fight:
While the bubble itself doesn't do anything to the sludge on the ground, swinging your sword while the bubble is on does clear out a bunch of sludge on the ground that's in front of you. That being said, I didn't find that all that helpful, because he would just create new sludge faster than I could clear it anyway. And just throwing splash fruits is quicker and easier.
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Robz888

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2023, 09:30:25 am »
+1

Overall, I think the temples are disappointing. They all have the same basic premise, the looks are one-note, and they're still way less intricately laid out and complex to navigate than the dungeons in OoT, e.g., which came out 25 years ago (and which had twice as many of them). I don't even think they're really any improvement on the Divine Beasts, which was a pretty low bar to clear, but which at least had the interesting puzzle box mechanic.

I agree with this. I've recently replayed Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, which both featured significantly more compelling dungeons in terms of layout, puzzle design, theme, fights, etc. I was really hoping Tears of the Kingdom would improve upon Breath of the Wild by reviving those sorts of dungeons, but no.

I'd say I like the Thunder Temple and the Fire Temple a little better than any of the Divine Beasts, the Wind Temple is about equal, and the Water Temple is worse. Overall, not great.

The Construct Factory hints at what a proper dungeon could have been like...
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2023, 07:47:48 pm »
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Spoilers related to the number of shrines:

Well we’ve now completed more shrines in TOTK than there were in BOTW. That’s kind of nuts. We don’t know how many there are total, and we don’t want that info to be spoiled for us. But it’s definitely a fair bit more than 120. One guess I have is 150; perhaps 120 on the ground / 120 light roots, and the rest in the sky. But haven’t counted if perhaps we’ve already done more than 30 in the sky. We have 27 hearts and full stamina.. the same max that you could get in BOTW. And plenty more shrines to go, as well as at least a couple full heart containers. Don’t know yet the full list of ways those can be earned, but there’s certainly more of those than there were in BOTW also.
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Cuzz

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2023, 07:53:47 am »
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Finished our third temple, Gerudo. Take that all those comments about doing Gerudo last. Anyway, it was excellent. A fun and unique quest leading up to it, and then the temple itself was closer to classic Zelda dungeons than the others. A great mix of puzzle and combat.

There was one puzzle in there that was frustrating due to an alternate solution being possible. The real solution is neat and seemed like it would have been fun, but we found the other “cheese” solution instead. And it worked, but was super finicky and annoying to do.


The 6th floor has 4 mirrors that you can slide on tracks, to ultimately aim at activating separate light switches on floors 2 and 6. We didn’t find out until after we’d competed the puzzle that floor 6 has a small room with its own light source that’s clearly intended to be used for this.

Instead, we went to the light we already had on floor 1; the light that pulses on and off due to the rotating doors. We spent way too long carefully aiming a mirror up at an angle from there so that it hit the mirrors on 6. It has to be a weird less-than-45 degree tilt. And because the light is pulsing, it takes several seconds between adjustments to find out if it works. Then multiple trips back up to 6 to slightly adjust the target mirror, then back to 1 to adjust that one. Super annoying. That light from floor 1 should have been done so that it could not reach 6 at all, so we’d have spent a little time finding the light on 6 instead.


That aside, great dungeon.

Just finished the Lightning Temple also, which I think is the best one but there’s a bonkers design flaw in which you can easily just ascend into the boss chamber from the fire room by just dragging a couple of the wall stones in and standing on them. This theoretically negates the entire premise of the dungeon but then the boss fight just doesn’t trigger until you go back and activate all four batteries and ride the elevator.

Edit: I guess this makes some amount of sense given that you need Riju to activate the fight and she can’t ascend with you. But it was still a little confusing since the companions usually are able to immediately join you wherever you are and then there’s no way to get out of that room other than just warping back to the entrance.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2023, 09:46:55 am by Cuzz »
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #55 on: July 05, 2023, 11:26:54 am »
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Finished our third temple, Gerudo. Take that all those comments about doing Gerudo last. Anyway, it was excellent. A fun and unique quest leading up to it, and then the temple itself was closer to classic Zelda dungeons than the others. A great mix of puzzle and combat.

There was one puzzle in there that was frustrating due to an alternate solution being possible. The real solution is neat and seemed like it would have been fun, but we found the other “cheese” solution instead. And it worked, but was super finicky and annoying to do.


The 6th floor has 4 mirrors that you can slide on tracks, to ultimately aim at activating separate light switches on floors 2 and 6. We didn’t find out until after we’d competed the puzzle that floor 6 has a small room with its own light source that’s clearly intended to be used for this.

Instead, we went to the light we already had on floor 1; the light that pulses on and off due to the rotating doors. We spent way too long carefully aiming a mirror up at an angle from there so that it hit the mirrors on 6. It has to be a weird less-than-45 degree tilt. And because the light is pulsing, it takes several seconds between adjustments to find out if it works. Then multiple trips back up to 6 to slightly adjust the target mirror, then back to 1 to adjust that one. Super annoying. That light from floor 1 should have been done so that it could not reach 6 at all, so we’d have spent a little time finding the light on 6 instead.


That aside, great dungeon.

Just finished the Lightning Temple also, which I think is the best one but there’s a bonkers design flaw in which you can easily just ascend into the boss chamber from the fire room by just dragging a couple of the wall stones in and standing on them. This theoretically negates the entire premise of the dungeon but then the boss fight just doesn’t trigger until you go back and activate all four batteries and ride the elevator.

Edit: I guess this makes some amount of sense given that you need Riju to activate the fight and she can’t ascend with you. But it was still a little confusing since the companions usually are able to immediately join you wherever you are and then there’s no way to get out of that room other than just warping back to the entrance.

We did this also. I don't even think we had to move anything around to stand on, we just ascended from just the right place somewhere, and were kind of confused about where we ended up.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #56 on: July 11, 2023, 10:37:03 am »
0

I beat a King Gleeok! Unfortunately it had been spoiled for me that an enemy with that name existed in the game. But still, I had no idea where to find them or anything about them. Randomly ran into one while exploring. It was a fun battle. I beat it without dying, though I did use 2 fairies in doing so. I had never even yet fought a fire or thunder version yet.
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Cuzz

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #57 on: July 11, 2023, 12:11:51 pm »
+3

Overall, I think the temples are disappointing. They all have the same basic premise, the looks are one-note, and they're still way less intricately laid out and complex to navigate than the dungeons in OoT, e.g., which came out 25 years ago (and which had twice as many of them). I don't even think they're really any improvement on the Divine Beasts, which was a pretty low bar to clear, but which at least had the interesting puzzle box mechanic.

I agree with this. I've recently replayed Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword, which both featured significantly more compelling dungeons in terms of layout, puzzle design, theme, fights, etc. I was really hoping Tears of the Kingdom would improve upon Breath of the Wild by reviving those sorts of dungeons, but no.

I'd say I like the Thunder Temple and the Fire Temple a little better than any of the Divine Beasts, the Wind Temple is about equal, and the Water Temple is worse. Overall, not great.

The Construct Factory hints at what a proper dungeon could have been like...

I think the problem is that Zelda games have always been based on the two pillars of exploration and puzzle solving, and there's inherent tension between these. To emphasize exploration you want freedom, openness, nonlinearity. Then with puzzle solving, there are two ways to do this: method one involves restriction and rigidity, where the player needs to find "the" solution to a problem (or maybe one of a discrete set of possible solutions). Then there are "squishier" puzzle games where there are a continuum of possible solutions--using the tools at your disposal, get through the stage any way you can.*

Classically, Zelda games gave you freedom and exploration in the overworld, and then mostly the first kind of puzzle within dungeons--you're trying to find the right path through the dungeon by collecting keys and items and flipping switches in the correct sequence (speedrunning shenanigans notwithstanding).

But with Breath of the Wild, the degree of freedom and exploration in the overworld was turned up so, so high, and was so clearly the primary theme of the game, that I think the developers must have thought it would be too jarring and incongruous to have such rigid-style navigation puzzles within all of the dungeons and shrines. For players who liked those kinds of puzzles, they were missed, but the game just wasn't about that--it was about having a stupefyingly massive world to explore, figuring out how to get where you wanted to go within it, and using your own creativity to get there.

I think with Tears of the Kingdom, they just kept that overall same philosophy, wanting the game to be about players exploring and having as much freedom as possible to meet objectives in different ways, except now it's less about exploring the overworld (since we've already done that in BotW) and more about exploring the possibilities afforded by Ultrahand and Fuse. Again, though, it seems like more rigid and intricately designed puzzles didn't mesh with what they were trying to do. I can understand this approach, but for me it's a bit of a bummer. I really like rigid and intricately-designed puzzles, and for me they had been a big part of what really constitutes a Zelda game.





*As I'm writing this, it feels a lot like the general division in mathematics between algebra and analysis--roughly speaking, algebra is rigid, blocky, and discrete, and analysis is flowy, squishy, and continuous. 


« Last Edit: July 11, 2023, 12:14:11 pm by Cuzz »
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Cuzz

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #58 on: July 16, 2023, 03:08:08 pm »
0

I just found this video. The title is clickbaity and the video is twice as long as it needs to be but I agree with a lot of the critiques (major story spoilers around 3/4 of the way through).

https://youtu.be/Vxy_Wi7bIcQ

I do love the game overall and it's a really impressive feat. I'll certainly put in a few dozen more hours finishing the main story, the rest of the shrines, and major sidequests/adventures (though I have no real desire to 100% the koroks and hudson signs and such).

But I don't think it's in my very top tier of Zelda games (which I think for me is just OoT and BotW). And I am pretty disappointed by the reports that Nintendo claims they are never going back to making a classic-style Zelda game with classic-style dungeons.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #59 on: July 17, 2023, 01:52:07 pm »
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(major story spoilers around 3/4 of the way through).


Do these spoilers include the ending? Or just stuff I should know by having found all tears/memories?
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Cuzz

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #60 on: July 19, 2023, 08:34:33 pm »
0

(major story spoilers around 3/4 of the way through).


Do these spoilers include the ending? Or just stuff I should know by having found all tears/memories?

I think it does include the ending---I cut actually it off myself when that part began.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #61 on: July 30, 2023, 06:10:08 pm »
+1

Finally beat the final dungeon (Goron, in the order we chose). My rankings:

Gerudo > Goron > Rito > Zora. Goron was pretty good, though I think the main gimmick was a bit over-used.

I'm annoyed that we forgot to take a picture of Moragia; for the full compendium it's the only one that we'll be forced to purchase instead of taking ourselves. I don't like that there are any "missable" things in the game like this, but I guess purchasing compendium entries is the way that the game makes them not missable.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #62 on: July 31, 2023, 12:22:20 am »
+1

A couple complaints about the temples as a whole I forgot to mention before.

1) The way the map immediately shows you the locations of all the locks you have to find.  I believe BOTW was the same way. It just completely removes an aspect of exploration and puzzle solving that should be there in a dungeon. You can turn it off, but it's on by default. For this last dungeon, I literally shielded my eyes during the opening cutscene to avoid seeing the dots at all on the map before I could turn them off.

2) The fact that all 4 dungeons are the ultimately the same format/structure as all the dungeons in BOTW: Find the 5 terminals to activate them thus unlocking the final boss. Fun concept... for A dungeon to use. But for them to all use it; same exact thing every time? I think that was one complaint everyone had about BOTW, so I'm really surprised they just kept that same format. Is it really that hard to think of a different way of forcing dungeon exploration to ultimately unlock the boss room?

I'd say I like the Thunder Temple and the Fire Temple a little better than any of the Divine Beasts, the Wind Temple is about equal, and the Water Temple is worse. Overall, not great.

Exactly this on all 4 accounts.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #63 on: August 10, 2023, 01:48:31 am »
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All shrines complete! The entire 5-hour play session tonight was simply finding and completing the final shrine. In the end, I did need a little help from the internet, because we just couldn't find it. I just looked at a map of where all shrines are in the sky to get its general location; no help beyond that. Turns out it's another one of those things where we did it the very hard way simply due to not knowing that it would get easier later. I mean, having completed all main story stuff except the final boss; we really didn't think that there would be anything else world-changing.

So it was the shrine on Thunderhead Island. We didn't even know that there was a Thunderhead Island. We'd completed Dragonhead Island, and thought that was all that was under that cloud cover. Was surprised back when we completed Dragonhead and it didn't clear up after we did that... now I know that you're supposed to make it clear before you even do that. Kinda nuts. Anyway, getting to the Shrine on Thunderhead Island, even after we knew where it was, was extremely difficult. Pretty hard to do even under good circumstances; and made much harder by having 0 visibility due to the storm. But we had no clue or indication that anything would ever clear the visibility and that we should wait to do it until after that.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #64 on: August 12, 2023, 02:16:48 am »
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Well tonight we completed the "Crisis at Hyrule Castle" main quest, along with several other quests that we'd already completed, but only actually unlock after that. I'm now even more annoyed at the structure of the game being at war with itself in terms of having an expected order for you to do things, while being open world to the point that you can ignore that order.

We never would have gone to Hyrule Castle to face off against fake Zelda yet if we hadn't eventually given up on how to activate the whole Thunderhead Isles quest and just looked it up. Basically, even though we got every shrine before doing that, the game clearly wanted you to go to Hyrule Castle before finding every shrine. And not only that, but after doing Hyrule Castle, we learned that several of the things we'd already done are actually quests that actually "start" only after you do that. Or at least, the dialogue presents it that way.
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Robz888

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #65 on: August 12, 2023, 02:27:40 pm »
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Finally finished all the Shrines AND all the light roots in the Depths. I'm also now an official Gleeok slayer. I eat Gleeoks for breakfast.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #66 on: August 12, 2023, 03:49:47 pm »
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We're 9 lightroots short of that same accomplishment.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #67 on: August 19, 2023, 03:56:37 pm »
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Well, having done all shrines, all lightroots, enough koroks for max inventory, way more than enough caves for all rewards, and close to all known side quests, we’re ready to beat the game. We won’t be done with it; will still be playing more to get 100%. But tonight, Ganondorf dies!
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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #68 on: August 20, 2023, 12:38:25 am »
0

280 hours over the past 3 months to complete all main quests and beat the game.

Now to do the rest! We're missing over 35 sidequests, which is a lot more than I expected. But no surprise missing side adventures (just the compendium; which is coming along nicely). And over 70% map completion, which is higher than we were expecting since we have just under 50% of korok seeds.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #69 on: August 20, 2023, 03:01:06 pm »
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Ok so time for my potentially long and rambling review of Tears of the Kingdom. No spoiler tags here because mostly the whole thing could be a spoiler; so don't read unless you're ok with spoilers.

As a whole, good game. I mean, I'd like to think I wouldn't spend 280 hours beating a game that I didn't think was good, with plans to spend lots more time in post-game. A few of my favorite positives:

  • The cave exploration is probably my favorite new thing compared to BOTW. It's pretty much always exciting to find a new cave entrance.
  • The general vertical mobility is so nice and freeing; moving around the sky whether on a vehicle or just gliding is great. Same with the Ascend ability, rockets, etc.
  • The story is really cool. While still a fairly minimal story that doesn't progress with the game itself like how it was in BOTW, the basics that were there were just really neat.. the concept of Zelda being sent back in time, so that she could spend thousands of years helping the Master Sword become strong enough to defeat Ganondorf; that's great. Really makes it even more Zelda's story than BOTW was (which was also largely Zelda's story).
  • The fuse system is great, at least for weapons. Aside from giving more reason/motivation to kill monsters, it allows for a lot of great experimentation.

Now for the bad. I'm writing this after all the specifics below, but put it above all since it's more important to an overall review. The game suffers from 2 really big problems in my opinion: Repetitiveness and general open-world structure.

  • Repetitiveness - The dungeons are a good example, and especially the cutscenes you get after beating each dungeon. They take an idea that is interesting and cool the first time you see it.. and then just have you do it over, and over, and over. Same with the labyrinths. A labyrinth requiring you to handle all 3 of the different maps within one giant connected puzzle? Yes please! But then the next labyrinth was also that, and so was the 3rd. And not only in the overall structure of involving all 3 maps, but in the specifics of what you do on each of those maps. Why did the sky of all 3 have to be "fly around in low-gravity finding and activating the 4 terminals"? Why couldn't each be its own thing? I've spoken about dungeons before and do again briefly below, so no need here. But it's the same with sidequests like "bring peace to ____", and some of the types of sky islands.
  • The structure of the whole open world thing - By far my biggest problem with the game. I've talked some about it before... but there were so many different examples where it kept coming up. Basically, the game was fighting with itself in wanting to be fully open world, but also wanting you to follow the path it laid out for you. You would get punished for exploring an area too early. And I don't mean punished as in running into enemies that were way to hard for you to fight yet... I remember that happening with finding Moblins at the very start of BOTW because I went the opposite way they suggested you do. That is simply a fun way to do open world. I mean punished by wasting your time. Either because you're trying to do something that isn't possible yet, but it's not obvious that it's not possible yet, or because you're doing something that is possible, but much more frustrating because you're supposed to do it later. And again I don't just mean fighting an enemy before you've become powerful enough to do it. A few examples:
    • Not getting the paraglider right away. They let you explore the surface freely without it. Without giving you any hint about if there even is a paraglider in the game. Shrines that require the paraglider but not obviously so. No hint that you're missing something.
    • Following the statues underground. They lead you to where Kohga is hiding. If you do them in the right order. If you instead follow the wrong set of statues because you notice what looks like an interesting thing that probably leads to something, well too bad, it leads to nothing at all.
    • Dragonhead / Thunderhead Isles. You can go there while they're still shrouded in clouds. And nothing gives you a hint that you should wait until they clear up. Exploring a hard-to-see area is literally something the game makes you do in the depths and a few other places. It's somewhat hard and frustrating... but not nearly as frustrating as learning that if I'd just gone to beat Hyrule castle first (which I assumed would just be the end of the game!), then I would have been able to clear the skies and explore those islands with visibility. I can't say I really know what the solution would be... it doesn't fit within the open world concept if you went there and it just voided you out with some NPC telling you sorry, come back later. Then again, that's exactly what they do if you try to explore the ring ruins early! Which is a related example... we had no way of knowing if we were just supposed to do a better job sneaking over there, or finding the right angle to approach from; or if (as it was) that you have to wait until the story progresses further before you can go there.
    • Allowing you to go all the way to a dungeon without your helper. This happened to a friend of mine; wasted so much time in the Wind Temple trying to figure out what to do because he had no idea he was supposed to have someone with him.

Notes on a few specific types of things:

Shrines: I was disappointed that shrines returned at all, and that their reward was exactly the same as BOTW. I guess I just wanted it to be more "new" in overall flow of the game. It's cool that there are more shrines this time around, and none of the shrines seemed stupid or bad. The combat shrines (proving grounds) were all much better than the Test of Strength shrines from BOTW.

But it didn't feel like any were as long as the 5 or so longest shrines from BOTW. I remember a handful of BOTW shrines which were very huge and involved; not just solving 1-3 quick puzzles but really exploring around the place. Also, there were way too many "blessing" shrines! I'm seeing 44 as the number online; not from an official or community-driven source yet. Of those, only 23 even required you to do something external to unlock the shrine. It's one thing when a "blessing" shrine is really just where the real shrine was the puzzles we solved along the way, but the other ones are just rewards for finding the shrine and nothing else.

Dungeons - Already talked about this in a previous post, but they weren't the return to Zelda form that we'd all been hoping for. By far the worst part was the repetition; where the core concept of all 4 dungeons was the same. The bosses were all good improvements over BOTW though. And the dungeons as a whole were improvements.

The helpers - A very neat idea, and implemented pretty terribly. I love the concept that Link is building up a party like Secret of Mana or other RPGs. Especially as a contrast to BOTW which was all about being alone in the world. The fact that they not only give you new abilities but fight with you is great! But... it's just mostly terrible. Just look at how many memes there are about Tulin ruining everything by activating when you don't want him to. They all work that way. They're both hard to activate when you want, and way too easy to activate when you don't want. And then even aside from using their abilities, they visually get in the way of just looking around. So many times I've had to just turn them all off because I can't see what's in front of me. The abilities themselves are hit and miss. Tulin in the sky; great. Tulin on the ground; terrible. Yunobo is cool, but you quickly realize that he's not nearly as good at breaking through rock walls as you'd assume. Really his power should have just been that if he hits a breakable wall, he keeps going until he hits a non-breakable wall. That wouldn't have been overpowered, and only useful in a handful of various places. But imagine just firing him at a tunnel blocked by many layers of rocks and he just keeps going all the way through, instead of breaking just  the first layer. Sidon is cool in how many "non-obvious" uses he has, such as keeping cool against heat damage, and activating your Zora weapon bonus.

The sky - The sky was an awesome set-piece and was really great when you were doing stuff with it. But there wasn't enough to do with it. Way too much empty space with nothing even close to it. And again, repetition was an issue. While there were plenty of interesting and unique places up there, there were also places that were just exact copies of other places spread throughout... specifically the construct battles and the "airports".

The depths - Very cool. I was blown away when I found out that in addition to the already huge world, there was a second equally huge world to explore. The way it mirrored everything above was really neat, and having to make your own light to explore it was really neat. It would be nice if the landscape/terrain/scenery weren't pretty much identical throughout the whole thing. But I don't think it suffers from the repetition problem as much as the other things do. Like with the Yiga fortresses; each one is at least a bit unique in terms of the layout and the type of yiga vehicle you have to fight.

The abilities - Extremely impressive, and very open with how they can be used. All of them felt like they had more use than all the BOTW abilities. And I LOVE how you could combine them together... like if you need to get up higher; use ultra-hand to lift a platform over your head and hold it there for several seconds. Then use rewind to have it automatically stay up there without you holding it. Then use ascend to go up through it (or it could have picked you up when rewind sent it up; then ascend somewhere now within reach above you).

Building stuff - This was interesting and impressive, but sort of felt out of place. Like what does screwing around with building vehicles have to do with adventuring, exploring, and stopping the return of Ganondorf? Even when you build vehicles to help you explore, that feels at-odds with things like horses and climbing. It's not a complaint, exactly, because it doesn't harm anything to have it there. But if this same game released with everything else the same but no ability to construct vehicles (meaning it probably would have released a year sooner), would people not have thought it still just as great a game?

The final boss - The last phase managed to outdo the scale and epicness of the last phase of BOTW. But like the final phase of BOTW, it was beyond easy, like there was no real way to even take damage. The first 2 phases were generally tough; though didn't feel like they actually tested your skill as much as the first 2 phases of BOTW. That is to say, I felt like it was easy just because I had a huge amount of health and a very strong weapon (master sword with silver lynel saber horn on it). It was mostly hack and slash; didn't require me to skillfully deal with the boss.

Final thoughts: Very impressive game. Pretty much improves on BOTW in every way; and I really loved BOTW. But even as addicting as it has been and me looking forward to every night when I get to play again, the sense of wonder wore off quicker than it did in BOTW. All the things that were impressive and amazing were mostly only impressive and amazing the first few times I saw them. Now they're just mechanics that I do and don't think about how cool it is. BOTW really had a "WOW" factor from being so huge and open, and TOTK can't quite match that.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2023, 08:11:30 pm by GendoIkari »
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #70 on: August 23, 2023, 01:09:23 pm »
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On the topic of bosses, the final boss fight is really well done. There were several things in that fight that caught me off guard in a good way. MAJOR spoilers I guess here:
1: Ganondorf literally destroying heart containers. Makes perfect sense as he already did that in the Prologue, but still when I realised I wasn't just having hearts gloomed
but literally removed it was like, oh crap, I can't stall this forever
2: That health bar. It's a bit cliche maybe but it worked.
3: He flurry rushes you and even dodges during your flurry rushes. Really just highlights how much of a badass he is.
4: I somehow didn't see the demon dragon transformation coming. Final phase was mostly just for show, but works as a climactic finish far more than Dark Beast Ganon did in BotW
.

Re: 1 - Wait, what? Maybe I just never noticed it... I thought it was normal gloom damage. Though none of it mattered for me since I was committed to not eating mid-battle anyway.
Re: 2 - LOVED that.
Re: 3 - That looked very cool, but I never took any damage from it at all. Not sure if it's just easy to dodge or what... every time he did it, I spammed jump back and nothing ever happened.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #71 on: August 29, 2023, 01:48:05 pm »
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More than halfway done with the koroks now!

Still missing 2 old maps; haven't been back to the sky in a while... there's basically nothing up there left except at least 2 missing chests.

Mostly spending time using hero's path and going to areas that we haven't been to; finding koroks and wells. But mixing that in with going monster hunting to get things like lynel guts for armor upgrades.

Also getting close on the compendium. All monsters done except 2 that we missed the only chance for, so have to go buy those. Missing several pristine weapons still.
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msw188

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #72 on: August 31, 2023, 11:00:37 am »
+1

Reappearing to write a silly long post about TOTK.

-A quick reply to GendoIkari
Although I agree with your structural complaints on the paraglider and the partners, I disagree on the other two.  At least if you follow the Gerudo statues first (I did), there is a construct who tells you that he wants to give you a gift, but you will need something from the Central mine first.  It's still a bummer (I was bummed), but at least the game is clear that you should return after a specific conditional.  I'm guessing something similar is true for the other mines.  As for Thunderhead, I'll say more below.

-My Zelda background
I 'grew up' on the first three Zelda's.  I like OoT, but don't love it.  Love MM and think it is a work of art, but more for the concepts and storytelling than the gameplay itself.  Stopped playing 1p games soon after that (college), so no real opinion on WW onwards.  Until BOTW.

-BOTW quick opinions
BOTW was a revelation for me, and reminded me that I like 1p games.  I never thought of it as upending Zelda tradition - I think of it as returning Zelda to what it originally was.  In the spirit of Zelda's 1 and 2, it is an adventure in the wilderness, a self-guided (and lonely) journey through the wonder and dangers of the unknown.  Like MM I think of it as a work of art, but this time the gameplay IS the storytelling, and I love it.

-TOTK quick opinions
I think TOTK is an amazing sequel and an amazing game, but I doubt I will ever love it as much as BOTW.  It has many technical gameplay improvements, both large and small.  It's huge, of course.  Lots more below.  For all of the positives though, the sense of joy and wonder that is seeped into BOTW is diluted here for me.  I understand that this basically had to be the case, as a sequel.  But it's slightly disappointing nevertheless.

-The key differences
For me, the key differences are summarized in the names.  In BOTW, you are in the Wild.  You are (usually) alone.  The music is (usually) lonely.
 There are vast spaces, and many points of interest are first seen from far, far away, beckoning a journey through the intervening terrain.  The basic gameplay is about navigating the wild, understanding it, conquering it but on its terms.  Meanwhile in TOTK, you are in the Kingdom.  You're part of a team, not only story-wise, but eventually gameplay-wise as well.  You can see many points of interest from far away, but from above, where the terrain between makes far less of an impression.  The basic gameplay is less about the wild itself, and more about circumventing it.

Relatedly, BOTW is more focused on the joy of discovery through exploration.  TOTK is a bit more focused on the joy of discovery through experimentation.  As a negative, this can mean too much wandering in BOTW (with too few rewards for some folks), but in TOTK it can mean too much 'failed experimenting' (wasting time on bad builds, useless fuses, etc).

-What makes TOTK awesome?
--The general gameplay loop of exploring and finding various items/currencies, all of which feed back into further gameplay much better than in BOTW (especially thanks to Fuse).
--Ascend.  Come on, this is just an awesome idea for an exploratory 3d game.
--Still some great moments of discovery and wonder.  Depths of course.  For me, going to Thunderhead early fits this bill.  It felt like I "shouldn't" be there, but the game didn't stop me, and the resulting journey was epic and the most memorable portion of my playthrough.  Finally making my way to the Dragonhead felt like such a discovery!
--The general combat and difficulty balance felt leagues better than BOTW (and other Zelda's I'm familiar with).
--Being a sequel allowed for returning characters, with some genuinely heartfelt moments sprinkled throughout.
--All of the "lead-ups" to the four "dungeons" were awesome.  When people complain about the dungeons (which were repetitive in structure, to be fair), I'd ask them to remember how much interesting and varied gameplay there was in reaching them.  That's where it seems the most effort was put in, and I approve of this approach in a game centered around openness and freedom.
--It's Nintendo, so we know the attention to detail will be great.  The biggest highlight for me was finding Zelda's torch.  But there are so many nice touches.

-What makes TOTK not so awesome?
--The opening is okay, but feels like a massive step backwards after BOTW's Great Plateau.  Lots of talking.  The worst is the runaround Lookout -> Castle -> There's Zelda! -> Oh wait, just go back to Lookout now please.
--A lot of things in the game feel slow, especially compared to BOTW.  Koroks used to be nice quick puzzles and were more about noticing them.  Now some are yelling out to you, needing you to build something which takes time.  Ultrahand in general is great, but slow.  Fusing is great, but requires a pause.  Dialogue is generally longer and more dense (like this ridiculous post).
--The paraglider issue, which many folks have already expanded upon.  I'll just add that, in BOTW, the one time that you are directed by "map marker alone" (Plateau Tower), Zelda specifically says to follow the marker, and this never felt inorganic to me.  But in TOTK, when you are directed to Lookout, Zelda just says to "find her", and the fact that you are supposed to follow a map marker for this felt very awkward to me.  Would be fine if not for still needing the paraglider there.
--In general you are "told" where things are much more often in TOTK.  It's not bad compared to games in general, but it's worse than BOTW.  Examples include the Great Faeries and the memories (my favorite gameplay in BOTW, now reduced to noticing giant glowing things in TOTK).
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GendoIkari

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #73 on: August 31, 2023, 02:18:32 pm »
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Great review! I wonder what you'd think if you went back to give Windwaker and Twilight Princess a try at this point.

Quote
I'm guessing something similar is true for the other mines.

Hmm it's possible we just completely missed that construct, I do think it was Gerudo we followed first also. I remember that most of our wasted time was in trying to find the next statue that the last one was pointed at, because we didn't notice any indication that we had already found the final statue.

As for Dragonhead, I did enjoy exploring in the fog and finding Mineru's mask, so no complaint about that specifically. But I didn't know that Thunderhead existed at all above it, thought we had explored the entire under-the-storm island. Until eventually giving up on finding the final shrine and looking at a map. And getting the final shrine on Thunderhead in the fog was very tedious and annoying; compounded by discovering that you're "supposed" to clear up the fog before going there.

Quote
For me, the key differences are summarized in the names.  In BOTW, you are in the Wild.  You are (usually) alone.  The music is (usually) lonely.
 There are vast spaces, and many points of interest are first seen from far, far away, beckoning a journey through the intervening terrain.  The basic gameplay is about navigating the wild, understanding it, conquering it but on its terms.  Meanwhile in TOTK, you are in the Kingdom.  You're part of a team, not only story-wise, but eventually gameplay-wise as well.  You can see many points of interest from far away, but from above, where the terrain between makes far less of an impression.  The basic gameplay is less about the wild itself, and more about circumventing it.

Relatedly, BOTW is more focused on the joy of discovery through exploration.  TOTK is a bit more focused on the joy of discovery through experimentation.  As a negative, this can mean too much wandering in BOTW (with too few rewards for some folks), but in TOTK it can mean too much 'failed experimenting' (wasting time on bad builds, useless fuses, etc).

Love this! Well-written, and really goes to the heart of the games.

Quote
The biggest highlight for me was finding Zelda's torch.

Oh we completely missed this! I think we found it, but hadn't realized the significance of it.
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msw188

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Re: Tears of the Kingdom
« Reply #74 on: August 31, 2023, 06:30:43 pm »
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Quote
Great review!
Thank you very much!  I sure spent more time on it than I should have!  I also loved your review, which basically inspired me to try to write this one.  And I've enjoyed reading all of the comments throughout this thread really.

Quote
...getting the final shrine on Thunderhead...
Oh right, I see.  Yeah I don't know, I'm not sure if there is a good solution here.  If a shrine is not reasonably accessible from the get go, should it be clear that they can be made more reasonably accessible later?  Not sure.  I find this less troublesome than the similar paraglider issue, because at least the shrine in Thunderhead is pretty much impossible to see until you clear it up.  One could argue that some of the frustration arose from outside information (location of the shrine) being only partial information, whereas the game counted on you having no information... I guess?  It's an apologist's viewpoint for sure.

Let's see, what are some more specific points I missed earlier?

-TOTK shrines are better than BOTW ones on average, largely thanks to ditching combat copies for fun little mini-Eventides.  It also feels like better pacing to have a cute little engineering puzzle in a shrine than to come across a korok while exploring who needs a car.  I do miss the few larger ones from BOTW, as GendoIkari points out.  I enjoyed most all of the crystal ones.  Favorite, and wife's favorite, was whirlpool.

-Caves and wells are great.  Searching for them specifically can feel a little tedious, but I don't hold this against the game at all.  And coming across them naturally while exploring was wonderful.

-Labyrinths, yeah the first one was awesome but the repetition was a bit of a bummer, especially the identical bosses at the ends.

-I didn't talk about Recall before.  A wonderful addition, feels like something a good indie game would build itself around completely.  I wish it got used more, but it's still amazing the first time you realize your goofy airplane that crashed and rolled down the hill CAN in fact be rescued, and in the most awesome way possible.  Adding the snapping of the fingers, what a touch.

-The sages' shadows, yeah I wasn't a huge fan.  Works well thematically, but eh, I pretty much agree with everything GI already said here (and many others I'm guessing).  I had them all off the majority of the time.

-The sages themselves, well they were okay.  The AI is what we might call 'passable' when it's just the one of them, and the game does a reasonable job of keeping the focus on your own gameplay.  But this comes at a steep immersion price, where the sages sometimes have teleportation powers, and other times can't follow you.  I think I preferred sections where they were flat out honest and were like, "I can't follow you there."  Or in Sidon's case, "Let's split up so the game doesn't have to fail to portray me goofing around with these floating water balls."

-The Depths was a great concept, but could've used some more set-pieces and visual variety to spice things up over the long haul.  I think it'd be more fun to not be able to see the gloom in the dark, but I can understand why they wouldn't do this.  Did anyone actually use the upgraded miner's clothes down here?  What a neat idea!  It's too bad I imagine most people have no need for it by the time they get it.

-Special shoutout to Muddlebuds, which are my wife's favorite things.  In BOTW her favorite thing was to go to Retsam Forest and pick sunshrooms.  I'm pretty sure it was literally her most visited spot on the map.  In TOTK, her favorite thing is to wander in the Depths and pick Muddlebuds, and then use them on camps.  We were joking that they should have programmed in an animation of Link pulling out a chair and a bag of popcorn while the enemies all kill each other.

-The finale was great.  I loved the approach, I loved the fights, and I even loved the final phase which really sells the idea that you are working together with Zelda to pull off something neither of you could accomplish on your own.  Also ties the gameplay back into all the skydiving you've been doing throughout the game, which is a nice touch.  I like the ending too.  I do wish the people in the present mattered more.  I thought that Impa and/or Purah would play a part in helping to turn Zelda back.  Not sure how to do it without having many multiple endings though, based upon how much of the story you did.
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