I often think back with my time in Hyrule as some of my fondest gaming memories. Though I’m not certain, I’ve always assumed that Ocarina of Time is the game where I became a lifelong gamer. Each generation of The Legend of Zelda is met with such anticipation, not just by me, but often by the entire gaming industry. Without fail(Editors note: Skyward Sword) 3D Zelda games are adored, and are often considered some of the best games across all platforms. So where does Breath of the Wild fit into the hierarchy of Zelda games?
It’s a complicated question that I think has a fairly complex answer, too. Breath of the Wild is probably my favorite video game since Ocarina of Time. It is, from beginning to end, one of the best experiences in gaming. It is creative, unexpectedly so, it is fun, as to be expected, and the exploration is top notch. The combat is improved and the engine physics are the star of it all. It is an outstanding achievement, and Nintendo should be proud. However…
WHERE ARE THE DUNGEONS???
And this is where the dilemma lies with BotW. It is a fantastic game, but it isn’t doing what makes LoZ games my favorite games. And to me, that’s painful in a way. I’ve waited many many years for BotW, and there are some things lacking now that I just flat out missed. I missed a proper dungeon, map, compass, item. I missed treasure chest cutscenes. Man, did I miss those! I missed the hookshot and a boomerang that felt important, even the Master Sword which to be honest isn’t even the best weapon in the game. I missed the “Zelda formula,” and I want it back.
So BotW takes the cake as my favorite game, maybe ever, but for me, I still want that classic Zelda. I want proper dungeons, and I want my items to feel special. I’ll always love BotW for the things it does well. And there is a ton to love, believe me. But I think I’ll always remember it as the game that made me realize how much I like the old formula. I really hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of that.