Playing with Reed: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - the Good, the Bad, the Expensive


Pre-Launch trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Look, I'm a mostly responsible adult, with a job and bills to pay. I still took the day off when this game came out. The whole reason I bought a Nintendo Switch was to play Breath of the Wild, nearly five years ago. I am, as they say, a life long Triforce fanatic. 

I was so excited for this game that I couldn't wait for my pre-order to get in, I had to go buy a physical copy to just get it into my hands. I'm about thirty hours into it, and it's definitely going to probably be hundreds of hours more before I even get to the main story lines (which is just like Breath of the Wild, if I'm honest). 

This game takes some of the mechanics from BotW and expands on them. Weapons and shields still break (ugh!) but you can enhance them with a new "fuse" ability, creating interesting new combinations. I ran around with a giant boulder attached to my shield for the first few hours of the game, which sounds just as ridiculous as it looked. Another new ability, which is similar to fusing, allows you to attach objects to other objects to create.... well, just about anything. 

Structures, wagons, ships with sails, even apparently, a giant killer robot

One of my favorite new abilities allows you to ascend through ceilings and platforms above you, sort of like swimming through rock. It typically ends with you sticking half out of the ground, struggling to pull yourself out in a really funny animation that gets me every time I see it. There's the ability that allows you rewind time, which is really handy for getting to places that you can't quite reach or hitting buttons when you need to be standing elsewhere. 

Tears of the Kingdom sees you revisiting the old puzzle shrine mechanics (which is definitely one of my favorite parts of BotW). Each requires you to solve a random puzzle to receive a blessings of light, which can eventually be turned into heart or stamina containers at goddess statues. 

Oh, and the Hyrule Compendium! You can take pictures of enemies, tools, locations and they are all stored in a compendium. You can replace the pictures if you want (I spent way too much time taking pictures of puppies at the stables, as one does). 

The real star of the game so far is Rauru, a Zonai who is <spoiler redacted>.

I'm not a furry, but damn, he makes me want to be.

Now that I've talked about some of my favorite parts, I want to talk about some of the bad ones. One, THE WEAPONS BREAK. This doesn't seem so bad, because weapons are abundant and you can enhance the smaller ones to make them stronger. But it gets REALLY obnoxious fighting big bad guys, and having all your weapons just explode into dust. 

Another complaint I have is that sometimes the graphics aren't that great. I haven't played it in handheld mode, because it looks so much better on the big screen, but I can tell that there are some places where the frame rate slows down drastically. Clipping, as with all video games, is still an issue, but it can get particularly bad when running around with giant fused weapons. 

The biggest, and final complaint, that I have about this game is the price point. The physical and digital edition, minus any kind of collector's edition, is $69.99 USD. While I understand the need for game companies to make money on their major investments, I know that this makes it really difficult for a lot of people to get their hands on the game on the day it drops. Nintendo is not such a small company that it couldn't make this beloved title a little bit easier on the wallets, especially given how many MORE people would buy it. I know that there was a trick with Nintendo vouchers going around, but given the size of the game, it's worth having the physical copy. 

This is likely going to be the only big name title I buy this year, since I tend to stick to smaller, indie games. 

This is definitely a game worth getting, especially given the amount of gameplay possible for it. However, I do not like this trend of mainstream big company games pricing video games at a price that makes them unavailable for a lot of people. Video games should be MORE accessible, not less.