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I’ve been looking forward to Breath of the Wild for years now, although it didn’t have an official title for a while. I was expecting a new Zelda game for the Wii U. We even had video of it and learned that it would be an open world game. I remember seeing Link in mid-air with time nearly frozen, in which he shoots an enemy with an arrow. I thought that looked cool. The game got delayed and a bit of an evolution by the end of it’s development. That evolution was the Switch.

I was interested in the Switch, but more more interested in BotW. I decided to buy the Wii U version of the game, instead of spending over $300 for a new system. At first, I assumed the lesser console (Wii U) version would suffer, but in this case it actually looks like the Switch version has some framerate issues. The game has been patched and I believe Nintendo has been working to resolve technical issues.

I didn’t hesitate to pre-order BotW, once I decided which version to get, but I did hesitate to play it. I bought the game for my son as a birthday present. I’ve let him play it and he’s made significant progress. I wanted give him time to play it and I figured I’d pick it up some time when he wasn’t playing it. He hasn’t been playing it lately, so I decided it was time to pick it up.

Luckily, this is a game that’s very amiibo-friendly. If you use just about any one of them, you’ll more than likely see a bunch of food and materials drop from the air, maybe even a chest. Link’s Smash Bros. amiibo does sometimes summon Epona. However, the most valuable for this game seems to be Wolf Link, he can join you in game and fight with you. You can play Twilight Princess HD and get Wolf Link more hearts. Get yourself as many hearts as you want or can and then use the Wolf Link amiibo to the Cave of Shadows. It will then save your character data to your amiibo, which can then be used in BotW. I’m actually interested in getting more amiibos, particularly from The Legend of Zelda, like Zelda and Ganondorf. They offer their own unique bonuses (at least in Twilight Princes HD and other games).

This game is cool, but there are definitely some spoiler-free noticeable things to point out. Weapons, shields, and bows break and can’t be repaired. There are new enemies and a variety of ways to get rid of them. Cutting grass doesn’t provide hearts or rupees, and there are multiple ways to use the environment to your advantage. There are plenty of materials around to harvest for cooking, which lets you make food to restore health or give some bonus, such as cold resistance.

Dungeons are now known as shrines. There are many and they are quite small compared to the Zelda dungeons we’ve come to know, love, or hate. In the beginning, it seems that the shrines give you what you need to complete them before you advance to the end. They are puzzle-like, but appear to be kind of nicely simplistic and not too greatly challenging. Some of the ones I’ve run into have also required me to use the Wii U’s Gamepad motion controls.

As for general combat, this game seems to be more difficult than other Zelda games. I’ve just started out and I’m not well equipped. I do have 4 hearts now, instead of 3, and I do have Wolf Link with me along with some of the runes I’ve collected, but I still get killed. The game isn’t shy about that, it even tells you while it’s loading to be careful and not rush head first into enemies without preparation.

Since rupees are now more rare, it’s hard to find enough to get well equipped. You can sell things, but apparently you want to save some things that you’ll need later for upgrades and such. I’ve been hoarding, I need to start selling more so I can get some armor. I just spent 80 rupees on some warmer gear, yet I still need a cold resistance buff where I’m at.

There are a variety of places to go and many ways of getting to them. You can fast travel, ride a horse, walk, climb, snowboard with your shield, or glide. You’ll need to tame a horse by sneaking up on it and mounting it, then pressing the button (L shoulder I believe) to calm them down. Once you’ve tamed one, you can register it at a stable (for 20 rupees I think). You can name it (except for Epona) and even have it stay at the stable. Otherwise, it may come to you if you whistle for it and you’re close enough for it to hear you. If you can’t find it, check the map for the horse icon. The solid colored horses appear to be usually superior to multi-colored horses.

I’ve seen videos of people that have talked about the game and many of them have 60-100 hours in and they still love it. So, I know there’s a lot to look forward to. Speaking of that, the DLC pack is available for about $20. One DLC is getting released “this summer” and another near the end of the year. I watched a couple of videos about it and I recommend checking some out. The DLC looks cool.

Gamespot created multiple videos containing tips they wish they knew before playing. There are now more than 5 of those videos and I recommend watching them. Each says it "may contain spoilers," but I didn't see any spoilers. You can find the playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpg6WLs8kxGNU6ZFGXaxjxjLGnF9BZi64 There is also a "spoiler-free beginner's tips" video here: https://youtu.be/-EaO2S4Lyvk

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