The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Hands-On: No-Rule Hyrule Is An Amazing Place

Yep. You need a Wii U. NOW. Or when the game comes out, no hurry! Um, the NX version is supposed to launch the same day, so maybe you can get one of those too?

Yep. You need a Wii U. NOW. Or when the game comes out, no hurry! Um, the NX version is supposed to launch the same day, so maybe you can get one of those too?

 

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This blurry photo is a result of my hands shaking because I was about ten seconds away from firing up the first of two demos. Oops.

Other than a trip into the rabbit hole a few years back after an early teaser trailer, I’d deliberately been ignoring any and all news, gossip and other speculative to factual bits of info about Nintendo‘s new Zelda game because for my purposes, going in cold makes for the best gaming experiences. When the opportunity arose to be one of 500 people who weren’t going to E3 to play the demo, I cleared my calendar and made sure I got my butt down to the Nintendo World Store bright and early to score a slot. Once that was done, the breath holding began with the hope the demo wouldn’t disappoint.

It didn’t. Although a mere 40 minutes was spent with it (two timed sections of 15 and 25 minutes each), the demo of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of the most memorable times I’ve had with any game I’ve ever played and definitely the most interesting Zelda game I’ve sampled.

The team has recreated the sense of wonder of the original NES game, but with a much larger and absolutely drop dead gorgeous open world Hyrule devastated by time and disaster starring a Link who’s been awakened after a 100-year slumber. How this ties into previous Zelda games is unclear at this point, but there are enough visual, aural and gameplay cues that give the new game a sense of familiarity longtime fans will get right away. The lucky ones chosen to play and plenty of onlookers at the demo event got to experience a game long in the making that’s going to feel fresh and incredible to longtime Zelda fans who may not play PC role-playing games like The Elder Scrolls or The Witcher series that offer massive maps and an amazing amount of quests to tackle. Breath of the Wild’s freshness brings manual jumping and climbing everything from trees to mountains to the franchise for the first time, no in-game companion/follower for Link (other than Amiibo support noted in the video below the jump), and a world where there’s a lot to do, but one in which the freedom to do as one wishes actually makes things MORE thrilling.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Trailer Leaves a Few Folks Breathless


 

And that is a mighty good thing. Some (well, TOO many) gossipy babble fight web sites were going on for weeks about the decision by Nintendo to focus heavily on ONE game, complete with too many gullible gamers falling for the rumors that it was the ONLY game coming to E3 (it wasn’t). But as you can see, all that time and type in the rumor mill was wasted. Speculation sucks, doesn’t it? This game won’t. Back in a few hours with some hand-on impressions. Go watch the gameplay demo yourself over at Nintendo’s E3 site. It started at 1PM EST and will be going on pretty much all day. Back in a few hours with a few words on how it plays.

Hello, Zelda! The Crack of Dawn Gets That Golden Ticket in Hand

Zelda Ticket

Whee, you! I was initially going to pick a later date (Thursday, because I have another media event in the evening of the 16th), but thought better of that when I saw 6 and 7pm slots still open on Tuesday.  The earlier times had been snapped up (3 to 5 PM), so I’m going to keep my fingers crossed my session runs fine, I don’t drool all over that Gamepad,  and I get the most out of my demo time.

 

It REALLY pays to get out of bed early in the morning. Or not sleep at all and get one’s butt downtown to wait five hours or so for a once in a lifetime opportunity. May was crappy, but June is looking nicer at least on this front. Back in a bit, as I’m still a bit groggy… but also very happy.

 

Link for Prez backwards

Yeah, I wore this shirt today. One of the Nintendo NYC employees handing out the bracelets got a good chuckle from it. Yeah, yeah. I need a selfie stick, but I really hate them.

I Hate Flying, But Perhaps Nintendo Wants Me To Think Of Doing It More…

Some VERY lucky Southwest Airlines passengers recently received a VERY cool treat courtesy of Nintendo of America in the form of a voucher for a FREE Wii U, and as you can see above, yes indeed that made plenty of people really pleased that they now have one big gift crossed off their holiday lists. Granted, as awesome as this promotional stunt was, the company NEEDS all those people and more to actually BUY Wii U games and not just stick with that pack-in game. But I guess a bit of word of mouth will go a long way if these people love what they got gratis for what they discover once they need to see what else is out there to play. My more cynical brain sees this as a slickly played desperation move on the part of Nintendo because Wii U sales seem to be lower than expected according to every industry site I read.

That said, Nintendo has always followed its own drumbeat and despite the analysts and naysayers tossing doom around over the company’s head, that’s not going to happen thanks to their deep pockets and the fact that every other game company seems to copy things they do to varying degrees of success. The Wii U may not move as many units and the competition, but Nintendo’s longer range plans are always out of sight of those who want huge numbers by the minute and don’t see the longer view to the horizon…