BoWlog #2: for the love of paragliding!

There’s always a danger in these open world games that exploration is not, or is barely, rewarding. Grand Theft Auto V has this issue with the mountainous areas. All too often I’d scale a mountain, get a nice view, and then find there’s nothing else to do other than trek back down. Worst of all was when you lose/trash your vehicle somehow on a peak, there’s not another vehicle around for miles and no way of getting a taxi back to civilisation… ugh. Yes, I’m saying GTA needs to have paragliders.

When we ended our playthrough yesterday, we had just set foot in Kakariko Village. Our second Breath of the Wild play session saw us explore Kakariko Village thoroughly, climb to the top of a nearby mountain peak, and paraglide all the way to another village some distance away.

Let’s start with Kakariko, and the villages more generally. Both of them are fairly small but densely populated with shops and residences. There are residents walking around, who are active in the day and sleep at night, a bit like Skyloft in Skyward Sword. The world is seamless so you can go inside and outside without any loading, which is an impressive touch. In Kakariko, you get some main story info. The story so far is minimal – more a general setup than anything too involving – exactly how I like my Zelda games.

After exploring some of Kakariko Village, I scaled the heights of surrounding hills. My exploration brought me to the top of an enormous peak, which is always a good thing in this game as it lets you survey your surroundings and mark shrines and towers on your map. It also feels great to paraglide off to your next destination – from a big peak like the one I was on, I was able to glide practically all the way to yet another village. This next village, I should say, feels just as alive and interesting as Kakariko. I went into residences, checking out all the details and accepting sidequests from characters there. The sidequests, admittedly, don’t appear to be anything spectacular, but the characters are expressive and fun.

The towns feel alive in a way that reminds me of Okami, which were probably my favourite part of that game, so this is also a big plus. Both the unpopulated expanses and the populated towns and villages have something to offer. I am loving the amount of time and effort that has gone into designing every, single aspect of this gaming experience – especially the travel. Nothing feels like a fetch quest with a paraglider.

A Zelda game that is down with the kids – selfie mode!

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7 comments

  1. LightningEllen

    Did I ever take the hard way into Kakriko Village… I didn’t notice the nice easy path around the mountains and decided to climb over them. After fleeing in terror from rock monsters that were likely the children of Thardus from Metroid Prime, I paraglided into town like a champion, lol. Such a fun game!! 😀

    • veryverygaming

      That’s awesome. I’ve not come across any rock monsters, except for an optional boss in the Great Plateau, did you come across that? Took me completely by surprise in the best possible way – I love the things they’ve done to shake up the Zelda formula.

      • LightningEllen

        Nope, I didn’t see that one yet! Annoying real life is getting in the way so I haven’t played it as much as I want to. I’ll been enjoying this game for a long time I think 🙂

  2. moresleepneeded

    I have not played Grand Theft Auto V, but I feel the same about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, it is annoying to reach an isolated location in the wilderness and having to spend a long time running to reach the cities to progress in the game. How does this version of Kakariko Village compare to versions in the other games? How does reaching a peak develop the map? What sidequests are available?

    • veryverygaming

      Good question. Kakariko Village has a very East Asian flavour in Breath of the Wild – the roofs are all curved and people are wearing kimono-like clothes. Some of the sidequests are your standard “go and get 10 of these”, “take a photo of this”, type quests with some light story. Others are more interesting, and those often lead you to a shrine (basically a mini-dungeon).

      Going to high up places is very useful in this game, it lets you see your surroundings from up high and you can mark anything. Skyward Sword had this feature as well but it wasn’t often necessary to use it. It’s handy in BotW because I can mark shrines or interesting looking places and then visit those spots at any point later.

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