Zelda: Breath of the Wild GOTY

Yay. Zelda won GOTY at the Game Awards 2017! *claps* yay :3

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*this is probably going to be very pro Zelda, so be prepared*

I’m happy. I haven’t played all the games nominated, but I’m happy. The general consent seems to be: thank god PUBG didn’t win. Zelda? Fine with me, it’s not PUBG. I’m actually very glad a lot of people feel this way, because it just feels wrong to even nominate a game that hasn’t even seen a full release yet and is basically still in testing phase.

In general the reception of Zelda as Game of the Year seems to be quite good.

Then there’s the Horizon-fans complaining Horizon didn’t win anything and I’ve seen some individuals from different fan bases saying Zelda just won because it’s Zelda and everything Zelda is just being praised and loved because fans blindly love Zelda.

First of all: I don’t own a PS4. Therefore, I didn’t play Horizon. What I know about this game is, that it’s very good and therefore I think it’s sad it didn’t win anything. It probably deserved to win at least something.

Second: the assumption that Nintendo fans just blindly love everything Zelda because of the name is just plain wrong. We’ve seen in the past several times where Zelda was met with huge criticism or downright hate, because it didn’t deliver what fans wanted.The Zelda franchise is one of the highest acclaimed franchises in video game history and has produced top-tier games of outstanding quality for over 30 years now most notably in its main series on home consoles. Therefore, expectations for any new Zelda release are astronomical high and what happens if these expectations are not fully met, we’ve recently seen in Wind Waker and Skyward Sword in particular. There’s always hardcore fans defending everything, that’s normal, but I believe there’s a fair share of fans who are very critical towards Zelda, because they are very spoiled by the average quality of the franchise.

Wind Waker was met with a storm of rage due to its cartoony graphics. It took fans years to come to terms with it and appreciate the outstanding game behind it. When it was initially released? Oh boy, that was a riot, because everyone expected realistic graphics that Nintendo didn’t deliver. The game itself wasn’t even bad. Sure, it’s not perfect: travel can be boring over longer distances and the triforce quest was just way too long, both issues got fixed in the HD version. Other than that, the game was truly awesome. It was the art direction alone, that made fans hate on this game. And hate they did.

Other example: Skyward Sword. And it was, once again, primarily one feature, that made fans collectively hate this game. Fans. Not media. I believe this game was actually rated a bit too high by the general media, but is rated way too low by fans – even today. The feature in question is… motion control. Contrary to what many people try to make other’s believe: it works fine. I’ve played it and barely had issues with it at all. I’m not trying to defend a bad game, I’m trying to be honest and I can honestly say: the motion control worked great for me. Many gamers hated it for the fact alone that is was mandatory and you couldn’t play the game with a classic controller. The other problem with this game is that it’s not the game fans were asking for. Around the time when Skyward Sword was released, fans have been asking for an open world Zelda for quite a while already and got a very linear playing-it-save type of Zelda with lot’s of handholding, which disappointed fans even further.

I personally believe Skyward Sword was a fantastic game and a very solid Zelda with some nice boss fights, enjoyable worlds, great dungeons and interesting items (I love the beetle). Just like I think Mario 3D World is a fantastic game and a very solid Mario. Both games were met with lukewarm receptions by gamers -Skyward Sword more negative than 3D World- simply because they weren’t the type of games fans wanted.

Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey both are the games fans have been asking for a long time and were both met with euphoria from fans – so much, I believe fans tend to be more forgiving to these games, because they’re both basically 100% fanservice. This is Nintendo listening to their fans and giving them exactly what they wanted and people are responding accordingly.

And both games are fantastic! So much, they both got nominated for GOTY at the Game Awards, which I believe was very well deserved. I’ve been a long time Zelda-fan, but I’ve been playing Mario platformer even longer. I’ve been playing Mario for 20+ years across 7 generations of home consoles and their handheld counterparts. Both franchises have been a huge part of my gaming life and I hope to be as fair as possible, even though I personally just prefer 2D or 2+1/2 D platformer over 3D collect-A-thons, because I love tight 2D platforming the most – which is the reason why I prefer Donkey Kong Country over Mario, btw. I usually try to appreciate the good in games, even if they’re personally not to my liking. I know there’s a lot of people who’d be so mad at me for saying this, but at one point, I got bored by Mario Odyssey.

Mario Odyssey is a consistently great game and getting all moons is one hell of a hard  quest. While I thought most moons during the regular playthrough are too easy to get, there’s some real challenges, if you try to collect them all. The game doesn’t really has any low points, it has a very high average quality without any real dips downwards, but also without many spikes upwards. My one and only big moment in this game was the festival in New Donk City. That was plain awesome, no question and New Donk City by itself was the most enjoyable part for me due to all the vertical platforming involved. I also loved the pipes that sent you to these very hard platforming sections post game. There’s nothing better than finally clearing these mini-levels after 20+ tries, there’s finally some actual sense of accomplishment involved, like… I earned that moon. Oh, and while we’re at it, I applaud to the game for calling them moons in mushroom kingdom, even though they’re clearly stars.

However, in a way, Mario Odyssey was playing it kind of save. At least compared to Zelda. Mario Odyssey was basically Mario 64 2.0, it was the Mario 64 successor fans wanted ever since. Since the first time I was able to get my hands on na demo, I’ve been saying: guys, this game does not reinvent the wheel, it’ very much Mario like we know and love, nothing more and nothing less. After playing this game, I still believe the very same about it. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy or appreciate the new features, like the 8bit segments in the stages or the capture feature that basically replaces power ups. Mario Odyssey is an outstanding game, it just doesn’t dare to go one step further.

A step Zelda dared to take. Just like Odyssey, Breath of the Wild is still very much Zelda, but with the formula we’ve come to know for such a long time removed for the most part. There’s still hearts to collect, the Master Sword to find and the Princess to rescue, but they turned it from a linear formulated experience to a free open world game. By going back to the very first Zelda and take inspiration from modern open world games, Nintendo nailed their very first try at making an open world game out of one of their most well-known and beloved franchises. And like I said: fans are critical about Zelda. If this didn’t work out, the backlash would’ve been huge. But it worked out.

Once again this game has a very high average quality with more drips downwards than Odyssey, but also with more spikes upwards. For all the weaker parts of the game, there are others done so phenomenally well, they overshine the bad ones. In terms of game design, even though I didn’t play every game this year obviously, but the game design in BotW is insanely good. The physics engine, the game mechanics, the freedom and the lack of handholding it all turns this game into a truly great experience.

BotW dared to be more daring, but was executed so well, the flaws of this game are simply being forgiven. I hope Nintendo can work on the remaining flaws of BotW and make the successor even greater, because I believe BotW might have just managed to do what the original Legend of Zelda and Ocarina of Time did before: change the way we look at games. Especially the world as one huge living interactive being  has not been done quite like this before with so many possibilities given to the player due to a phenomenal physics engine and something very simple like the ability to climb everything. Whatever you think should be possible, is possible and that opens up a whole new dimension of gameplay. This goes beyond a fish fleeing from you or arrows flying in a naturalistic curve and being collectible even under water.

BotW pushed the genre forwards, a genre it just entered. It also pushed the franchise forwards and gave it a much-needed overhaul. I don’t think Nintendo will entirely drop the classic Zelda formula, but it would be nice to see different kinds of Zelda coexisting alongside each other.

I hope the successor to this game has better item management. Going through all the pages of food and gear and weapons to whatever you’re searching for at the moment was annoying. I would also love to see traditional dungeons back. I liked the approach of huge 3D puzzles, but 4 traditional dungeons would’ve been more to my liking. And for the love of god, maybe one day we’ll have a Zelda with an actual great story and characters? Maybe? I’m supporting the weapon durability aspect, btw.

And we definitely need more Sidon.

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Damn, this post got way longer than I anticipated…
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Too many interests

I have way too many interests… and still waste my time onthe internet doing nothing most of the time.  You know, like writing a blog noboidy is going to read anyway about my crazy interests nobody is going to find interesting, even if he stumbles into it.

So, as I just mentioned, I have a lot of interests and I often find myself very much into something for a short period of time, before I move on to another. I just can’t do everything at the same time, but unfortunately I tend to neglect something, if I’m currently into something else.

Hold your horses, I’m a responsible person (at least I hope so), I will always care for my guinea 817625d7a583fdd7195478de3d4194a21835ca6cpigs as best as I possibly can and if that includes feeding my big girl 7 times a day again, like I used to when she was growing up very ill, than I will do that. Our pets are part of our lifes, but we are our pet’s entire life. These are living creatures depending on our care, no matter what happens I will always provide the best possible care for them. I love them to death, I wanted to have them for at least 10 years before I finally got them and they are certainly not just a phase of mine, but treasured pets and part of my family.

I’m talking more about stull like… movies, games, anime and manga, stamp collections – this is all stuff that I like. I also have a full time job. And guinea pigs, including a very high maintance individual, that needs special care and a special diet. I also love doing postcrossing, something that I really really need to pick up again. I’m into photography, but I need to get my lazy ass outside more to actually take photos of… well… something. I love to go to the zoo and basically love everything connected to animal care. I have a huge book about the green tree python and one about the genetics of corn snakes, but even though owning a snake is something I can imagine, I will probably never actually own a snake.

I also have books about strawberry poison-dart frogs, dwarf hamsters and box turles – I’m not going to own any of those for sure. I’m interested in it, though. I have to admit I hate learning oophaga_pumilio_blaubeiner_hifor exams, but I do love learning about the stuff that I like. This is what I loved about the time I went to University: I was able to do what I really wanted to do for the most part. I was able to attend a lecture about the origins of the universe, starting with the big bang all the way until the development of the first cell on earth, as part of my studies. No, I did not study astrophysics, I studied biology for teachers. How does that make any sense? I don’t know, but I do know the universe is finite and still expanding to this day, thanks to that lecture.

Surprinsingly, I’m not into US TV shows at all and even though I’m a pretty nerdy girl, I don’t like US comics.

SNES and 3DS – my favorite consoles

The SNES and the 3DS are my favorite video game systems of all time. And here’s why.

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A Link to the Past

The SNES was a huge part of my childhood, so nostalgia certainly plays a huge part in it. I can’t even tell you how many hours we siblings raced each other in Super Mario Kart and how often I failed to complete this one stage in Donkey Kong Country 2 where the green glibber of death raises – spoiler: every single time. It was much, much later when I first completed DKC2 and despite all of that, it’s one of my favorite games period.

We used to rent games in a video game store, back in the day when you still went and rented movies and games and loved this old grey box so much, we completely skipped the entire N64 era. It was on the Gamecube that I was first introduced to my favorite video game franchise: The Legend of Zelda. I have to admit I missed many classics of the early 3D-era, but I also played a lot of amazing classics from the 32bit-era. Hands down, the SNES arguably has one of the greatest libraries of any video game system and I think it’s a shame Europe never saw Chrono Trigger on SNES. I played it on DS later and it still rocks.

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Donkey Kong Country 2

This is one of the reasons I hold the SNES higher than the N64: a lot of games from that era still hold up exceptionally well today: A Link to the Past, Super Metroid, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Yoshi’s Island, just to name a few. The system is full of cold classics you can just turn on today and they’re just as great.

This doesn’t mean the N64 doesn’t have games you can still enjoy today, but since 3D gaming was still new, developers had to work out a lot of stuff and every single game from that time looks ugly today. Replaying N64 games today, they don’t really feel all that special anymore compared to back then. It was such an exciting time to live in – even if you didn’t have the console (my friends had, though). Ocarina of Time is my absolute favorite game of all time and it’s still great today, but people playing it today for the first time don’t really get why we old fans are praising it so much. Go and play Chrono Tigger – you’ll know why it’s considered one of the greatest JRPGs ever made. The N64 was a pioneer, though. It was a time when gaming changed a lot and that’s why the early 3D-systems are so important.

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Ocarina of Time

Jump forward and I kind of lost my gaming drive along the way. I did play some Wii and some Gameboy Advance and also a bit on the DS, but not as much as I could have. I also borrowed my brothers PS2, but it’s all just some minor time kill. All these systems had great games, but I simply lost interest in gaming for a while. This is where the 3DS comes into play and if there’s one thing I regret, it’s that I bought it a few months too early. Not because of the games and everyone thought it would fail, but because I bought it for Ocarina of Time 3D in June and later that year they released an OoT special edition 3DS – and I really, REALLY wanted that, but couldn’t bring myself to buying a second system so early. Maybe I should have.

And boy was Ocarina of Time 3D a great game. The enhancements they did with the new system worked great. OoT 3D is the best version of OoT you can find. I just love this game to death and in that regard the 3DS delivered what I expected. With my favorite game back in my hands all fresh and new, my love for video games was triggered once again.

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Animal Crossing New Leaf

I admit I did have trouble finding decent games for the 3DS early in it’s life and ended up with some more obscure titles such as Rabbids 3D out of sheer lack of choices, but once the big games hit, man was it a great experience: Pokemon Gen VI, Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Fire Emblem Awakening, Fantasy Life, Persona Q, Bravely Default, Animal Crossing New Leaf, Zelda OoT 3D and MM 3D, Luigi’s Mansion 2, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – and the list goes on! I have 30+ games for my 3DS and yes, I ended up buying the Link between Worlds 3DS XL special edition. Did I regret it? No, because even though my original 3DS was still working, the bigger screen makes it so much better.

Once I have the money for it, I will buy The Legend of Legacy and Stellar Glow is also on my list. There’s Steam World Heist I still want to get and Bravely Second will find it’s way into my claws day 1, I promise! Bravely Default was my favorite game of that year and I can’t wait to play the sequel – of course I downloaded the demo. With Mighty No.9 and

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Bravely Default

Dragon Quest XI, there’s even more great games on the horizon. I do admit I will pass on  Fire Emblem Fates. FE Awakening was an amazing game, but I’m not that much of a tactical JRPG fan.

In the end, it was the 3DS that made me buy a Wii U. It’s a shame it didn’t take off the same way the 3DS did and it still struggles with content, because it’s a great console and the Gamepad makes gaming so much better in so many ways. The few games I have for that system are amazing, though: Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, Rayman Legends, Bayonetta 1+2, Captain Toad (I’m not kidding, it’s surprisingly good!), Xenoblade Chronicles X, Smash Bros 4, Splatoon, MH3U, Mario Maker and even though Yarn Yoshi can’t really compete with the “three big” Platformers on the Wii U (Mario 3D World, DKC TF & Rayman), it’s still worth to play. Let alone the awesome Virtual Consoles games: Metroid Prime trilogy? Super Metroid? A Link to the Past? Count me in!

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Luigi’s Mansion 2

In the end, the SNES has a special place in my heart, because it introduced me into gaming and the 3DS has an equally special place in my heart, because it brought me back to gaming. And the games are just too damn great to resist. 😀 There are countless of rumors about Nintendos NX, but I would prefer if a handheld version would wait a little longer, so I can enjoy more new games on my beloved 3DS.

Nintendo World Championships

logo-championshipsAfter 25 years, the Nintendo World Championships will be revived at E3 2015… sounds awesome right? Excpet, it isn’t. At least not for me, because I live in Germany. That’s in Central Europe and that’s apparently in outer space or something, because I can’t participate.

Here’s the thing: You can only quality at 8 locations in the US and I’m not planning on flying across the globe for that, I don’t have that much money. I know this might be very nitpicky, but if you make this an US-exclusive event… you know, you probably don’t want to call it “world championships”, because that includes the world.

When I first heared about it, I expected something like prelimitaries in all the regions where Nintendo products are sold, but instead it’s just the US. Great. I get that this event is held at E3 and that it’s probably sponsored my NoA exclusively, but I still feel kind of cheated out of this.

We live in 2015, where everyone can talk to other people across the globe whenever he likes. We’re more connected than we’ve ever been, thanks to the internet we have access to every place in the world with an internet connection. I’m not even saying Nintendo should’ve held the prelimitaries as online tournaments, I’m just saying we live in a day and age, where saying “the world” actually means the entire world and not just the US.

Dear Nintendo, would you please hold actual World Championships next time? Preferably not in 25 years.