My mega Tears of the Kingdom spoiler ramble: mixed feelings with both highs/positives and lows/negatives

Please do not read further if you don’t want to be spoiled on story, gameplay and mechanics.

You have been warned.

I repeat: STOP. Full SPOILERS.

Please leave. Don’t go any further below.

She was right there at the beginning ahhhhhh my sad heart!! :’)
So this is what I did for the sky islands – I almost did everything here and I avoided two of the Gleeok islands but did the King Gleeok one for my first Gleeok fight haha
Gosh I explored lots for Central Hyrule, Hebra, Eldin and Lanayru and Necluda!
Then when it got to the forest, Faron and Gerudo I didn’t care about exploring anymore.
I let go of exploration much much earlier than BOTW and just focused on heading towards destinations and checking off a guide for cave and light root locations. I got tired.
This is what I’ve explored for the Depths. I lost interest since it’s just the surface map inverted and the visuals are mostly samey ;P
I don’t care about the treasure (clothing), getting all the light roots get you nothing meaningful and I’m not keen on fighting bosses and mini bosses down here. I did get all the Bargainer statues who were a pain to reach and used up a lot of my stamina replenishing foods!!

I spent 280 hours of my life on this game.

Breath of the Wild took me 330-350 hours?? I don’t remember the exact number.

I hear others took 70 or 120 something hours. I still feel like I got caught up in the gameplay and exploration loop for TOO LONG before I got out so I STILL end up spending too long playing this game :’)

So I am feeling mixed. Consequently I went into some videos so I can process my mixed thoughts and get more insight on what others think too.

Here goes my dot points of notes, thoughts and rambling:

The positives and highs of Tears of the Kingdom

The first time you fall into the Depths — it’s both exciting and terrifying!! Ahhhh! The sense of dread!!
My stomach was anxiously twisting every time I fell into Chasms :’)
Gosh the super cute gushing how “Link is a wonderful partner” to her new parental figures ;D
Hmm right Sidon. You say you’re best friends haha
I was “nooooo” am I hurting her??? I was super hesitant and conflicted since this is what she sacrificed for.
This was after me seeing the master sword dragon tear memory that reveals about Zelda’s plan to do draconification :'(
That solemn, sad moment. Well not that Link has been super expressive as a character who apparently suppresses feelings in BOTW/TOTK.
The most powerful scene; Zelda’s sacrifice to become an eternal dragon without her consciousness and I was incredibly sad.
I was: “oh are they committing to her being a dragon forever??? I wasn’t that engaged with the main story before this but now it’s interesting, melancholic and tragic!”
And then they just made a happy ending via Rauru’s light + Sonia’s recall + Link’s love/motive/emotions wishes for her to change back (but when he’s lacking in facial expression…it’s not clear on purpose?? He was super protective/determined though)
I don’t mind her coming back for the happy ending and not having to live with the tens of thousands of years of trauma/memories but in another light it lessened the impact of her sacrifice and tens of thousands of years as a lonely dragon.
Maybe this is for the best and I’m happy she can move on with her soul intact.
My first Gleeok that I fought!! I just went for the King! Before this I kept running away from Gleeoks haha
I kept thinking of Avatar movie people…when I got this outfit.
Yes I got all the shrines since there’s unique/lore content, I can fast travel on the surface and I can get max health ;P
It is interesting with the Owl, Dragon and Boar deities shown here.
Dragons!!!! This was an incredible, fun ending and fight sequence especially with the music 😀
Such a wonderful satisfying moment as it goes full circle – he finally catches his princess!! <3
I wished he hugged her when she woke up though, gosh they like to keep dancing around in the vague area ughhh 🙁
At the extra credits scene, apparently the sages were going to swear loyalty to both “princess Zelda and L–” but they stopped, coughed and laughed?
But the subtitles didn’t show the “L–“? Hmm what are you doing devs dancing around in the vague area again?? *squints eyes*

Positives on STORY

  • Zelda & Link’s Love | TotK BotW Evidence Explained | 2023
    • wholesome love and full of trust/faith in each other!! I wish I could have that kind of relationship…in my dreams I guess :’)
    • also how she wanted to surprise Link with new, stronger garments and told him she’s home (with him & reunited at the end) <3
  • sad and compelling with the twist – zelda’s dragon transformation and sacrifice
    • Zelda ate a huge gummy/secret stone?? How do you swallow that??
  • How is there only two Zonai left back then? Hmm I want more lore
  • Penn is great
  • I like Zelda and the sages as characters and some side entertaining characters and moments!
    • “people are genuinely helping each other to rebuild” vibes with usually feel good endings
  • Ganondorf is awesome – just wished the english localisation didn’t miss out on how he wants a world of vicious, prideful warriors who value “the ends justify the means”, and giving power to those who win with courage and strength and how he resents the Zonai for their wasting their powers and striving for peace
  • It’s cool and tragic how the Zonai murals under the castle meant that the time travel and draconification stuff was always going to happen :’0
  • that silly quest where a Zonai research team had to go down to their underwear :’)
  • Saying goodbye to Mattison with her family in Tarrey Town, the side quest was pretty good
  • I enjoyed reading Sidon’s 12 blue stone tablet entries
    • a lot of gushing about Link ;D
    • I had a BOTW guide so I wasn’t stressing out on missing out on them ;P
  • The Voe and Me quest was wholesome – how Gerudo women learn how to talk Voe/men for romance
    • I wore Link’s awakening mascot/toy head to hide my face haha
  • too much stuff so I don’t mind if the timeline is out the window and all merged together?? Since all the hero costumes are treasures from past heroes and how the Rito and Zora coexist
  • Satoris, meaning “enlightenment” and also a lovely tribute to Satoru Iwata
  • some great environmental storytelling, NPCs, cinematography and key scenes
  • Skyward Sword’s Demise design elements are in this Ganondorf
  • learning that Tauro wishes he could be naked (in his undies) and be free if he had the choice not to care about modesty, others and Paya…um okay then!
  • The Light Dragon: The Perfect Foreshadowing in Tears of the Kingdom – it’s incredibly and heartbreaking but not perfect depending on the individual’s experience
  • What actually are Bubbulfrogs
  • Story explained 1/3 (I did watch all 3 parts)
  • 100 Interesting Bits of Lore in Tears of The Kingdom! (not all of it is correct though if you read the comments)
  • 7 Secrets & Lore Details in Tears of the Kingdom

Positives on GAMEPLAY

  • fusing weapons is great though I did hoard the high level stuff
    • it added a complexity of getting stuff/materials and affecting gameplay
    • it’s not as varied as I thought and I’m not creative enough with fusing
    • I put Champion weapons & powerful weapons at my house
  • skeletal horses are cool
  • a lot of their money and testing went into the physics and building zonai devices engine – so of course that was good for the most part. A lot of jank at times
  • King Gleeok/Gleeoks and Ganondorf were the actual fun bosses I experienced!
    • I died and it was hard to beat when I was figuring it out
    • Gloom hands and Phantom Ganon were horrifying and intimidating too!! I died a bunch at first as I didn’t know how to not get overwhelmed!
    • The other bosses were alright/meh/easy.
  • building houses was annoying, I was stuck but it was great *after* rebuilding Lurelin Village and dealing with the “pirates” who are really the same overworld enemies but on a ship
    • I was hoping for unique pirate enemies…
  • I enjoyed defending Gerudo town as it was different and I feel involved!!
  • I feel bittersweet about Koltin’s ending when you get all the gems
    • I needed eighty something more gems/bubbulfrogs but I wasn’t bothered doing any more caves. I was not keen spending days trying to get all the caves so I watched the cutscene/sequence on youtube instead ;P
    • caves are good and some can be mini dungeons
  • I like Master Kohga much more and enjoyed the side quest!
    • I also enjoyed “disguising myself to be part of the Yiga clan” side quest to see the clan in a different light and how some of them show off their Zonai powered killing machines
  • lead up to the wind temple was fun and wonderful, especially the nostalgic music and Colgera boss fight
  • exploration is good but as time went on I was looking for big, interesting stuff and gave up on exploring and roaming (I still explored the surface a lot)
  • wanted to finish the game but there’s so much stuff to doooo and got stuck in the gameplay loop
  • the abilities ascend and recall/rewind are great – I tend to use the latter less though
  • music is more involved than BOTW since the world is more alive
  • water temple is easier? I did backtrack a bunch though
  • interesting that the depth versions of the boss / typography of underworld is flipped with the surface
    • every lynel in the depths is under each of the surface’s stables??
  • there are some meaningful side quests and how it affects the world – feels more lived in
  • the cool Zonai creations/inventions/models other players make – not my thing to do though
  • constructs and in field bosses are good/alright
  • I got the master sword first before the Spirit Temple stuff just so I can use the Master Sword more
  • “Finally, a GOOD Game” ~ Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Quick Review, Very Short – no it’s an hour long video haha
  • Tears of the Kingdom wants you to cheat
  • Tears of the Kingdom fixed all of BOTW’s mistakes (I disagree, a lot of mistakes didn’t get addressed but they double downed!!)
  • 10 Subtle differences between TOTK and BOTW

The negatives and lows of Tears of the Kingdom

Why do we have to see essentially the same story cut scene 3-4 times after each dungeon with the fourth time with Mineru – a more comprehensive version?? Yes I know already about Rauru’s sacrifice, the Imprisoning war and the promise!
This is one of the many examples how freedom and open world is more valued and clashes with the not as great executed storytelling in this game.
It hurts my enjoyment and frustrates me.
He’s just a blank face when Zelda leaves…he’s just >:| or 😐 or :O or Xo
I get that lorewise, he’s holding it all in with his expressions and words because people judge him lots as the “chosen hero”, perhaps he is pretending and this is his way to cope or he simply believes he can change her back??
But who’s looking at him here?? He’s alone so he can probably show some sad/shocked feelings too!
Let me be able to relate and feel feelings along with him 🙁

Am I making excuses for the lack of personality and emotions for an intentionally deadpan, blank slate character?
He only shows anger, surprise and protectiveness?
It just feels like he moves on to the next thing/task/quest too well and I feel so conflicted on an emotional level.

I’ve seen more expressive Links in the other games (Skyward Sword, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess many other Zelda games) and BOTW and TOTK really didn’t want to focus on it.
It bothers me how I struggle to relate/connect to him at times!!

Anyhoo the Silent Princess is their flower of eternal love
(well someone’s headcanon is Silent = Link and Princess = Zelda but hey who knows!)

Negatives on STORY

  • Execution of the main story and some side stories is all over the place and broken
    • when people say Zelda games are not for the story…they’re not wrong as much as it hurts me to say it
    • most Zelda stories are similar in their foundation – the best of which when Link is motivated by firsthand connections with characters in the story
    • but I need to care and believe enough about the characters to play such a huge game though and if the story is being experienced/executed/designed/written in an unenjoyable, disjointed way it upsets me 🙁
    • repetitive patterns with not fully fleshed out story – it feels like a story mash up of some previous Zelda games in some ways (sky islands from Skyward Sword, Ganondorf swearing loyalty like Ocarina of Time)
    • clearly they value open world freedom and development time was spent on building mechanics the most
  • why Hestu or people from Hateno village don’t remember you from the last game? You also have a house there!!
  • What has Link done in between games??
    • why Zelda steal your BOTW house?? Why did they make Link and Zelda living together vague??
    • What has Link been doing in between games 5-7 years with Zelda even though she’s not really a royal of a castle anymore??
  • Penn stables side quest
    • it feels like a waste of time when you know what happened to Zelda but Link is not telling him :/
  • Only Impa and a few others knew about Zelda’s sacrifice – that’s all we could tell to not spread panic :S
    • Purah doesn’t seem to feel too strongly aside from “getting back to saving the world business”
    • Impa just accepts it and hopes there’s a way to change her back
    • the not too emotional reactions from people who actually knew Princess Zelda in the present day vs Mineru being super upset felt lacking/jarring overall
  • I feel like Tauro and Paya could have been more involved but they just block you from the ring ruins for a lot of the game thanks to Puppet Zelda :/
  • Getting the story all out of order and spoiled (luckily I got guided away from that all I would have been super upset)
    • some have felt cheated, sad and got spoiled in the depths/a certain Spirit Temple/thunderclouds area and skipped story accidentally by exploring too much
  • the Dragon tears / the BOTW Memory way of storytelling
    • why can’t we experience it and play as Zelda? Then we can connect with Mineru more too! We’re not involved and just witnessing it??
    • once again, a lot of the cool exciting stuff is in the past – we’re not playing it ourselves to emotionally connect with it (we’re being told exposition rather than experiencing it and facing Ganondorf back then too)
    • I want this memory system ditched since I’m not enjoying how it’s told randomly – make the story more cohesive!! Ahhhhh 🙁
    • it’s frustrating when Link knows stuff but doesn’t tell people, makes the puppet Zelda feel pointless
  • Concerning points (Japan I guess)
    • Tama point quest where there’s a “technically older” zora girl (who visually looks like a child) and an adult hylian man as a couple from BOTW here as well??? Super uncomfortable and creepy feeling.
    • Symin(?) teacher was insistent on body checking kid form of Purah daily in BOTW (even Purah didn’t understand why she needs her body checked in the Japanese version) and is now a teacher for 4 children in TOTK??? I’m somewhat uncomfortable as it’s super vague…I’ll give benefit of the doubt :S
  • Rauru as a companion was a youtube commenter’s idea! He gets to reflect and experience present day Hyrule with you and talk about how it was for him with some Zonai lore! So that you connect more with the Zonai, Mineru and Sonia more when they disappear at the end and get more emotional closure
    • plus you can ask him to read ancient Hyrulean text! And get more Zonai lore firsthand!!
  • We don’t get to see characters cry like Mineru over Rauru, Rauru over Sonia (he does grieve at her grave solemnly), Zelda over Sonia
    • why doesn’t Mineru call out to her brother when he makes his sacrifice but has an emotional reaction to the draconification? Huh?? Also the fact that as the last of the Zonai, she is dying…
  • Can we see affection between Sonia and Rauru that’s not just stone the tablets? What is Mineru and Raura sibling relationship like and their feelings/trauma of being the last Zonai?? So many great characters that could have been fleshed out
  • it’s up to fans to dig out/read between the lines or make fan stuff I guess
  • Age of Calamity had more interactions and cutscenes with emotions :’)
  • Purah is overrated as a character…or people just like her design ;P
  • Let Link and Zelda hug at the end when they’re both awake please gahhhh

Negatives on GAMEPLAY

  • dungeons
    • actual wind temple with the 5x gear turning objective is not too exciting
      • the boat doesn’t really hint at having the internals of an actual boat so the theming is superficial as one video essay describes it
      • subsequent dungeons were more disappointing compared to the lead up to the Rito Ship and Colgera 🙁
    • fact that dungeons is just taking or activating 4-5 things and that’s it
    • the spirit temple was much more building puzzle room focused but I didn’t really want to be creative and use my tired brain with building and followed a guide ;P
    • most of the boss fights can be better and are easy, not too interesting…they’re easy once you know what you’re doing
      • Zelda bosses are fun when new features and strategies are put in use (like Colgera and previous Zelda games) and not just focusing on using the strongest weapon
    • the traditional puzzles, combat, puzzles, dungeons/temples suffer and clash since the robust physics engine open world sandbox is more valued/focused on
    • dungeons are essentially the BOTW divine beasts with theming – so better than BOTW in that regard
    • these dungeons are not as great compared to other non open world Zelda games since for BOTW/TOTK they’re just designed with just the sages and starting tools and it ends up being limited, simplistic and boring in gameplay/combat design
      • the fact that it’s open world and you can start at any dungeon means most bosses, enemies are designed around Link’s basic tools, powerful weapons, bombs, arrows + you can heal and eat any time so there’s no exciting progression and fresh new approaches with combat and with dealing with different bosses/enemies (except maybe Ganondorf and Gleeoks)
  • BOTW burnt me out and left me jaded (with its freedom/exploration); I generally enjoyed TOTK much more but I still have mixed feelings on the open world, combat and progression loop (still better than BOTW)
    • followed guides so I don’t have to get lost and as my impatience increases
    • I have no patience to explore anymore when I’m over 100 hours in; I was feeling done and I wanted the story to get going!!
    • I had a hard time of letting go of exploration until I burnt out and had enough of hoarding things I won’t use or have the room for
    • the game became a chore; it’s a huge game since the map doubled the first game’s
    • I was not interested in clothes/amiibo outfits so I didn’t bother with exploring the Depths – not worth it for me
    • I can’t and shouldn’t play all the content – kept second guessing on which content/progression/side quests I should skip since it got repetitive and it bogs things down and feels bloated. Meaningful content feels sparse
    • not bothered collecting materials from difficult bosses to upgrade clothing sets (from the last game) to the maximum – I am not fighting 30 Lynels!! The materials – I don’t need a lot of them
    • I had to get myself out of the loop of gathering and upgrading
    • also because of the inventory space limit, I didn’t care about treasures and materials anymore because I had no more room and I don’t want to grab weapons I can’t have :/ Much less interest in treasure chests because I have no space!
  • the overworld bosses and enemies were more about how powerful your weapons are
    • scattered enemy fortresses – you start to ignore them all as you get deeper in the game but it was fun dealing with them when you’re just starting out
    • late game enemies got boring and there’s not a huge increase in variety of enemies and hoarding materials felt pointless especially when I didn’t want to farm and grind enemies for days
  • I have a lot of the cool horses (Zelda’s horse, Ganondorf horse, the mega white and black horses, Epona) but I don’t really need or want to ride on them much at all
  • ah TOTK doesn’t have the classic Zelda trading sequence haha
  • TOTK could have had a room of trophies/physical memories at the “build your dream house” thingo to display the useless snowglobe (if you complete the well finding quest) and showcase all the things you’ve done for people in hyrule through gifts, photo memories, how you’ve helped people, etc
    • the themes of connections and holding hands – adding more meaning to how you’ve helped out the people of Hyrule ;P
  • Korok seeds are not enough to reward exploration – it is a chore and busywork even though there’s some new korok puzzles
    • I don’t want to explore anymore since it’s just koroks – was my thought during the game
    • I know you don’t need to get all the koroks so I ignored them all once I maxed out the inventory slots for weapons and bows
    • Koroks exist to waste time indeed…I don’t like open world filler content – this is why people torture Koroks in the first place
    • Koroks I like them as characters since Wind Waker but not with the gameplay associated with them plus they’re evil children who steal poop pellets from Hestu’s maraccas for the fun of it :<
  • Sage powers
    • Sidon’s power is most weakest and limited in use – you need a zora spear/weapon to make it overpowered
    • story wise it feels like a lost opportunity since after their own dungeon it’s just a ghost posse that stays with you and not the actual sages themselves
    • I did not use the sages masks – why do I have to wear it when there’s other gear to wear :0 I did learn from a video that the ghostly sages/Mineru’s mech do wear their own mask if you wear yours.
      • It looks like the previous sages wore theirs so that they don’t overshadow and look cooler than the present day sages?
    • Mineru and her mech body isn’t that strong and felt pointless – it’s better to fight without her. I felt bad since she sacrificed too. She’s great for walking over gloom covered floor though
    • the actual sages don’t really help much as they do own thing until cutscenes
    • the control issues with activating sage powers – it was frustrating!! When I don’t need them I accidentally activate them and when I do need them, they’re not willing to come close to me!! I didn’t know the horse whistle calls them over until way after I was done with the game!!
  • story and characters are fleshed out just/barely enough but lacking depth and development
    • NPCs once done with their quest you do not need them anymore
  • Shrines
    • I enjoy the shrines much better though I sense the patterns again
    • some where you’re left with nothing and you have to fight all the constructs with the given tools (constraints exist here)
    • the building puzzles – some of them I just checked a guide because I didn’t care about figuring it out. I don’t care about building puzzles and executing a solution I am too lazy/slow to figure out
    • you’re only doing this to raise health, stamina, fast travel points and to increase the light power in these shrines – so not necessary to do them all
  • Sky islands
    • here’s a spinning launcher thing, here’s a gatcha zonai device machine, here’s a place where you can make a zonai construction to get higher in altitude – you know what you’re expected to do and it became predictable
  • The Depths
    • as mentioned above I lost interest and didn’t bother with light roots as it got repetitive and predictable
    • it’s recycled content and felt like a scary wasteland with bosses scattered around so I lost interest
    • collecting zonite felt like a chore with the same enemies from the surface
  • a lot of things can’t be skipped eg: why are there several cut scenes to skip through after finishing shrines?? I kept skipping through the Blood Moon cutscene after the first time around. Yes I saw the no puppet Zelda version too 😛
  • why was the Master Sword left till the end – it’s not really in the forefront to be used much
  • how do I know how many signs I’ve “fixed”??? Also he’s probably powerful given how much he’s traveled, cooked and collected
  • why can’t I still “cook X”, Y amount of times???
  • it’s definitely an expansion of BOTW and not a completely new take and new ideas on its own like Majora’s Mask is to Ocarina of Time
  • it’s a lot of farming and grinding if you need to upgrade…
  • why can’t Link make arrows?? Why can’t we combine arrow types??
  • open world games – wasting time with boring, repetitive, busy work or you just ignore the majority of the content since it’s not unique and time consuming :/
  • Tears of the Kingdom – An Incredible Game That Annoyed Me To No End. Notes from video & commenters:
    • progression for progression sake since there’s no meaningful reward with the horse points, finding wells, getting all the outfits, getting better weapons, etc
      • lack of meaningful progression systems – exploring is not enough as it doesn’t really help progress the community/world systems/help people around you/ build stronger connections with people and the world /affect the world
    • spirit temple was not enjoyable – just bring body parts and building puzzles to build a vehicle
      • yeah I just cheated with a guide and it definitely takes ages to build and execute the solution – I had no patience to allow myself to be frustrated
    • the devs value freedom over sequence breaking and minimising frustration
      • it’s frustrating though due to backtracking!!
      • I feel robbed of a better, streamlined experience
      • I don’t want to worry about breaking the storytelling sequence, missing clever puzzles, dungeons, fights (unintentionally or not)
      • sometimes you can just cheat and do the puzzle your own way over how “the game wanted you to do it” but there’s more fulfillment ignoring the easy/cheat method – it’s up to the player
      • is there such thing as too much freedom here??
    • “TOTK is an amazing sandbox, yet a train wreck when it comes to story and quest design :/ “
    • How from BOTW/TOTK interviews, this is the “new recipe” for Zelda and they don’t like having creativity stifled and don’t want the previous Zelda game recipe anymore
      • noooo, I don’t know about such a non linear approach!!
    • The horrible menu system got worse in this game!!
      • it is a headache trying to remember what does what – they didn’t iterate nor improve on it
      • especially when fusing each arrow there are so many buttons to press
      • I kept forgetting what button does what and I press the wrong buttons too
      • Yes, we do need mappable buttons like previous Zelda games!! It’s suits the “freedom” philosophy too!
  • Negative (mostly) review
    • the dungeons can be just skipped/flown over and the game didn’t restrict the player to force them to actually do some creative problem solving
    • some good points made in this video with Zelda’s sacrifice storywise
  • TotK Is So FRUSTRATING To Play – good criticism but hyperbolic
  • The MISSING Content in Tears of The Kingdom!
    • I don’t care about Twilight Princess or Twilight Princess‘s fishing ;P
    • RIP durians and darknuts, hookshots and rolling.
    • Aw Minish people would be great.
  • Tears of the Kingdom Has a PROBLEM
    • cheating is intended vs cheating not intended when you just skip the whole cool designed gaming experience
    • I would feel cheated from the experience if I didn’t get guided from having it ruined for me!!
  • Tears of the Kingdom is a Frustrating 10/10 notes from video & commenters:
    • constant predictable distractions and gameplay loop with collecting stuff and treasures
      • not worth it anymore when you have no more no storage space
      • too much busy work now – repetitive
    • need to reign in the freedom in some ways
    • it’s fun with the sandbox building, silly stuff, cheating and flying/exploring
    • but there’s the downside of skipping unique content and cheating
    • they valued player agency and bending rules to your will but there are no limiters
    • proximity reliant A press to an NPC to activate sages is indeed horrible
    • why is there only a capacity of 64 photos when a lot of quests rely on it??
    • it is a work of art and game is more about the vibes and charm
    • weapons system could be better – essentially 4 or so types of weapons
  • Tears of the Kingdom Review: The Legend of Sloppy Seconds
    • very good points with the repetitive padding and filler
    • how the surface world is the same and the Depths doesn’t have enough variety either so you’re looking out for new things different from BOTW instead
    • janky building mechanics and getting tired of building things
    • yeah this review nails a lot of the gameplay issues I had

Final Thoughts

I guess I’m still mourning that Zelda isn’t really a game I look forward to playing as much anymore. Even since BOTW. So I guess it’s been years.

Generally for Zelda, it was the streamlined, tight & designed story (however predictable/simple it may be), characters and game experience that I enjoyed and believed in. Wind Waker was somewhat open but it was a great, linear experience!

Not the time consuming open world exploration/physics sandbox with broken up storytelling. Both story and the gameplay have to work together for me to want to enjoy and play. This game tries to do too much/eat all the cake but not actually doing and improving everything super well and in depth. Or maybe you have a better way to articulate this.

This game leaves me feeling sad, frustrated, disappointed and mixed since it didn’t live up to all my expectations :’) I don’t care about the building/physics engine, open world sandbox and gameplay loop of busy work that didn’t have enough meaningful progression systems!! I got impatient with the game’s pacing too!

These two games made me realize that I don’t click with openworld/sandbox games and this direction that Zelda as a franchise is sticking with. These games are too big for me, frustrate me and take so much time!! They’re great games but it’s aliening for me as a Zelda fan before these games.

I feel left behind. Been trying to accept this since BOTW.

I love Zelda yet I feel so conflicted with the open world game design and how they’ve implemented it + all the filler/busywork/progression issues/frustration/etc.

I’m not enjoying myself as much as I would have – during my 280 hours of time playing I’m always second guessing and looking up guides if the game is wasting my time with busywork, frustration and exploration or if it’s actually meaningful and worth my time. If it’s worth upgrading gear and grinding things. If it’s worth fighting enemy fortresses anymore. If it’s worth collecting bubblegems. If it’s worth finding all the wells. Where is the game respecting my time. I have trust issues with the game :’)

No clue what DLC would be either…will they actually do new things with the story?? Mechanics that’s not just about building things?? Improvement to combat systems & progression? Give me loreeee!! Good they’re not doing DLC for the sake of it. I’m done with it and it doesn’t need more – it’s so huge and repetitive already ;P

It seems like they’re just doing enough lore/story to get you intrigued with a bunch of wonderful, high and charming moments/characters/notes but when you get deep enough there’s lots of not fully fleshed out areas, characters, themes, history and there’s lots of missed opportunities for emotional storytelling (especially when the game is huge in scope) :’)

And in the next game do we get a new Link and Zelda after this?? A different world/country/region rather than repurposing the same map? I need things changed up and lots of the above issues addressed.

I don’t know. I’m reluctant to play the next Zelda game…I need more information, changes and improvements when the time comes. I might cave for more Zelda in my life or might not – I am more wary of sinking my time into the busywork/open world and building gameplay side of things :’)

How do I not get sucked into the exploration gameplay loop and waste too much time…

This took me much time to process and write up but I needed to get it out of my system!!

Anyhoo I end this post with music: Zelda & Mario Orchestra @ Nintendo Live 2023 (Gusty Garden, Skyward Sword, TotK, BotW, Ocarina, & More!)

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