78 Reviews liked by HaHaYes

the one thing Bethesda had going for it was their near seamless little handcrafted diorama worlds, so naturally they decided to replace that with loading screen gated proc-gen. Apparently you're supposed to play the main quest first so I tried that but I nearly puked when I was asked to weigh in on a debate over "science, or dreams"

I was planning to play through the game 2 more times, once with the Dark Urge Origin and once going the "evil"/absolutist route
But then I saw how much stuff Larian is already announcing to add and idk I am just so fucking tired. Yeah I felt like the ending was a bit lackluster and it's cool that Karlach will be able to get a better ending and all but like.
I would just like to be able to buy a finished game. And then play the game at launch with the knowledge that I'm not missing out on anything by not waiting 5 years until every single patch has dropped. It's so strange to me that there was this huge discussion when this game came out about setting new standards because you can just buy a complete game for 60€ when the game demonstrably wasn't complete.
Of course I like it when things get better over time but I don't have enough time to replay every single game each time it gets a patch so I'd just appreciate it if a game releasing meant it is now as good as it gets. Especially a title that spent 3 years in early access.

Like RDR2. Tears of the Kingdom puts me in the rather unconfortable position of having to be the party pooper even through, when you get down to it, I enjoyed the game quite a lot.
I don't mind that people like the game, but.....highest rated game on this site? 10s on every big website? Come on.
This game is hugely flawed, and honnestly, not even really an improvement on Breath of the Wild. The non linearity is nowhere near as well as done. The tutorial is pretty long and dosent actually give you everything you need to explore the world properly (paraglider, autobuild). Main Quests regularly come off as weird if you do stuff early like getting the master sword. Getting to the final boss is now uber unfriendly to speedrunners. The story is just clearing up loose threads from BOTW like, what happened to Ganondorf.
I didnt think i'd mind the reuse of the map, but I actually did. BOTW's appeal was discovering an uncharted world, kinda like Zelda 1. Thats just not gonna have the same appeal the second time around. Yakuza games get away with it because not only is the story of most of these games much stronger than TOTK, traversal isnt a core of Yakuza's gameplay, while it absolutely is for Zelda, so you cant help but feel the reuse of the same map when youre going tower to tower to discover the entire map.
The zonai tech is a really cool mechanic for those creative people, the same people who love using redstone in Minecraft, but I am not a creative person, and to be fair, the game largely lets you off easy on the things you need to create so that people like me can enjoy the game. But that so means that people like me will be largely ignoring the main thing setting this game apart from BOTW.
So what is good about TOTK then?
The main quest honnestly. The dungeons were pretty good, people say they still arent on par with classic zelda dungeons, and I disagree, sure, theyre not on par with the excellent selections in the adult section of OOT and of TP, but theyre good enough and make great use of TOTK's mechanics to provide good challenges. I wish there were more, so thats a good sign. Ganondorf is absolutely fantastic is this, he is menacing and the fight with him is the right kind of hard. Side characters are enjoyable and memorable, the world feels lived in. All in all, its a fun world to be in, even if it is a rethread.
TOTK is a fun junk food open world game, and the Zelda world it takes place in helps it a lot. But I admit, the overpraise the game recieved had left a sour taste in my mouth. As much as I love Zelda, I dont want it to get a free pass because of its legacy. And you know what, even through I think its very far from a masterpiece, I will look back positivly on Tears of the Kingdom, its okay to enjoy junk food once in a while.

Resources are now even more conveniently placed than they were. Before, if there was snow you'd find chilis nearby. Getting into a dangerous place? Here are some weapons. But now everything is there for you. This rock that previously was just lying around is now something you can use to build yourself a weapon. The bombs that were previously part of Link's device are now an item that only grows for Link to use it. Elemental items now are there to build elemental weapons. Arrows, berries... There are more than ever, because it's Link's only way to do things that he could previously do just fine. The world as a resource, not as a place.
The exaggerated gamification of everything that was previously in the game doesn't help either. You found a new place? Don't worry here's the name and your "New discovery" title so that you feel like you accomplished something. The two hundred wells across the map are no more than a different way to provide you with more resources. The minerals you find? They're another currency you exchange for more items. The poe, which are lost souls that you find in the underground? More currency to make your life easier there. The towers? They're not a a place to conquer anymore, but a chore: do this and that, talk to this person, get in from below. The batteries, wings, even the pots, are more items in your inventory that you get from a fucking gacha. It's the carrot and stick, clearer than ever. Congratulations, you are a donkey.
Sure, the new mechanics are great by themselves. But what can you do with Rewind that you could not with Stasis and some imagination? Did we really need Ascend in a game where you can climb virtually any surface? I get that being able to build giant mechs with auto-aim is super cool but how does that translate to the actual world and your interaction with it? When, realistically, are you going to need that and why? More importantly, how does the game give you the pieces needed to build that? Let me answer this last one: conveniently placed items in a clearly defined zone that you can recognise it from far away and a fucking gashapon. And only Link can make use of them. Where's the illusion of a world and the never-seen-before ecosystem? Which kind of place works like that? This is not a world anymore, it's a power fantasy. As imaginative as the new mechanics can be, they don't work in the context of the game because they were never necessary to begin with. They're the definition of over-engineering: trying to fix something that was never broken in order to justify the existence of a product that no one asked for and serves no purpose.

If you look at each element by itself it's hard to argue that they're not fun and entertaining because it's small little challenges and rewards that move you forward built on top of well made systems that have already been proven to work in a full game, but is that really enough? Everything in the game works in a vacuum because, in the end, everything is based well-thought, well-built mechanics on top of something that we found marvelous and fascinating when we first experienced this in 2017. But where's the charm? Where's the spark? Where's the wonder? Is there any real thought behind it other than mindlessly expanding what we previously saw? What's really new to experience or how do our new ways of interaction make Hyrule seem fascinating and challenging again?
Not only is it greatly flawed but, fundamentally, TOTK feels the same as BOTW. And thus it doesn't.

This review contains spoilers

Its the Portal 2 to BOTW's Portal 1. There is more of it but it feels somewhat bloated, some faults of the first (or aspects that were perceived as faults, anyways) are remedied whilst adding as many issues of its own. The first 10 hours are great and perhaps surpass the original, but then it goes on and on at a more subdued level of quality.
I loved the original Breath Of The Wild. When I played it around 2019 for the first time it felt like a game that was made specifically for me; every major aspect of it being described to me by a friend once and I could only go : "yes! yes!" at everything he said. When I played it it lived entirely to my expectations and even surpassed them. The microdungeons that kept up the pace, the ability to declare yourself ready to face the final boss at any time, the environmental physics systems organically interacting, the willingness to let you approach puzzles in any way : if you could find a way to cheese it you could.
I didn't have any problems with the weapon durability system and I thought it incentivised getting creative with the various systems to efficiently dispatch the various monsters. Nor did I have all that many issues that series veterans had with the weaker plot and lack of big dungeons; in all honesty that was a selling point for me personally. My first Zelda was Ocarina of Time 3D which I never finished as a kid, I dropped the game after the magic lens dungeon because something else caught my eye and when I came back to finish it my card reader had broken and I didnt have enough money at the time to fix it. I also played some of Oracle of Seasons and maybe Link's Awakening? I wasn't really grabbed by either of those. All design decisions are inherently alienating to someone, but I am not blind to the fact that the design decisions of BOTW were welcoming to me but alienating to others.
There is part of me that wonders if I would have loved TOTK more if I hadn't done 3 full runs (all shrines) of BOTW. As much as there are many new systems and locations and quests and all the things you would expect from a new entry, it is at the end of the day the same map. This does have its benefits from returning players in that going back to areas from the first game and seeing them change is always great : Tarrey Town in particular. It does however somewhat dampen my enthusiasm for exploration, paradoxically because there is also a lot more of it to do with the addition of the Sky Islands and the Depths.
If my Steam library is to be believed, I have 900 hours on Garry's Mod from when I played it religiously as a teen and let me just say, the first few hours playing with the various systems of constructing vehicles was akin to getting new toys for christmas, fond memories of thruster boosted bathtubs around GM_Construct. Unfortunately as I seem to have discovered is the case of most of this game, its burns brighter but burns itself out sooner. This might have worked in its favour if it werent for the expectation and obligation of expanding the game overall meant everything felt a bit more exhausting than it ever had in BOTW. Indeed, having the previous map as base, 6 years of dev time and a 70 dollar pricetag did make it obvious that this would be the case but I hope one day we get a sequel that tightens the game as opposed to overextends it.
The first 20 times you do a combat challenge dungeon or find a crazy new enemy in the overworld its new and refreshing, but not by the 50th time. Its the Elden Ring issue, repetition inherently dampens the mystery, the awe of exploration and discovery. This was also somewhat true in BOTW but didnt feel anywhere near on the level of TOTK.
I didnt have a problem with the Great Plateau in BOTW, I didnt think it was overlong at all but I definitely felt that in TOTK. When I finally got to the overworld it made me wonder : "Is there no paraglider in this game? Maybe they want you to really use the new vehicle stuff to overcome the terrain" and I'm not saying that would have made a better game but I am genuinely curious how TOTK would have turned out if your Paraglider was straight up removed (it wouldnt have worked because of the Sky Islands and the wind dungeon but still these could have been changed).
Another element that might have been excised to improve the game imo was autobuild, which I got very early on but almost entirely removed the fun of the game, you make one or two or three general purpose builds and you never have to think about clever vehicles again outside of shrines. They cost resources to make but it just adds a small unwelcome grind to proceedings really.
I quite like the MrHudson sign sidequests. In general I quite like the setting which includes some of my favourite themes : the PostPostApocalypse. The people of this world are dealing with aggressive armies of demons but are nevertheless rebuilding, using the various new zonai tech to their advantage, a kind of industrial revolution.
The theming is cool, I like the Zen motif of the shrines and Rauru. The ancient hylians have a Mesoamerican thing going on in their design but this is mostly just aesthetics and not used for anything particularly interesting that I found.
This game is so dense and there are so many things to discuss that I think I could go on forever : the champions kind of break the challenge of the game, the voice acting and story continue to be kinda bad, the dungeons are a bit more elaborate and better but thats honestly a negative to me personally, horses are even more useless now, I was annoyed at the final ganondorf fight despite not dying to him at all the combat controls have always been kind of shit and the joycons are terrible so asking me to do two perfect dodges to even touch this Kikuchiyo looking mfer tested my patience; I got a bit annoyed at that fight (more than I have in a while and I did a soul level 1 run of DS1 on that very switch).
At the end of the day the best decision BOTW did was to make fighting Ganon at any point possible. That is still technically the case in TOTK but after I was "done" with the game and finished the 4 main quest and wanted the game to end before I started to dislike it, the game threw me a whole ass sequence of quests that dragged on and started to drain my goodwill and the boss annoying me was the icing on the cake.
A lot of games don't know when to finish. A lot of games in fact do not finish at all like arcade games and the like. New Game+s, HighScores, etc these are all elements to marry two concepts : 1) Unlike other media, Videogames are a lot of the times not dropped by players at "the end" of the game especially in earlier times, rather when the player is "done". Not to say these two necessarily always clash but its definitely something that must be kept in mind when designing a game that isnt a relatively short or cinematic linear game. 2) Games need endings to bring closure and structure to its narrative and mechanical difficulty curve.
The Structure of BOTW was genius in this respect because a 100% obsessive and someone who just wanted to play for 10 hours could both enjoy the game and declare it done so long as they could defeat Ganon. Again, this is still somewhat the case in TOTK but the game doesnt really tell you. The number 1 reason I'll dislike a game is that I will be "done" with it when it has started to outstay its welcome and it simply will NOT end. If a game can speed along to its conclusion when I have reached this point it will look at a great review, if it does not, well, I am liable to either hate it or even drop it (I have never beaten Aria of Sorrow for this very reason, I reached my "done" point near the end and when Soma turns into dracula and youre asked to do some bullshit I just didnt care enough to conclude it). I'll admit I am generally a rather impatient person, but if you've read this far you're probably aware of the fact that this is just my personal perspective at the end of the day.
Tears of The Kingdom is a great game buried in a shell of bloat that didnt quite stick the landing despite still being a good game that I enjoyed for longer than most these days.

game kinda inflicts the GLOOM EFFECT on you for real in how much life they suck outta ya in the shitty menuing and excessive npc textboxes you can't mash through quick enough.
there's more meaningful GAME to engage with here than botw but holymoly it still does NOT flow well for a thing asking 70+ hours out of you. stop wasting my time!!! get to the point!!!!!! when did nintendo games start thinking loading screens were okay anyway???
they should have never given you back the paraglider.

baby's first apocalypse narrative done poorly matched with the worst gameplay elements of the Uncharted series, bland direction, tepid pacing, and sleep-inducing presentation. one of the least impressive games ever held to the standard of "10/10 best game ever" and i genuinely just don't get why? the last of us released at the peak of gaming media's obsession with finding validity as not just a medium for adults to enjoy, but one on par with cinema and literature. for whatever reason, this game was heralded as gaming's 'Citizen Kane' for a while despite doing nothing new or interesting. it's a third person shooter with zombies and it's one of the many pieces of media that spawned from a boring dude who saw Children of Men and decided to do it themselves but without the gorgeous visuals, humanity, and talent. in its desperation to be viewed as 'mature art' it has little heart or levity throughout (aside from a small number of heavily scripted 'stand around slowly walking in circles while the game talks at you' setpieces) - everyone's angry and tense all of the time and there's lots of swearing and violence, which is how you know it's for adults (serious art). nothing about the game part of the game is very fun to play in a conventional sense - large parts consist of just walkin around while you listen to bad movie dialogue. maybe you move a ladder. maybe you collect materials and craft something meaningless. maybe you crouch walk around braindead enemies and press triangle to view the killing cutscene. i love games that aren't conventionally "fun", but the last of us makes no meaningful statement with its mechanics and design in regards to its gameplay. more than anything, it feels like a game that is embarrassed to be a game and thus decides to entirely ignore any of the medium''s advantages and possibilities in favour of being completely conventional. naughty dog's uncharted series, while not games i like, at least face the player with spectacle and dozens of enemies but tlou never really starts out with much compelling or evolves in any meaningful ways over its runtime. it's a culmination of the 7th gen's most boring elements distilled in one, at best, mediocre package in service of an (at best) mid-level 'prestige' TV script.
this is also a game that was so successful it set the standards for what most big narrative driven triple a releases would be for the next couple generations. I'm not really a fan of that. very much not a fan of this and the impact it had on the industry as a whole - it's THE final turning point for PlayStation going from a system with a diverse library of colourful games to mostly just games like this. wide appeal, uninventive titles with award-winning narratives that are just like some other thing tonally and narratively but slopped up into a game that plays like a million other games. it hates itself, it hates its own medium, and it has nothing of any real value.

The people....they yearn for Grimace......they yearn to see him shred......



Really don't get what people see in this game. I got this in the boomer shooter Humble Bundle a year or two back while it was still in Early Access and with its full release today finally beat the last episode after getting through the first two episodes some time ago.
This game is just barely on the precipice between alright and straight up middling. Enemies are bullet sponges, none of the weapons feel that good, and the game is a Scrooge when it comes to ammo to the point where it feels like a genuine flaw instead of a purposeful design decision. The atmosphere is good at times but there is way too much brown sewers and factories. The level design is also not that great and confusing at times. I had enough fun with it, but I'm glad I just got this in a bundle. You can do a lot better than this game when it comes to modern boomer shooter throwbacks.

0 Lists liked by HaHaYes