Tag Archives: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

2023 Seems Cool So Far

While malformed and incomplete, 2023’s release schedule is already looking pretty impressive full. In the first few months alone we’re getting highly anticipated titles like Forspoken, the Dead Space remake, Atomic Heart, Octopath Traveler 2 and Destiny 2: Lightfall. While I don’t necessarily care about those games, other people seem pretty jazzed about it. But hey, let’s take a look at the announced titles that I actually am looking forward to thus far.

Hogwarts Legacy

I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of the Harry Potter films or books, but even I can appreciate the atmosphere of the source material enough to want to play a game set in that universe. Considering Hogwarts Legacy is set around 100 years before the events of the film, I feel like I can get away with playing this game and not feel like a sucker for not being a diehard fan.

Based on the trailers, Hogwarts Legacy is visually impressive and certainly nails the feeling of kicking it in that old, wizardly castle that we all know and love. It also looks like its got a speedy and mechanically satisfying combat system coupled with some cool in-world RPG trappings, mostly surrounding making and learning new wizardly abilities by taking their respective classes, which to clarify all sounds pretty rad to me.

Outside of a trailer or two, I haven’t really kept up with much of the marketing blitz or promotional materials which has allowed me to live in blissful ignorance about whether or not Hogwarts Legacy is actually going to be the game for me. The one thing that does worry me and give me pause about actually buying the game surrounds J.K. Rowling being a miserable transphobe who monetarily benefits from my purchase, along with the fact that the lead designer has a history of being a shithead. I’ll wait and see how this one reviews when it eventually launches on February 10th, 2023, but I don’t know if I can justify a purchase.

Wild Hearts

On paper I really like the main conceit of the Monster Hunter franchise, but in practice I’ve found them to be clunky and unsatisfying to play. I know that I’m in the minority with those complaints but they’ve always been obstacles that have kept me from enjoying this wildly popular franchise. I’m hoping that the upcoming Wild Hearts can scratch that long unattended monster-hunting itch for me with what looks like much faster and more action-oriented combat.

The idea of teaming up with friends and setting out to hunt down some monstrous prey is extremely tantalizing as is, but Wild Hearts looks to blend in some light tower defense elements into the mix which if done well, could be a real game changer. In my mind I’m imagining a game that isn’t just about tracking creatures down, but also setting up traps and acting on what you’ve learned about said creature to use its natural instincts against it. I assume that’s something that happens in Monster Hunter, but I’ve never played long enough to know for sure. I also am well aware that this being a game about hunting legendary beasts, there might be less natural instinct to work against and more ancient magic or whatever.

If the combat and the tower defense mechanics actually deliver on their promise however, Wild Hearts might be the first monster hunting game I end up enjoy playing. Lastly, and this is a minor quibble, but if the menus in this game could be more straightforward and less of an Eldritch mystery that requires a damn cypher to decode, that would be huge for me. Wild Hearts is slated to release on February 16th, 2023, potentially becoming the second video game I end up buying in a six day period.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

While not perfect, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was one of the best pieces of Star Wars media I’ve consumed in the past few years and a fun game to boot. The characters were likeable, the gameplay was tough but satisfying, and the story, while underdeveloped, was still filled with interesting and surprising moments filled with nods to deeper Star Wars lore for the hardcore fans.

Hopefully Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will build upon its solid foundation, adding in more variety in both lightsaber and force power combat, the latter of which in my opinion should resemble the Stormtrooper flinging simulator that was Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Judging by preorder bonuses, it also looks to address the pitiful lack of customization options of the previous entry by offering more character skins that aren’t just color swaps of the tunic you’re wearing.

My only real fear here is that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor leans too much into its ‘souls-like’ or ‘masocore’ inspirations, tweaking the difficulty curve to be more inline with other games in the genre. Hopefully with it being a licensed game of one of the most popular franchises ever, the game will boast a wide variety of accessibility and difficulty options that’ll let even a casual like myself enjoy it. Guess I’ll find out when it releases on March 17th of 2023.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

I feel like I really shouldn’t have to explain why I’m excited for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom considering its predecessor is probably one of the greatest games of all time, but I’ll give it the ol’ college try.

I’ve never been a big Zelda guy, but Breath of the Wild was such a phenomenal experience that dropped you into a painterly version of Hyrule with the simple goal of ‘stop Ganon.” You could always look toward the castle to see wisps of his menace swirling around and encompassing it just begging for you to come and square off against the horrors within. But before you’d even attempt to tackle that, you could see seven other interesting places to explore, all of which led to several more.

Breath of the Wild represents the pinnacle of motivating the player to explore their surroundings and all I can hope for from a sequel is more of that. More places to see with more tools at my disposal to explore them. I’d also super love to not have to worry about weapon degradation anymore. I know that’s a common complaint and hot debate topic amongst fans, but for once I’d like to see Nintendo give a shit about their players and offer some accessibility options, specifically one that lets me use the Master Sword as much as I want without having to go through hell to do it. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom allegedly comes out on May 12th of 2023, but I won’t hold my breath.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

I’m not gonna sit here and pretend that I’m a big fan of the Suicide Squad or anything, but I’ve certainly been won over by what little I’ve seen Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Granted, there hasn’t been a ton of gameplay or anything for me to reference, but I trust Rocksteady Studios’ ability to make compelling gameplay so much that I’d play a game solely about Calendar Man if they made it.

In Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, you play as one of 4 members of the Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark, or Captain Boomerang, as you square off against a Brainiac controlled Justice League that’s doing some real nasty shit. I don’t know too much more about it other than it’s cooperative, but will fill in computer controlled allies where you need them which will come in handy when you can’t find anyone to play as Captain Boomerang, a character I know nothing about aside from his dumb name.

I’m excited to play this game because I’m a big fan of the Arkham games and trust that Rocksteady is going to make something that’s fun to play. As long as they don’t add some boring but mandatory Batmobile-tank battles to Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League like some other Batman games, I think it’ll be a great time. They say it’ll be out on May 26th of 2023, but I’ve been lied to before.

Baldur’s Gate 3

This one’s interesting because I’ve already played Baldur’s Gate 3 back when it released into early access approximately 14 years ago and liked it despite its rough, buggy busted-ness. I made the conscious decision to not play it until its full release because every major update brought with it a wipe of save files and I didn’t want to deal with that, so I just put it back on the digital shelf so it could marinate longer.

But now Baldur’s Gate 3 has a projected release window for August of 2023, and once it does I’m fully anticipating losing a lot of hours of my life to what might become the best Dungeons & Dragons video game of all time, depending on who you ask. I for one have high hopes for Baldur’s Gate 3 because it represents the first real turn-based RPG I’ve ever really enjoyed, which is a colossal feat in itself.

The biggest thing for me about Baldur’s Gate 3 is that it’s using the 5th Edition rules, and since I’m fairly well-versed in those I’ve had a much easier time playing this genre of game without essentially having to learn two games at once. I just want a good way to play D&D without having to be a DM or even finding a group, and Baldur’s Gate 3 seems like it’ll fill that void for me.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

I really enjoyed both Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, so being excited for their inevitable sequel doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch. Insomniac Games already proved that they know how to make a mechanically sound Spider-Man game that can also deliver a compelling narrative, and that’s kind of all I want out of a sequel.

A lot of folks are clamoring for some sort of cooperative play between Miles and Peter, which would be cool for sure, but isn’t something that I need from Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. All I want from the sequel is a little more variety, both in terms of main story missions and side quests. Sprinkle in some new abilities and costumes, and you’ve got yourself a solid follow up to one of my favorite games of 2018.

But therein lies the exciting part, cause I don’t know what Insomniac could do outside of the things I’ve already listed in order to top themselves. I’m sure they’ve got something wonderful cooked up for players, but I’d sound stupid even attempting to predict what that could be. Sure I could theorize payoffs for the last game’s cliffhangers, but I’m more excited about what mechanical changes are implemented. I suppose I’ll find out at some point in 2023.

Mina the Hollower

For those unaware, Mina the Hollower is the next title from Yacht Club Games, makers of the tremendous Shovel Knight series. If Shovel Knight was their Mega-Man, then Mina the Hollower looks to be their Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, which an incredibly exciting concept to me.

Full transparency: I backed Mina the Hollower on Kickstarter because it not only looks dope as hell, but is being made by a studio I trust. What really sold me in its initial pitch was the core mechanic of digging through the earth as a quick means of transportation, hence the ‘Hollower.’ That coupled with the variety of weapons, enemies and zones in the world made it really easy to throw 20 or 30 dollars at this unfinished product.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m not really a Zelda guy, but as I’ve essentially screamed at the top of my lungs twice already, I think Yacht Club Games could be the ones to finally make that math work out for me. It doesn’t have a concrete release date just yet, but they’re aiming for 2023 at the moment, but something tells me that date wont stick.


Call it wishful thinking or misplaced optimism, but I really hope that Starfield is good. My feelings about Bethesda as a competent game maker aside, I would love for a good sci-fi RPG cause I haven’t had one of those since Mass Effect was set in the Milky Way. I guess The Outer Worlds was pretty good, but it didn’t really leave a lasting impression despite really enjoying it at the time.

What excites me about Starfield is the fact that it’s a fresh start in terms of lore. Despite enjoying some of the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I could not tell you much of anything about that world because of how dense the lore was. I can’t say for certain, but it definitely felt like I was missing a lot of context for the universe by not following the series since its inception. Starfield represents a chance to get in on the ground floor and have Bethesda introduce not just myself, but everyone to this new setting.

Aside from lore, I just hope that Starfield isn’t as buggy and busted as some of its predecessors, a thing that most fans seem to find endearing for some reason. I also wouldn’t mind if the shooting was good. I get that it’s an RPG first, but there has never been anything less satisfying to me than shooting a character in the head being met with them just losing slightly more health. I mention this because as a sci-fi game, I would expect Starfield to rely more on gunplay than Fallout did, which I would hope would result in weightier combat, but what do I know? Those and other questions are bound to be answered when it releases sometime in 2023.

This list could have been a dozen or so more entries long, but these are kind of the big ones that I could think of from where I’m at in 2022. I’m sure a bevy of things will be announced and released as the year progresses that I’ll be equally excited for. There’s also the possibility that something on this list will slip into 2024 which would be insane considering most of these games already have been delayed. But hey, I’m sure we’ll talk about that stuff as it comes up during the year.

My Favorite 15 Games of the Decade

Alright, it seems like everyone is doing one of these lists right now, so why shouldn’t I do the same?  As we round the corner and leave this decade in the dust, I’d like to take a look back at just a handful of my favorite games from the past 10 years.  These are in release order, and don’t indicate how much I enjoyed one over the other.  Also, I didn’t want to write this article forever, so I limited it to 15.  Don’t worry, I liked other games too, but these ones jumped out at me immediately when crafting this list.


MASS EFFECT 2 – (January 26, 2010)

When Mass Effect 2 arrived at the beginning of the decade, I was instantly taken with it.  Having never really enjoyed the first one, thanks to its cumbersome mechanics, Mass Effect 2 provided a more streamlined an accessible approach to the action-RPG.  With its tight combat and extremely well crafted story and world, there was very little to take umbrage with upon its release.  It had its fair share of missteps to be fair, but those complaints drifted into the background pretty quickly.  Mass Effect 2 is still a colossal experience to this day, and it also had some phenomenal pieces of downloadable content to provide new and interesting stories in this world I came to love so much.


ROCK BAND 3 – (October 26, 2010)

Rock Band 3 was the pinnacle of the plastic instrument craze that dominated the mid and late 2000’s, providing not only an amazing and diverse set list, but offering people the chance to live out their most rockin’ piano fantasies in the form of a plastic key-tar.  It isn’t hard to see why the franchise and its competitors were so popular, but the Rock Band franchise is especially dear to me because without those games, I would’ve have never started playing the actual drums.  While plastic guitars don’t really translate to real world musical talent, the fake drums actually taught me a lot about timing and limb independence.  That and it had both At The Drive In and Metric on the base set list.


THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 1 – (October 31, 2010)

When the first season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead concluded, I was devastated.  Through its highs and lows, it managed to tell a beautifully morose story that left me teary eyed.  It also reinvigorated and reinvented the stagnate adventure game, making it not only a viable genre again, but proving that these kinds of games could tell amazing stories while not requiring you to solve obscure puzzles which had been a staple for so long.


PORTAL 2 – (April 18, 2011)

Do I really need to explain why Portal 2 is on this list?  It’s one of the best puzzle games out there to this day, providing an excellent learning curve, intriguing story, and for being genuinely hilarious.  For years people have been clamoring for Half-Life 3 and Left 4 Dead 3, but the correct answer is making Portal 3.  I can safely say that I haven’t enjoyed a puzzle game as thoroughly as Portal 2 since its release.


JOURNEY – (March 13, 2012)

The way Journey handled not only its story and world, but its multiplayer component, was a revelation to me at the time.  There was this constant feeling of isolation that would encompass everything around you, until a mysterious figure would show up in the distance, beckoning you to come over.  They had no name, they couldn’t speak, but they were another player, and they were waiting for me.  And it was an incredible feeling to know that while we once thought we were both alone, we were both wrong.  Without saying a word, you and your buddy would trek through the entire game together where Journey would finally reveal the name of the player or players that you spent a few hours with.  Journey was a beautiful game on all fronts, and everyone should play it.


SLEEPING DOGS – (August 14, 2012)

It’s a shame that Sleeping Dogs never saw a sequel, because it’s a fantastic game.  It’s like if Grand Theft Auto had a better story and didn’t rely on shooting everything in sight to progress.  It combined all of the fun aspects of GTA, the open world, the vehicles, and the side activities, and paired them with a really good hand to hand combat system in the vein of Batman Arkham Asylum.  It was a joy to play, with the least interesting parts of it ironically being the bits where you had to shoot things.  Also, Emma Stone was in it and I don’t understand why.


MARK OF THE NINJA – (September 7, 2012)

Okay, so here’s a reference that maybe like 7 people will get, but does anyone remember those old Splinter Cell games that they put out on flip phones like the Motorolla RAZR?  They were these 2D stealth games that were way better than they had any right to be.  Why did I bring that up?  Because Mark of the Ninja scratched that itch for me in the best way possible.  It was this 2D stealth action game where you were unsurprisingly, a ninja, who would sneak around and slice fools up.  Not only did it play great, but it looked phenomenal.  I wholeheartedly recommend Mark of the Ninja to anyone that wants to play a stealth game that isn’t overly complex.


THE LAST OF US – (June 14, 2013)

There’s like 5 or six moments in The Last of Us that still stick with me to this day, and I’m willing to bet anyone who’s played the game can guess what they are.  From a gut-wrenching story to tense combat and stealth situations, The Last of Us was a triumph of a game.  Ironically enough, my least favorite part about it were the zombies, but I still really loved this game despite their presence.  Also, The Last of Us had a really amazing multiplayer aspect to it that I feel was under appreciated.


SUPER MARIO MAKER – (September 10, 2015)

I’ve never been a huge fan of level building games or modes, but Super Mario Maker was so brilliant in its design, using the language of Mario games that I understood so well to empower me to stretch my level building muscles.  It was so cleverly designed in a way that made logical sense through the lens of Mario games.  If I wanted a large goomba, I’d feed him a mushroom.  Want a flying Bowser?  Slap some wings on that fool.  It took the pieces of Mario we all understand, and made them work in the context of a level editor.


FIREWATCH – (February 9, 2016)

There aren’t too many games that I could say “made me feel things,” but Firewatch was definitely one of them.  From the jump you’re thrown into a tragic situation that’s the impotence for the rest of the game.  It’s this constant, nagging feeling in the back of your head that reminds you that you shouldn’t be here.  “Here” of course being in the middle of the woods working as a forest ranger in a fire watch station.  You spend all of your time exploring the wilderness and talking to the voice of another fire watcher who is guiding and directing you while asking you increasingly more personal questions.  You’re not only learning about each other, but you’re learning about a mystery lurking in the very woods you’re wandering through.  It’s amazing and I can’t say enough good things about it.  Play Firewatch.


TITANFALL 2 – (October 28, 2016)

It’s such a shame that when Titanfall 2 was released, it was wedged between a Call of Duty and a Battlefield game, essentially killing any moment it could gather before it had a chance.  Like I said, it’s a real shame considering that Titanfall 2 is one of the best first person shooters of the last decade.  From toe to tip, everything in Titanfall 2 is crafted with care and attention to detail.  The campaign, while not the most interesting story, is incredible from a design standpoint, with each level boasting a new mechanic or idea that dramatically changed how you played.  The multiplayer was no slouch either, building upon the chaotic fun that the original Titanfall introduced back in 2014.  Titanfall 2 is still worth your time even if you don’t plan on engaging with the multiplayer aspect of it.  In fact, I might even recommend just getting it for the campaign at this point.


NIGHT IN THE WOODS – (January 10, 2017)

Night in the Woods is hands down my favorite game of the decade.  I wrote a review that goes into my feelings on it in detail, but I’ll quickly summarize what I can here.

Night in the Woods struck a real chord with me and even managed to make me genuinely reconsider things in my own life.  I know it sounds ridiculous, but the themes, the interactions, the setting, everything about it just rang so true and hit me hard.  It’s a hard game to recommend because when I start out by saying, “you play as an anthropomorphic cat,” people tend to tune out immediately afterwards.  But for such a visually adorable game, it gets really dark and intense.  Adventure games aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I really can’t say enough good things about Night in the Woods.



I’ve never been the biggest fan of The Legend of Zelda series, enjoying some of them but never really feeling any affinity or passion for the series, but holy hell did Breath of the Wild change all of that.  You’re plopped onto this massive and sprawling land mass, given all the abilities you’d need to conquer any and all obstacles along the way.  Breath of the Wild isn’t a game about getting stronger, it’s a game about getting smarter by using your skills and the tools you find along the way.  By incorporating a system that rewards exploration and puzzle solving in order to maximize your HP or stamina, you were always encouraged to explore the world as opposed to just charging towards the finish line.  The only thing that I absolutely hated about Breath of the Wild was its system of weapon degradation.  I felt like it didn’t add anything to the game itself, and made me hoard more things that I normally would in games.  But that’s barely an issue when stacked up to every other triumph in Breath of the Wild.


MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN – (September 7, 2018)

Let’s get this out of the way, Marvel’s Spider-Man is repetitive in spots and doesn’t offer a tremendous amount of variety in what you actually do in it.  That being said, I’ve never had more fun with a superhero game than this one, and coincidentally it stars my favorite one.  Marvel’s Spider-Man, by my own admission, is just a good game.  It isn’t great and probably doesn’t stack up to several other games on this list, but it was easily one of my favorite and most memorable experiences with a game in recent memory.  It’s one of the only games I’ve felt the need to 100%, despite the repetitive chores I had to complete to accomplish that.  Marvel’s Spider-Man just feels good to play, providing a satisfying swinging mechanic mixed with some great (yet repetitive) combat.  It’s rough around the edges in spots, but I still love it so dearly.


RED DEAD REDEMPTION 2 – (October 26, 2018)

I’m willing to bet that a good percentage of the posts on this site are about Red Dead Redemption 2 in some way.  That’s with good reason though.  You can read my review, but Red Dead Redemption 2 is such a triumph of a game in terms of story, atmosphere and world building, that I can’t even fathom a game that’s done it better.

Every piece of Red Dead Redemption 2 is crafted in a way to reinforce the Wild West setting, while still providing interesting and engaging story beats.  Like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it does a great job at encouraging exploration.  Almost every cottage, structure or cave you stumble upon has something there for you experience or find.  The amount of random events in the world that crop up do a great job of breaking up what would be the tedium of riding your horse from mission to mission, while also being pretty interesting for the most part.

I could go on forever about how much I like Red Dead Redemption 2, but I have a review to do that for me.  And if you haven’t played it yet, my one bit of advice is that the game is slow.  You have to be okay with going at its pace or else you’ll have a miserable time.


The 2010’s have been really great for video games as a product.  Less so for the business end of things… more specifically the “being an employee at a game company” part of it.  I know we’re going to get some great games in the coming decade, but we need to see real change in the way game companies are run.  Here’s hoping for some progress in 2020.

Blog: Building a Better Zelda – 06/26/19

In 2017 we were graced with some real bangers on the gaming front.  When I looked back through the releases of that year and issued my Game of The Year verdicts, I gave one of the top slots to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild.  It was a truly extraordinary game that had me hooked from start to finish.  Fast forward to this past E3 where it was announced that a sequel to said game was in development, and my mind immediately starting swirling with the possibilities a sequel could bring to the table.

To preface, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild isn’t a flawless game in my eyes, but it was still really damn good.  I know there are things inherent to this new style of Zelda that probably wont be changed, but this list serves as both a realistic wish list, and some more general tweaks that would make this upcoming sequel the perfect Zelda for me.


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I don’t think there’s been a main entry in The Legend of Zelda franchise that’s allowed you to play as the titular character herself, but it’s about time we rectified that.  I’ve never been the biggest fan of the franchise over the years, but I’m pretty sure that Zelda herself does cool magic spells and stuff.  When you put that in the context of the very systems driven world that is The Breath of The Wild, the possibilities for open world shenanigans goes up exponentially.

Imagine Zelda lighting up some bokoblin tree house with some fire spells and watching that thing just crumble into ash.  Or if she summons some lighting bolt at a lynel who made the mistake of standing in a puddle.  Once again, I don’t know that Zelda actually does that stuff, but I like to imagine that she totally can.

Also, the game is fucking called The Legend of Zelda, how about we let her have at the very least, one of them.


We need to be careful when we ask for traditionally single player games to branch out into the multiplayer realm.  We saw what happened with Fallout 76 and I’d prefer that didn’t happen here.  But, I would love the ability to play as both Link and Zelda cooperating my way through the world with a friend.

But there’s a fine line on that request.  What I don’t want is a game that just has an AI companion with you at all times that a friend can inhabit.  I don’t want a situation where I have to switch between characters to complete a mainline dungeon or shrine either.  I’d like the ability to wander around the world with a buddy, tackling the challenges available in the single player game, but also pepper in some cooperative specific dungeons and shrines.

The version I want is way more work obviously.  Essentially I’m asking for two games in one that I can enjoy depending on my current situation.  But hey, it’s a wish list, so I’m gonna go hog-wild on some of these.


If there was one aspect of Breath of The Wild that I abhorred, it was the fact that everything had a shelf life.  I get it, sticks break, clubs splinter, bows can snap and so on and so forth, but in a world of magic and wonder such as this, why do I have to deal with weaponry that shatters hilariously quickly?

Why does the “royal” weaponry crumble into dust after a few uses?  Why is my champion’s shield capable of deflecting a few hits before I’m thoroughly fucked?  This is a magic world where I can find a sword that shoots fucking laser beams, but I still have to be constrained by some shit-ass survival mechanics like weapon durability?  Did you not see the thing I did where I summoned a tornado beneath me to launch myself into the air?  That’s cool, but me using a sword too many times is out of the question?

At least make the Master Sword live up to the name.  Don’t make it something that has to charge up to be used, let me just use the damn thing.  I know it may not be a sticking point for a lot of people, but when you’re fighting a particularly difficult creature (lynel) and you’re already dealing with dodging every attack it throws at you, I don’t want to have to also consider my weapons evaporating mid fight.  But that’s just me.


A lot of people criticized Breath of The Wild for not having traditional dungeons, which is something I can agree with to an extent.  But what I’d take over those in a heartbeat, is just a better open world, filled with more interesting opportunities.

For instance, the best parts of Breath of The Wild for me was the joy of exploring.  Sometimes you’d find a little korok puzzle, maybe a shrine and more than likely, something that wanted to kill you.  What I want is almost in the vein of what Red Dead Redemption 2 did, and pepper in some interesting random events, as opposed to the obvious traveler would was actually a gang member in disguise.  That one happened all the time, and wouldn’t you guess, it got really old, really quick.

I want more puzzles, more places to explore, more mystery and indirect storytelling.  I want a world that feels lived in and alive with its own secrets to uncover.  I really liked what Breath of The Wild brought to the table, but for a sequel, I need more.


You fought maybe 5 real bosses throughout the entirety of Breath of The Wild, which was fine, but with the exception of the last one, they were all fairly uninteresting.  On top of that, there were only a handful of enemy types the were reused over and over.  I want more variety in the things I have to fight, maybe some more stuff in the mid range difficulty of enemies.  They had different color scales for enemies that would indicate their level of challenge, but that doesn’t scratch the itch for me.  More interesting enemies to fight is what I decree, preferably less things like lynels.

In that same vein, I think the general combat could be better.  When you went head to head with an enemy, you might find yourself in some really thrilling and exciting battles, but if there’s more than one threat near you, you basically need to run away until they stop following you.  I’d like to feel a little more competent when fighting, and little less like a pinata holding a sword.

It’s a tight rope to walk for sure, but ideally I want something that strikes a balance between feeling formidable, and also having challenging enemies.  I have no idea how you’d go about making that a reality, but during my entire play through of Breath of The Wild, I never felt strong, just lucky.  Maybe that’s what they’re going for in the sequel, but I just feel like after the events of the first game, Link has got to be a wee bit more imposing and capable.


Breath of The Wild introduced a lot of new mechanics and abilities that I had a lot of fun with, but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have minded a hookshot or a boomerang that didn’t break in it.

The Zelda franchise was pretty good at creating memorable and useful items, but I feel like in Breath of The Wild they axed a bunch of that stuff in favor of these all-purpose abilities you had.  Which to be clear, I enjoyed slowing time and creating ice pillars and stuff, it just felt like a lot of possibilities were left on the table.

I know how challenging it would be to retain the nearly directionless open world Breath of The Wild had, while also providing you with a path to unlocking these helpful items, but it’s possible.

I ultimately want more tools I can use to mess around in the open world while also maybe breaking a few puzzles on my way.  To me, there’s no better feeling in a game then when you see a puzzle before you and figure out a way to circumvent the whole thing.  I feel like I just outsmarted the game or something.

But that’s what I want, more items and tools in my kit to use as creatively as possible.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  I’m sure there are things that I’m forgetting, but these are my kind of gut-check thoughts about what a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild could be.  These are mostly things that I know will never come to pass, but some of them are genuine hopes, like playing as Zelda herself.  And if that one is true, I get to see some of the worst takes on the internet about how “Nintendo is caving to SJW mentalities” or some stupid shit like that, so that’ll be fun.

E3 2019: Nintendo

Ah Nintendo, it wasn’t too long ago that everyone made fun of you for making the most backwards decisions possible.  While you still make some absolutely bonkers choices, you’ve earned a ton of goodwill since the Switch launched.  Personally, I want to know more about Animal Crossing, Super Mario Maker 2, and hopefully some information on the future of Nintendo’s online service, whether that’s new NES games or even SNES or N64 stuff to their offering.

Well, let’s see how wrong I was about all of this, and shine the light on Nintendo, for this, the last of our conference coverage for the week.


What better way to kick off E3 than by announcing a new character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.  Or maybe 6 characters?  They weren’t incredibly clear about how many characters are joining the fight, but my guess is it’s just one character with a couple of different costumes.

Oh, it’s a Dragon Quest character, probably should’ve mentioned that.  For those of you still playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I hope this is what you wanted.  Another anime character in Smash.  I hear the Smash community loves those.


I never had the chance to play the second Luigi’s Mansion on the 3DS, and in the face of this announcement, I now realize how upset I am by that fact.  Luigi’s Mansion 3 looks so charming and pleasant, adding in a bunch of new features in terms of ghost hunting and multiplayer modes.

I always appreciated how Nintendo was able to make a lighthearted game in a spooky setting while also constantly just giving Luigi the short end of the stick.  I look forward to it releasing later this year.


Here’s another one I never got to play, back when it made it’s initial debut.  The top down, 2D Zelda games never did the trick for me like the 3D ones, but this one looks so darn cute and adorable, that I’m willing to give this game a shot.

Also, they’re putting in a dungeon maker mode?  I hope this is the backdoor pilot to Nintendo actually releasing a full Zelda maker in the vein of Mario Maker.  It’ll be out on September 20th, 2019, and I will certainly be getting it.


It’s impressive as hell that they managed to put The Witcher 3 on the Switch and I don’t want to detract from that.  But I’ve spoken about The Witcher 3 before, and while I do genuinely like the game, I don’t know that the Switch version is going to be the best way to experience it.  That game had trouble playing on modern consoles as is, and I can’t imagine what it will be like on the Switch.  Otherwise it’s a fantastic game that I ended up turning on god mode for most of.

Hopefully it works great and people can enjoy that game on the go.  It’s due out later this year.


I have a confession, I’ve never played a No More Heroes game, but I’ve always heard good things about the series, but never got a chance to play it.  I have no idea what to expect from the third title, but from my understanding, they’re traditionally fun third person action games.  I think it also is a game that has attitude, for whatever that’s worth.  With a nebulous 2020 release date, we’ll see how it shapes up.


From what I can gather, in this cool looking action game, you capture the enemies you’re fighting to use their abilities in combat.  It looks cooler than I’m describing.  You’re basically fighting these big monsters, throwing a chain at them, and then taking control of them at utilizing their abilities in combat while you’re chained to them.

It sounds interesting enough.  It comes out on August 30th of this year.


I always had a hard time getting into the Ultimate Alliance games for various reasons, and lower on that list was the camera angle. I know that the point of the game is to see your allies and cooperate with them, but it always left me feeling a little disconnected from the action on screen.  This one seems to have a more traditional 3rd person camera angle while continuing to trade in the same basic action loop the past games did.

Otherwise, I’ve always enjoyed the pitch of the Ultimate Alliance games.  All of these superheroes team up to fight an even bigger baddie.  It’s a simple concept, but one that manages to hook me every time.

It comes out on July 19th, and I will certainly be checking it out.


Welcome to my deserted island that’s overrun by enterprising raccoons.  Animal Crossing New Horizons looks incredible, not only visually, but mechanically.  It seems like it’s going for a slightly more survival focused gameplay loop.  The player crafted a “flimsy axe” which leads me to believe there’s gonna be some sort of item degradation in it.  Also there seemed to be an emphasis on changing weather, which I’m into.

This is all just me speculating, but it seems like they’re trying to add more emphasis on moment to moment gameplay, making you think about your items and needs in the short term, as opposed to just thinking about long term goals.

It’s a shame that it isn’t coming this year, but it won’t be too much longer of a wait, considering it releases in March of 2020.


They’re putting Banjo-Kazooie in Smash.  Everyone can finally shut up and be cool for once… right?  This is great, everyone has been clamoring for this for a long time, and it was this inevitable thing that just needed to happen already.  They’ll be added to the game this fall.


In what could be the spookiest announcement of the conference, a sequel to 2017’s monumental Breath of the Wild, was announced to be in development.  It’s safe to assume that it’s going to play just like Breath of The Wild, so if you didn’t like that, too bad.  That’s really it for info, but it’s exciting nonetheless.

More exciting is the prospect of how Nintendo hopes to recapture what made Breath of The Wild so engaging in the first place.  The sense of discovery and exploration was incredible, but if we’re traipsing around the same map, I wonder how that sentiment holds up.  I’d like to see maybe a new map, or a map so remixed it’s barely recognizable.  Also, I think it’s time to let us play as Zelda.

Without a trace of Bayonetta, Metroid, new hardware or any info on their online service, some could look at this presentation as a whiff.   I thought this presentation was great though.  Still upset about Animal Crossing and it being delayed, but whatever.  Nintendo’s lineup for this year looks great.

And that’s it folks.  Thanks for riding with us for these conference overviews.  There should be some more E3 coverage this week, but not a ton more.  After all, I am in New York and can only do so much, but thank you again for sticking with us.  See you around.

Blog: Best in The West – 11/07/18

This one is gonna be a short one folks, I really don’t have much of anything else to talk about outside of one particularly massive cowboy-themed game.  That’s right, I’m talking about Red Dead Redemption 2 once again.

At this point I’ve completed all the chapters of the story and am currently sweeping up the seemingly endless amount of side activities.  I’m suffering from Breath of The Wild syndrome with this game, which is to say that I’m just picking a direction and going.  While you’re not always rewarded in the same way Zelda did, Red Dead Redemption 2 does a pretty good job of getting you out into the world and sightseeing.


Sometimes there’s an animal that needs hunting, or a stranger that needs shooting, or just some weird cabin where some fucked up stuff went down.  Red Dead Redemption 2 manages to exist in the space where it can be enormous without feeling bloated and that’s no small task.

Take a look at Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for instance.  It also boasted a gigantic world with lots to explore and see, but ultimately handed out experiences in a checklist format.  It felt more like crossing items off of a shopping list than just organically discovering something.

Maybe that’s what I like so much about Red Dead Redemption 2, the fact that once I learned to embrace the “walking through molasses” pace of the game, I found it rewarding to just get lost in the vast expanse.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wander in the woods and try not to get my ass chomped off by a bobcat.


Ari’s Game of the Year List [2017]

Video games, lets talk about em.  The year has come to end and it’s about time for me to share my thoughts on the ones I played.  2017 has been a hell of a year, so lets dive right in.


Personally, the game that has endured through 2017 and has been a calming respite remains to be Cities: Skylines. There’s something nice and relaxing about building a new city from the ground up and swearing that this time, there will be no traffic jams. With the addition of some great mods and add-ons that allow me to get more granular than before, I’m continuing to find joy in watching my little hamlet transform into the next Times Square, even if I never play it right.

Alongside of Cities: Skylines, I’ve also been able to return to Astroneer from time to time and see it progressing quite nicely. There’s been noticeable performance enhancements and new feature drops that have made it a delight to return to. As well as that, my favorite game of last year, Hitman, continues to be as fun as ever especially since giving me the ability to attempt the Elusive Targets I’d missed, once more.

Swing and a Miss


It’s probably obvious, but one of the biggest flops of the year in my eyes had to be Mass Effect Andromeda. Right from when EA and Bioware pitched the premise of the game I recall feeling the slightest tinge of skepticism. A story that ran parallel to the events of the original trilogy but also made sure to remove the possibility of ever seeing any familiar characters was enough of a bummer until the game came out. It was so boring and uneventful. Every aspect of Andromeda seemed to be an artists interpenetration of what made Mass Effect great without ever understanding the reasons behind its success. “We gave them aliens to bone, put that shitty car back in, and let them explore the planets that have nothing interesting on them. What more could they want?!” Mass Effect Andromeda was such a damn bummer.

I Think Something is Wrong With Me


I feel so strange. Even now if you were to tell me that I could fight robot-dinosaurs in a post apocalyptic setting with a bunch of science-fictiony intrigue sprinkled on there for good measure, I’d justifiably lose my mind. So then why didn’t Horizon Zero Dawn do anything for me? Everything about that game was wonderful. It looked amazing, it was fun to play and also there were freaking robot-dinosaurs to kill. Many would attribute bouncing off of Horizon due to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of The Wild releasing 3 days later. But even before that, from the moment they let me loose in the open world, I just had no desire to explore or learn about these characters. I think I wanted to learn more about the fall of modern civilization and where the robots came from a lot sooner than the game wanted to tell me about it. I still don’t know how that game wraps up. Maybe I’ll give it a go in 2018, but who knows.

Along those lines, the game people kept telling me about was NieR: Automata. I was so intrigued by what I had heard about this game that I was desperate to try it. I was told that I needed to beat it a third time to really some crazy shit. But after the first time around I had no interest in forcing my way through it several more times. Another game that I really wanted to like was Absolver. I wrote a piece about my feelings about the difficulty and how it failed to resonate with me, but the quick and dirty version is that I never felt like I was getting better, I only felt like I got lucky.

Bring Your Friends


Some people are an army of one, others like myself are very much not. That’s why the only way I’ve played PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds has been with my friends. We’ve even streamed a whole bunch of it because we play it that much. From defeating another squad who thought they were alone, to flipping just about every vehicle we ever touched, and of course getting that chicken dinner together, PUBG is packed with reasons why it’s the best game I’ve played with friends all year.

But where PUBG is very tactical and requires a ton of coordination, sometimes you just need pure chaos to have fun. Stick Fight and Gang Beasts are two games that released this year that exemplify that mentality. They’re both janky and glitchy enough to where the physics themselves become a new character you’ll have to contend with. But it’s all fun and lighthearted which makes them a blast to play when you’ve got a couple of friends around.

Game of the Year

Ari GOTY.jpg

This year, before most of the biggest titles came out, a little game called Night in the Woods released on the PC and PS4. Night in the Woods is a game that resonated with me on a fundamental level and mirrored a lot of my experiences in life. It told a story that struck me on an emotional level while also having an awesome sense of humor and painfully charming aesthetic. I still have trouble expressing every reason why Night in the Woods was so wonderful in my eyes. Sometimes a game just hits you the right way, and that’s what happened here. It’s the game I’ve thought about most this year and have replayed twice already. Night in the Woods is easily one of my favorite games. Click here for a more complete version of my thoughts.

A close second this year, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is perhaps the most unsurprising entry in this list. I won’t beat a dead horse here, we all know why Breath of the Wild is on so many GOTY lists. It’s an achievement in a systems-driven, open world game. It’s the epitome of “you see that? You can go there.” But the best part about that, is there’s always something to do when you get “there.” It’s truly a phenomenal game and what’s even more impressive is that it made me love a Zelda game the way no other entry in the franchise has.

Where Night in the Woods and Zelda were locked in for a long time, this third entry took me a lot of time to decide on.  While I have plenty of great things to say about PUBG and why it’s one of my favorite games this year, I have to give the edge to Super Mario Odyssey.  Mario Odyssey isn’t a perfect game, but it’s just so damn charming.  In a year where you could look around and have found plenty of reasons to be scared upset or angry, Odyssey was just this beacon of color and positivity that I needed.

Lastly, I’d like to just add one more thing.

2017 has, for lack of a better term, been an interesting year.  The games were (mostly) good while a lot of things outside of the industry maybe weren’t as great.  With that in mind I’d like to thank everyone for watching our videos and reading the occasional features we put up.  You have no idea how much your support means to us.

I hope that 2018 is a better year…  like, in general.  So Happy New Year everyone. Be good to each other.