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Breath of the Wild

Over the holidays, I decided to devote some time to playing Breath of the Wild. The game was released almost two years ago and, although it made me drool a bit at the time, I hadn't felt like I had time to devote to games. And I still didn't have the time. But I decided I needed some distraction from depressing real life issues and made the time for it.

It's an amazing game. I've played most of the previous Zelda games and this was a worthy example of the craft with significant enhancements. The open world gameplay and hyper-realistic landscape made for a highly relaxing and aesthetic experience. There was little pressure, so you could just wander aimlessly to discover things, or make targeted efforts to complete various kinds of "quests". And then there were the overarching story arcs.

My least favorite part of the game was using the controller. The controller has 12 buttons plus two joysticks and a D-pad. Ugh. Too many buttons for my monkey brain. I remember playing a combat game for the Wii that used a wiimote plus the attached "nunchuk" controller and finding that very enjoyable. Then I tried the version of the game for X-Box that used a standard controller and was never able to really make it work: it was easy to aim by pointing -- aiming with a joystick was just beyond me.

In point of fact, though, I got lazy about playing this game: when I would get to difficult bosses or puzzles (that required too much controller puissance) I would get one of my boys to do it. Over the weekend, however, one of them who had never finished his game file realized that I was ahead of where he had left off his file. So he scrambled around and finished the game on Saturday so I wouldn't finish ahead of him. So Sunday night, I had him fight the final boss to finish my game so I could see the ending. Pretty satisfying.

I might go back and play some more -- there are a bunch more side-quests I would do. But perhaps not: it was a good distraction, but now that the semester's started again, it's hard to justify the time.

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