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Switch still scarce as Zelda scores big

Eric Ryan, Entertainment Editor

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With its release on Friday, March 3, the Nintendo Switch has sold out constantly and is still a hot commodity even today. Shipments sell out immediately, and even the most dedicated Nintendo fan can be found struggling in front of stores waiting to call the console their own.

The console release came with only one major title with the promise of others to come. The game that has been single-handedly driving the sales of the console is “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” a new game in a historic franchise that is as vast and epic in its scope as it is in its gameplay.

The game is available on both the Switch and the Wii U for those who haven’t been able to pick up the new console yet, and it is worth every penny.

The game opens as Link, the hero of time, awakens from a comatose state with familiar Sheikah symbols all around him. He picks up a tablet-like slate and journeys out of the cave he’s in and dives into the wide open world that surrounds him.

The starting area sets the mood quickly before establishing both the old features of the game that returning fans can recognize and the new quirks that set this Zelda game apart from the rest of the series.

The Great Plateau sits firmly in the center of the world, and as you gaze off the roaring cliffs, you see clouds below you, showing you that you must remain in this area for the time being. Beyond that are all the familiar landmarks of Hyrule, from the lava flowing from Death Mountain to the Hyian Bridge that was made famous from “Twilight Princess.”

As you embark, you run into an old man resting at the foot of the cave who serves as a guide throughout what is effectively a tutorial area, and he instructs you to travel to the main story locations, as well as guiding you through your new Sheikah Slate, which is the HUD and menu of the game.

The Plateau itself is huge enough to contain a whole story, but for “Breathe of the Wild,” it is only a spec on the gigantic map of Hyrule. Traveling from the peak of the mountain to the base of the Plateau takes five minutes on foot, and it has numerous enemy hideouts, campfires, wildlife and even its own river and bridge.

When you start to explore the world, you see the subtle hints of the events that happened before. The old man explains that 100 years ago Ganon, the main villain of the franchise, took the form of a dragon and took control over an army of robots that were created to destroy him. He then used them to attack the people and ravage the land. This devastation is seen on the plateau from the start, as ruins are found throughout the landscape.

This is just the start of a grand adventure that the game sets you on, and it is something that has to be seen to be believed, as the amount of love that the crew has put into this game shines through.

On one of my journeys to explore the map, I found myself riding through the plains of Hyrule on a horse I had recently tamed. When I looked around, I saw that the route I was taking was going straight through a thunderstorm—the clouds loomed on the horizon, and I could see the rain falling from hundreds of yards away.

I decided to trek through the storm; my shield started to conduct electricity, and I found myself dashing towards the next available tree and unequipping what had effectively become a lightning rod in the storm. For good measure, I then downed an elixir that granted me electrical resistance, and I made it to my destination without becoming a charred hole in the ground.

Those little details are what make this game so magical, and it has already given me some of the fondest gaming moments I’ve had in my life, even though I’ve played less than 20 hours.

The reason I had to wait so long to review this game speaks volumes to the scarcity of the Switch, the console that I’ve been playing “Zelda” on incessantly.

After searching for a month, I was able to get my hands on the Switch, and I was only able to find it because of a friend who works at Best Buy. This spells trouble for the casual fan that wants to pick up a Switch, or the family that would like the new console but is too busy to go out and grab one the minute a store opens or receives one.

There’s also the issue of the amount of games that were made on release of the console. People who don’t enjoy Zelda will find themselves choosing between other games that are only average, with the only two notable releases beside the headliner game being “Shovel Knight” or “The Binding of Isaac.”

The lineup that has yet to be released is intriguing, with “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” “Super Mario Odyssey,” and “Skyrim HD” set to be released later this year, along with a plethora of smaller titles joining them. Nintendo fans can also expect a new “Splatoon” sequel and “Fire Emblem Warriors,” which takes the characters of “Fire Emblem” and sets them in a game akin to the “Dynasty Warriors” series.

Rumors of HD remakes of older games also lurk in the shadows, with a potential HD remake of “Super Smash Bros. Melee” that fans have been clamoring for, and potential remakes for “Super Mario Sunshine” and “Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door.”

Overall, there seems to be great potential for the new platform that can hopefully meet the overwhelming demand, but for now those who want the console will have to wait patiently until the new shipment gets released, which will reportedly come later in the quarter of 2017.

In my opinion, the Switch is worth the money entirely for “Breath of the Wild,” but it’s entirely understandable to sit the console out for a bit until bigger titles come along for it.

Eric Ryan is a third-year student majoring in English writings track. He can be reached at [email protected]

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The Student News Service of West Chester University
Switch still scarce as Zelda scores big