"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" is Overrated and Boring

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So I kind of have what some may see as a hot take today. Well, at least for people that play video games, today's topic will be a hot take.

I have stated many times on the site and pod that I am not much of a gamer. I loved the NCAA Football games, Madden is okay, NBA2K is fun, but super hard, and Crash Bandicoot was very fun, to me. Other than that, I didn't really play much of anything on a consistent basis. Sure, I play NBA Jam from time to time, Super Mario on the original NES is cool and Sonic, the original game, is way fun. But my knowledge stops there. I find video games to become boring very quickly and, if it is too hard for me, I just stop playing almost immediately.

My wife and son on the other hand love video games. They play together and they figure stuff out and it is a great bonding experience for the both of them. My wife is also very patient and very good at video games. She understands that some of the games she plays takes time and effort and she is willing to put that time in when she can. She has beaten Mario Odyssey. She plays Mario Kart, which I find pretty fun too. She plays older games on an old GameCube that we have in our basement. She was so awesome at Guitar Hero that, after I bought it and then got crushed by her, I gave it away because I knew she was instantly better than me.

Recently her and my son have been playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch. This is where my hot take comes in video game fans. I think that Breath of the Wild is the most boring video game that has ever existed. Now I need to say, I have not even tried to play the game. But, that goes into why I think this game is so god damn boring. I do want to heap a little praise before I go in on the game though. First off, it is beautiful. It might be the most interesting looking games I have ever seen. It looks incredible. It also seems like a smart person's game. It looks like you need to have some certain level of intelligence that I just don't have to play this game. And my wife loves to play it, while my son loves to watch, and try and help. That is all the praise I have.

Now to the hate. I find this game so incredibly boring. My wife will play, and I will desperately try and find something, anything to do so I don't have to watch. It is not that I don't want to spend time with her, there is no one I would rather be with, it is just that watching her play the game is the equivalent of watching paint dry. She will go around the crazy villages in the game and talk to a bunch of randos and nothing will ever happen. I'll ask what she is doing, and she will say she is gathering information for missions. That is like a foreign language to me. I don't get it. Another problem I have with the game is how long it can go on. We got the game as a gift, or my son did, fro his uncle about a month ago. Since then my son has played, if I had to guess, about 10 hours total. My wife has, and this is a liberal guess, played over 24 hours total. She will sit down and say she is going to play for an hour or so, and that will turn into an hour and a half, or sometimes 2 hours. She will say she has to find a save spot, and that can take upwards of 20-30 minutes. Even she will get to a point, when she can't find a save area, where she says she has to "call it". She always asks me to hang out and watch her play, but I simply cannot do it anymore.

I don't know if I have made this clear enough, but I simply do not get the appeal of this game. I do not understand why everyone loves it, and why it is so beloved. Am I wrong? Am I a hater? I really don't know because I don't get it. I know that I am getting old, but I don't feel like I am a curmudgeon when it comes to video games. At least not yet. And I know that my wife will sit around while my dad and I watch football, and I really appreciate that, but it is not the same commitment as a video game like Breath of the Wild entails. College football lasts about 3 months.

For all I know, my wife and son could be playing this game well into 2020. Time will tell. But all in all, I have little to no love for this game. None at all.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He is wrong about this one. Breath of the Wild is awesome. The Head Editor has already played through it once and going through again with the added DLC. Link gets a motorcycle. What the hell is wrong with you Ty.

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Better Late than Never on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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As most of you all know about me already, I am not much of a video game player. In fact, my son had to correct me and he said, and I quote, "you are not a gamer dad". I didn't know that the term "gamer" existed until he said that this morning. But, I do want to talk about one game I have really grown to like since my son purchased his Switch.

I have said on the site before that, when I do play video games, it is usually some kind of sports game. I love NBA Jam and NBA 2K and was an enormous fan of EA's NCAA Football game. I used to dominate RD in that one (ed note: With a cheat code). But, my son isn't too crazy about sports games. He thinks they are boring, and I get it. He is only 7 and the constant stopping and starting can be tiresome. It makes sense to me that he doesn't like them. Also, he only likes to play baseball, so NBA 2K and any football game are very boring to him. But, he loves games like Super Smash Brothers, he has a Pokémon fighting game he loves and anything and everything that involves Mario. He and my wife have both gotten 999 moons on Mario Odyssey. He and my wife consistently slaughter me, or the computer when they play Mario Party.

The game I want to single out today that I am growing to really like, I can now beat him in 9 times out of 10. That game is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I am really starting to dig this game. I have always marginally enjoyed racing games. I loved Excitebike for the Nintendo when I was his age. I remember when the original PlayStation came out and it came with a racing game, not entirely sure which one, but I liked that one a lot. When I find myself in an arcade that doesn't have a sports game, I gravitate towards the racing games. And in my kid's dentist office, she has a Nintendo 64 that has their version of Mario Kart. I dominate my son when we are there in the waiting room. But Mario Kart 8 for the Switch is on a whole other level.

The game play is easy, which I appreciate. If you start at the lowest speed, 50 cc I believe, it is a great way to teach you how to play the game. It goes at a speed that is perfect for beginners. When I started to play, I had to stay on 50 cc for awhile to figure it all out. But when I did, I started to get decent at it. It does need to be said, my wife destroys us all in the game, but I am getting better. When I moved up to 100 cc, I started to enjoy the game more. The course comes at you faster. The computer racers are more of a challenge because they are better. The gifts you get, or maybe they are called power ups, I live for those things. If you get a mushroom, it blast you way ahead. A red shell is great to knock some opponents out of the way. The green shell is neat because you actually have to aim to hit someone. Even the coins are a solid one because the more coins you get, the faster you go. My son also taught me that.

The moment I knew that I was really getting into it was when I started to get frustrated if I wasn't finishing in the top three. Or when I would get hit by multiple shells or squid ink or bombs by people behind me. I was getting legit frustrated and mouthing that frustration to everyone in my house. I was taking it seriously, and even my wife pointed out that that was when she noticed I was getting into it. It is such a fun, easy and quick game to play. You also have a plethora of Mario characters to choose from to be your racer. If I may give a suggestion, pick someone small. I am a big fan of Lakitu, and my wife loves Peach. The problem with the bigger characters, they are too slow. Sure, they recover quicker from a hit, but they can never get that speed to the top level like the smaller characters.

Anyway, I like this game, and I wanted to spend my time today giving it a shout out. I highly recommend Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Switch. It's a blast.

Ty

Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He has not seen true Mario Kart pain until he plays the head editor in a race around Excitebike Arena. No one can beat Daisy.

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SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.

Last Generation Gamer: Pokemon Go

I was a bit too old to really get into Pokemon. In the 1990's the Sega Genesis, and then the Sony Playstation, appealed to my college and young male adult mind more than any of the kid games that were thrown out by Nintendo. While I did play my share of dice rolling role-playing games, the card trading games like Pokemon and Magic were never on my radar. As I grew older Nintendo reentered my life with the DS and then the Wii. By that time I was still only interested in the Mario, Zelda, and Metroid games. Pokemon was always the game of mythical animal cock-fighting that I never really understood. Never cared to catch them all, probably never would.

Last week the mobile game Pokemon Go was released in the United States. I downloaded the app immediately. By switching from Windows Phone to Android a few months ago, I was just happy to have the option to download the new hip thing. I signed in with my Google account, allowed all the ridiculous permissions, and waited for the game to start. My phone told me there was an error, and I was immediately kicked out of app. The next day I woke up and tried to sign in again. Since I was up fairly early, I figured the servers could not be overloaded. I assume my hunch was correct, because I finally was able to create my trainer. Being the short bald man that age has turned me into, my trainer is dashing with a nice full head of hair. There were not that many options.

Once my trainer was created, I checked my surroundings, and I immediately saw a blue box. Excitedly I touched the box and the augmented reality of Pokemon Go went into full effect. Sitting right on my breakfast table was a little blue Squirtle. I was very familiar with this particular Pokemon due to my experiences of playing Super Smash Bros for the Wii and Wii U. He was hanging out right next to my coffee. I quickly tossed my Pokeball, and I missed. I tried a few more times and after a few trials, I caught the little bugger. It was quite a thrill.

Now that I had my pokemon, I was ready to start fighting. Since I never read any of the rules, I had no idea what I was doing. Soon the realization came to me that I need to train the Pokemon at a gym. Luckily there was a gym within walking distance of my house. I grabbed my son, our new dog, and we embarked on a nice long walk on a very hot day. Along the way my son manned the phone looking for new pokemon, he caught one. When we were in range of the gym I quickly hit the icon, I also noticed my phone battery was near the end. Again, not being one for reading the rules, I learned I needed to be level 5 to use the gym. Maybe it was time to stop investing in this game I know nothing about?

I let Pokemon Go stay unused for a few days, then yesterday I was with my son and dog at a new park. There were people all over the place with their phones out looking for pokemon. I figured why not reopen the game and see what I am missing. Since I opened the app for a second time, every where I go I will open my phone to look for pokemon. The gym, I caught three more. Playground, I scored a Cubone. Even today, in my living room, I saw a crab little monster hanging out on top of my sleeping dog. I am not level five yet, but I am getting closer.

I am not the only one in my house amused by Pokemon Go. My six year old son is interested in catching the little monsters. Because of his interest I decided to download an old Pokemon game to his 2DS. He choose Pokemon Red because that is his favorite color. Once the game was installed, my son got ready to play. The lack of color, and the story aspect of the game, quickly made the boy bored. He put his 2DS down and went back to playing Mario Kart 8. I picked up the 2DS and decided to give the old game a chance. An hour later I had to force myself off of the ancient game so the dog could go outside and pee. The whole time outside with the dog I was kicking myself for missing out on twenty years of great Pokemon games. I knew I would have to catch up soon, but there was a new pokemon just down the street. It was then that the dog got to take another walk.

Many of the people I know have been looking for all the problems with Pokemon Go. I hear complaints about people going to cemeteries and other solemn places to catch their virtual monsters. My inner circle of friends post memes of how dumb it is for adults to play the game. Stories of danger, stupidity, and the horror of Pokemon Go has been the go to news item for the entire press. The narrative around Pokemon Go seems to be doom and dorkery. It is another fad, and we all must dismiss it immediately.

I am not here to bury Pokemon Go. It is the best mobile game I have ever seen. Everywhere I go there are people with phones out looking for cartoon creatures among the real world. Most of the people playing the game are women. The gaming community could really use more female gamer positive stories. I went to Target and saw people shopping and looking for pokemon. On the bike trail near my house, there were many walkers looking for an elusive pokemon. It is the middle of July in the Midwest, it is hot and humid, and there are way more people outside playing this game. They are playing the game together. Every time I glance at my phone in public, people ask if I am playing Pokemon Go. Most of the time the answer is yes. We need to embrace the social, and active, consequences of a free app that you can install on your phone. Yes people should stay out of cemeteries, but let's focus on the 1000+ great aspects of Pokemon Go and not be obsessed with the handful of bad stories. We should celebrate something great, not tear down what we want to dismiss.

I am so happy to have Pokemon Go on my phone. It has encouraged me to explore areas of my community I have never thought of. It has given my new dog an expectation of frequent, and ever changing, walks. It has made my son want to go outside. It is a great app. You need to download it. Reading the rules is not required. I just wish the actual Pokemon games and cards were not so expensive.

RD

RD Kulik is the Head Editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. While he was writing this post, RD took a break to check on Pokemon Go. He caught another Pidgey. Catch the SeedSing fever by liking us on Facebook

 

 

Last Generation Gamer: The Legend of Zelda (NES - 1986) - The Greatest Open World Game Ever

Last Generation Gamer is Seed Sings way of reflecting on the greatest video games that were released before the current gen systems.  These are not necessarily reviews.  Let's look at these thoughts as a walk down memory lane.  If you have any ideas for Last Generation Gamer contact us seedsing.rdk@gmail.com

The Legend of Zelda is the greatest open world game in the history of the entire video game industry.  I know that is a bold statement for a game released nearly 30 years ago (1986 in Japan 1987 in the US).  Since the release of The Legend of Zelda we have experienced some epic Final Fantasy worlds, the Grand Theft Auto series, and the Elder Scroll games to name just a few of the open world games that are currently occupying our consoles.  Legend of Zelda was one of the first open world games to be a commercial success, and it came out decades before the genre was defined.

How is Legend of Zelda even considered an open world game (says the reader I am thinking will have this exact question)?  Go ahead and turn it on, I can wait.  Now that your Wii, DS, Wii U, or (if you are truly hardcore) your Nintendo Entertainment System has loaded the start screen, begin a new game.  The screen should show Link and a cave to the north.  I dare you to go any way except in the cave.  Did the game drag you back to the cave?  No, it let you move to the next screen filled with enemies (either tektites or octoroks).  Your only option is to keep moving, unfortunately since we skipped the cave their is no wooden sword to use and dispatch the enemies.  If you are very good at dodging the monsters, and have a lot of luck, you can make it through every screen on the over world map without ever going into the first cave. Not many of the open world games of today will let you visit every part of the main map when you first start the game. Games like the Elder Scroll series (Skyrim, an upcoming Last Generation Gamer column)  make you play a short introductory quest before you have access to the whole over world.  

It is possible to complete The Legend of Zelda and never grab the wooden sword.  There are rupees hidden under Armos (the statues you touch to wake up) in the over world.  Get some rupees, get some bombs, get two more heart containers, then get the white sword.  The old man who offered you the wooden sword because of the dangers outside is not as helpful as he previously led on.  You actually could complete the game without any sword.  That would require a lot of time, rupees, ,and luck.  The possibility alone makes for many more options of playing through and winning a game that came out nearly 30 years ago.

I thoroughly enjoy the freedom of today's open world games.  The ability to forget about the main story when you see some dingy hole in the ground weirdly appeals to my senses.  I never grouped The Legend of Zelda into the open world category until I started to try different play through on my Wii.  I have yet to attempt to go through the whole game without a sword (I do believe that would be impossible on the second quest).  I do however try each different session by skipping as many of the early dungeons, and leaving them for the end.  Try out your own out of order, or lack of items play through.  I guarantee you will find the excitement and difficulty on par with anything running on your current console.  You may just rediscover the most open world game ever created.

RD Kulik

RD Kulik is the creator and Head Editor for Seed Sing.  He is currently playing through all of the great games (and some mediocre ones) on his new Xbox 360.