If the soul of Legend of Zelda is arcade values plus Western RPG values (as you’ve said in the past), then it helps to put some of BoW’s design choices in context with modern Western RPGs.
Specifically, bloat. In modern open-world RPGs like Witcher, there are so many crap weapons you’re carrying just to sell. In general, there’s tons of junk, collectibles, ore, etc to grab as you explore the map. It isn’t fun. It’s a compulsive chore. For some reason, collecting stuff in BoW doesn’t feel obnoxious. Perhaps because the minimap isn’t polka-dotted with waypoints and “points of interest” icons like other open-world games.
Breakable weapons in BoW feels like a response to that bloat. The good players can save the nicer weapons for harder enemies (thus, accelerating their progress through the game) while
less-skilled players will progress more slowly based on the local supply of decent equipment. Folks complaining about not being able to save their 50-damage greatswords are clearly not as good at the game!
The game is full of such design choices. Without spoiling anything, most modes of transportation are available right from the start. You just have to figure out how to use them. Still, no annoying NPC and forced quest to unlock basic stuff like in other open-world games. It’s truly an “open” game.
Oh, and if you could let your readers know: making a Japanese-region profile on the Switch allows you to access their eShop. I downloaded the Puyo Tetris demo and have been playing it with friends. It’s limited to 2p and I don’t understand the Japanese menus, but my friends and I are having a blast with it.
If breakable weapons are such an ingenious idea, where is the breakable armor? Aside from shields, there isn’t any.
Weapons, armor, and ammo drop off the blood moon resetting monsters. I see TONS of crap weapons. They are just left on the ground cluttering things up!