Unfortunately that’s all of those dungeons. I felt the same anger, but according to others you can beat the game without doing them. At least they’re optional like the stupid shrines. I still think BotW is miles ahead of the last few Zeldas, but damn did they drop the ball in dungeons. I’ve been thinking about how to improve the shrines and dungeons and I think I have a solution. You’re right about no teleporting. Second change would be to turn all shrines into treasure chests like every other hidden item in the overworld. The puzzles are pure filler and add nothing but tedium.
Take all the assets from those shrines and make a series of boxed rooms that combine the game’s hazards with various matchups of enemies. One shrine that would’ve worked well for this was a pinball-like slope with water and boulders falling down it and catwalks going above it. Instead of the lame puzzle, have a mishmash of enemies on the catwalks and you having to dodge attacks and boulders while ascending. You could try knocking the enemies into the path of boulder s like you, climb up to the narrow catwalk and have perilous sword-fighting on a razor edge, or other ways I can’t think of. How about a room with the forest haze and different elements of Wizzrobes bouncing around? The haze would hide the footsteps when they “teleport” and multiple types make it far harder to spam one elemental attack. Different parts of the floor could be leaves, water, or metal to make their attacks scarier. Use the physics engine and drop us on a teetering platform like the first castle of Super Mario World and have us fight enemies above lava. How about a bunch of Bokoblin treehouses during a thunderstorm, with tons of metal and wooden weapons lying around? You could go all wood to fight in the rain, or steal enough so the enemies are forced to use metal in the rain. You could hide under platforms and throw metal weapons into groups so the lightning would hit them. ANYTHING is better than the dungeons we have now.
That’s what really kills this game for me. Those dungeons could’ve been easily better than what we have. All of the tech and assets are in the game, you just need some rearrangement. If the dungeon is too hard, players can go collect hearts and cook up food to prepare. Just reset the dungeon if someone leaves and make it a straight line for the people whining about Zelda needing puzzles to make them even madder. Just drop a key when everyone is dead to move on. You could even make the dungeon an underground spiral to the dumb robot and keep that asset too. Just don’t make us go in it. I’m not sure how to fix the boss fights with what’s currently in the game, since I think those were rushed due to what each one ends up as (plot-wise). I would’ve just ported 3D versions of the old 2D bosses like the multi-headed dragons of Zelda 1.
I still think this is the best Zelda we’ve had in a long time, yet it was so close to being better if Nintendo would completely drop the puzzles. It’s like Aonuma had to sabotage the game from making him look even worse. They really need to either fire him or put him on the Professor Layton team where he belongs, otherwise he’s going to keep dragging down Zelda until he dies (which will take a century because he’s Japanese).
P.S. Can you do a review of the Switch hardware sometime? Thank you for over a decade of writing master Malstrom.
I don’t mind the shrines since they are bite sized. I do hate the motion puzzle shrines with intensity. The problem with the shrines is that they are not integrated with the world. They are ‘puzzle bunkers’. When I get stuck, I just go online to see the answer just so I can move on. The ‘strength of test’ dungeons are curious since they require some build up on Link to complete.
The shrines I am not concerned about. It is these terrible dungeons. A dungeon should be a labyrinth going underground where you must backtrack to get out! The further you go in, the further you go to get out. It is dangerous! A proper dungeon should be the player pushing his or her limits descending into the dungeon until it becomes too hard, then the player gets out. When stronger, player can go deeper into the dungeon. Dungeons are nasty places, and should be filled with demons and other nasty things.
BoW “Wow!” seems to have been developed in two parts. First part is the amazing overworld. Second part is a team doing nothing but puzzles with the shrines and dungeons. Then they just inserted those shrines and dungeons in ‘instances’ from the overworld.
A dungeon should be like a ‘mini-underworld’ correlating to the vast overworld above. A dungeon doesn’t have to be linear either.
Aonuma and Zelda team are patting themselves on back because ‘we can do dungeons in any order’. But they are gigantic puzzles. It doesn’t matter. What is more impressive is how we can go anywhere in the overworld in any order. If dungeons were more traditional, they’d be far more interesting. They would also take the theme of their environment perhaps.
The DLC is worrisome as the DLC seems designed in a Aonuma Mentality. A fifth dungeon is going to be another shitty Divine Beast dungeon. A Cave of Trials could be running into one room after another as all the game’s monsters come in. The ‘new story’ seems interesting, but what we want is a Second Quest. A Second Quest should be possible by keeping the landscape but just changing some of the enemies and NPCs. What is Hard Mode? Not allowing you to eat in battle?
Proper DLC would be Another Continent or a Second Quest or Real Dungeons. I can’t risk the DLC because I know those on the Zelda team responsible for doing nothing but making puzzles have nothing else to do, so all their shit is going to be the ‘DLC’. The guys who made the overworld probably got moved somewhere else to help make other games. The puzzle guys? Worthless. Probably just stuck in a room making Zelda DLC which is shitty Aonuma Water Temples-That-You-Rotate.
Above: “My puzzles are so amazing! DLC will be nothing but more puzzles! That is what Zelda is about! Oh yeah!”
I’ll talk about Switch hardware later. I can’t say anything about it now that no one else has said.