I’m loving that everyone could tackle Zelda in a different way. The last time that I came close to this in a Zelda was the Wind Waker. Bow Wow feels like Wind Waker done right. In that game, exploration seemed to be there to show off the developers work. In Bow Wow, it’s there for us to devour the game and to make our own story.
I loved getting to new islands and mapping them out in Wind Waker. I did it to the point that the second the story allows you to ignore the actual story, I explored everywhere that I could. By the time I finished the last dungeon and went to fight Ganondorf I had the entire triforce piece. There was no late game triforce quest for me.
Bow takes everything good about Wind Waker and cranks it up to a million. It takes everything good and adds it to the original two Zelda game then modernizes it all.
Like how you missed the Korok guy for upgrades? I saw him. I also saw and fought the people that align with Ganon as well. I got a horse, the same as you, but I did one side mission from the stable with it. The horse got in the way and I saw that it was going to be a problem. I dropped him back off at the stable and set off to Kakariko on foot. I don’t even use my own horses often because they’re a hassle to use. I once I had to track down where I left one, get it back to a stable then teleport to where I really wanted to explore and grab it from that stable.
I just steal the horses that moblins/bokoblins ride. They work well and are easy to tame. They will wander off when you leave them, but not too far. They can’t come to your whistle, but it works for me. It’d be great if the horses could ride on the rafts with you, but unfortunately they can’t. Bow Wow needed to add magic to at least one of its’ horses. We should be able to ride a pegasus. I should be able to find some crazy way to earn a pegasus, drop it in a stable or summon it via a special call in-game and have it fly to me from wherever. I should be able to run to and fly everywhere with it, but not be able to land it on places like the steep side of a mountain. It would kill part of the challenge, but not remove in entirely. There should even be dangers inthe sky and moblins that ride dark pegasus’s. There could even be mini-bosses and a boss that uses one. Using a pegasus should expand the ability to explore while equally increasing the challenge while using it as well. It would signal that you’re open to more badass, tougher action.
Because I’m on foot a lot, I fight a lot. I ran into Lynel’s long before I ever had that Zora mission. That taught me how to guard, dodge, quickly weapon switch, etc. I conquered most of my first 50 hours with only 3 hearts. I placed every upgrade into stamina so that I could explore more. I only began to gain more hearts after I maxed out stamina. For 5 minutes after I initially had max stamina, I reconfigured my link to swap stamina for hearts, got the master sword, then put it all back into stamina. I don’t know why I had to do that, they could have easily just the dang sword drain the stamina instead of hearts if you went that route.
I’ve conquered the Gerudo and Zora divine beasts, 51 shrines, I’ve completed the entire map and I have two normal fairies and a horse fairy unlocked. I’d also suggest that you buy the stealth suit from Kakariko. It makes it easier to sneak up on most animals and to literally run past many enemies without them noticing you.
You comparing Breath of the Wild with Wind Waker? Are you drunk?
I think the shrines wear out their welcome. It gets repetitive.
I put all my spirit into hearts. Strangely, I don’t see much reason to climb. I just get the next shrine or tower and keep leapfrogging into the territories.