Making Life Easier
Starting any game, especially massive open world titles is actually an intimidating experience. Not only do you have to learn the game’s mechanics but knowing that you will have to allocate 100+ hours of your life to one game is a huge commitment. Worse yet, if you are anything like me, I worry that the decision that make at the 10-hour mark will negatively affect my experience at hour 60. Open world games like this can create gamer anxiety.
Because I am an adult with a real world job, bills to pay, and dozens of other games to cover on this site, I have often neglected open world titles simply because I cannot find the time. For example, I pre-ordered the limited edition version of Fallout 4 that came with a real life Pipboy (I think sold for $120 or whatever it was) but still have it sitting on my shelf untouched. Thing is, I am sure it is a great game and I would highly enjoy it. I just cannot dedicate 100 hours to one game especially when pretty it has to be played in 2-4 hour chunks at a time.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a different story. Simply put – it is Nintendo and they revived the Zelda franchise with a completely new and bold way to experience a Link vs Ganon tale. I think everyone agrees that BotW is a great game and I just defeated Calamity Ganon last night after completing almost every temple, reclaiming every Divine Beast, and finding close to 200 Korok Seeds. I would need to check my playtime but I would say I probably poured about 80 hours or so into Zelda. I loved every minute of it and plan on going back for more especially with DLC trickling out over the next year or so.
Even though BotW has been universally praised, and rightfully so, I would like to point out the fact that the opening hours are actually shockingly difficult. The player is thrown into a world in which Link can do things he has never been able to do before. Something as simple as jumping is a new feature to learn on top of having the ability to climb also any surface, learning how to manage stamina, hunting and gathering then having to learn how to cook, and even how to acquire money as Link can no longer chop down some bushes or break a few pots to earn rupees. It is a lot to take in. On top of all that, weapons break after just a few attacks and enemies are actually difficult to best in combat. Enemies have no issue chasing you down, exploding on your face, lighting you on fire, shooting arrows at you, blocking your attacks, and even jump back to dodge. Also after one or two hits, especially when first starting out, you are dead. In fact, I died more times in a first few hours of BotW than I probably have playing through all the other Zelda games combined… and I played Zelda II!
Breath of the Wild is filled with tons of addicting fun but it is still a challenging game. While definitely possible to finish unassisted, the game makes creative use of Nintendo’s toys-to-life amiibo figures. After playing dozens of hours, I am glad my stupid amiibo collecting obsession has paid off.
Since Nintendo started their amiibo line of figures, they have produced several based from the Legend of Zelda series. Besides the Link, Toon Link, Sheik, Zelda, and Ganon Smash Bros. amiibo, Nintendo also released a series unique to Breath of the Wild and even created a Wind Waker Link/Zelda 2-pack. Nintendo is even going to release additional Zelda related amiibo in the coming months including one from Majora’s Mask. What is cool, however, is that scanning in Zelda related amiibo into Breath of the Wild will yield unique rewards that you cannot obtain through any other means. In addition to earning some extra rupees and cooking ingredients, players can obtain classic Zelda outfits from Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker, and even wear Sheik’s garb. It is also the only way to obtain Epona.
Sure, dressing up as Ocarina or Wind Waker link in Breath of the Wild is pretty sweet but unfortunately is sort of harmful to the player. Why? Each of these special pieces of armor are very weak from a defensive point of view and require rare items to upgrade like Star Fragments. Although it is possible to farm Star Fragments, it still takes a bit of tedious trial and error on top of a lot of time. That makes these armor pieces cosmetically cool but functionally a detriment.
But only scanning Zelda related amiibo into BotW isn’t my point here. Thing is, any other amiibo can be scanned each calendar day to reward the player with randomly dropped ingredients that fall from the sky. Herbs, mushrooms, fruit, and most importantly, meat, fall from the sky and can be collected by the player simply by scanning in ANY other amiibo. Not only do I own most of the Smash Bros amiibo, I also own all the Animal Crossing figures, most of the Mario Party 10 amiibo, and others like the Chibi-Robo, Shovel Knight, Splatoon, Kirby Planet Robobot figures, and even the special Bowser and Donkey Kong Skylander amiibo. This being said, I have well over 50 amiibo in my collection and scanned most of them into BotW each time I played.
At the time of Ganon’s defeat, I have hundreds of herbs, mushrooms, and stock piles of uncooked meat in my inventory. This might sound like overkill, and yes it sort of is, but scanning in these non-Zelda amiibo made my journey through Hyrule more enjoyable and more efficient. Specifically, I took advantage of the randomly dropped meat. With more meat than I knew what to do with, I just starting cooking 5 pieces of meat at a time, occasionally threw in a mushroom, herb, or piece of fruit to add a buff to make giant meat skewers. Then, I would head right over to Beetle or the local store in any of the game’s multiple villages and sell my entire inventory. With each meat skewer selling for 100-180 rupees on average, I was able to stock pile thousands worth of cash in a short amount of time and with minimal effort. Hunting not only would have been random and taken time, I also would have had to stockpile bows, which break often, and arrows, which cost more money, to get this meat. Scanning amiibo saved the day. If there is one thing BotW taught me, it is to sell my meat for profit.
Before I would venture off into Hyrule, I made sure I had at least a few thousand rupees on hand because you never know what you might need to buy. Even more so, unlocking Great Fairy Fountains and buying your own house takes a ton of cash. Last thing I wanted to do is find a fairy fountain, not have enough money, then go venture some more, finally collect enough money to unlock the fairy, only to forget where is was to take the time to climb up that mountain again to get there since fairy fountains cannot be used as fast travel spot.
Scanning amiibo and then quickly cooking dishes, even cooking 5 apples at a time to sell for 50 rupees, made my BotW experience so much easier and more enjoyable since I never had to worry about money or having a supply on hand to replenish my health against the difficult baddies all over Hyrule. Even though I “finished” the game by taking out Ganon, I still plan on going back to find more secrets the game has to offer. And I still plan on scanning my amiibo to stockpile more meat and herbs. More DLC is coming, after all, and they still might be needed. Let’s just hope Nintendo restocks that awesome Guardian amiibo.