February 21, 2024

COLUMN: A Zelda fan’s review of ‘Tears of the Kingdom’

One Christmas many years ago, my dad gave my siblings and me a Nintendo Gamecube with three games — “The Sims,” “Super Smash Bros Melee” and “Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker.”

I loved all the games, though Zelda was always my favorite. I ran around killing bobokin monsters to try to save Zelda.

This was in the days back before online tutorials. Or maybe I just didn’t know they were there. There were multiple parts of the game I got stuck on for months. The solutions were simple, but I just couldn’t figure it out.

I always wanted “Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess,” but the game was expensive for a long time. Finally when I graduated high school, I bought the game for the Nintendo Wii. I hated it.

I don’t think it’s the game I hated as much as it was the controls. I hated using the Wii remote and nunchuck to control my character. It didn’t feel right at all, and I never finished it.

For the last year or more, I wanted to get a Nintendo Switch to play “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” but I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. That’s a big chunk of change for a “what if.”

Finally at the end of 2022, I caved. I booted the game and began to move my character around the map. Instantly I knew — this was exactly like the Gamecube so many years ago.

I fell in love with the game all over again. I loved the combination of Zelda’s story with the open-world concept made popular by games like “Grand Theft Auto” and “Red Dead Redemption II.”

While there is a main storyline, you can choose to forgo it for exploration, side quests or foraging for ingredients.

When I found out there would be a sequel to “Breath of the Wild” coming out in May, I knew I would get it immediately. “Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” was released Friday, and I played it for 10 hours straight that day.

Listen, I had worked hard that week and took a half day Friday to play the game. I think as long as you’re not dropping the ball on other responsibilities, why not do the things you enjoy?

One thing I enjoy so far about Tears of the Kingdom is being able to explore both the sky realm and caves beneath where the first game took place. It adds additional exploration to a map players are familiar with.

I actually enjoy the main map being the same as the previous game. It really holds true to it being a sequel. I see many of the same characters from the first game though they have progressed in their lives.

As with all Zelda games, the main plot is to find and rescue Zelda by defeating the big bad guy. While it would be nice to have a game with a different plot, I understand the tradition.

I am nowhere near completed with “Tears of the Kingdom.” I have prioritized exploration to uncover more of the map and try to find new clothing to give me special abilities.

Probably my biggest complaint with the game is the value of selling goods to earn money (rupees) has gone way down. I used to sell a ruby for 210, but now it sells for 110. It makes it difficult to earn money early in the game.

The new feature of being able to build vehicles using planks, boards, wheels, etc... has added a whole other dimension I could get lost into.

Overall, I can’t yet say if the game is better or worse than its predecessor; however, I can say it is an incredible open-world fantasy game. I am not a gamer. Other than the occasional Mario Kart, I don’t play any video games.

This game is perfect for people wanting to try something fun, creative and new. Though definitely start with “Breath of the Wild.”

Cheyenne Roche

CHEYENNE ROCHE

Originally from Wisconsin, Cheyenne has a journalism and political science degree from UW-Eau Claire and a passion for reading and learning. She lives in Creston with her husband and their two little dogs.