Games Inbox: Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom first impressions

The Wednesday letters page asks if it’s worth waiting for the Switch 2 to play Tears Of The Kingdom, as a reader recommends TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge on Netflix.

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Busy playin’
I received Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom a little early on Thursday night and I’m happy to say it’s off to a wonderful start. I don’t know who had worries about the graphics beforehand but the game looks absolutely gorgeous, especially as you’re diving through the sky.

For anyone who remembers, I was actually the reader who did the Photography of the Wild feature for Zelda: Breath Of The Wild last time, so I’ve already been clicking away at every opportunity for a new feature. There are some truly stunning vistas, even just on the initial sky islands.

I’m sure as with most people, the thing that has impressed me most so far is the Ultrahand. I’m not usually a fan of games with a building element such as Minecraft, but this feels so simple, natural, and tactile. I was literally giggling with a glee at some of my creations. Solving a lazy Korok’s problem with a hook was particularly satisfying!

Anyway time to go and play. You might not hear from me for the next two months or so!
Ryan O’D

GC: Those were great, do feel free to do the same again for Tears Of The Kingdom.

No need to wait
Would it be wise to wait to get Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom until Nintendo release an enhanced version of the game for the Switch 2?

I bought the last Zelda game for the Wii U and gad to pay again for the Switch versions. I did not buy the Switch version because I did not want two versions of the same game.

GC: We do not think it would be wise at all, no. We have no idea when the Switch 2 will be released or if there’ll ever be an enhanced version of Tears Of The Kingdom. The current version runs perfectly fine on the Switch.

Room for improvement
So, I finally decided to take the plunge and buy Cyberpunk 2077 on Xbox over two years later. I was stalling because of the negativity surrounding its release. But now I don’t regret it, as it’s probably one of the finest looking games I have seen on my Xbox Series X. At times, this game truly looks current gen. That being said, I have still had glitches with floating objects, etc. And I don’t like the movement of V at times, as it feels too floaty.

Also, gunplay can still be improved upon, as it’s not clear what guns are better suited to some combat encounters, so I end up going in with my blades. And the list of missions, etc. can be overwhelming. But overall, I’m very impressed by the vision of Night City and its vibrant colours and its grimy futuristic look. Also, I might add this is probably one of Keanu Reeves’ best roles. He nails it and I normally don’t like celebrity acting roles in games, but he’s excellent. So now I’m excited to see what they have planned for the sequel.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Outside source
Superb feature by Michael Byron on Phil Spencer and the Activision deal. It didn’t seem like your usual speculative piece from a reader. More like it was wrote by an insider with sources, like a Jez Corden.

Actually, has Michael been sneaking into boardroom meetings? In all seriousness, an intelligent, insightful and thought-provoking article which deserved top billing. Well done Michael, I hope to see more work from him.

Streaming Revenge
Heads up! If you have Netflix, you can download Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge onto your smartphone for free!

I’m actually amazed at how close it is to the console versions in terms of presentation, it’s pretty much a direct port.

The touchscreen controls are even decent, although obviously nowhere near as good as a controller, but it’s tough to complain when it’s free!
Rangersingh (PSN ID)

Extra day
Like many, I’ve been playing Tears Of The Kingdom this weekend and on Thursday night (it arrived a day early). I’m not very far in, having just finished the initial tutorial area and completed a few of the shrines on the ground.

My initial thoughts are mainly positive. Even though the main portion of the map is obviously very similar to Breath Of The Wild it still feels a new experience and doesn’t feel like it is retreading old ground. Like Breath Of The Wild it encourages exploration, the joy of finding a new discovery is still present. I loved shrines and am so glad they are still very much a part of Tears Of The Kingdom.

Indeed, I think the strongest part of both games is the puzzle solving and if the tutorial is anything to go by this looks to be more prominent in Tears Of The Kingdom. Not only in terms of shrines but how to traverse certain areas, by using the new abilities to figure out how to cross either a large body of water without drowning or perhaps a large gap in the landscape without falling to Link’s death.

The new abilities seem to complement this sense of exploration. Ultrahand helps on ground, whilst Ascend and Recall let you scale new heights. The first time I used Recall on a falling rock to soar to the sky felt very satisfying.

I can’t say I miss the old abilities so far. Cryosis didn’t have much application outside of shrines and Ultrahand is kind of Magnesis+. I may end up wishing for the bomb ability though, since bomb flowers seem in short supply and Stasis would’ve worked well with the new vehicles.

The only negative thing I have to say about the game so far is in regards to the new crafting ability, Ultrahand. It’s a great idea for a game mechanic; however, I also find it a bit fiddly, especially rotating objects into the right position. Don’t get me wrong, when it’s worked as I’ve intended I’ve found myself beaming a big smile but more often than not I’ve also ended up frustrated, having to abandon one shrine in particular to come back at a later time. Hopefully practice will make perfect, and I’ll start to get the hang of it as it’s the only mark against an otherwise brilliant game.

GC: Without that level of complexity Ultrahand just wouldn’t work or be as flexible as it is. If you really don’t get on with it there’s actually relatively few things you must build yourself once you get hold of Autobuild.

Other options
As an alternative theory as to what Sharp might be making a new screen for a console might be for instead of the Switch 2. Could it be for the rumoured PlayStation Q Lite?
Angry_Kurt (Twitter)
Now playing: Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom (Switch)

GC: That is the main alternative, yes. But it’s hard to imagine Sony is planning to make so many that Sharp would promote it, and then erase it, from their financial plans, while specifically referring to it as a ‘console.’

Can’t get you outta my mind
I have seen many complaints along the lines of the Reader’s Feature criticising modern Zelda and pining for Zelda of yore.

I understand some of the criticisms, but I think they are wrong. Tears Of The Kingdom may well be the most Zelda game I’ve ever played! What I expect from a Zelda game is innovation, staying ahead of the pack, and bringing something new to the table. The old overworld/dungeon structure was becoming very stale with each new iteration, with never ending comparisons to Ocarina Of Time/Twilight Princess dungeons as some unbeatable baseline.

Tears Of The Kingdom is loaded with innovation, the game is one gigantic puzzle waiting to be solved in numerous ways. It fosters creativity and rewards it.

I thought Breath Of The Wild was lacking in a couple of areas which Tears Of The Kingdom has fixed. First being the story; I’m finding it way more engaging in Tears Of The Kingdom. Then the overworld was a little aimless at times, not an issue in Tears Of The Kingdom: there is something to do everywhere with the new abilities and the side quests are excellent. Also, with Fusion, there is motivation to explore and find items and fuse weapons, etc. I now feel motivated to explore.

I am now 30 hours into Tears Of The Kingdom and it’s now already close to dethroning my favourite of all time, Ocarina Of Time. Tears Of The Kingdom is pretty much the perfect Zelda game and everything I wanted Breath Of The Wild to be. I feel like I’ve only scratched its surface but it’s in my mind all the time I’m not playing it. For me that is the hallmark of a masterpiece.

Inbox also-rans
Sorry, must be something wrong with me. Why, you may ask? Redfall… playing it, enjoying it.

GC: Redfall isn’t a bad game, it’s just also not a very good one.

I’m going to have to buy a Switch, aren’t I? All this talk of the new Zelda and I’d held out this long. Ah well, at least it’ll be cheap anow it’s so old. Oh.

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Damon, who asks what’s the longest you’ve ever spent looking forward to a game?

Although it’s becoming common for new games not to be announced until close to release even then they can often get delayed, leaving you waiting months and even years after their initial reveal. So which game have you waited the longest for and was it a disappointment – if it’s actually out yet.

What do you feel is the optimum time to announce a game, ahead of its released date and how upset do you get about delays, versus launching with bugs and other problems?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time via email or our Submit Stuff page, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

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