Derik Badman's Journal

2020-03-11 07:09

We were out for Tuesday night date night last night. There was no one else in the restaurant when we got there and in the whole time we were there only two other people came and sat at the bar. Granted, it was Tuesday night and while the temperature was very nice it was on and off raining late in the afternoon and early evening, but still that was really dead. They had no tables and their one reservation canceled.

A lot of the local colleges and universities are starting to go online-only, or will be after spring break. That's weirdly good for my company, we've had increased interest in some of our products. Makes me wonder what point do I stop going for coffee in the morning or to the co-op for food multiple times a week or to the movies or for Tuesday date night. I don't know. For now, I will continue on mostly as normal, being more diligent about hand washing and face touching and such.

I beat the main storyline in Breath of the Wild yesterday. The final boss fight turned out to be maybe even easier than some of the earlier ones. Graphically, narratively, the designers went for this Dark Souls-y horror monster drama, but it didn't really feel like it jived with the rest of the game or the actual difficulty. Then there was a second boss fight that was so easy and guided it was almost pointless. And finally a brief epilogue where the eponymous Zelda finally makes an appearance (well, one that was not a flashback).

Having little experience with the franchise (I played the first and second ones on the old Nintendo system for very very brief times at a friend's house long ago), it feels like Zelda, the character the series is named after, is almost a non-entity. You don't play her, you don't really interact with here. She appears in some flashbacks you can find as one of your missions, where she is mostly acting the sad princess routine doubting her abilities (and in one weird one getting yelled at her father the king). It's a missed opportunity that you can't play as her, or that she doesn't have any real part to play in the narrative other than appear at the end to make the monster go away after you win the boss fight.

The game doesn't let you continue after the win, rather you can just go back to the save right before the battle. Do I care enough to do that? There are tons more places to explore in the game, but also there probably isn't anymore story to find, just more monsters and puzzles. As a game it succeeds as a lovely open world to explore, but it also suffers a lot from feeling empty and static when it comes to any narrative storylines and in particular any interaction that isn't just running (climbing, swimming, gliding) around, picking up stuff, fighting monsters, and solving the occasional puzzle. Compared to games like Skyrim or Dragon Age or Mass Effect or The Witcher it felt... lacking in narrative and feeling. (Skyrim also often suffers from lack of npc interactions, but in its open world there is tons of narrative going on.) Also, Link, as a protagonist is so boring. If I can't customize my character then at least the character I am forced to play should be interesting (or at least have a personality of some form) like in The Witcher. In the end, I guess I am disappointed.