Well, just over 2 months and 132 hours or so later, I just did the endgame of Zelda. And when I say 'just' I do mean just!
Although, if you have the Perfect Guard (parry) technique mastered, it'll be a cakewalk. I, however, do not have that but did pull off one. The rest of the time? Daruk's Protection was very handy!
It was very satisfying watching the four Guardians blast the unholy hell out of Calamity Ganon! And the creature itself? Well, Predator is the perfect source for this: He's one ugly motherfucker.
For the first part of the fight I thought the game had finally given me a boss with some balls. Hits hard, but can be blocked and evaded, plus a 3-bomb arrow shot once he was on the walls brought him back to earth. So whacked him a bit, ate some food - I had plenty and then Phase 2 starts.
This is where he conjures an invincible shield, yeah, really - this is where the fight went into the realm of Total Arse. (Besides, if he had that ability, why not use it from the start?) Turns out you can only hurt him by deflecting his attacks or getting a perfect dodge. Well,I pulled off one Perfect Guard and one Perfect Dodge, the rest of the time? The game decided it didn't qualify. It also threw a fireball at me, now I knew the solution to that was ice arrow, but the game decided it was too high an angle to be shot! You what? Fucker. Fortunately Daruk had recharged by this point and 3 uses of that was enough to give me just enough of a window to take him out. Had it not been for that I might have opted for the 'fuck this for a lark' option and switched off.
Cue massively gory destruction sequence which was sort of satisfying, except I really wanted to crucify the fucker immersed in a bacta vat hooked up to the mains!
So, all done, right? Ah, not exactly....
Turns out there's a second boss but which rather than being a cheating ponce is just crap. It starts off promisingly, big bastard super-pig Ganon and you get the Bow of Light. Which is where it starts to go off the rails, instead of just giving it to you Zelda drops it so you have to pick it up first.
You then end up riding around this screen filling boss waiting for the game to prompt you. When it does, it's hit these large golden circles - that's easy. What isn't is the way your horse controls relative to Ganon, doesn't work anywhere near what you might expect. Still, you hit 6-7 circles and you're told to go round to the front of Ganon. It isn't very clear that you have to jump off your horse, into the updraft, until you have the last weak spot in sight, cue aerial shot. It was a crappy end to a game.
The ending sequences? They were well done, quite satisfying, the image of the spirit of the King and the Guardians looking down on Zelda and Link was very neat. As was the use of the main theme.
It's a strange game, it's near enough two games put together because the main quest plays so differently to the rest of the game. The rest of the game is far more open and free-form, the main quest, especially the Divine Beasts, both the boarding and take back control missions, feel very prescriptive. Corridor gameplay in an open-world as it were. I can't say I enjoyed the main quests, as evidenced by the sheer number of rants from me on that very topic!
Outside of that, however, it is superb. After watching the endgame sequences I reloaded, found myself back outside the boss chamber, so decided to climb to the very top of Hyrule Castle. It was an epic ascent. Found a Korok at the top. I then jumped off the top and did an epic glide out of the entire area! The paragilder never gets old. I love rolling bombs to kill enemies at range too. Works well on wolves too. Taking out enemy hideouts remains great, just the holocaust you set off inside one with either bomb or arrow is superb.
I still think they should not have nerfed the Master Sword in the way they did, especially given what's involved in getting it. I took on a full-power Lynel in Hyrule Castle and the game still decided to drain it of energy, which didn't feel at all right. Outside, in the wide world, Ok, but this is the core of Ganon's powerbase.
I don't mind the weapon durability, except for how it works with stasis, as there you'll have to lose a weapon or two.
The environmental interaction tends to be very good, though there are times when the signposting as to what you can and cannot do is lacking. There's places where you have to do X but you have no reason to consider that you can actually do that.
A relief indicator combined with a customisable map sounds small but has significant impact. If you want loads of icons a la your usual open-world game, you can do it or just have a few key ones.
I really liked the armour upgrades and even came to enjoy working out how to get the dragon pieces for the Champion's Tunic upgrades. The Level 4 sequence with the fairies remains incredibly dubious.
The gameworld is huge and exceptionally well-designed - after a while you pick up on the regional differences. The one big flaw is the frequency of rain - it rained 3 times in my endgame infiltration of Hyrule Castle, which in turn screws over your ability to climb. In contrast, wearing lightning-proof armour, renders thunderstorms very fun and I did a fight with a Super-Moblin (1080HP) in one, where I whacked him with two lightning strikes!
Of the various sub-bosses, I've still to find Stalnox. Hinox is pretty easy, especially if you do a stealthstrike + Urbosa's fury. Talus can be trickier, especially the molten variety. Molduga is just a pain in the arse. None of them though get anywhere near Lynels for being complete arseholes. (Though, I haven't yet taken on one using the Fireproof armour, that might be fun.)
Cooking I enjoy quite a bit, though I tend to stick to a set of proven recipes.
Are there things still to do? Yep, all the more fun stuff:
- Gerudo sidequests including the Thunder Helm
- Getting the Guardian Armour
- Finishing off the other armour upgrades
- Doing the remaining shrines
Which I'll get to, on and off.
So, do I recommend it? Overall, yes. Even the powers from the main quest sections do come in very useful later on, so those do sort of make doing that worthwhile, though I still consider the end bosses irredeemable.