The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) Review

Open Your Eyes

The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma introduced in 2013 a new project that would “rethink the conventions of Zelda.” Skyward Sword was a step in that direction, blurring the lines between dungeon and overworld. A Link Between Worlds further paved the way, allowing players to explore dungeons in any order by offering every item upfront. But that wasn’t enough. Aonuma desired to see a world that was open to you from the start – one with no single correct track. With The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the team at Nintendo has achieved creating a fully open world that is truly breathtaking.

Check out my video review here!

The theme of Breath of the Wild (BotW) is discovery. As such, I will avoid delving into any specifics, keeping this spoiler-free. Rather, I will offer the gist of what brings this game and all of its moving parts to life.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Landscape
If you can see it, you can reach it.

For the first time since the original The Legend of Zelda, BotW presents a world that is open to you all at once. You start your adventure on the Great Plateau, a rather large area that introduces you to the basics of open-world exploration and the tools at your disposal. Though this represents the tutorial, the game barely holds your hand, simply telling you what to do but not how. Once you are able to leave the plateau, BotW sets you free, not forcing you on any set path on your way to the final boss. It guides you and highly recommends quests for you to complete to buff yourself in preparation for the final confrontation. Otherwise, you have agency to do as you will and explore the world around you.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Great Plateau.jpg
Time for adventure!

This sense of freedom may be a little jarring to anyone used to the scripted paths of most Zelda titles. The predetermined story markers are still there, except this time, you have the power to choose how to go about it. Do you follow the beaten path or climb the mountains surrounding it? From the start, you’re equipped to go anywhere. The only limit is whether you can survive that trek. At worst, you may lack the stamina – represented by a meter that depletes as Link runs, climbs, swims, and glides. But if you can persevere, you’ll find yourself reaching new heights overlooking a gorgeous backdrop. I took every opportunity to scale mountains, eager to see what surrounded me from a bird’s eye view. Jumping off high points and gliding down was a thrilling sensation every time.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Paraglide
The Paraglider is your friend.

The world is populated enough to provide personalized adventures. Although you may not find something new every minute, the environment is filled with enough variety to foster discovery. From an ever-changing topography to radically different climates to the series’ trademark bombable walls, surprises wait around most corners. There were many times where I thought I was heading towards one direction, then got sidetracked because something else caught my eye. By marking different areas on the map using stamps and glowing beacons, I could pin noteworthy areas. BotW never strayed from kindling my curiosity and wonderment.

If BotW is half-discovery, then the other half is survivability. Though skillful players may withstand every trial with the initial three health hearts and stamina bar, even the best of us will get a Game Over. In a game where you can accidentally run into enemies who take you out in one blow and where even the most dangerous mountains can theoretically be scaled, a “Game Over” just means you tried and didn’t succeed. In BotW, taking chances is encouraged. Following death, you simply reload at your most recent autosave or manual save, letting you have another go or retreat to better prepare yourself. Persistence after failure is a theme present through and through.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Recipe.jpg
That’s it! I’ve come up with a new recipe!

Breaking away from the precedent set before it by the first entry in the series, enemies no longer drop hearts. To regain much needed health, you are tasked with foraging and hunting for ingredients to cook restorative dishes. Although it’s tough figuring out what to cook given a blank slate, you quickly learn which recipes offer bonuses, such as an extra batch of temporary hearts or protection from severe weather. Keeping true to the notion of survivability, you must adapt to harsh conditions like the freezing cold, blazing heat that causes you to combust, and lightning that strikes your metal equipment. In addition to food, special armor sets give you the defense you need from certain settings while giving you the chance to dress Link up, which is always a treat. Affording armor and other items entails earning the standard currency of Rupees. As you’d expect, these don’t come easily either, and you’ll have to sell your resources for money. Though these new aspects paint a wholly different picture from previous entries, it drives home the concepts of hard work and survival.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Clothes.jpg
Aw, Link’s blushing.

With a world this vast, you’d think that it would be impossible to truly cover it. Luckily, a fast travel option allows you to warp to over a hundred shrines, crucial landmarks that I will explain soon. Aside from hosting special challenges, they also mark progress points that you can continue from if your current direction proves futile. You can also fast travel to tall towers scattered across the land, offering a regional map and a consistent vantage point from which to glide.

Of course, a massive open world means nothing if you can’t interact with it. Sneak towards a horse and mount it to reach blazing speeds. Strike rocks to set a fire and possibly an updraft that can soar you upwards. Ride your shield down hills and attack anything in your way. The sky’s the limit. BotW fosters an attitude of experimentation, telling you that it’s great to pursue whatever fun ideas you have.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Boulder.jpg
Mischievous Link

BotW equips you from the start with everything you need to play in this gigantic sandbox. We’ve come a long way from taking a single sword when it was dangerous to go alone. Now you can wield a variety of weapons – swords, lances, axes, mops – to face both new and classic Zelda foes. In addition to special properties, each weapon has a unique weight to it: two-handed swords are heavy but more destructive; lighter scimitars are fast but less powerful. Combat may feel a bit different to series veterans, but it utilizes the standard L-targeting that has prevailed since Ocarina of Time. Jump attacks, side hops, and backflips are still possible, but making perfect guards with your shield and unleashing flurry attacks demand carefully timed offense and defense. Likewise, using your bow entails precision aiming, guided effectively by the Switch’s gyro controls.

I’m not as fond of the durability system, in which your weapons and shields break after repeated use, mostly because I wanted to hoard my best weapons. Again, keeping consistent with the open world, this system is in place to foster exploration. Most enemies are holding a weapon, and besting them in combat leaves you with the spoils. Stronger enemies hold better weapons. Though it was hard to accept, using up my weapons on these tough foes led to satisfying rewards.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Combat.jpg
And my axe!

Fighting enemies isn’t your only option. You can stealthily sneak past them, run away as they chase you, or find a different way to tackle them. For instance, you may see an enemy camp below you and choose to either run in swords-blazing, shoot down each enemy, fire at a nearby explosive barrel, or chuck boulders at them. There is always more than one way to approach a situation, highlighted further by Runes.

Runes, special abilities that you access from your handy technological Sheikah Slate tablet, emphasize resourcefulness. The game awards you these powers early on, but continues to test you on their applications throughout your adventure. The Runes are simple to learn: Magnesis grants you the power to manipulate metal objects, Cryonis creates ice pillars from water, and Remote Bombs give you a limitless supply of explosives. The most creative Rune, Stasis, freezes an object in time, allowing you to whack it repeatedly, resulting in a release of kinetic energy that sends it flying. The physics are more sophisticated than in previous Zelda titles, permitting you to test out possibilities that you would have never considered before.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Runes.jpg
Use Runes to make ice pillars and pull up magnetic objects.

Your abilities are put to the test in Shrines, puzzle-filled mini-dungeons. These are the same kinds of rooms you’d encounter in full Zelda dungeons, except broken up into bite-sized chunks, consisting of one or two puzzles that rely on your Runes to reach the end. Despite the separation of puzzles, the 100+ Shrines deliver consistently high quality brain teasers. In some cases, the path to the Shrine is the test, presenting a variety of distinct challenges and sidequests.

This brings us to one of the biggest elements of the series: dungeons. The dungeons are smaller but more open-ended, unlike the typical mazelike structure. Though that design may not sound as appealing, I found myself loving the dungeons even more in BotW. Instead of giving you a linear path to the boss, you can explore freely, utilizing your assets to reach cleverly placed switches. Like in Shrines, dungeon puzzles test you not on a single ability, but on all of them, leading to gratifying “Eureka!” moments. Dungeons take this concept a step further by hosting tricky puzzles based on spatial recognition and manipulation of your surroundings. Culminating in boss fights unlike any other, the masterfully crafted dungeons stand out.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Shrine.jpg
Over 100 shrines test your skills.

Dungeons also tie into the intricate tale. Though I won’t give out specifics, the story is well-told, in a fashion that fits the game’s motifs of discovery and open-endedness. In BotW, you search for the story, finding fragments of Link’s lost memories. No matter when you find them, the pieces of the past complete a jigsaw puzzle of revelations. Each memory progresses your own knowledge of the lore, giving you a reason to fight and help the people around you. Its worldbuilding seamlessly weaves into the open-world gameplay. The major characters are relatable, and the added effort to finally include proper voice acting expresses their emotions in a powerful way.

The art direction is marvelous, with gently painted cel-shading that evokes a style similar to the works of the legendary Studio Ghibli. In what Nintendo refers to as an open-air artstyle, every landscape could represent a complete, gorgeous painting. In motion, everything carries so much grace, from the grass blowing in the wind to the wild animals. The HD resolution is beautiful whether on the television or the handheld Switch screen. The framerate stutters a bit, especially in areas with updrafts and fire, but I didn’t have too much of an issue.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Mop
The world is like a moving painting.

Light piano music plays softly and intermittently as you explore the open world. Though calling it a lack of music would be an exaggeration, there are a lot of quiet moments. This is perhaps my least favorite aspect of an otherwise stellar experience. The music in bigger, populated areas is beautiful while referencing prior series overtones, and the main theme is a highlight. Although I appreciate the effort to prevent repetitive music and create an atmospheric vibe, I found myself wishing for a more complete auditory experience.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Cover.jpg
Open your eyes.

Conclusion

Telling an ambitious story that matches the breadth of its gameplay, Breath of the Wild interweaves a cohesive experience into Aonuma’s vision for an open-world Zelda. A curiosity to explore leads to discovery and necessitates survival. Hundreds of secrets populate the enormous world, and hours of playtime may only get you through one dungeon. But when the game’s physics provide so many opportunities for fun experimentation, it’s hard to regret any lost time. BotW throws tall mountains and vicious enemies at you, inviting you to rise to the challenge in ways you never thought possible. Once you’re on top, new opportunities continue to dangle in front of you, driving you forward on your epic journey. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild finally modernizes the original title’s adventurous gameplay, taking lessons from 30 years of Zelda and creating a new masterpiece that redefines the legendary series.

Score: 10/10

What are your thoughts on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? Have any unique stories to share about your adventure? How would you like to see the Zelda series continue in future games? Please share any questions, thoughts, or experiences in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!

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117 thoughts on “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) Review

  1. Love your review! I’ve only tried playing one other LoZ game before (Windwaker, was terrible at it) but I’m already obsessed with this one and just want to stay home all day and night playing it, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I truly appreciate it! Aw, I’m sorry to hear that Wind Waker didn’t work out for you, but I’m glad that you’re enjoying this one! What about this game changed your view on Zelda after you couldn’t get into WW? They’re such different games, so I wanted to know what caught your attention. Also, I apologize for not remembering, but are you playing on the Switch or Wii U? Thanks again!

      Like

  2. Spectacular review! This game is utterly AMAZING!!! It’s an open-world, open-air game that really lives up to its name. I think BotW truly achieves giving players freedom to explore and experiment with anything. It’s feels much bigger than the world of Final Fantasy XV and does not impose artificial barriers on the player. You’re only limited by your hearts, stamina, and imagination. The game itself is beautiful and looks like a work of art. I’ve already invested many hours, yet there’s still so much left to see and do. The only thing that I didn’t like was the weapon durability feature, but I think it makes sense for a game like this, so I can’t really fault that. And fighting those guardians is pretty dang hard… I love how the piece-meal story comes to together cohesively and how well the characters are developed despite relatively few cut scenes. I also like the incorporation of amiibo bonuses (I ❤ Wolf Link). This game definitely breaks typical Zelda conventions, but still brings back things that fans love (like attacking cuckoos). It's a fantastic amalgamation of new and old. Breath of the Wild is simply…breath-taking.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much! Your support means so much to me both here and outside WordPress. I completely agree with you! I’m so glad BotW lives up to its name. Believe it or not, I had some doubts that Zelda could achieve open-world status when even Final Fantasy XV struggled with it somewhat. Not that that’s a bad game, but it felt like there was missing potential whereas BotW’s world is utterly precious. There’s so much you can play around with, and even I haven’t seen everything. I’d love to mess around with Runes more and just run around to places that are more secluded. I’m not a fan of the weapon durability, as you know, but I have to admit it works so well in the context of a full open-world.

      Everything fits neatly together under a ribbon, from the storytelling to the themes. Even the dungeons adopt open-air exploration. Nintendo outdid themselves here, and I can’t believe how much fun I’m having with an open-world game. I haven’t enjoyed something so big as this since Xenoblade Chronicles X, whose developers Monolith Soft had a hand in creating this open world. Also, the amiibo bonuses help. A lot. Plus they’re wonderful figurines. I love using the non-BotW amiibo like Wolf Link especially.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and kind words! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wind Waker is an excellent Zelda title to start out with! It’s perhaps one of the few Zelda games that really understand the exploration system that the original Legend of Zelda set forth. Although Breath of the Wild is differnt from WW, it does hearken back to that sense of discovery as you explore the water (in BotW’s case, land) and finding new things. Hope you enjoy BotW whenever you get it! And thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review! It looks like a game that I would enjoy start to finish because always like to try different thing while playing games and explore every little place of the map. I hope to play it one day…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I appreciate it a lot! It’s a game that I enjoyed start to finish, and I don’t normally plan open world games. Yet Zelda consistently hooked me in with its surprises. I think exploring every area of the map is going to be so much fun for you. It definitely was and still is a highlight for me! I still feel like I have so much more to explore! Hope you get the opportunity to play this someday! I’d love to read what you think when you do!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Miketendo64! The Place To Go For Anything Nintendo and commented:

    Hi everyone! Mr. Panda here with a review of one of the biggest launch games in Nintendo history, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild! A dawn of a new day in Zelda history is upon us, and I’ve explored the open world to see what I can uncover. The experience really is something else, and I’m excited to share what has been quite a review to write. Here’s my spoiler-free review of Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch!

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  5. I just beat the game an hour ago, and I am in full agreement. Well, almost! =P

    Breath of the Wild is borderline perfect. And much A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time, from this moment onward it will serve as the blueprint for all future games, which means – answering your question about future installments – I think open-world Zelda games will become the norm, and the next entries in the saga will take what was done with Breath of the Wild and cover it with new themes and ideas. This is a brand new and exciting start!

    I say borderline perfect, though, because I think that while the open-world component of the whole game is flawless (Nintendo surpassed all other games of the kind on their very first try, which is ridiculous) the Zelda side of things could have been slightly better. I liked the dungeons, but I felt they lacked the atmosphere and uniqueness of the labyrinths from Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword (which in my book are the franchise’s peak in dungeon design). Their open-endness, though, as you said, was quite clever and different. The bosses were also a little bit unremarkable.

    But that’s all silly nitpicking, really, and it shows that Breath of the Wild can be surpassed by what’s to come next, which fills me with giddy excitement!

    Anyway, I wrote too much! Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! By the way, never feel like you write too much. I love reading your opinions! A game like this can lead to so many different experiences and thoughts, even if we’re both in agreement of enjoying the game! I love the dungeons because they remind me of old-school dungeons that didn’t require you to go into every room in order. I guess I’m mostly referring to pre-Ocarina of Time dungeons although A Link to the Past’s ones generally have an order to it too. Like in Skyward Sword, whose dungeon designs you and I both adore, I liked that the game tested you on what you had, and not just what they gave you. A Link Between Worlds is similar in that aspect too, especially since you got all items upfront. BotW did an excellent job laying everything in front of you. You just had to figure out how to get where you needed to go using what you have. In that sense, dungeons are mazelike in a different way. Instead of having to find the right way, you are tasked with finding A way around, which I found neat. The bosses weren’t the best, but they were genuinely tough encounters that weren’t easy to read. It’s something I appreciate after having so many heavily scripted bosses from older titles. Please don’t think that I don’t like the older dungeons or bosses though. I just think the new style of dungeons in BotW is a “breath” of fresh air that blew me away. And dungeon manipulation is just the coolest.

      I’m wondering how Nintendo can even keep going and top this. An even bigger open-world? Different setting? Return to more closed settings? New themes and ideas like the wall-merging mechanic in A Link Between Worlds can really go along way if utilized perfectly. Are there any themes or ideas that you were thinking of specifically, by the way?

      Whatever direction they go in, I can’t help but trust them. They created that open world that Aonuma wanted – that many of us wanted. It’s amazing that they got it one try like you said. I think whatever comes next has a high standards to beat but will still be a worthy successor.

      Thanks again for your awesome insights and kind words! Congratulations on beating it too! I bet that must have been exciting for you! Hope you enjoyed the end! By the way, are you playing on Switch or Wii U?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent points, especially about the different approach to the dungeons.

        What I really liked about the dungeons was how they reminded me of Stone Tower Temple (my favorite Zelda dungeon), as it was up to you to move the place around in order to make solutions that seemed to be impossible suddenly materialize. That was quite clever and it led to some awe-inspiring moments of discovery.

        They could have been more different from a thematic standpoint, though, given they all looked pretty much the same from the inside.

        Another thing – a rather small one – that shocked me (in a positive way) at first was how the dungeons themselves were part of the overworld. I mean, you can step out of the dungeon and – without any loading time – you will be back to Hyrule. I know it shouldn’t shock me because the whole game has no loading times whatsoever, but I thought it was rather cool!

        As for where to go next, I am not sure the overworld needs to get bigger; the size they achieved with Breath of the Wild is quite sufficient. I was thinking about more dungeons, with some of them being introduced by story developments (such as the four in BotW) and others just being randomly found out in the open with some exploration and intel given by NPCs (such as it happened in the original NES game). They could also go for a different theme (something dark along the lines of Majora’s Mask, perhaps) and focus on a game-changing mechanic (like the wall-merging skill from A Link Between Worlds, which you mentioned). I am sure they will figure something out that’s even better than what I am proposing here. I will leave it to the talented pros that built this gaming masterpiece to figure that out! =P

        It was exciting for sure! What a journey! I got the Wii U version. I will get a Switch when Super Mario Odyssey comes around.

        And thanks, I also enjoy your comments!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aw thank you! I appreciate that! 🙂 I mostly asked because I’d love to friend you on Switch whenever you get one! How was the Wii U version in particular? I know you wouldn’t be able to compare it to Switch probably, but did it play all right, both in terms of framerate and graphics?

        While attempting to be vague in case anyone else reads this, the game structure reminded me of Majora’s Mask! And yes, Stone Tower seemed to be a huge influence on at least one of the dungeons. I wouldn’t mind if they kept that kind of design in the future, where the “dungeon item” is the dungeon itself, in a sense. It worked especially well in a game like this where you’re expected to have every item from the get-go.

        The dungeons really are open-air, much like the theme of the game, right? I loved that about it. As far as dungeons looking different, I can see that being a concern. For me, I guess I didn’t see it as too similar because I thought of the elements, as you would a Temple in Ocarina of Time. Like one dungeon was a “water” dungeon, as an example.

        I would love more dungeons, of course! I still think dungeons are the bread and butter of Zelda games, and I’m glad they’re still present. I’m actually excited about the DLC dungeon, even though we know nothing about it. Are you getting that by the way? I totally agree that there should be some big change, like perhaps even a basic world-switching mechanic like in most Zelda games. And changing forms like in Majora’s Mask in an open-world game? My goodness. I’d buy that game right now! Imagine what they could do with it! My brain is drooling with excitement, haha! Like seriously, I’m sure they will figure out something awesome, but your ideas already impressed me! 😉

        Awesome that you enjoyed it on the Wii U! Thanks again for your awesome ideas and insightful comments! It’s so fun to discuss Breath of the Wild! 😀

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      3. Well, there were some framerate drops here and there, but I expected them to be far worse considering what I was reading before I went into the game. In the end, they were far from bothersome. In some enemy-packed occasions, though, the game just straight-up froze for a few seconds. It was a rare occurence, however; it only happened three times in 70 hours of gameplay so far. But overall the experience was great. This thing looks gorgeous and flows beautifully!

        The dungeon item being the dungeon itself is a great way to describe this style of dungeon-building. I wouldn’t mind if they kept at it in future installments either, and it works well for a game of this kind.

        Yeah, the dungeons were each centered around an element, but I feel an aesthetic difference would give them a boost. I keep thinking about the visual variety of Skyward Sword’s dungeons (how awesome were the Sandship, and the mesmerizing Ancient Cistern?) and I wish we could have had that in here as well.

        I am still on the fence about the DLC because it will quite expensive around these parts due to the currency conversion. I will wait for more details and impressions before I make a decision.

        Oh man, changing forms in a game like this! That’s definitely what they should go for! Someone needs to give Nintendo a call.

        You are welcome, and it is indeed fun to discuss that game!

        I will make sure to add you on the Switch once I get mine.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I’m glad that the Wii U looked great aside from frame rate drops! To be honest, I was expecting the Wii U version to play really well as the intended system for the original game. People tend to blame the Switch hardware trying too hard to output 1080p as the source of BotW’s frame rate issues, but I don’t think it’s just the hardware itself, you know?

        More dungeon differences would be great, for sure! And you named some of my favorite Skyward Sword dungeons so I have to agree with you there! On a similar note, I love the aesthetics of the Twilight Princess dungeons! The latter half of dungeons stand out, especially the mansion. Although I like the style of BotW’s dungeons, the design is something they could look to improve for future titles, or even the DLC dungeon, whatever it ends up being.

        I can understand the DLC being expensive. I haven’t gotten it yet, since you don’t get much at the moment, but I am eagerly awaiting the new dungeon and other content when they finally arrive. I don’t know if it’ll be worth the price, but I hope they put the same amount of effort that they put into the rest of the amazingly large game!

        There are so many directions they could go in the next installment. Thanks for opening my eyes to them (just like Link “opens his eyes”, haha).

        I also can’t wait to friend you and play multiplayer online someday! 🙂 Thank you again! I enjoy the discussion!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I don’t think it’s just the hardware either.

        The aesthetics of TP’s dungeons are awesome! Snowpeak Ruins and City in the Sky are quite unique in the way they are set up and in how Nintendo approached the ice and sky themes. And Arbiter’s Grounds and Temple of Time are also awesome!

        And yes, there are many directions they could go in! I am sure they will find a way to awe us with the next installment.

        We shall have epic duels on the Switch’s multiplayer titles! =P

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Twilight Princess truly excelled in graphical style, which is what we were all looking for after The Wind Waker (even though both ended up being stellar games). I hope that in the next Zelda game, Nintendo will continue to take that kind of dungeon design and apply them to their open-air dungeons. Just based on how the dungeons were in BotW, I could see them changing it up next time out of necessity. I know I already just finished one epic Zelda game (and am still playing it), but you’ve gotten me excited about another already! The Zelda cycle begins anew!

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    2. I think I’m in the minority who loves that BotW’s dungeons are on the short side. Too often in 3D Zeldas I often delay my next playthrough whenever I reach a dungeon, because I know I’m going to have to submit a couple of hours to it. I love how the dungeons in BotW begin as something akin to bosses in their own right, and then become dungeons, then dungeons you can manipulate, and finally lead to a boss of their own. All within about a half hour. Lord knows that after the grotesque pacing issues of Skyward Sword, that these dungeons feel infinitely refreshing in adding to BotW’s overall player-friendly pacing.

      Coming from someone who thinks Ocarina of Time is overrated, I find pretty much every aspect of BotW to be pretty stunning.

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      1. I’m probably in the other minority that took a long time to complete some of BotW’s dungeons. They’re small and technically short, yes, if you know what you’re doing. My spatial recognition isn’t so great, and I struggled finding everything. And some of the hardest places to reach were tricky. Nintendo didn’t pull back at making ingenious puzzles with its dungeon manipulation.

        I also have to agree with you about the dungeon “arcs.” If you include everything surrounding the dungeon, these segments are of a decent length. At least they were for me. They’re also varied and fun in their own ways.

        No matter how long it takes to finish something, the pacing is indeed better in BotW. In SS, you were forced into meaningless segments for no reason, whereas the world is your oyster in BotW. I went where my current goal took me, and moved to other quests if I felt like. BotW respects your time in a way other linear games don’t.

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  6. This was great! I keep saying that I haven’t reviewed the game yet because I keep playing it instead, but looking at your Switch profile, you put in almost twice the amount of time I have and still found the time to write about it. So I have no excuse, hahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot for your kind words! It’s a game you definitely want to play in-depth before reviewing. We played for two whole weekends and still had to pepper in playtime most evenings just to beat it. Writing the review itself was challenging too, but it’s definitely something to be proud of in the end. Thanks again for checking it out! I look forward to your review! 🙂

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    1. Thanks a lot! I appreciate it! I’ve heard great things about Witcher 3’s open world, though I’ve never played it myself. It’s great to live in an age where games are suddenly so huge and cast again without necessarily having to be JRPGs. Between those two, I’m sure you have your time and money’s worth!

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  7. great review, this game keeps getting better and better for me. Still got ways to go, but the challenges i faced and that i’m able to overcome them regardless of gear or progressions is one of the best things about this game. As hard as it is, i never feel this game punishes me for deciding to try something out of my league sometimes, because if i play my cards right, i can overcome those obstacles

    the shrines are great, i love the puzzles they throw at me and that no matter which shrine i enter, i know i can complete it as long as i strategize correctly

    and totally agree on your statements about skyward sword and link between worlds. This game really builds on what those 2 games initially brought to the table in terms of world structure, dungeon structure, game progression and inventory management. As much as I enjoyed skyward sword, I found people were very harsh on that game sometimes, but BOTW really builds on what that game introduced, and it’s done to perfection now

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot! I definitely find that BotW is about trying new things and never giving up, which are extend well into real life lesson territory. You’re totally right that the game never feels punishing. It always feels fair, and the constant autosaving helps.

      The shrines are awesome. The more shrines I do, the more amazed I am by how much variety there are between them. Since you always have what you need going in, I’m also encouraged to do my best for each one. There are some truly tough puzzles hidden in them!

      Skyward Sword and even A Link Between Worlds are underrated in how they moved the series forward to what it is today. I’m so happy that you agree because like you said, some people were harsh on Skyward Sword. To be fair, there are annoying segments about that game, and I wish the world were more connected. But it was an important stepping stone in the path to BotW. And wow, did BotW deliver! Thanks so much for your insightful comments! Are you playing on Wii U or Switch by the way?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. playing on the Wii U, so far working great and game runs and looks amazing even on the older console

        but man i wish i could take this game outside the house! or play from bed 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awesome! BotW was built for the Wii U, so I’m sure it’s excellent on its home system! At least with the GamePad, you can still work your way around playing it somewhat portable, as long as it’s near the system. It still blows my mind that BotW is a game that’s possible to play anywhere on-the-go!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know, it’s amazing such a small piece of hardware exceeds the Wii U’s capabilities and can play games like this on the go, and give a good solid 2-3 hours of battery life while doing it!

        there are some design quirks i’ve read about and hoping they sort them out on some future revision, because if they do i’m all over the switch

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ah, any design quirks in particular you’d like to see them improve? I wonder if there will be another revision of the system. They’d probably wait at least a few years if they did make one. If and when you do get a Switch, we can add each other as friends! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      5. few of the things that get me, the usb charging port i can see being a problem if i want to charge while resting the switch on a table. The joycons grip doesn’t charge the joycons, you have to disconnect them each time and attach to the console to recharge. Another big one for me is not being able to transfer save data. My brother and I both have Wii U and not being able to do this for that console was annoying because we both play donkey kong tropical freeze through coop, and can’t resume are save without me bringing my whole console over

        yes definitely will add ya once i get one though, already building up a list of people to add from wordpress once i get one

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Ah yes, I wonder if Nintendo will change those in a revision. I guess since it’s also a portable system, there’s that chance since Nintendo loves updating its handhelds. Maybe we’ll see a New Nintendo Switch XL someday, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. yup, that’s what i’m banking on. I made the mistake back in the day buying the very original orignal bulky silver Nintendo DS. I got it on a really good deal when the handheld just launched and was selling poorly. Tell me how the DS lite came out not long after and had a much better feel to it. GB advance, same thing, got the next revision with back lighting.

        I’ve tended to learn my lesson with portable nintendo products now. In the event there is no revision, i wouldn’t mind picking up the original, but just in Canada at $399 it’s a bit steep to buy knowing these problems or annoyances exist. Maybe at $299 i may overlook them, but i don’t think that’ll be happening any time soon

        I hope they don’t make it XL because i think the size is perfect the way it is, it’d be absurdly big at that point if they did lol

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved reading your inspiring review of this masterpiece! I find it hard to describe how amazing this game is, but you’ve done a terrific job here 🙂

    I love the graphics, and it truly feels like I’m wandering around in another world. Unfortunately, I’m horrible at playing this game, even though I’m having fun with it. I lost count of how many times I’ve seen the Game Over screen, I keep ending up with Dubious Food, and I haven’t even found a dungeon yet, haha. I guess I’m so accustomed to the traditional Zelda formula that it is taking me a long time to adjust. I’m not a fan of my weapons breaking all the time, but it does make for some interesting survival moments. I’ll never forget the pack of Bokoblins I had to fight off with a mop 🙂 So far, I’ve unlocked one of Link’s memories and I have no idea where I’m going next, lol. It’s all about the epic journey I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! It was truly challenging figuring out how to convey what makes Breath of the Wild so wonderful, but I’m glad that you found it inspiring! That means a lot! 🙂

      If it makes you feel any better about your skill level, I must have gotten at least 40 or 50 Game Overs during my playtime. And I don’t feel bad about it (except that first time where I walked off the tower to my doom…). Each death for me was part of the adventure. Each time that X appeared, it showed me that I tried something daring there. I might have gotten caught off guard or maybe I ran into danger, but I was daring, much like Link who dons the Triforce of Courage. I would never invade Bokoblin skull hideouts in real life, but sometimes I have those moments of doubt in life where I won’t make it. I know in BotW, it’s not truly analogous since you’re not risking your real life. Plus it lets you reload autosaves easily. But in a way, BotW is inspirational in helping me feel more confident in the directions I take. For a game to have the opportunity to teach real lessons in trying new things and persisting after failing is amazing. I know not everyone necessarily would get that from the game, but I think a lot of share similar emotions as we learn and discover more about the world of BotW.

      As far as the traditional Zelda formula goes, I love it. In fact, I’m not the biggest fan of the original Zelda. I merely respect it. That’s precisely why I find it so fascinating that Nintendo took that old, risky formula (that not many gamers jive with today), and modernized it for an open-world loving audience. They didn’t just get it right. They made it work using what they’ve learned from making the series for over 30 years. It’s remarkable that they could make an adventure that so cohesively matched their master vision.

      I love using a mop in Zelda by the way. With my mop, I ended up smacking some Cuccos though… Let me tell you., They’re worse than any Bokoblins, hahaha!

      Also, it’s awesome that you got a memory! They’re great, and I think the more you get, the more amazing it becomes when everything comes together. It’s an epic journey and I applaud Nintendo for crafting such a game that is worthy of so much discussion! Thank you again for your insighftul comments!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I walked off the first tower to my doom as well, haha. It’s so easy to do! I like how they have frequent fast save checkpoints. You’re given many opportunities to try a new approach (or run). I never thought of the Triforce of Courage connection! Link truly represents courage in the face of adversity. This is a skill we can all carry over into real life 🙂

        Ocarina of Time was the first Zelda game I beat, and it will always have a special place in my gamer heart. I guess I’m use to an annoying fairy telling me where to go all the time, haha. It is simply amazing what Nintendo has done with BoTW, and I can’t wait to explore the rest of this huge world. I was sad when my mop finally broke, lol. I actually did quite well fending off enemies with it. I haven’t tried smashing a Cucco yet. Other Zeldas have taught me that usually ends badly for poor Link 🙂

        I loved the cut scene that played! I want to find all of the memories to see the story. Thanks for providing us with this great review of the game. You’ve definitely inspired me to keep going in BoTW 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Aw thank you so much! That means a lot to me! I’m so happy that I can help people like that with my review. Thank you! 🙂

        I suspect that first tower is the cause of many deaths, haha. It doesn’t help that you don’t have a paraglider at that point in the game. I like feeling like we have the same courage as Link in BotW. In most Zelda games, Link is meant to “link” us to the game, so it makes sense that we would adopt his courage here.

        Ocarina of Time was also the first Zelda game I have beaten, and of course it’s still at the top of my list. BotW is such a different game even with all the Zelda blood that flows within it.

        Oh yea, my mop and Cuccos. I just had to experiment. 😉 I love the memories, and I’m glad that you’re inspired to keep playing! I’m so happy I could help too! Thank you again!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. This is the first Zelda game I’ve decided to play instead of watch (thanks in no small part to bloggers such as yourself!), and I really can’t wait to experience the adventure. Since I’m expecting it, I’m looking forward to the trial and error of the challenge 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome! I’m so excited that you’re giving this one a shot, and I’m happy to have influenced your decision! 🙂 It’s a totally different experience playing. You have so much freedom, both to explore and play around. It’s the kind of game that will last as long as you’re willing to discover new things and experiment. And I’m glad the trial and error resonates with you. Usually in other Zelda games, the single-solution puzzles are great, though I generally only have to try a few things to solve it. In BotW, there are so many ways to go about any problem, which makes it so mentally stimulating. I like testing out everything I have just because I never know what will happen until I try. And if I mess up and get a Game Over (which has happened a lot, thanks to extreme exploration), I just get up and try again thanks to the kind autosave points. It’s a magnificent game, and I get so excited talking about it! I look forward to reading about your journey and discussing it with you after you’ve played through it! 🙂 Thank you again!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have the Switch on my wish list and I’m hoping I get one for my birthday (April) and if not I’m definitely asking for one for Christmas! I’d like to really concentrate on collecting consoles (whoa alliteration much!) to accommodate the variety of games on my backlog.

        I’m actually okay with trial and error! It’s one of the best ways to learn (I have to implement it a lot at my job, so I’m used to it). I’ve been leveling up in the best but most challenging leveling spot in WOFF, and since I’m using slightly lower level Mirages even in my stacks, it’s been more challenging, which I kind of like. Lann and Reynn are around level 100 now, so fights were just like one smack and done lol. But now I have to actually plan out what I’m going to do even against the regular enemies, and it’s making me think, which I like.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s awesome! Happy Early Birthday! I hope you’re able to get one for your birthday! I’d love to add you as a friend if you did! 😉 Then we can play Bomberman together, haha! Garnering gaming systems is a great game goal, I gather!

        And I’m glad that you generally apply trial and error in other games like WoFF. I’ve definitely had to apply trial and error in real life situations before. Though I’ll admit I tend not to use trial and error much in games, for some reason. In some cases, you can get locked out of things or lose progress in some games when you “mess up.” It’s incredibly frustrating in those situations which is why I’ve been pushed away from experimentation. I like playing around with characters like in RPGs such as Pokemon, and I like searching for hidden secrets in Mario games. But in some games that are more punishing, it’s harder to come to terms with those risks. That’s why BotW is so freeing; it doesn’t just have an open-air world, but it also lets you do whatever you wish in the environment. It works wonders for critical thinking, not to mention shenanigans. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ahhh that would be great! You’re not on PSN are you? I’m on that quite often and if you are, I can add you there 🙂 I don’t do much besides play WOFF and watch Netflix, though I did log some hours in Journey today before getting stuck in the snow. It’s like FFVII all over again!

        I like games that allow trial and error, but you’re right; some do not, and you miss out on important things (me in the submarine in FFVII. Ugh, I’ll always be annoyed about that hehe. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t yet finished it myself). In terms of battle I like that WOFF will just whisk you back to Sylver Park if you die (unless you’re in a threshold), but there’s always the save and reset option. FFVIII’s card game is a definite trial and error venture. I can always figure out how to facilitate my favorite method :p

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I definitely am on PSN! I’ve been so super focused on adding people on Switch that I keep forgetting I have other consoles with friend systems, haha. My name on PSN is MrPanda2002. I’d love to friend you there too!

        And yes, those are certainly examples of bad trial and error. I would say that even the first Legend of Zelda was pretty poor at allowing trial and error. Try something too outlandish, and you’ll die and return to the first screen with only three hearts. The same thing happens with Metroid and a bunch of old NES games. Even old-school Final Fantasy games like FFIII don’t have saves within dungeons so you have to do it all over again if you fall to the boss. And then other RPGs don’t even let you skip long cutscenes if you have to refight a boss. I feel like at least one of the PS era FFs do this, though I don’t remember with 100% certainty.

        I guess I’m saying that there are plenty of things games have done to avert me from experimentation out of fear, and BotW is finally helping me explore that again.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yass! I’ll add you once I turn the system on. I’m going to try to finish Journey tonight and I may do some more level grinding in WOFF. Still trying to level Bahamut enough to catch Master Tonberry and eventually Elasmos.

        The first few Final Fantasies (whew, so much alliteration) were painfully hard. IV kept up that streak, but it at least had saves in dungeons before boss fights so you didn’t have to start all the way over. I’ve only watched III and haven’t played it yet, but I have it for the DS. I’m hoping they remedied that situation in that version. Older games were so not above teaching you a hard lesson. I could definitely shake my first and grumble about kids these days having it easy, but some of those old games were too hard even by that day’s standards. It definitely taught us to pick ourselves up and try again, which is never a bad lesson. Later ones do let you skip cut scenes (thank God…), which is one of the things I really like in WOFF. I died on this one XL Mirage (the one you fights in The Big Bridge mission in the Girl’s Tearoom. Can’t remember his name) so many times, and the cut scene before is really long. I also died once trying to beat the game (the real ending), and there are a bunch of cut scenes, so I was happy to skip them. I’m glad that’s an option now. I want to say they started this with PS2 era ones. I don’t know if you can skip in say a game like FFX.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That’s awesome! Hope you enjoy! As far as FFIII goes, the DS one was the one I played and it did not have saves before bosses. It was truly tough, though I’d say it was underrated.

        Some people criticize modern games saying they’re easier, and on some level, I agree. But for the most part, it’s because older games were impossible. A lot of those old-school games made us persistent, though I’d say their difficulties were unfair. They had more of an arcade mentality, in which the game wants you to start over and “insert more coins.” Artificially making the game longer by forcing you to restart may make you play a game longer, but it gets tedious as you play the same parts over and over, only to lose yet again at the same exact spots. Modern games are better at giving you leeway when you die, and BotW is no exception. The game is huge, so there is no longer a need to make it seem long by sticking you at the beginning with three hearts. If BotW had done that… I don’t think the game would be as highly regarded, haha. I didn’t say in the review, but you can skip any cutscenes and scenes that occur often (like going in shrines) in BotW. Glad to hear that option is there in WoFF too! I don’t remember if it was in FFX, but I recall a time in gaming when cutscenes were unskippable in RPGs… It was always the worst feeling when ridiculously long cutscenes occurred before multi-form final bosses!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I couldn’t agree move. Older games were impossible and they usually didn’t have an official “ending.” They just became harder and harder until you eventually died. I will say the being forced to start over again did teach us to recognize patterns, but the only problem is you might forget the exact move you need to do when you get back to the place that killed you. That’s one of the challenges of The Impossible Game, which names seem even more evocative now!

        I like my save points 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I agree. When having to refight bosses, I got used to learning patterns and felt more accomplished when I defeated them. The impossible games didn’t let you just restart at a boss. They either made you replay a level or at worst, the game. That’s also why I love save points. Funny enough, cycling all the way back, the first Legend of Zelda for NES introduced battery-pack saving, so we have Zelda to thank for saves. It was a hard game, but at least we had that much!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Splendid! Yeah, I’ve been enjoying the game a lot since it came out. I reviewed the Wii U version recently, and I really couldn’t find much to complain about. The technical hitches aren’t even bad enough to ruin the experience although they’re definitely noticeable. Some have loathed the durability mechanic, and I can completely see where they’re coming from, and why they don’t like it. But I think it’s better tuned than most other titles that have had a similar mechanism. There’s usually something you can grab near by in desperation, even if it’s a lowly tree branch or a stone. I think the game has a great use of sink or swim. It doesn’t hold your hand at all. It forces you to take risks, something even some of the best open world action games, and RPGs don’t really do much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! And I did read your review, and you did a wonderful job as well! Technical hitches are usually not a big problem for me unless it’s some big problem that affects multiplayer. Zelda is not a multiplayer game, and the beauty of its open world outweigh occasional frame rate stutters.

      Even though I don’t normally like things like breakable weapons (like in older Fire Emblem games), I respect how the developers handled it in BotW. There are always weapons as you said. Additionally, for me, collecting weapons for my compendium and trying them out is fun, so I like the variety. I think the bigger problem is perhaps the lack of weapon slots. I have a bigger problem of having room for the weapons I wish to keep. I know you can increase them, but it’s a process, as you probably know.

      Totally agree about the game not holding your hand. It’s significant, especially after games like Twilight Princess and especially Skyward Sword holding tight. Even though I love those titles, BotW is truly unique in allowing for risks and experimentation without forcing you in any one direction. I’ve never played a game this big that gave you the freedom to go anywhere from the start.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m usually a horder in my games, so I could really see myself keep using the weakest weapons and then having to keep running away since I can’t kill anything. I’m always afraid something stronger is just around the corner.
    Anyway, excellent review! Glad Nintendo put together a great game for Zelda fans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get how you feel. I used the weakest weapons often at first. It took me finally defeating this strong enemy that carried about three good weapons before I was more courageous in using them up. My logic (and I assume the game’s logic) was that that solid set of weapons should help me amass a set of good offensive tools. As long as I always saved the best weapon for tough foes and bosses, I would be fine. It’s true in this game though that something stronger is usually just around the corner.

      Thanks a lot for your kind words! I’m also glad that Nintendo pleased so many of its fans looking for an open-world Zelda.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I unfortunately received my game three days after launch due to the courier messing up so I’ve only had this past weekend with it as during the week is just to hectic for me to put in more than 30 minutes with the game but from the time that I’ve put in thus far I have to say that this game is a contender for me personally for my game of the year!!

    Once again amazing review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I’m glad you got it eventually! I had a horror story with both the Switch and to an extent, this game, but obviously, I happily have it now! It’s truly a game that will last, and I believe that this game can be enjoyed both in spurts and for long sessions. Thanks so much again for your incredibly kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! It does live up! As for the Wii U version, I haven’t played it, but it seems to be similar. It boils down to what you can play it on and how you’d like to experience it. I have no regrets playing on the Switch, mostly because handheld mode and its superior Pro Controller helped produce a great experience. Either way, BotW is a superb game.

      As for your second question, I won’t say. You’ll have to find out for yourself. Tingle-Tingle-Kooloo-Limpah!

      Like

  13. Great review! I’ve heard nothing but praise for this game since the Switch came out and after reading your review I can definitely see why. Once I am financially able, I will be getting this game along with the Switch to see it all for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Awesome review! I am not surprised you gave this game a 10/10! 🙂 The idea of breakable weapons does make me a little sad, because like you, I like to hoard them! Not a big deal in the long run though. Love your screenshots too! I have so many other games I want to play, but this one is pretty much at the top of my list right now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for leaving your kind words! BotW is a game deserving 10/10, for what it brings to the series and gaming in general. Plus, it’s just a truly breathtaking game! I like to hoard weapons too, and although I don’t like that they break, I also have the opposite problem where I have too many weapons and need to drop them. They don’t break fast enough! 😛 It really isn’t that big in the long run, honestly.

      I’m very happy you enjoyed my screenshots! I love being able to capture screenshots easily on the Switch, and BotW lends itself to so many beautiful ones. I’ve taken over 1,000 for BotW already, so choosing the right ones for the review was quite the challenge. Awesome that it’s at the top of your list. I hope you get to experience it one day! Thank you again for your awesome comments! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are so welcome! Haha, I’m sure I would have to drop weapons too because I tend to hold on to everything!

        I do really love how the Switch lets you take screenshots! Oh wow you’ve taken over 1000! I can see why, though, the game is gorgeous! How many hours did you spend on the game before you beat it??

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, it’s a lovely feature, and it helps a lot! Zelda is such a pretty game to screenshot too. I think it took me about 60 hours before I beat it, but there’s no clear-cut activity log that tells you that data like on the Wii U or 3DS. I know I’ve been playing for at least 80 hours since, including continuing to play past the credits for completion purposes. I can tell you that if I wanted to do everything, it would take me much much longer than what I’ve played so far. This game is enormous!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is a great feature. I love taking screenshots but if the game doesn’t allow for that feature, I just use my phone 😉 60 hours to beat the game is pretty good and I don’t blame you for wanting to play more for completion! I’m the same way. I like that, though: that just means the game has great replay value!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh of course! I love good replay value too, and BotW is a game worth investing time into. Although I assume it was around 60 hours to beat, the playtime greatly varies for everyone. It’s possible to beat it it much sooner or take much longer than I did, depending on how you play. There’s just so much freedom in how you choose to play and explore! I chose to do a decent amount, then wanted to beat it to see what happens, intending to go back later and see everything I missed.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. As always, an utterly fantastic review! I’ve been fortunate enough to play a sizable chunk of BotW on my friend’s Switch that she scored at the Nintendo Store in NYC – and it truly is a masterpiece and the definition of a “killer app” and “system seller.” Everything about the game just breaths Nintendo – it is the culmination of all of their experience with the Zelda franchise as well as a successful reinvention of the franchise with an open world style. Always love seeing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so so much! Your awesome words mean a lot to me! 🙂 I’m glad you’re able to play it a lot too, and lucky her for getting it at THE NY Nintendo Store! You’re right about it being a “killer app” and “system seller.” I think it’s doing a great job selling Switches to those who skipped out on the Wii U. And you’re right about the game breathing Nintendo. I love that Nintendo just looked at open world games and thought, “Let’s do those,” while breathing their trademark Nintendo magic. Thanks again for your insightful comments and incredibly kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, rupees don’t just drop from grass or enemies anymore. It’s possible to make some good money by selling certain resources. so at least it’s not too much of a grind. I wouldn’t mind a rupee tree though, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Combat, dull side quest and more that I can’t remember off the top of my head. I have a review up on my blog if you’re interested in checking it out :). It’s on the front page.

        For some reason your post notifications show up in my spam :(.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll have to check that out if I haven’t already! BotW scratched that exploration itch for me, and even though the side quests weren’t the best, the shrines absolutely nailed everything I love about Zelda puzzles. Hmm, that’s not good that my post notifications are ending up in your spam… 😦 I wonder why that is?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m pretty sure it’s a wordpress bug. You’re not the only person that’s seen the inside of my spam folder. Good news is no more post should appear in my spam since I marked you as safe :).

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Lol! The reason why you haven’t seen a lot of me on your blog is because I was never being notified :). WordPress has done this to quite a few people that I follow. It even labels some comments that people make on my blog as spam. I have no idea why it happens, but I try and correct it when I notice it.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s a shame. I wonder why it’s doing that. I remember having trouble with the spam checker Akismet before. I’ll have to make sure to keep up with my spam folder too.

        Liked by 1 person

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