Thirty five fucking hours. That's my approximate time put into MGSV so far. But by God does it feel longer.
Maybe it's because I suck at most of the missions. Or maybe it's because a lot of the missions feel like they repeat. Or maybe it's because everything feels so generic that there is no real feeling of progression or artistry that there was in the previous games.
Whenever Kaz or Ocelot (I honestly can't tell the two apart over radio) guides you through a mission and says the "target" or the "prisoner" my eyes start to roll involuntarily. It's because me and my eyes know that it's because the dialogue has been made generic in the interests of efficiency. The prisoner or the target will not have their name mentioned and will just be referenced in the most fleeting manner.
The MGS games have never been perfect, and one of the common criticisms of the previous titles was that they always felt short, or always left the player wanting more. MGSV almost feels like Hideo Kojima read these criticisms and went "Oh you want more? I'll give you fuckers so much more you won't ever want to play an MGS game ever again!" Or something to that affect. The gripes I have expressed about MGSV both on here and on Twitter wouldn't normally send me into the nark-osphere, but the fact that this entry into the series is so long, and so repetitive, just highlights all of the flaws whilst diluting any positive aspects.
I'm on episode 25. I have read that there are 50 episodes. So, assuming I don't get worse, or the game doesn't get exponentially more difficult, I should be on track to finish the game with about a 70 hour play time logged.
That is more than the entirety of Breaking Bad's entire run. And at no point during Breaking Bad did I think "Oh my God please just fucking finish already!"
So I finally finished my first The Legend Of Zelda game. Whilst on a plane. In the middle of turbulence. I'm a terrible flyer and I was trying to do anything that would take my mind off the inevitable crash that I knew was about to transpire. But after 55 hours of playing I was happy that the adventure was finally over, and the ending was satisfying enough for me to not throw a hissy fit. Even if I was slightly unpleasantly surprised that there was no post-credits sandbox.
Looking back, I have a feeling TLOZ: Breath Of The Wild (BOTW) will not leave as lasting an impression as I thought it might. Considering I was willing to buy my first Nintendo console solely based on the trailers for BOTW, my opinion of it has definitely muddied somewhat. That isn't to say it's a bad game. It's a great game with plenty of great ideas, interesting challenges and gorgeous scenery. But there was definitely something missing from it, although what that "it" is, I'm not entirely sure of.
I knew something was up when I had to take a break from my constant playing of the game. After playing the game fairly steadily from April to June, I then took a month off as I was travelling South East Asia (snort). Once I arrived back home at the end of the month, I had zero urge to play BOTW. No urge to complete any of the side missions, or explore more of the map or finish the main quest to destroy Ganon. I think after having already completed the four boss dungeons, finding all but one of the hidden memories and finding (but not quite yet receiving) the Master Sword, I had a feeling of "yeah, this is close enough, no need to carry on." I didn't think that the game could throw any surprises at me at this point. I would get the Master Sword, face Ganon, save the princess and that would be it. And I was correct, naturally.
In a sandbox-esque game like BOTW you really do need interesting side missions/quests/activities to keep the player from turning off the console and going back to Rocket League. That is something I think BOTW sorely lacks. The NPC's don't do enough to differentiate from one another, and all of their side quests feel so token and lacking in stakes that they're not worth bothering with. If you compared it to some of the side missions in Skyrim, some of which are more interesting than the main quest itself, the side missions in BOTW just fall so, so, so short.
BOTW was a bold, new direction for the Zelda series, and naturally on a first major attempt at something new, not everything is going to be perfect. Nintendo has already confirmed that they're going to be sticking to the sandbox formula for future Zelda games (or at the very least the next one), so hopefully they will be working on fine tuning and improving the areas where BOTW fell short.
Again, I enjoyed the game immensely, so don't look at this post as some kind of ignorant hate speech. I'm still trying to get through MGS V at the moment, and believe me, I would much rather be starting BOTW for the first time again than going through this overly-verbose nonsense.