[quote="balto, post:533, topic:351885"]
I was playing it a couple of months ago when it first came out. I did enjoy it and would definitely buy it again, but I think I had similar thoughts to you and would have preferred the traditional Zelda experience. I didn't mind the non-linearity either (they actually experimented with that in Link Between Worlds on the 3ds, so it's not entirely brand new), but as you said the dungeons just did not compare to a traditional Zelda dungeon, and that's usually my favorite part of Zelda that's pretty much only good for the first playthrough when you don't know how to do anything.
I think I was most disappointed in the complete lack of a decent storyline though. I feel like 90% or more of that gigantic field map was completely unrelated to story at all. I guess the point was to let the player explore a ton, which was fun and certainly was achieved, but that to me kind of feels like wasting time rather than doing something important if it is not related to story progression. They certainly had a lot of space for more storyline dungeons haha. I am looking forward to that second DLC pack that extends the story though so we'll see what happens there.
One thing I did really like were all those small puzzle shrines. Having to complete puzzles to get all of the hearts rather than find Pieces of Heart in obscure locations was a welcome change. And the difficulty was significantly increased in this game. I've always felt that Zelda is too easy as far as combat is concerned, but that problem was certainly solved in this game. I'm still not used to ordinary enemies hitting for 8+ hearts or even more on the normal difficulty. I think they have some kind of combat-related trial in the first DLC pack which I think already came out? I should get around to revisiting this game.
I really enjoyed the combat in this game too. It took a while for me to get used to my weapons breaking, but I eventually came to like that game mechanic a lot. Forced me to actually think strategically instead of just charging into a horde of enemies like I usually do. The DLC combat trial is even more challenging. I'm having a lot of fun with it, but it is HARD. There's forty five levels to beat, and each one has progressively tougher enemies. Oh and it strips you of all your equipment when you start, so pretty much have to learn to utilize the entire environment.
And I agree the story was pretty light for a Zelda game. But I guess that's what the developers were going for maybe? I remember reading somewhere that they really wanted to give the player a sense of disorientation and discovery, which they definitely succeeded at. I kind of actually liked the fact that the main "story" of the game technically happened one hundred years prior, and you have to piece together what happened by finding the lost memories. I also thought this game's Princess Zelda might be my favorite yet. She definitely had the best character arc I've seen for her in the series.
But yeah, I still wish they could have added a little more story. I think if they had, and there was at least one classic dungeon, it could easily have topped Ocarina or Windwaker for me.