Saturday, January 28, 2017

Breath of the Wild: Aonuma about the GamePad

With the Nintendo Switch announced, it was quite apparent that they removed all Wii U GamePad functionality in Breath of the Wild so that the Switch version wouldn't be inferior in any way. We could utter our suspicions, but now Aonuma actually admitted to the whole thing in an interview with Jeuxvideo.

According to him the Sheikah Slate was originally supposed to represent the Wii U GamePad, but they changed this because of the Switch, which doesn't offer the same playstyle. It also was supposed to talk to the player like some annoying Fi in your hands, where ultimately it cprobably was for the better that they dropped this idea.

However, that doesn't mean that they also had to drop all GamePad functionality like displaying the map or your inventory like in the Wind Waker HD or Twilight Princess HD. They did that only because they wanted both versions to be identical, which is a nice way of saying that they didn't want the Switch version to be inferior. As someone, who will get both versions of the game, I would have preferred, if each version had their own perk, like it was the case with Twilight Princess, but they probably didn't know what to add to the Switch version, that couldn't have been done with the Wii U version, so ultimately they decided to remove from the latter instead...

On the one hand it's certainly a good thing that Nintendo didn't focus too much on a hardware gimmick, because only that way the game can have the timeless appeal that it needs. The Wii U GamePad will be a thing of the past, so it's good that the game wasn't entirely developed around it. On the other hand the way they used the GamePad in both the Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD was a good addition and entirely optional at the same time. It wouldn't have needed more than that, simply displaying some of the Sheikah Slate interface on the Wii U GamePad would have been more than enough to get it right. It doesn't need to talk or anything.


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