Bad Breath of the Wild – Part 3: The User Interface

Bad Breath of the Wild – Part 3: The User Interface

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Everybody loves Breath of the Wild! But not me. I find the latest entry in the beloved Legend
of Zelda franchise chockful of seriously aggravating design decisions and I aim to whine about
all of them. Welcome, to Bad Breath of the Wild! Breath of the Wild’s user interface is… functional. It gets the job done but it oddly ignores
several standards of modern video game UI design. For example, instead of the standard weapon
wheel, which allows the player to quickly scan their inventory and grab what they need,
Breath of the Wild uses a linear list that isn’t even wide enough to display all your
options. You have to scroll back and forth to see everything. This is a surprising choice considering Nintendo
employed weapon wheels in the previous Zelda game, Skyward Sword. Hell, they had them in 2006’s Twilight Princess! Here’s Breath of the Wild’s inventory screen. You might expect, based on how other games
handle menu navigation, that you would tab between the subheadings of the inventory using
one of the sets of shoulder buttons. But no, in Breath of the Wild, you use the
right analog stick. In the game’s early hours, this isn’t a huge
deal. However, it gets super frustrating as you
progress through the game and the subsections of the inventory expand to multiple pages
each. So if you just ate a meal (which you do very
often) and want to equip a new set of armor, you can’t just tab, tab and you’re there,
you have to manually scroll through every single sub screen to get there. You can zoom from one end to the other by holding the stick in that direction but unless
you’re going for the very first or very last page of the inventory, you’re probably going
to overshoot the section you’re aiming for. Also, the left stick moves the inventory cursor. You might think that to highlight this item,
instead of pressing left four times, you need only press right once and the cursor will
wrap around to the other side. Nope, this will instead advance to the next
inventory subheading which is what the right stick already does. Again, not a huge deal but still, just use the shoulder buttons, Nintendo. Come on, this is standard. Oh, while we’re
here, I appreciate the fact that you can sort the inventory but uh, how exactly is it sorting? You collect such a massive variety of stuff
in this game that not only should it be immediately apparent how the inventory is sorting them,
but there should be a multitude of sorting options such as alphabetically, by type, by
value and so on. As it stands, until you develop a feel for
where everything gets shuffled, you just have to scan each page until you find what you’re
looking for. Not ideal, Nintendo. Another choice that repeatedly gets my goat is this: Oh look, a treasure chest. Yay, a new goody! Oh, my inventory is full. Does the game do something like this, allowing
me to compare the new item with what I already have so I can quickly and easily select something
to discard? You know, like I can in other modern games? No? I have to put the item back in the chest,
remember what it was and what its stats were, then manually make room in my inventory before
opening the treasure chest again to grab the item? Good gravy, Breath of the Wild. Why do you have no respect for my time? Yeah, this is only an extra few seconds but
that adds up when you are constantly finding new swords, bows and shields to fill your
inventory with. To be clear, none of this stuff is game breaking
but it is consistently annoying and completely unnecessary because quality of life improvements
such as weapon wheels, using the shoulder buttons to tab through menus, and streamlined
inventory management have been around in other games for many, many years. Nintendo, I know you say you don’t pay attention
to the competition but you really should! Hey folks. On Saturday, Nov. 3rd, I’ll be playing video
games for 24 hours to raise money for the Rady Children’s Hospital as part of the Extra Life
charity event. Last year, you helped me raise $1200. This year, let’s shoot for $1500. You’ll find a link to my donation page in
the description. What will I be playing? Breath of the Wild.

8 thoughts on “Bad Breath of the Wild – Part 3: The User Interface”

  1. (This comment from "mjc0961" has been copied from this video's original upload.)

    You have no idea how many times I would forget the interface controls and just hit the shoulder buttons because it makes sense to hit the shoulder buttons. And then the feeling of getting lost in the menus as I try to remember what buttons I was supposed to hit, and what buttons I needed to hit to undo what I just did… Augh! Leave the right stick out of the menus, use the top shoulder buttons/bumpers for tabbing and the bottom shoulder buttons/triggers for what the bumpers were doing.

    Not game breaking, not the game's biggest problem, but still quite annoying.

  2. We all have to agree that Breath of the Wild could've been way better.
    Even the story and bosses felt meh imo compare to previous zelda titles.

  3. It's not even a matter of paying attention to the competition, they are literally downgrading various aspects of the game compared to previous games OF THEIR OWN.

  4. It’s been a while since I played the game, do they list all of your weapons on that track? Because that track can get long so it’s a bit more understandable that it’s not a wheel. The wheel would get too large, or you’d have to divide it by type, and then select again for another wheel to select ones based on how damaged they are. I could see that being a problem that a line would be easier to design or use (even if not ideal).

    That being said, I agree with this video. UI is extremely important in games because it’s the second most thing you’ll do besides playing the actual game.

  5. Yeah, I very much agree on the first point. I hate how the game just completely grinds to a halt when your weapon breaks and you have to pick a new one. Wish the game would just auto equip your
    next weapon or wouldn't pause the game when selecting a new one.

  6. I guess I'm in the minority here but these UI issues (and others) were annoying enough to me that I stopped playing after 7 hours or so and never went back to the game. :-/ Great video, and really cool that you had the old examples of the radial UIs included.

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