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"Tears of the Kingdom" is everything one could hope for in a sequel
And we'll be shocked if it doesn't win Game of the Year
The adventures of Princess Zelda and her brave swordsman Link have been ongoing since 1986, making it one of Nintendo's most successful franchises. The 19th mainline entry of the series, Tears of the Kingdom, fosters a sense of creativity and imagination that is irresistible.
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While there is little in the way of inappropriate content, the challenges within the game mean that little children will likely struggle, but adults and adolescents should enjoy (although the various puzzles may still cause some personal strife).
A direct sequel to the 2017 title, Breath of the Wild, Link and Princess Zelda are separated following an attack by the Demon King, Ganondorf (voiced by the incredible Matthew Mercer). Determined to find the titular heroine, Link embarks on a journey to follow the clues back to Zelda and fight the evil warlord who threatens the safety of the Kingdom of Hyrule.
Link reunites with old friends from the previous game, including Prince Sidon and makes new ones along the way. These interactions reinforce one of the constant themes in the franchise, that friendship and love are integral in fighting the evils of the world. A total of five companions, known as Sages, can join Link and help him in combat.
The game features a pleasant blend of puzzles, action and exploration. There are a variety of biomes, such as snowy plains and volcanic mountains, which require Link to manage his armor and food properly in order to survive the elements safely. Certain armor sets provide special buffs and food can also be used to provide elemental resistances.
The puzzles can be fairly challenging, but it's important to note that there is rarely one right solution, but a myriad. Players can take advantage of Link's many abilities to come up with new and unexpected methods of clearing these obstacles.
Combat doesn't involve any blood or gore and defeated enemies simply puff into smoke or run away to fight another day. However, some of the monsters may be frightening for very young children, like the Gloom Hands which reach out of the ground to terrorize the unsuspecting. They’ve certainly made many adults scream in fear when they appear.
Link is a hero in the most classic of ways. He is loyal to his friends and compassionate to strangers, always willing to aid those in need. And while he is a skilled swordsman, he doesn't always use violence to solve problems. Sometimes a solution can be found with perseverance and creativity — a lesson we can carry with us into the real world.