Eleven days on from the release of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," Nintendo has released a three-part documentary short about the extremely well-rated game's creation.
It's become a standard-bearer for the new Nintendo console, the Nintendo Switch, which launched the same day as "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," widely welcomed as one of the gaming's very best.
In a three-part documentary, senior designers, directors and producers give their views on "Breath of the Wild" development and the "Zelda" franchise as a whole, illuminating design decisions of the past against each era's technical boundaries.
"As a catchphrase, 'break the conventions of the Zelda series' really helped us as creators as we worked on this title," explained Takuhiro Dohta, technical director.
"For example, up until now both 2D and 3D Zelda games featured worlds that were created by connecting lots of smaller areas together."
"But, really, those games were created that way simply out of necessity due to the technical limitations of the time."
Yet simultaneously, those same few minutes of documentary excerpt illustrate how "Breath of the Wild" keeps step with its forebears, showing some of the common elements repeated from game to game -- introductory scenes, treasure scrolls, audio cues, village chickens, totemic swords, measured progression, and more.
With "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" coming up to its two-week anniversary, and being responsible for driving so much enthusiasm for the Switch (it's also available on the Switch's predecessor, the Wii U,) the 30-minute documentary encourages further conversation about -- and fascination with -- the popular game.
Upon release, an enthusiastic critical reception made it one of the highest rated games of all time, though a number of post-release reviews more recently published have started to reveal a broader spectrum of opinion.
For example, GameCritics hailed it as both "a phenomenal title in and of itself" and "a staggering accomplishment," with Twinfinite similarly effusive -- "masterfully executed," "the realization of what Zelda always wanted to be."
Others have, controversially in some quarters, lamented the game's obscured limitations: both Slant and The Jimquisition knocked "BotW" for perceived busywork and an irritating over-reliance on stamina, weather, and immersion-breaking menu systems ("a conflicted combination of marketing logic and staggering artistry," concluded Slant.)
But by offering exclusive insight into some of "BotW"'s more unusual features, Nintendo provides a way to refocus its community on the craft and intention behind its flagship release. The Switch is moving towards the end of its first month and, for many would-be owners, what could be the arrival of their first Switch-related payday spend.
Watch the documentary here.