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Hyrule Warriors Legends Review

Hyrule Warriors Legends

Release: 25/03/2016
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Omega Force
Genre: Action, Nintendo 3DS Reviews
PEGI: RP
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8.5 - Gameplay
           
 
7.0 - Video
          
 
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Outside of a few consistent releases – I’m thinking primarily of the Mario and Sonic titles – many Nintendo games don’t find a home on both Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. However, the Hyrule Warriors title – a spin off of the Dynasty Warriors series – has landed on both. While the 3DS does have more content than the Wii U version, is it necessarily worth purchasing on handheld, or for a second time? We think so!

Parts of our Hyrule Warriors Review content has been lifted an edited for this Hyrule Warriors Legends review. For those looking for a breakdown of what is new, scroll down to the “Adding Something New” Section of the review!

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Unprecedented Move

Nintendo doesn’t share their characters often. Not surprisingly, Nintendo knows that if they control the games, they control the perception of the franchise. This was definitely a bold move by the company when it released Hyrule Warriors last year, but it paid off big time. Now, we get the game on 3DS! To be fair, handing the game off to the developers of the Dynasty Warriors franchise was probably not that risky of a move. And that calculated risk is sure to pay dividends for the company in the long run, potentially resulting in more ideas like this.

This was definitely a bold move by the company when it released Hyrule Warriors last year, but it paid off big time. Now, we get the game on 3DS!

I’m not sure there was a single person out there that was really dying for a Dynasty Warriors – Legend of Zelda mashup game, but this is what we have been given. It definitely works. Even as I look back on all the franchises Nintendo owns, the Legend of Zelda fits the Dynasty Warriors blueprint perfectly; it really feels like care and dedication was put into both aspects of the game – Dynasty Warriors gameplay and Zelda fan service – which shows that this was not a title rushed out to retail.

New to Some, the Same for Others

If you’ve played the Dynasty Warriors series, Hyrule Warriors is not going to be anything new. All the same mechanics are there; they’ve just been Zeldified. If you love Dynasty Warriors, you’ll probably enjoy Hyrule Warriors. If you don’t like the franchise, there really isn’t any reason for you to grab this title, even though the fan service is definitely there for the Legend of Zelda crowd.

The game play for Hyrule Warriors is really simple and easy to grasp. It is a button masher, although a very satisfying button masher. Jumping between using my weapon and power-up moves seemed seamless, and from the beginning, I never felt lost or overwhelmed by the button combinations that resulted in more powerful attacks. Being able to swap quickly between characters on the bottom screen of the 3DS is wonderful; it is easy to understand and the transitions are almost seamless.

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I really enjoyed choosing my hero, selecting a weapon, and jumping into the worlds of Hyrule Warriors Legends. The story is alright although not terribly engrossing, but the goal of the game is to plow through hundreds of enemies in a span of a few minutes. It’s the fan service that makes this game memorable. While some have criticized the boss battles as being underwhelming, I enjoyed understanding instantly how I was suppose to deal with a boss, based on my experiences with other games. For example, when King Dodongo landed in Hyrule Field, I knew instantly that I would have to throw bombs in his mouth, wait for them to explode, and then hack him up until he died. The other great fan service stems from the outstanding soundtrack and getting HD recreations of some of the best places in Hyrule. Lake Hylia, for example, is particularly stunning.

There is a lot to love here - the Zelda music is amazing! - and anyone with an itch to play some Zelda will probably find something to love

Plowing through hundreds of enemies is insanely satisfying. The crafting system can be really fun as well, although it takes a bit of replaying to get all the necessary materials to craft better, more powerful weapons. When players are done with the 10 hour long campaign, there are other modes to jump into, such as the insanely addicting Adventure Mode. Adventure Mode tasks players with completing a number of objects in a set period of time. The first level, for example, asks you to kill 300 enemies in ten minutes. While it sounds easy, there is a fair amount of challenge here that isn’t present in the main game. One of the best parts about Adventure Mode? The map you use to jump into each challenge is a recreation of the Old Legend of Zelda map; the developers again served up fan service to the extreme.

Adding Something New

For what you are paying – yes I know it’s on 3DS and may be doesn’t look as good – you are getting way more content than was ever released for Hyrule Warrios on Wii U. This is one of the reasons why it is easy to recommend this title, regardless of whether or not you own Hyrule Warriors on Wii U. I think one of the biggest changes to Hyrule Warriors Legends is the inclusion of two new chapters to play through: the first being the Linkie levels and the second being those that are drawn out of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

A wealth of new characters have also been added. On top of the aforementioned Linkie, you can now also play as Tetra, Toon Link, King Daphnes – who can transform into the Lion Boat from Wind Waker to perform some very cool combos! – and Skull Kid from Majoras Mask. Linkie is especially interesting as this is the first time we will see her as a playable character in the Legend of Zelda universe, although all indications are that she will be playable in the new Legend of Zelda game slated for Wii U. Regardless, you will get to experience her walk towards becoming a hero!

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The biggest benefit of having this game on 3DS comes out of a weakness for this game, at least in general. You will definitly feel fatigue as you play. Although the environments might change, and although the ingame missions are different from one level to the next, you ultimately are still plowing through thousands of enemies towards a common goal. I cannot stress this next point enough: the ability to close your 3DS and put your game “to sleep” is a huge bonus, something not ever possible in the Wii U version of the game. Whenever I feel like I’m not longer “having fun” with a level, I can put my 3DS aside and wait an hour, 2 hours, or even until the next day. It is a wonderful addition to an already great title.

There are also a number of bonuses to using the New 3DS XL, but I will have to wait to write up these impressions until I get my New 3DS XL back from Nintendo – it has gone in for some repairs.

Conclusion

Whether you want to pick this game up for a second time is really up to you. For those that never touched the DLC offered in the Wii U version, there probably is reason to upgrade. Aside from the new additions to the 3DS version, all of the DLC from the Wii U version is available here as well. For the purchase price, a lot of content is being made available to you. As well, what you inevitably lose in graphics capability you make up for in ease of play. Being able to swap characters instantly and having the ability to put your 3DS to sleep during a decidedly tough and frustrating situation, only adds to the appeal of the 3DS version. I my honest opinion, if I was left to choose between the two, I’d pick up the 3DS version each and every time.

 

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Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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