Cadence of Hyrule Review
Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer featuring The Legend of Zelda is one of the most unexpected games on the Nintendo Switch right now. If you read my first impressions of the game, you’ll know that I’ve been enjoying it so far. But is Cadence of Hyrule worth a download for Zelda fans? Here is my review of Cadence of Hyrule for the Nintendo Switch.
Cadence of Hyrule doesn’t have a very deep story. It will remind you of classic Zelda games like A Link to the Past. The big difference between this game and those classic games is that Cadence doesn’t take itself too seriously. The dialogue in this game can be pretty goofy and funny. I love it. That being said, good dialogue doesn’t necessarily make a good game. The more important question is how well does the Legend of Zelda work as a rhythm game?
In Cadence of Hyrule, you will be required to explore the world of Hyrule, defeating the 4 major bosses, and taking down Octavio. As stated before, the story itself is incredibly simplistic, but the game has a lot of depth in the various game play elements. Let’s tackle this bit-by-bit.
As someone not adapt at playing rhythm games, Cadence of Hyrule has a mode designed for people like me. It is important to note this right away, as it would be a travesty should people pass because of the rhythm based game play! If you are not good at rhythm games, I suggest turning on “Fixed Beat Mode”. With this mode, you do not have to keep to the beat. Instead, when your character moves, the enemies and the world move around you. This mode totally works for people who have no rhythm but still want to enjoy Cadence of Hyrule.
That’s not the only user friendly part of Cadence though. The designers of this game clearly wanted as many people as possible to enjoy it; it so obvious, with both the fixed beat mode and with what happens when you die in this game. After you die – and trust me, you definitely will die – your character goes to a special place where you have the option to buy things that’ll help you in your quest. Sometimes a piece of a heart will be available, other times a handy shovel or ring that reflects things. You just never know what you’ll find in this “shop,” but whatever you find here will be valuable to your upcoming adventures.
The ability to purchase these additional items between your death and reanimation is incredibly important since Cadence of Hyrule is not an easy game. Even with fixed beat mode turned on, the enemies in this game are ruthless. Almost every area you go into will have packs of enemies. Those enemies will come at you as quickly as possible. Sometime you can auto-fight them off and other times, you are just overwhelmed.
Then there’s the game’s mini-dungeons and its major dungeons, which are full of enemies and sometimes minor puzzles. The big dungeons in Cadence of Hyrule are a lot like dungeons you’d find in regular Zelda games. I say a lot like (and not completely like) because Cadence does throw its own spin on these dungeons and especially on the bosses. I do feel. however, that Cadence of Hyrule is more forgiving in dungeon progress than a regular Zelda game. Its much easier to get back to the boss of each dungeon after you die than it is in say, A Link to the Past. Once again, the development team is making the game as accessible as possible, which is a huge benefit to the average Nintendo Switch gamer!
Another positive element in Cadence of Hyrule is that there are plenty of fast travel points in this world. Cadence may be a hard game, but thankfully, its not so hard that you have to go back to the very beginning of the game when you die! Simply choose which location you would like to start at – and there are many scattered around the large map – and voila! You re-enter your adventure in that area, ready to go.
Yet another positive for Cadence of Hyrule is the inclusion of two-player co-op. You can play with split joy-cons if you want, or use separate controllers. Going this route can be beneficial in more difficult areas, as you may just need that extra help.
Cadence of Hyrule is not your typical Zelda game but fans of the franchise should be all over it. We have a little bit of time left until A Link’s Awakening for Switch comes out. Cadence of Hyrule is very nice and unique trip back into the world of Zelda, and will scratch that itch while fans await the next entry in the franchise. But Cadence isn’t just about funny writing and fantastic game play. It has an outstanding remixed soundtrack as well!
Cadence of Hyrule almost looks like a Legend of Zelda game, which is incredibly high praise for this indie developed title. Still, there are subtle things like smaller characters and more packed environments that make you realize this isn’t Nintendo developed. Saying that, however, is not a dig at this game in the slightest, but rather praise for building off the franchise, but creating their own unique experience in specific ways. Ultimately, Cadence is its own flavor of Zelda.
And now to talk about the fantastic music, one of the better parts of Cadence of Hyrule. There are lot of familiar tunes in this game. The Zelda music here is remixed and different from what you usually hear in Zelda. The game doesn’t just live on remixed tunes however, as the original music in this game is just as good as the remixed tunes. A rhythm game has to have amazing music and that is what Cadence delivers! The sound effects in the game are just as good. There is also a little voice acting in this game and it was surprising and wonderful to hear.
This cannot be stated enough: Cadence of Hyrule is a absolute treat for Legend of Zelda fans.
Cadence of Hyrule is one of the most unique Zelda games I have ever played. And yes, this is a Zelda game. Sure, the game has a crossover from Crypt of the NecroDancer’s main character but once you take control of Link or Zelda, Cadence is without a doubt in the Zelda universe. Humor, rouge lite game play, and rhythm blend together to create a fantastic, accessible experience. I’m not a rhythm game fan and I had a blast with this game! Do not sleep on Cadence of Hyrule. Go get this game now!
Thank you to Nintendo for providing a digital code for this review. Cadence of Hyrule is now available on the Nintendo Switch eshop!