Hyrule Warriors Legends Review: Old Dog, New Tricks
Hyrule Warriors Legends for the Nintendo 3DS addresses many of the problems with the game and series in general. The best part about it is the fact that it is portable and you can just close the 3DS whenever you want to stop playing.
Just let it sleep, then pick up right where you left off, hours later if you want. Want to play a battle or two while on break or waiting somewhere? Perfect! Just play and close the 3DS whenever you need to go. Then, when you have more time, you can continue the battle you were in with no consequences.
On consoles, you would have to actually finish each battle, and that feels much more overwhelming/tedious.
This is what the series needs, because playing each battle can take 20 minutes or more. This adds up when you are trying to do multiple battles.
I usually don't talk about this, but it is important for this game. I reviewed the game on the New Nintendo 3DS. It runs much smoother than the normal one, lets you use 3D, and display more characters on the screen.
When I first saw videos of the games, I thought the graphics were terrible. After playing it though, they aren't bad. I have no complaints on how the game looks after the many hours I put into it.
I do not know if the graphics are any worse on the normal 3DS, but I know it will be much more laggy and have less characters shown on screen. From what I've seen, it is playable on the the normal one, but it is probably best to have a New 3DS for this game.
Based on what I have played, I would say that if you only have the old 3DS and can't get a new one, only buy this game if you are a hardcore Zelda and/or Dynasty Warriors fan.
If you aren't, you might have more frustration than fun and it is not worth buying a new 3DS just for this game.
The Zelda Touch
For those that don't know, this game plays like Dynasty Warriors, a game series that involves defeating hundreds of enemies each level. You have to capture keeps, defeat bosses, and protect your own keeps and allies.
Fans of The Legend of Zelda will certainly love how they made this game have a Zelda feel. There are plenty of characters and enemies taken straight from the games, and it is instantly familiar.
Every sound, theme, and enemy tactic brings back memories of the other games. Plus, plenty of familiar items, such as bow, bomb, and boomerang make an appearance.
It is nice because certain enemies are weak to certain items, and some bosses require them, so it adds a layer of strategy you usually don't see in these kinds of games.
The story is pretty good as well, and was actually my favorite part of the game. Legends adds the character Linkle and a side story for her, which blended in well. There are also multiple stories to play after the initial Epilogue.
That Combat Grind
So, the combat is fun, it really is. My issue comes with how fast it gets repetitive. Now some characters were more fun than others, and Linkle is probably my favorite, but in general the core of the game is same.
There are different objectives to do at times and Adventure mode offers a variety of special battles that require certain conditions to win. In the end, you are still going to be killing hundreds, usually over 1,000 enemies each battle.
In short bursts, this game is great, but if you want to play for long stretches, be prepared for the possibility of boredom.
Back to Adventure mode, it sounded amazing on paper. You pick a panel to battle, you get a rank depending on how well you do, and open up other panels. Many panels reward items and can be searched. You use these map items to unlock new rewards or levels.
The problem is that this usually requires grinding out certain levels many times for items. For one, you can use an item up even if it does not work for that area. You will want a compass item to reveal the areas you need to use another item on. Sometimes you might reveal a new enemy and not the reward or path that you wanted.
This leads to fighting battles to get a compass, searching the area to see what other item you need, then fighting to get another item to use. It may sound like a great change of pace, but it is more tedious than fun.
Win some, Lose some
I know that some players will get frustrated at times during this game. There are so many ways to lose a battle, and some of them are instant.
You always have to keep player character safe, you can't lose your main base, and then there is the main objective. I love that you can now switch to other characters during battle, this helps a ton, but some battles have so much going on.
I feel like the A.I. is not very good at fighting, so even if I send someone to a needed area, I might have to switch to them to get anything done.
You have to constantly help your worthless allies when they get low on health, are you will lose the battle. If you lose in story mode, you can go back to the last check point, but if you happen to be in a bad spot, it could be unwinnable and waste 20-30 minutes of game time.
In Adventure Mode, you have to restart the battle completely.
Change of Pace
Besides Adventure Mode, they have a My Fairy mode. This allows you to collect companion fairies in Adventure mode to give you bonuses.
You can feed them to increase their level and stats, then pick and ability when you fulfilled stat requirements. You can also dress them up in different clothes to provide more bonuses for them.
The only problem is, at least for me, I have not seen many fairies and food seems to be pretty rare. I like the feature, I just want to make more use of it.
You can also replay all story missions with any character you have unlocked, so you can play as Linkle as much as you want. What? There are more characters to play? Well, I guess you can play as Skull Kid or something as well.
Basically there are things I don't about this game, and it can quickly get repetitive, but it is still very enjoyable.
If you play the game in short bursts, or casually, you'll have a great time and it will last you through the whole year at least.
I do wish there was a co-op function like in Wii U version, then it probably wouldn't get tedious so quickly.
I would say you still have to be more than an average fan of The Legend of Zelda, and can at least tolerate Dynasty Warriors, to warrant buying this game.
If you are, then you'll have a great time with Hyrule Warriors Legends, otherwise I'd pass on it.