Real Talk By: KJ
Koei x Nintendo, Dynasty Warriors x The Legend of Zelda. Its one big team-up. Would this roster satisfy long-time Warriors fans? Could Link’s world be faithfully represented from an outside developer? Gameplay as expected, feels like a Musou game, but it has a plethora of Zelda tactics infused. Instead of jumping, players will roll. This acts as the evade technique. Gamers used this in the One Piece: Pirate Warriors. Target-lock elite soldiers and bosses. As their defense drops, the familiar LOZ health bar surfaces. Keep hitting the enemy, and the music will raise in tempo with each hit connected. Plowing through armies with the gamepad is satisfying. Charge attacks, Dual Musou power moves, and alternate weapons round out the fun.
Hyrule’s soundtrack stands-out. The DW guitar riffs, can still be heard, just layered with the famous tunes of the Nintendo series. It makes for a nice blend throughout the game. Music drops its intensity when paused, or as players go inside caves. It picks right up once your back on the battlefield.
No Spoken dialogue by the main cast, you will simply read the text. Sounds familiar right? DWarriors is known for its cheesy voice acting, so the removal was clearly another touch Koei made to ‘Zeldafy’ this game. A female narrator will speak as levels load though, pushing the story on. That is pretty much it. Cut-scenes are still very entertaining. The plot will thicken, as evil rises. A solid effort was put into these cinematics.
Legend mode takes you through an assortment of levels that mirror popular areas from the series. Locals, sound effects, and items will impress Zelda fans. Finding that next object, or secret, feels just as satisfying as it did on the N64. Chopping grass will reveal goodies as well.
Character models look good, and have a little shine to them. The backgrounds dont always match-up. Some are just standard, while others could belong in the last generation. There is more good than bad. Many DW games have the ghosting issue, where enemies randomly disappear to compensate for the hardware the game is on. We didn’t see that at all. There’s still a bunch of enemies on-screen, fast gameplay, but no vanishing foes. A major plus for Hyrule.
Rupees get you stuff in the shop. Use it to upgrade your character. Missions on Legend Mode will center levels around characters other than Link, making him sit on the sidelines. If you’re like me, he’s leveled up higher than the rest of the crew. Well, this is where the green gems come in handy again. Spend the currency to speedily level up the others to match your highest ranked player. This way you can skip some of the grinding that would normally take place in battle. Free mode remains the same, go back and play levels as whomever you wish to be.
The enemies of Hyrule will provide most of the fun. Many bosses in past warriors games, are simply damage sponges. While Hyrule has those kinds of threats, there are also legitimate ones sprinkled throughout. Landing combo after combo wont always give players the victory. Some actually require a little thinking.
The maps in this one need to be supervised a lot. Take over areas, and hold it down. Don’t let the dark forces into your main camp. The game keeps players on the move, you’ll be all over the landscape in this title. Be aware of what’s going on with your squad-mates, it can really change the tide of battle. Enemy rotations stay fresh. Fighting Goblins, Skeletons, other soldiers. A surprising variety. Each stage offers something different.
Adventure mode is a fun diversion from Legend. Move across the board. This retro-inspired feature, lets players navigate an area, that looks like it was ripped from the original Zelda game. In-fact whoever you are playing as, they will have their own 8-bit counterpart. Special goals and quick missions is what this mode encompasses.
Two player coop doesn’t go online, but local is still a unique experience. One player sees the action solely on the gamepad, the other has the TV screen. If your other controller isn’t a Wii U Pro, you’re going to have a rough time. The button mapping on the Wii Remote/Nunchuck combination is atrocious. Shake-Shake-Shake. Swipe the remote back and forth. This is the only way to do regular attacks. This series puts you against legions of enemies, so repeatedly doing this motion to strike (can’t change this in the options) not only cramps the wrist, but is a very odd choice. A patch is needed to allow for better control configurations. Hyrule will not recognize a Classic controller either. The frame rate, and graphics take a slight hit as well during two player. Not a game ruining gripe, but noticeable.
Despite the odd choices made within the coop, There is plenty of fun stuff to do solo. Purchasing DLC in the future will be justifiable. In Hyrule Warriors, we have a solid amount of characters that are truly varied and deep. The inserted Dynasty gameplay works with this concept. A crossover that was surprising, but a game that will please both fans. Koei has successfully grabbed the vital themes, and elements from the legend of Zelda, while putting together possibly the best Musou spinoff ever.
Hyrule Warriors Gets
4 Out of 5
+Fun cast of Characters to play with
+Successfully captures the magic of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors
+Loads of Zelda Fan Service
-Strange Coop Limitations