November 19, 2014 by Alex Villescas ·
Hack and slash your way across Hyrule in this action-packed game.
Hyrule Warriors is the brand new crossover between two of gaming’s most popular franchises, The Legend of Zelda, and Dynasty Warriors. Not a true Zelda game, or a full Dynasty Warriors game, Hyrule Warriors fills a much-needed void in the Wii U game library.
Hyrule Warriors is the first attempt by Nintendo to change the core feeling of Zelda away from exploration and puzzle-solving and toward to hack and slash combat. With all of the war and conflict referenced in Zelda’s backstory, it’s amazing that Hyrule Warriors will be the first time we see Link and Princess Zelda in an actual battle. The gameplay is nothing special, evoking the same button-mashing as the rest of the Warriors series. Your chosen hero takes down hordes of enemies by creating combo attacks. Combos can be created by combining basic and strong attacks in different ways, and the special attack meter fills with each enemy you kill. Each weapon type has different combos and attacks, making each character play differently from the others. For example, I can equip Link with a sword and shield, allowing him to do a lot more damage to bosses. Equipping Link with the Fire Rod enables him to do a large amount of area damage, making that weapon useful for taking down hordes of enemies. The other half of gameplay is the tactical side of capturing keeps, while also defending your own home base.
Overall, there are 16 playable characters in Hyrule Warriors, originating from the entire Zelda series. Three additional characters have been added since the release, in a downloadable content patch for the game. The amount of customizability in Hyrule Warriors is stunning, adding much depth and replay value, ensuring that one does their best to level up the characters, and get better weapons. The customization extends beyond simple weapon and character choices. One can also create badges through crafting. Badges allow for small changes in either attack or defense. Additionally, a separate line of badges assists with other aspects of gameplay, such as how fast one captures keeps, or resists magical attacks.
What I love about Hyrule Warriors is that it does something similar to the more recent Zelda games, it makes you feel like you are the only one capable of turning the tide of the battle. Your are stronger than the vast majority of huge monsters on screen, but the enemy captains and leaders are still strong enough to pose a threat to your mastery of of the field. It makes you feel so powerful, but your power does have a limit. The player cannot be everywhere at once, so one must carefully choose their battles. The battle changes based on where you choose to place yourself, meaning that if you fight in a skirmish at one keep, another may fall from enemy forces. I loved that the battle progresses on all fronts, no matter whether you are there or not.
I never knew that I needed to see a Zelda game in HD until I played Hyrule Warriors. Hyrule Warriors offers brand new character models for Link, Zelda, Impa, and a host of other characters. All of these models are highly detailed, and are the first HD realization of the Zelda world. When I stopped killing enemies, and looked around, I found that all of the maps are very faithful to their likenesses in the Zelda games, and that the new maps were also full of detail and life.
The biggest downside of Hyrule Warriors are the bosses. The gameplay against bosses was completely item-based, and I felt like I was playing a different game when I was fighting a boss. Items which had no bearing on gameplay suddenly became all-important when a boss showed up. Additionally, boss mechanics felt clunky in general. For example, King Dodongo has several breath attacks, but only one allows for you to attack him with bombs. If you are not standing in the perfect position, the bombs miss. Problems like these made boss fights feel like a chore, instead of the epic battles they should be.
I really enjoyed the story of Hyrule Warriors. The story brings in the usual characters of Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf, while bringing in much-loved characters from other Zelda games, such as Impa, Demon Lord Ghirahim, and Midna. Cia, the antagonist, was a really strong addition to the story, as she had a lot of mystery concerning her motivations. I also loved how the story covered every character’s campaign through the lands of Hyrule, and culminated in a final battle. An interesting addition to Hyrule Warriors was the ability to play as the evil characters. All six antagonists are playable now, and are very well crafted.
Overall, I loved Hyrule Warriors. It was a great game to play, and I definitely look forward to spending a lot of time with it in the future. I haven’t even had time to begin the Adventure or Challenge modes. The campaign mode is very well done, and I would highly recommend Hyrule Warriors to anybody with a Wii U.
Platform: Wii U
Availability: eShop or Retail
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