Hyrule Warriors is undoubtedly one of the Wii U’s greatest games, despite my original skepticism about it heading to its original release I really loved what I was given. The cycle of course goes around again now however as we are faced with a return to the game, but this time on a different system. While playing the Wii U game I never would have picked that this would work on a lesser system such as the handheld 3DS, and in this case I was wrong, but the game does show its greater issues for those who have played the original.
For the most part I don’t think we should complain about having Hyrule Warriors on the 3DS, coming to this game you get to enjoy a great game on a system that has a bigger fan base. More people get the opportunity to experience Hyrule Warriors in its new Legends name, just in this thought what could be better, well nothing really. New players get the best of both worlds with this version which includes more content and more opportunities for enjoyment, but as I said it is a different experience coming from the original.
Being a fan of the Wii U game I could not help but draw comparisons and really this does dampen the experience just a little bit. Really the best place to talk about this is within the games Legend Mode, this acts as the main campaign and the core of the games offerings. Doing the story once was fun, the game told a great story and it was full of great moments that just highlighted what the game had to offer, even doing it twice or three times still had its charms. I did this mode a lot on the Wii U game trying to unlock everything I could in the mode, and this leads to a problem in Legends, to unlock everything in the story you need to replay the main story all over again.
It’s not that it’s all bad, there are some enjoyable changes which do help make things a bit more rewarding and enjoyable but I will get to those. Having to replay the entirety of the original story was mostly tedious and often made me wish that the game had a feature so I could connect my save file from the original with Legends and just have everything that way. But this isn’t what annoyed me more, it takes many hours to beat the main campaign and then the payoff is not quite worth it.
Legends brings in two new additional stories, one of these is set during the events of the main game featuring Linkle who’s sense of direction is amusingly poor and often has her wind up helping in major battles in some form. The second story is set directly after the main campaign and has a new evil threaten Hyrule which merges it with the time of the Wind Waker, this has Link team up with the likes of Tetra to fight back this new evil.
On their own these new campaigns are great, they are enjoyable albeit stressful and they add a lot to the game with their new stories giving the Legend mode that little bit more it needed. I also really liked how these new story arcs were used to tie in many major characters and offer new adventures, the problem is for as fun as they are these additional sections are gone as fast as they arrive. We are only given nine new scenarios and honestly I think a lot more could have been done with the Wind Waker story, as well as Linkle’s random exploits.
None of the things in the campaign are honestly bad whether it is the story from the Wii U release or the new content, all of this combined makes for a great package and offers many thrilling moments. If you have yet to play the Wii U game the Legends mode in this game will prove to be quite fun, it features a great story and many great battles. For first time Hyrule Warriors Legends adopters on the Legend mode alone I could shine praise wholeheartedly, but on the reverse side there is a question of whether this is worth it to Wii U owners.
If I had to say so I’d go by my personal opinion which is yes, the story among other things may be a giant case of dejavu but this is still the same great game, however for some the minor inclusion of a handful of characters and nine new scenarios may not be quite worth the price of admission. One thing I will note is that the new features added to the game do benefit the overall experience and help make battles that were in the original that much better.
Hyrule Warriors Legends offers us the ability in most stages to really control the battlefield, this really counters a past thought from the original which was the fact I played a lone wrecking crew and everyone else just relied on me. In turn this made the defeats of a character or the fall of my base both of which would often force me to lose seem pointless, I was already the only one actually doing something so why does it matter everyone else failed. In Legends this was not the case, beyond still being a wrecking crew in your own rights this version afforded us the opportunity to play commander and direct my key forces, as well as switch between playable characters.
This feature makes battles easier in a sense of being able to have characters set into place for different objectives, but never makes battles to easy. I really loved having this feature when it came down to having multiple objectives, at one point I would need to be protecting someone, while also protecting my base from incoming enemies, while also taking keeps. All combined this meant I had to remain vigilant and ensure each character was in place for a quick swap to handle the varying circumstances. This feature was well incorporated into older missions and did provide something new to the adventure, but it is the newer missions designed around Wind Waker that this feature is used quite heavily making it shine while also making a huge difference in each battle.
Beyond this element there is one other place where I really felt that this version shined brighter than the Wii U and that is in the game itself. Hyrule Warriors Legends is the type of game you really want to just pick up and play at random moments, this version really attains to that meaning you can enjoy the game anywhere and simply just the pull the game out and play at any moment. There isn’t anything wrong with the home console bound version and this one is great for cooperative play, but it is easier to just grab the 3DS and play this game and it suits perfectly for those who want to say one more battle.
The big thing that may bring complaints in Hyrule Warriors Legends is the graphics, I don’t mean to keep bringing up the Wii U game but this version was stunning both in gameplay and in detail. How does this compare on the 3DS? Well, it is really a mixed bag, to begin with the game performs differently by 3DS model, and personally I wasn’t a fan of running this game on my classic 3DS as the game didn’t fair to well. The thing is to get the most out of this game in terms of gameplay and graphics you need to own a New Nintendo 3DS (the model is not relevant), here the game still didn’t quite deliver the stunning visuals many would likely prefer but honestly I don’t mind.
Hyrule Warriors Legends is not the best looking game on the 3DS, but it still looks pretty good when everything is considered. This game is an improved port of a game on a system that is far more powerful so you can’t expect crisp or stunning graphics, but still what we get is quality. The games characters and maps are all decent to look at, and work nicely when everything is considered, even the effects are decent, I did notice some points when things just vanish but these occasional moments can be forgiven. Either way as long as you play this on a New Nintendo 3DS the game doesn’t look half bad and honestly holds up better than I expected.
Other new parts to Legends includes the obvious addition of new characters, Hyrule Warriors Legends brings us five new playable characters to try and enjoy and honestly I only really took a liking to one of them. Among the Wind Waker characters includes Toon Link, Tetra and King Daphnes (or King of the Red Lions), I will admit that I love the expanded universe that this game brings by drawing from Wind Waker, but in terms of fun I never really took a liking to any of these characters. Honestly all three characters felt underpowered and they did not bring anything fun to the gameplay, I might be alone here but I just didn’t like playing as them, I am glad they’re here but I wasn’t a huge fan of them.
The same could be said for Skull Kid, I am glad this character is here and he brings more diversity to the game, however he just feels clunky to play as which was unfortunate. Linkle on the other hand I quickly took a shining to, this character has the obvious problem of feeling overpowered but I couldn’t argue when she was so fun to play as. Linkle’s crossbows and combinations flowed wonderfully and she really helped in moments where I needed to gain quick control, I still admittedly had my struggles at times but she was undoubtedly fun.
Hyrule Wariors Legends also includes a brand new mode which ties in with the games Adventure Mode, this one being My Fairy. I can’t say I was overly impressed with this particular mode, essentially you go into adventure mode and within certain missions you can find a fairy. From here you can enter the new mode and can raise your fairy companion by feeding it and in turn it will assist you in adventure mode battles. I honestly could never find a reason to like this mode and never found it beneficial in the slightest to the adventure mode especially when most missions now let me have access to multiple characters. My fairy would have benefited the original more than this, but I am sure others will get their use for it and appreciate it, I just didn’t quite understand how it helps me.
Hyrule Warriors Legends is not a bad game by any extent, if you liked the Wii U game you should like this despite its transitional shortcomings. I can’t say I like this one better than the Wii U game but with the new additions and the better systems it does make it hard to return to the original game. If nothing else Hyrule Warriors Legends is a game that shines brightest on the 3DS even if I don’t think it will quite appeal to everyone.