Review: Hyrule Warriors

Published October 1, 2014 by Amanda B. Greene

Koei Techmo and Nintendo have done an great collaboration, but it does have a few flaws. I would still like to see a sequel of this that is more polished and has more to offer. They did a lot of nice touches with all of the neat references and ideas that could have been flushed out more. Don’t let me discourage you if you’re on the fence about Hyrule Warriors because it is one of better games for the Wii U right now and it does offer a unique experience that probably won’t happen again for a while.

The fact that Nintendo plans on supporting Hyrule Warriors with DLC and any necessary updates means that you won’t be left with nothing to do after completing the two main modes: “Legend Mode” (the campaign) and “Adventure Mode” (various challenges). Plus for the “Legend Mode”, there are always multiple difficulties including “Hero” (unlocked after first play through), which brings a challenge to even the most experienced (Zelda fans know this all too well).

If you plan to purchase Hyrule Warriors, I hope you have fun. I’ll give you my opinion as well as some advice for when you start the game so you can have the best experience. I made my first podcast on October 3rd, so if you to listen to a brief overview of the review, click on it below. 😀

Rating: 7/10 (Sliver)

I’ll be rating games out of ten similar to how GameInformer does their reviews. I appreciate how they narrow down the reasons to fully explain why and where the game did great or terrible in its score. With the number, there will also be a medal (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) depending on where it places on the scale:

1 – 5 = Not worth it, hard to drag yourself through = No medal awarded

6 = Just barely enough to get a medal, but you still probably shouldn’t get it out of frustration = Bronze

7 – 8 = May not be for everyone, but has some value = Silver

9 – 10 = Close to perfect, a must have = Gold

I’ll add a page later next to “About Me” and “Categories” about how I review video games in more detail.

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If you go to www.nintendo.com, and then click on Hyrule Warriors, you can download some free pictures to have as your background and/or profile photo. I thought that was kind of neat thing that Nintendo usually does.

Story

  • Criticisms/Advice

“Legend Mode” was the first mode that I went to and it was great. I enjoyed the story, even though it wasn’t as long or detailed as I would have liked. There could have been more cutscenes showing the relationships between the characters for fanfare; more interactions would have made the story more interesting. My advice is to not dedicate yourself nearly entirely to “Legend Mode” to avoid being too powerful with higher-leveled characters in “Adventure Mode” and to not wear yourself out of playing Hyrule Warriors right away. This game is best in smaller doses because the gameplay can be repetitive, especially if you only stick to being one person when you have a fairly large roster to choose from.

I felt like there wasn’t enough mystery, but this is probably not a problem to newcomers being first introduced to The Legend Of Zelda. One of the “secrets” early on is something that players of Ocarina Of Time already knew, but it was interesting to see the mistrust among the group about the mysterious Sheikah warrior. Most of the plot seemed predictable, but there was some twists and turns that pulled you in.

  • Praise

The story was different while sticking with the Zelda lore. While Dynasty Warriors is at this game’s heart, I felt like there was a nice balance between the two series.

Things like the voiced commentary between chapters (within loading screens) was good to have to give the more context to the story. Nintendo mostly does silent video games for their franchises, so this surprised me a bit. You either read the dialogue of the characters or figure out what is going on from the visual ques and then make your own interpretation from there. The narration of each event is a nice change of pace; I would Nintendo to eventually hire voice actors for their characters.

The battle to save Hyrule is something that as a Zelda fan hasn’t really seen before; I mean that you don’t truly see the soldiers fighting, only the aftermath. Link is typically “behind the scenes”, so to speak, as he tries to save Hyrule when the events happen. How all the places from different timelines came together is cool and made you feel like the bad guys truly had all the cards on the table as the struggle over the Triforce went on. Seeing the world fall apart and war-torn arenas completed that somewhat hopeless feeling, which is good thing; you’re the one warrior who can maybe turn it around.

As for the new characters, Lana is an excellent addition to the group in how she was the main focus with her own unknown background; I hope she comes back again. Cia is an interesting villain who took the center stage; her personality should have been shown more like her crazed desires. Never hurts to have more people appear in Link’s adventures.

Gameplay

  • Criticisms/Advice

Like I said before, Hyrule Warriors can be repetitive because all the objectives are straight-forward and similar to each other. You’re a single soldier going against mobs of monsters and other armies trying to turn the tide by capturing bases and eliminating the leaders and other bosses in your team’s way. It can be difficult, in good and bad ways, to achieve a victory; sometimes it can be frustrating like when one of the bases you recently took over falls into the enemy’s hands again. There are only a few mistakes I’ve noticed or felt during the experience.

The feeling of being a “medic” can be annoying and it happens sometimes in Hyrule Warriors. You may be on the opposite side of the map in the middle of something when one of your teammates say that he or she needs help now and then by the time you get there, the person had already fled off the battlefield. The computer-controlled or CPU characters can’t always catch up, which often breaks the tension of the fight. This problem mainly occurs during the later stages/chapters, so it’s bothersome, but I can deal with it.

I was hoping that there could possible be some puzzles here and there like in the normal Zelda games, but there really wasn’t anything you had to solve. In “Adventure Mode”, you have to navigate your way to places like secret passageways, but it’s not really significant. This is something I can live without for this game, but this is typically one of the trademarks of The Legend Of Zelda series.

  • Praise

It is fun to lead the charge in person as you fight against the forces of evil (or vice versa). It’s not often that you get to command an army and actually join in the fight yourself. I’m a big fan of tactical strategy games, but most of them don’t allow you to jump in; you are mainly watching over the battlefield and seeing the battle unfold. You get a adrenaline rush when the battle starts.

The controls are simple and smooth, not odd at all. I was nervous about using the Wii U Gamepad in this type of game, but it worked out just fine. I have yet to try out the Wii Remote and Nunchuck (sorry if I misspelled that); I’m sure that’ll be alright too.

The upgrade system with the badges, weapons, and potions is great to have. It didn’t dictate what you had to do in order to win a particular fight, but it gives you some suggestions. I think that all the weapons, if not most of them, have different elements that indicate what they’ll be like in battle. You had the option of going in various directions or branches with characters that customize them to be what works for you; for example, if you don’t really like using Link’s Fire Rod, then you can always upgrade his sword(s) instead. I imagine it’s not really a different or new idea for either series; The Legend Of Zelda series almost always has something like this going on.

Music

The music does a good job of aiming for that action kind of vibe. A lot of the sound effects and tunes are borrowed or remixed from The Legend Of Zelda series, which is perfectly fine with me. You still get the iconic sound when you open a treasure chest which is always awesome (there was a pre-order bonus in Japan to get a lot of stuff like an actual treasure chest with the sound effect whenever you open it, which would be so cool to have). Anyways, I had no problem with the music and I think most people would like the various songs too.

Final Note

While it looks as though it’s mostly negative, it’s actually the opposite. I can tell that I’ll be playing this game for a long time. While I haven’t had the chance to play the local multiplayer (no online), I imagine it would be a fun experience with friends and family who also enjoy Zelda and conquest. I would recommend Hyrule Warriors to almost everyone, even if you’re not familiar with one series or the other or both. I hope you give it a try and have fun. I’ll see you around! 😀

 

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