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Hyrule Warriors Legends Review
Hyrule Warriors Legends releases in a few days and we have been playing it for nearly a week already thanks to our review copy. Well, the game is compatible with both the original Nintendo 3DS and the New Nintendo 3DS; however, the original 3DS does not support 3D amongst other minor issues. The game plays without problems on the New Nintendo 3DS and features most of the Wii U versions stages, characters, and other features - so, what is a reason to purchase this apparent port?
Note: The bulk of this review is from experiences playing on a New Nintendo 3DS XL unless otherwise noted.
The story of Hyrule Warriors returns for the 3DS game. A new offshoot becomes available early on and that is the tale of Linkle. Linkle has been called the female Link, but she is different in many ways. This spunky young female protagonist is called to action when a hoard of monsters ensues upon her village. Linkle puts on her green tunic, grabs her crossbows, and heads into action. Her story arch is a nice touch to the game and adds another enjoyable character to the franchise.
Several other characters appear in Hyrule Warriors Legends that did not appear in the original game. They come along with new stages and story arches just like Linkle. The story of Hyrule Warriors Legends - known as Legend Mode in the game - is both fun to experience as it is to play. The added touches that appear this time around make the story more in-depth with more side objectives and stages. Overall, the story is very similar to the original game and the additional arches make it still feel refreshing.
The gameplay from Hyrule Warriors remains intact for the 3DS version. It plays very similar and was fun to experience the additional features included in the game. You can change playable characters throughout the stages and even send different characters to different spots on the map. This allows you to effectively progress through the battle and more easily accomplish objectives.
I loved being able to send one character to a keep about to fall while continuing with my primary objective and switching to the other character when they reach the keep so that I could save it from the enemies clutches just in time. This allows for a better strategic battle throughout many of the stages and was something that I thought added a nice feel to the battle system.
I never noticed much slowdown in large groups of enemies, but beware that most times - more enemies will instantly appear once you have defeated the first batch because there are normally too many to fit on the screen at one time. You may occasionally get attacked by an invisible foe that you cannot see and this does not normally effect the flow of the game much. Just kill nearby enemies and the invisible one should eventually appear before your eyes to be mowed down like the others before them.
Badges, Upgrades, and More
The different badges return in Hyrule Warriors Legends alongside the other aspects of the Bazaar from the original game. It works just the same and has many of the same badges. It allows the player to enhance their weapons, characters, and sell unwanted stuff. This allows them to be better warriors during battle and more easily able to defeat the large foes that awaits in Legend Mode.
The badges can add new attack combos, resistances to the elements, and more. They are a big part of progressing through the game unless you are striving to make things much harder for yourself. Many times when I am unable to accomplish a mission on a stage, I need to create new badges to better my characters and this allows me to be able to defeat the once tough bosses and obstacles.
This system is similar to an RPG such as Final Fantasy where your character progression is dependent on a linear set of arbitrary stats. It does not add much depth to the game, but it is nice to have available and allows you to try different things out without consuming much time. The game would feel different without such a system, but like previously stated - that does not mean it adds much depth to the game.
Adventure Mode and Collectibles
Adventure Mode returns and is as time consuming as ever. There are lots and lots of stages that can be played and, more often than not, will be played multiple times trying to unlock and collect everything that the stage has to offer. You can snatch up many Gold Skulltulas and even new characters in the Adventure Mode stages.
It is a different experience than Legend Mode, but it feels the same during battles. The difference is because you are not bombarded with story elements every so often - you just pick a stage, a character, a weapon, and head out to battle the objectives of the stage. That might be to defeat a certain amount of enemies in a time period or to defeat a certain type of enemy.
The goals on each stage are different and there are a variety of different ones. Adventure Mode adds more depth to the game. It would feel barren without it because Legend Mode is pretty short. Adventure Mode adds many hours of extra playtime for the game and, just like the original, can be challenging to unlock everything.
The amount of collectibles is nice and allows the completionist within to feel accomplished after obtaining everything. That is something from the Zelda series that makes the game feel even remotely connected to it. I remember collecting Gold Skulltulas in Ocarina of Time 3D and this brings me back to a similar feeling while obtaining them in Hyrule Warriors Legends.
Nintendo 3DS vs New Nintendo 3DS
The game plays great on the New Nintendo 3DS system. It allows all of the features to be used such as 3D. The games runs without many problems that I could noticed, but the original Nintendo 3DS features some. The game crashed after 20 minutes when I was trying it on my launch Nintendo 3DS. I had to update it prior to playing, so it should have been due to outdate software.
This caused the game to fresh, crash back to the main menu, and the system automatically restarting. I tried again on the same stage to see if the problem was persistent. There was no crash the second time around, but this never occurred on the New Nintendo 3DS that I played it on for many hours. The game has no 3D on the original Nintendo 3DS, but this is not a big issue to many people.
I prefer to use the 3D in my games, so the experience on the New Nintendo 3DS was far better than the performance I saw on the original Nintendo 3DS. There appeared to be roughly the same amount of enemies on the screen on the original Nintendo 3DS, but that can be hard to gauge in a game where you are constantly hacking away at creatures all around you.
The game was much more enjoyable on my New Nintendo 3DS XL and I would recommend playing on one of the new systems over the originals due to the problems mentioned previously. The game runs and plays on the original Nintendo 3DS, but it has some bugs to be fixed - maybe this will happen in a future patch. Long story short - play it on a New Nintendo 3DS to get the full experience.
Conclusion - 87/100
UPDATE: The original score was a 90. It has since been updated to reflect the problems with the games performance on the original Nintendo 3DS.
Hyrule Warriors Legends is a game that many people will enjoy; however, it is NOT a true Zelda game and never was meant to be more than a spinoff. It feels a lot different, but retains the Zelda essence and that might draw people to it. The game plays very much the same as the Wii U version and the added gameplay mechanics are great touches to an otherwise untouched system. Like they say, if it is not broke, do not fix it.
Hyrule Warriors Legends is a great game to carry around when you are journeying around the countryside, but it is not a mobile game by any means. It would be good to have while waiting for a flight at the airport or while at a bus stop, but it is not something you be able to play in 5 minute spurts in most instances. The game is a little more than just a port and is worth checking out if you are a fan of the genre or the original.