The War Rages On: Hyrule Warriors Legends
The year was 2014 and Hyrule Warriors was released on the Wii U. In no way is it canon, but it was the first Zelda game in which we can explore the lands of Hyrule as anyone other than Link and give them a chance at being a hero. Well now the year is 2016 and one of the better selling games on Nintendo’s home console has made it over to the 3DS as an extended port, due to very popular demand and this game, the joint efforts of developers Omega Force and Team Ninja, is just as great as the last one, if not better!
My adventure began with Hyrule Warriors this time last year when I finally got my copy of the Wii U game and I was hooked and the 3DS version is no exception. I actually have to be very careful about putting the game on, because “one hour” of gameplay soon becomes five or six, although there is something very different about the adventure this time around, but we’ll get to that later. First let’s go over the story.
If you played or just read up on the first game, you’ll know that Hyrule Warriors is no different to most Zelda games in the sense that the kingdom is faced with the threat of a terrible evil. Just like he used Zant in Twilight Princess, Ganondorf has found himself another pawn to serve his building, the Sorceress Cia. And with it being Zelda, nothing is ever just straight forward. While the land is a victim of all-out war, time-lines become blurred as characters from old and newer games are given another chance of videogame life, as the games heroes find themselves in the likes of Skyloft from Skyward Sword, Death Mountain from Ocarina of Time and the Twilight Realm from Twilight Princess.
After a lot of battles, Link laying his hands on the Master sword and defeating his darkness within, the game’s main story, played out through Legend Mode, involves Cia’s final defeat, but just because she faded away, the threat Hyrule was faced with, hadn’t. Ganondorf begins his rise to power and within a few levels, Hyrule Castle is his. The story then proceeds to its dramatic finish of Link defeating Ganondorf in his beast form, but then that wasn’t the end. Hyrule Warriors added to the story by letting you play through levels that marked Cia’s rise to power and how the war got started in the first place, but that’s the story we know already, here’s the one we know now thanks to Hyrule Warriors 1.5 (aka Legends.)
As well as getting an epilogue for the events we saw in the first game, Legends features a second story for Linkle, the girl who not only resembles Link and is officially stated as not being a relation to him and believes herself to be the Legendary Hero. Linkle first came to our attention when we saw her artwork of her in the Hyrule Warriors Art book. As an unused character for the first game, she built herself quite the following so the developers couldn’t help but include her into this game. Linkle’s story plays out during the same period that Link’s does except instead of being the hero reborn, she is the dual crossbow wielding heroine from a village of cuccos. Having heard of the battles taking place, she feels that as the Legendary Hero reincarnated, it is her duty to do what she can and help out. Although getting to Hyrule Castle becomes a lot more difficult than it should have been, since Linkle has no sense of direction whatsoever, even when she’s equipped with a map and a compass and there’s a whole load of signs indicating the right direction to go in and yet Linkle goes the opposite way at every possible occasion.
Although she isn’t Link, her story does add a little more to the one we’ve seen already, although it does raise a few questions at the same time. As her story plays out, besides a run-in with Skull Kid, she does come into contact with Link’s allies and actually does help them, especially at the end of the story while Link and Zelda are away, having already beaten Ganon, Hyrule falls under attack once more and it is Linkle, with her compass who save the day. Interestingly enough, her story was also meant to include Tingle but that part of her saga never made the grade.
But that’s just Linkle’s Tale, we still have the epilogue and although the game has been out in Japan since January, I’m not going to give away the end because that’s just wrong, but Phantom Ganon is a worthy foe and the events of this story is essentially the what came next? What became of Cia after her disappearance and did Hyrule get its happy ending? The obvious answer to that is no because Hyrule is always under attack and a new evil threatens the land, when islands from the Wind Waker appear. It’s not long before Link is asked to investigate that mess and he meets the pistol-totting pirate Tetra.
Regardless of the fact the epilogue only adds three further levels, it does add to the whole story of the game as we get to see what really did happen to Cia and what becomes of Lana when everything is truly over. Love them or hate them, they were unique characters who we’ll probably never see appear in a canon Zelda game, so it’s nice that the developers took the time to add to their story, writing a final page before finishing the book. Now with the story told, let’s ask the question: “Just what is different between Legends and the Wii U original?”
Well for starters, Challenge Mode is gone! There is no running around as Beast Ganon obliterating all foes who put themselves in your path. No giant Cucco to play as and none of the other fun stuff too. So although we have 8 new Legend Mode levels to play, with 2 actual new levels, which extends the story, Challenge Mode is no more, as they removed old content for new stuff. But is it worth the swap? Essentially that’s down to you and your tastes? What do you prefer (provided you’ve played the Wii U one and either are or intend to play Legends,) more story for money, or in-game challenges which add to the whole gaming experience by offering something different?
Oh and there’s also the whole visual thing. Although the actual gameplay is a little dumbed down, but equal to the Warriors when playing two player, Legends does have a slightly higher frame rate and all of the cut scenes look no different. Sure you can’t see everything much larger like you can on home console when playing with your huge HD tv on, but the game does visually compare to Warriors and does a good job of it in the process that being said, this is only on the New 3DS. If you do not have a New Nintendo 3DS don’t buy this game, it won’t be as good and the experience is more likely to be a bad one for you, so if you really, really want to play this game (like I did,) pretend it is Christmas and buy yourself a new handheld, the gold Hyrule Edition is out you know!
There are also two new items to use in the game, such as the Golden Ocarina which on levels that feature Owl Statues, (which you’ll have to run over to and activate,) enables you to warp to them in a moment’s notice. If you’re a player who just loves to collect those Skulltulas, or heart pieces or just hurrying back to Allies Keep to ensure it doesn’t fall, then the Owl Statues and Golden Ocarina are just what you need to get there a lot faster. Unless of course one of your playable allies is already there, then you can just tap their icon on the lower screen and do what you’ve got to do. As for the other new item, you can only receive this when playing the first level of the epilogue and other than hitting the Helmaroc King on the head when the opportunity presents itself you use to hit switches to create pathways.
Also new to the game other than the five new characters we know of (Linkle, Skull Kid, Tetra, Toon Link and King Daphnes,) and the two we now know are on their way, (Medli for free in May and Marin, who is only available to those who purchase the Link’s Awakening Pack,) is of course the new My Fairy. Not a new mode in itself, but a section of the game where you can “craft” (or customise,) any and all fairies you find in bottles during your play-through of Adventure Mode. Also discoverable on certain Adventure Mode missions and obtainable through Legend Mode from enemy item drops, is Food which you can give to your Fairies to snack on thus levelling them up. Levelling them up enables them to learn different skills, which can be used whenever playing and if there is a skill another player has learned your Fairies are capable of learning it too through SpotPass. And just in case you don’t like any of the Fairies given names, you are more than welcome to change it to something you do prefer.
My Fairy also brings changes to Adventure Mode in in the sense that there are now missions in which Fairies can be found, as well as food. Adventure Mode, although remaining pretty much the same visually, as its Wii U counterpart, now also includes heart pieces and heart containers for the new characters as well, which is a demonstration of the extra thought that has been put into the game and that’s not even including all the new dlc that is planned for the game. 4 Packs, new characters, 4 more Adventure Mode maps on top of the 5 already available as Hyrule Warriors comes with the dlc levels from the last game.
Now on to what is the same as the original game. Skulltulas just a lot more of them. (180!) Adventure Mode, Free Mode, badges and upgrading of badges and full amiibo support. (No new exclusive amiibo for Hyrule Warriors, but then it is a port and it gives Nintendo more time to see just who are the players favourite fighters before committing to a set line of amiibos no one wants to buy.) But there is no multiplayer and as someone who’s experience of the other game was experienced solely through co-op, as nice as it was to play by myself and see what Warriors is like as a one player, it still feels like a shame that this great option from the last game, is not an option here. Other than that though, this hack and slash game is as great as ever to play, maybe too good.
Whenever I sat down and thought to myself “I’ve got an hour or so,” I would sit down and play it, only it is never just an hour. It’s more like 3 or 4am and my by bed is calling me because I’m due at work in a couple of hours and a short doze is better than none at all. The problem I found due to how addictive it is, isn’t because of the game being addictive but because my hands would be smarting after continued playing, long after my hands have cramped up and begging me to stop. At least when playing on the Wii U, you have this huge GamePad to hold on to, which gives my hands no grief at all and if you don’t want to play with the GamePad, there’s always the Pro Controller as an alternative. Still the pain is worth it, Legends is a great game!
Also seeing as how I have touched on the new characters, there is something I wish to say on this matter as more and more gamers like ourselves are having heated debates about how they feel robbed. The cause of this being Wii U owners who don’t have a New or original 3DS are unable to play as the new characters due to the fact that the dlc pack which will allow them to do so, isn’t out yet. Sure Nintendo could make the Character Pack for the new five Warriors available for purchase a lot sooner, but at the end of the day, Hyrule Warriors has had its run and now is the time for Legends. I understand a lot of people do feel this is wrong, but the people who have the 3DS game had to wait longer to get this game and for that patience we have been rewarded.
So what if you only have the Wii U version and have to wait a few more months before you can get them? Hyrule Warriors, after already having 4 dlc Packs and a Season pass of its own, is at the end of the day, getting some new content. Just because that new content doesn’t involve new maps for Adventure Mode, at the end of the day Legends is version 1.5 and given as how there are more 3DS owners than Wii U, the game does need more content to stand out more. Should Nintendo enable those maps to the Wii U version, it would hinder sales as more people would be more likely to forget about Legends all together and just stick to the first game. At the end of the day, Nintendo, Koei Tecmo, Omega Force and Team Ninja, are businesses and it is sales that keeps them in business and making games just like this. Besides why moan for all the 1.5 content when you can sit patiently and get version 2 when a proper follow-up game is released? Although given as how the game is on both Nintendo devices now, it’s highly possible we could be seeing a dual release of the next game on NX and the New 3DS.
With all of that said and now out of my system, it’s time to scoot on over to a list of Pros & Cons:
- Almost the same Hyrule Warriors we know on the Wii U, but with plenty more to and that’s without the dlc Packs. Well worth the purchase
- Love her or hate her, she has some serious moves and knows how to fight.
- A fit end to the story we first saw established in Hyrule Warriors + Extended story.
- My Fairy. Sure some may see it more as a gimmick forcing you to having to play Adventure Mode more, to get more food and clothing items and fairies, but it does add that something extra to the game. Not a lot but enough.
- It is as repetitive as it is highly addictive.
- Continued use of dlc in all the right ways.
- More characters than ever!
- New stages.
- Single use download code for the Wii U to enable anyone who has both versions of the two games, to get first hand access to the new characters.
- I may be the only one who says this
- No Challenge Mode, meaning no Ganon, no giant cucco. No being the evil destroyer of worlds swatting tiny enemies who look more like ants.
- No co-op play.
- Far too enjoyable and compelling to play. I’m sleeping less and my hands keep getting cramps because I refuse to get off. Then again, this con is more about me than the actual game, still I’m going to leave it in though.
In my opinion, as far as this game goes, it is certainly one of the better games available on the 3DS and is well worth its price tag as long as you are playing the game on a New 3DS. It’s almost everything we loved from Warriors and elaborated upon to make it a much better version and in no way a sequel as it is still a bit too soon for that. (2 or 3 years from now though is fine.) So with no further delay, it’s time to see just how high Legends scored and that score is 9.6/10.0 A Rank effort. It also scores the same on our Zelda Chart (can be seen further down) as Legends really does go above and beyond everything we saw from the first instalment, but I had to deduct it a couple of points due to no 2 player co-op. But hands down, Legends is a fantastic improvement and that with the first one, together they do a brilliant job of showing us what this Dynasty meets Zelda game can become and gives us hope for a series that won’t just stop at 2 games.
But as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of my own and it is encouraged for you to make your own.
The OFFICIAL Miketendo64 The Legend of Zelda Series &
Hyrule Warriors Chart: by J.H. Longman
(List of Games include all those Played & Completed by ourselves and the Games that are next on our list to be play)
(1986) The Legend of Zelda 9.0/10.0
(1988) The Adventure of Link 7.6/10.0
(1992) A Link to the Past 9.0/10.0
(1993) Link’s Awakening 7.6/10.0
(1998) Ocarina of Time 9.9/10.0
(2000) Majora’s Mask 9.6/10.0
(2001) Oracle of Seasons 7.3/10.0
(2001) Oracle of Ages 7.3/10.0
(2005) The Minish Cap 8.8/10.0
(2006) Twilight Princess 9.8/10.0
(2007) Phantom Hourglass 8.5/10.0
(2008) Spirit Tracks 8.4/10.0
(2011) Ocarina of Time 3D 9.9/10.0
(2011) Skyward Sword 9.4/10.0
(2013) The Wind Waker HD 9.1/10.0
(2013) A Link Between Worlds 9.3/10.0
(2014) Hyrule Warriors 9.5/10.0
(2015) Majora’s Mask 3D 9.6/10.0
(2015) Tri Force Heroes 7.3/10.0
(2016) Twilight Princess HD 9.8/10.0
(2016) Hyrule Warriors Legends 9.6/10.0
(2016) Zelda U *To be determined upon review
The Legend of Zelda and Hyrule Warriors have something of a history on Miketendo64, not only have we covered quite a few news stories and features, but we’ve reviewed quite a few of the games too and should you wish to check a few of those out, including our reviews for the newer Tri Force Heroes and Twilight Princess HD, you can find them below from going from the oldest to newest games to be released on the 3DS and Wii U: (I really should consider doing a written review for the Wind Waker HD!)