Thursday, 7 April 2016

Nintendo 3DS - Hyrule Warriors Legends

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
When I did the review for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U), I mentioned that I really liked the game because it focuses heavily on the story and puzzle solving than just killing things. So I was a bit nervous when I first tried out Hyrule Warriors Legends on my new Nintendo 3DS, because it is a game where you do kill your way through to the end (not that I don't play or enjoy games like that, but most of the time I had to read up on the story afterwards to understand what it was about, and I just prefer to play a game where I have plenty of time to look around and think).

But after playing further, I noticed that it is also a strategy game, meaning that if you make a wrong decision and focus only on hacking and slashing all the enemies around you (you don't really need to kill everything, although it helps with gathering useful things and leveling up), you have a higher chance to be defeated even if your character is doing very well (there is a mode where you can just focus on the killing though).

Also, like Twilight Princess, Nintendo has put quite a bit of effort into keeping the players in the loop with the story, even during the battles, so you feel like you are really in the story, making Hyrule Warriors Legends much more enjoyable to play than I first thought it would after the first attempt. In fact, as soon as I'm free (2 more days to go until our turn to take the half term holiday!), I am going back to try the Scenario again where I got defeated!

The only thing is I do get flustered when playing the game as there is a lot going on. It's not as easy as just kill everything on sight because a lot of times, different areas on the map requires your attention, and trying to read what you need to do while you are making your way through legions of monsters and every corner on your map is flashing for help can be very distracting. You really need to know your missions, know which of them is more important, when you need to take control of another character, and spare some time to send your other characters to places where help is needed (I haven't managed to do that yet, so sometimes I have no choice but to sacrifice some of my troops...). It adds to the nerve when the occasional warning message such as "if so and so flee, you will be defeated!" pops up as well!

But yes, it's quite a fun game to play once you can multi-task all that. Let me show you some pictures while I go through some of the details (I'm not very far into the game), instead of overwhelming you with words.

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Cinametics in between each scenario to connect the scenarios to the story
Nintendo 3DS Hyrule Warriors Legends (pegi 12; RRP £34.99, bundles and limited edition bundles available) is part of The Legend of Zelda, but not quite connecting to the rest of the series. In Hyrule Warriors Legends, Hyrule Castle is under attack, and princess Zelda disappeared when Link, the reincarnation of Hyrule's legendary hero, and General Impa were distracted by enemy force away from the castle. The duo set off to find Zelda, and met new allies including the mysterious Sheik and sorceress Lana on their way.

Their journey takes them across time to different Hyrules in the past, each equally troubled, where they met skilled fighters from each era (like General Impa from the current time, and the reincarnated heroes, with Link being the latest one), and together they have to defeat the enemy and bring peace back to Hyrule.

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Adventure Mode
Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Adventure Mode Goal
Game Modes:

There are 3 modes you can play in:

Legend Mode
- where you play the story and scenarios using pre-set characters

This is my favourite mode because I love a good story

Free Mode
- where you can replay Legend Mode scenarios using your chosen character

This can be a bit confusing as the story still uses pre-set character names, eg Link has to go somewhere, while you are playing Zelda for example, and have Link as your secondary character who you left far behind, but you see a computer controlled Link running next to you (the 2 Links are different). However, it's nice to be able to play your favourite character throughout the game. Mine is currently Linkle!

Adventure Mode
- Play the original The Legend of Zelda map while facing different challenges such as defeating a certain number of enemies against the clock or defeat several boss characters.

I thought that it was going to be a pixeled version of the game, but no it's still in 3D (which I prefer). I had to kill 300 enemies within 20 minutes, and they sneakily dropped a boss in the field as a distraction. To get an A in my challenge (the grade determines where on the map you can move to for your next challenge. I believe that As will get you to Zelda faster, although challenges might be more difficult as well), I decided to leave the boss to Impa and focused on the swarm of easy to kill monsters around me.

I do like it that Nintendo gives you an option to choose between modes, as variety keeps you going, and the occasional mindless hacking at things is great to give your brain a break from multi-tasking in the Legend and Free mode.

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Top left: Impa is in control             Top right: Hint on what needs to be considered next
Bottom left: Enemy Outpost Captain         Bottom Right: Scenario Boss
Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Touch screen
Game Play:

As mentioned above, Hyrule Warriors Legends is more of a strategy game. There are 2 difficulty, easy and normal. This review is based on Easy mode where tips will frequently appear and monsters are easier to kill.

After a cinametic clip, players end up on the battlefield with monsters running straight at them. The first thing to do is to start killing of course, although in easy mode they were a bit slow in attacking. I have to admit that it's quite awesome when dozens of monsters fell (no blood nor gore of course) with 2 swift attacks. It almost feels like your character is too OP (overpowered).

It can be very confusing at first as the tutorial tips keeps pausing your fights, trying to teach you what to do when new things appears. As there is a sense of urgency to fight the monsters and get to princess Zelda (she's further away from you), it's very tempting to skip the tips and move on. I would however recommend taking the time to understand the tutorial so you'll have a smoother game play later. But of course you can always look up at the tips again later on (under the section Gallery in the Game Mode screen).

Players will get to learn that enemies will keep coming unless the keeps (the squares on the map) and outposts (little diamonds) are under allies' control, which can be done by defeating the outpost captains (part of your mission and when you run past them) and keep bosses (part of your mission or when you run past it and have time to spare). They will be taken again by the enemy if your own captains get removed or when they flee though, so depending on your current mission, you might need to send one of your character over to help. Players will also learn how to swap characters, tell secondary characters where to go, main mission to win and side missions to do as a bonus, etc.

Characters' communication will also give you hints on what you need to consider when you take your next move, and tips on how you can defeat a boss (arrow in the eye at the right time for example to weaken the boss and blast attacks at it until it gets back up again).

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Scenario Selection
Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
How to win a scenario and how not get defeated
Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Left: Scenario Information        Right: Start Scenario
Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Scenario completed (I was too shocked I forgot to take a picture of the Defeat screen..)
Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Conclusion after the Victory

Or chapters of the story. Each time you start a scenario, you will find information (including which element is best to use for your attacks) on what you need to do and which characters will go on it. In Legend Mode, these characters and who the main character is will be pre-set. Players have the option to gear up their characters before the scenario starts (more about upgrade later), check the map and note the time limit.

When players are defeated, they will be given an option to load a saved game (games are automatically saved when a scenario is completed, although I have't tried saving the game in the middle of one as my hands and brain are already very occupied. I'm hoping that once I get used to the game play I can calm down and see and do more things in the game), restart the scenario or go back to the main selection menu.

When players have won, they will see how well they did during the scenario. Rupees (the currency) will be rewarded, which you can use for your upgrades.

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Guide pop up
Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Played with Princess Zelda in Free Mode

Although there is a victory condition, which you can read before the scenario starts, each scenario can have a certain number of main missions during different stages before it leads to the victory condition, and failing a main mission can lead to your defeat immediately. For example, players might need to capture a few Keeps as their initial main mission before escaping a cave to win at the end.

Apart from main missions, there are the odd side missions that players can try to do as well, but won't really affect the outcome if you fail to do them. Sometimes however, players will have to do 2 smaller main missions at the same time before continuing with a bigger main mission (I hope I haven't lost you yet), and this is when your decision really counts.

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Special Attack

Skills are very similar to the other The Legend of Zelda games, and new skills can be learned during character levelling (see below). The special attack is more determined by what weapon the character is using, and doesn't require a combination of button pressing to activate. Simply wait until the special Attack bar is full and you can wipe out a large group of enemies in one go. There is also the R attack, which you can change by clicking on the touch screen (it can be a bomb or bow and arrow for example), depending on what attack/ use (it's not just for weapons) the situation calls for.

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Treasure chests can contain special weapons and useful items

Like the other The Legend of Zelda games, there are treasures to be found in Hyrule Warriors Legends. Players can pick up hearts (to heal), potions, upgrade materials and Rupees etc from the battlefield after killing monsters, as well as finding special items from treasure chests. Some of these chests are for particular character only so you might need to swap characters to unlock them.

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda

Character and Weapon Upgrade:

It's quite easy to upgrade your characters, as long as you have enough Rupees and Materials (found from monster drops). The difficult thing is to get enough to upgrade for all your characters, so sometimes you'll have to be very selective. You would upgrade your favourite character of course, but sometimes, when you need a particular elemental attack for a scenario and another character has an upgrade that gives them extra elemental attack, or when the main controlling character isn't your favourite one, then you should upgrade them first.

Players can upgrade characters' level (using Rupees), add additional attack and defense points using both Rupees and materials, and upgrade weapons using Rupees and scrolls from monster drops.

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda


Players can unlock achievements, or Medals in Hyrule Warriors Legends to add to their collection, which can be found under Gallery in Game Mode.


All The Legend of Zelda amiibo figurines can be used with Hyrule Warriors Legends, and each of them will give a different boost

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda

Favourite Character at the moment:

I have wanted to play the new Legends character Linkle since I've heard about her existance. I love her even more after getting to know her (she's a bit ditsy and naive, but is also very loyal with a strong believe that she can help the princess Zelda in her time), and her double crossbow attacks looks amazing!

I'm currently playing the scenario where she has to solo the whole thing, which was surprisingly more difficult than trying to multi-control 3 different characters. This is a very lighthearted stage though because, for some reason, all the allies are chickens! It took me a while to notice that they weren't just pets as they were attacking the enemies! Anyway she is fun to play and I can't wait to give it a try again. I hope she'll appear more often in the Legend mode!

Oh, and if you like her golden compass, check out the Limited Edition bundle because it comes with a Linkle's compass watch! I saw pictures on Instagram (#ItsHyruleTime) with cosplayers (adults) wearing it and it's as big as their hand, and I think it's a functional watch as well.

Other contents:

Hyrule Warriors Legends was originally designed for Wii U back in 2014, but is now available for Nintendo 3DS family systems, with more contents on top of the full Wii U game (plus downloadable contents), which includes:

- new stages based on Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks with new story (4 chapter epilogue)

- Players can now swap between characters during gameplay

- My Fairy (Adventure mode only) offers passive perks to the player for more depth. They are fairies players can capture during the game, which offer different skills that help on the battlefield. They can also be leveled up by feeding them and change skills by changing their outfits (I have to try this as soon as it's unlocked!)

- Players can import new Legends characters from 3DS to Wii U Hyrule Warriors, which include:
Linkle, Skull Kid, Toon Link, Tetra, King of Hyrule and Ganondorf with Trident (new weapon)

Nintendo 3DS, Hyrule Warriors Legends, The Legend of Zelda
Epona the horse appeared out of nowhere in the cave for this shot.
Love the Nintendo Humour!
Overall I like this game and will continue playing it. I love The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, but I do get stuck at jumping. Hyrule Warriors Legends on the other hand, also has a great story, and I love it when the story visit Hyrule in different times, so you can see and play a wide range of characters, including Linkle yes, but also all the other previous Link characters that I've never met before.

The strategy part gets me, and I do feel flustered trying to run to all directions to rescue everyone, but it's not hard to adjust strategy in the next round so you can sail through the stage a bit easier than getting stuck at jumping. And the occasional mindless slashing in Adventure mode does give me the break I need from over using my brain.

I think they are both brilliant games, and I really love The Legend of Zelda series. I'm absolutely tempted to get the golden compass watch by the way, but I already have a copy of the game! I'll look out for the Nintendo new 3DS The Legend of Zelda cover plates instead.

So. Are you a The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD person or a Hyrule Warriors Legends one?