Dynasty Warriors meets The Legend of Zelda – whoever came up with that idea needs a raise. Hyrule Warriors Legends is the 3DS port of the Wii U smash hit Hyrule Warriors, which combines the endearing history of Hyrule with the hack and slash mania of the Warriors franchise.
Old Cucco, New Tricks
The combat in the Warriors series has been consistently engaging and fun since its inception, and this game is no different. Battles barely get tiresome, and even though the graphical downgrade is visible, it didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment. The missions don’t feel copy-pasted and fit the Zelda theme well, resulting in tense and varied battles against all your favourite characters from the franchise. Each hero also has their own definitive set of skills and special moves that keep the game fresh, and with the addition of 3DS-exclusive characters, maps, and costumes, Hyrule Warriors Legends is undoubtedly the definitive edition. There is even an option to transfer the new characters and content from the 3DS to the Wii U, and you will definitely want to capitalize on that.
A Link between Worlds
My favorite addition to the 3DS version has to be the new characters. Linkle is the first female reincarnation of the hero of time, and she quickly became my go-to character. Her dual-wielded crossbows and bomb arrows make for tremendously exciting gameplay, and I found myself jumping back into the games expansive adventure mode after her story had concluded, so I could keep playing with her. Other fresh additions include Skull Kid from Majora’s Mask, and three characters from the 2003 GameCube favourite The Wind Waker, those being Toon Link, Tetra, and the King of Hyrule. King Daphnes is another highlight, transforming into Link’s boat during his special attack. Each of the new characters feel like they have been through many design iterations, as they all fit the brief of their respective characters well, despite being transported into the fighting genre.
Four Swords are better than one
Another great addition to the 3DS version is the ability to switch characters on a whim. Each mission usually has a fair few characters involved, which keep battles fresh and fun. However, it does become tiresome when the game forces you to play as some of the more cumbersome heroes like Sheik and Impa, instead of your preferred character. The game also features a ‘My Fairy’ mode, in which you can capture and raise a fairy like a Pokémon, and then bring it in to battle with you to receive various buffs. It’s another addition to the game’s replay-ability, on top of the hours of content provided in the campaign mode. Speaking of which, the story follows some very basic narrative beats, but most of the games fun factor is grounded in gameplay anyway, so it didn’t trouble me too much.
A Triforce Triumph
Hyrule Warriors Legends is a brilliant addition to Nintendo’s famous franchise, and justifiably expands upon the already brilliant Wii U version with new characters, modes and hours of content, all neatly packaged into an enjoyable handheld version for gamers on the move. Performance issues and lack of auto-stereoscopic 3D on older handhelds aside, the game is still certainly worth a pick-up, even if it is just for enjoying Linkle while riding the train.
What we liked:
- Switching characters on the fly
- Satisfying combat
What we didn’t like:
- FPS issues, no 3D on old 3DS
- Some warriors feel cumbersome
- Story follows a basic structure
This review was written using a 3DS review code provided by Nintendo. What do you think of Hyrule Warriors Legends? Are you excited for the new 3DS exclusive characters? Tell us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!