Hyrule Warriors Legends

Lesser visuals may affect Hyrule Warriors Legends on 3DS.

By Daavpuke, Posted 04 Mar 2016

Being a European owner of a Nintendo product isn’t the greatest thing in the world. The old country is an afterthought for nearly all releases. For instance, the demo for Yo-kai Watch released yesterday is for an admittedly stunning game that’s been out elsewhere in the world for a while now. Fire Emblem fans also have to wait months and months to catch up to everyone else. Luckily, the same won’t be true for Hyrule Warriors Legends, which released a preview of its port to Nintendo 3DS and will launch at roughly the same time globally. Nintendo likely wants to easily keep track of all those Season Pass downloadable content (DLC) metrics it’s going to put in the slasher, but it’s best to take victories where they appear, at this point.

Hyrule Warriors Legends, 3DS, Preview

Hyrule Warriors Legends is a game about wading through the chaos, hacking at dozens of enemies at a time. All this excess needs to be displayed on a tiny handheld screen, which isn’t an ideal combination. More so, the sheer numbers take their toll on the game’s overall presentation. In the battlefields, characters of various Zelda series backgrounds appear basic and extremely roughed up. Choppy outlines and basic colors make it hard to distinguish one hero from the next. The same is true for the enemies, which almost blend into mere shapes due to their low fidelity. What’s supposed to represent a lizard might as well be a moving beanstalk. Hyrule Warriors Legends Is ugly as sin and as the visual aspect is a big part of the spectacle, it’s sure to hurt the game.

Strangely enough though, the periodic cutscenes emphasizing events or ringing in ornate bosses do match their original release’s splendor. These contribute little to the game at hand, however. Shoddy visuals are even more hurtful for the navigation in the brawling action. As Link and friends often need to zip from one place to another in a huge, interconnected maze of arenas, a map is necessary to get around. This indicator on the bottom screen is a jumbled mess of lines and colors. It’s bad. Making matters worse, the constant activity of moving squads, heroes, interest points and so on, make the map more confusing than an overzealous Ubisoft game filled with markers. As much as Hyrule Warriors Legends’ whole point is finding the structure in the chaos, the lacking presentation makes it unnecessarily harder and more confusing to do so.

Hyrule Warriors Legends, 3DS, Preview

Fortunately, the basic aspects of the Warriors “musou” game mechanisms make playing easily entertaining. Mowing down hordes can be done by mashing one button endlessly. Going through foes faster can be done by combining heavier attacks, which change depending on when they enter in the string of blows. Once a meter is filled, it’s also possible to launch a special attack that pretty much wipes the screen clean of bodies. Going through most challenges only requires filtering out what’s important from what’s there for fluff, but it’s not like obliterating entire armies at a time gets stale quickly either. Finding out what combinations work best for what occasion, depending on area of effect or power, unlocks a much deeper level of understanding to the simple hack and slash method.

Every character also plays out differently and it’s possible to switch between them on the fly. Alternating helps to reach different parts of the map, for the many different objectives the game launches at any given point. Sometimes, Link has to claim a castle, other times there’s a friendly captain getting swarmed in the distance. Activity reigns in this messy battle royale.

All corners of the battlefield are also littered with added objects, which yield health, currency or treasures. After finding enough magic, for instance, the hero can charge up and become more proficient for a while or choose to unleash all their power in one giant attack. There’s just so much stuff. It’s mostly “stuff” and not exactly the most in-depth, interlocked systems, but at least having so much to work with opens up a ton of opportunities.

Hyrule Warriors Legends, 3DS, Preview

Whether or not just playing with a ton of Zelda properties is going to be worth it on a 3DS, however, remains to be seen. Let’s stress once more that Hyrule Warriors Legends doesn’t look good at all and that this additionally puts a strain on how the game functions. Something so chaotic needs clarity and this slasher has little of that on offer. It’s going to have enough content in it though, but it might just tick in at an underwhelming performance.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Platform(s): 3DS
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): Nintendo EAD Group No. 3, Monolith Soft
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2013-11-22

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