The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes Review
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: October 23, 2015
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: N/A Mild Fantasy Violence

What really would have been appreciated is a two player mode. Getting three people together can be a lot more difficult than finding just one friend or family member to play with. If there could have been some option to allow the third player to be either a hollow husk or AI controlled until one of the participating players needed to pop into its shoes, it would have offered a happy medium. Alas, it's all or nothing with this entry.

The more I think about it, all or nothing almost seems a suitable way to describe The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes as a whole. There never really seems to be any in-between. You'll probably want to get through the 32 levels as quickly as possible, clearing them to allow future access to everything the Drablands has to offer, sacrificing costume access in the process. The alternative is to go through every little thing, ad nauseum, until you're convinced you've acquired it all.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes Screenshot

There are 36 costumes in The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes and I had only acquired 8 by the time I had beaten the game. Since I already know all the puzzle solutions and don't feel like I really need the costumes I don't have, there's no point in returning to the adventure. Maybe if two friends came over and really wanted to play, I'd be willing to go through it again and act as a guide, but only if I knew they'd be getting rarer materials out of it. It isn't as comprehensive or compelling as, say, the aforementioned Captain Toad or Happy Home Designer.

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The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is a game that leaves you wanting more, for better or worse. You want more loot, or at least confirmation that when you go through the same tedious level again, you'll find exactly the item you need waiting at the end. You want more of a balanced challenge, with a single player that feels like it could be handled alone or a multiplayer that performs perfectly under any condition and is worth replaying. Most importantly, you want a real reason to keep returning to the game and not just a prospect of a pretty new look for the Link-alike. As is, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes feels like something you play, beat, then only return to if you're certain two people you know genuinely need aid to acquire necessary materials.

By
Jenni Lada
Site Liaison
Date: October 26, 2015

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.5
Graphics
It looks exactly like A Link Between Worlds, which is one of the prettiest Legend of Zelda handheld games.
3.5
Control
It controls exactly like other Legend of Zelda games and using an emoticon is as simple as tapping on the touch screen - but single player requires quite a bit of micromanagement.
5.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is wonderful, and one costume even switches it to a chiptune soundtrack when worn.
2.0
Play Value
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes wants people to keep playing and playing, but the dungeons get tedious and you need very specific conditions for it to come close to being enjoyable.
3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Similar visual style and top-down view to The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
  • As Link, buddy up with two other Link characters and cooperatively solve inventive puzzles to progress through the game.
  • All three players share hearts, so they must work together to defeat enemies and solve puzzles.
  • Stack three Links on top of each other with the new “Totem” mechanic, which makes it possible to reach new locations to solve puzzles.
  • Collect loot to create wearable outfits, each with a different boost or ability. Each dungeon is structured with four main areas.
  • Single-player mode allows the player to rent two paper dolls to take along to complete the team of three and face challenges in dungeons.

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