|System: Wii U|
|Dev: Tecmo Koei|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Hyrule Warriors, the brand new Zelda/Dynasty Warriors cross over was showcased at E3 2014 this year, and it was easily one of the weirder titles. Make no mistake, this is a Dynasty Warriors game through and through. You’ll be mowing down hordes of worthless peons at the simple tap of a button the second you start the game. However, they took their Zelda coat of paint very seriously and as a result, the game will no doubt be incredibly pleasing to longtime fans of the series.
If you have ever played a Dynasty Warriors game, you have played Hyrule Warriors. You start out on a map in the middle of a conflict between two warring armies. Your goal is to push your army forward, capture the enemy’s territory, and defeat the enemy’s captain, all by ruthlessly slaughtering the enemy’s troops. The only difference this time around, is that, instead of other humans, your enemies are moblins and stalfoses… stalfi… stalfs… whatever.
This is actually, believe it or not, a pretty good innovation for a Dynasty Warriors game. One of the most aggravating things about Dynasty Warriors battles is that it was hard to tell who the good guys and who the bad guys were. They all just sorta mixed together in one chaotic war. Now it’s easy to tell. Guys with swords and shields? Your side. Angry pig monsters? Their side.
The basic gameplay is as dry and simple as you would expect a Dynasty Warriors title to be. Your goal is to mash the attack button… a lot. Just mash it until you can’t stand mashing it anymore. Sometimes you can use a special attack by charging the special attack meter, like Link’s spin attack or Zelda’s light arrows, but most of the time you are just hammering on the attack button as hard as you possibly can. As long as you do that, the enemy will fall and your rupee count will skyrocket.
However, there are a few Zelda style twists that do set this game apart. For example, items play a more pronounced role in the game. You obtain secondary items by finding them in chests and you find these chests usually by going through a short dungeon or secret area. Items are basically your Zelda favorites, from bombs, to potions, to the hookshot, and unlike items in recent Dynasty Warriors games, these are pretty useful. Bombs can break through walls and open up new paths, and also deal massive AOE damage, for example.
You also have a magic meter, which fuels some special and augmented attacks. However, the meter only fills when you pick up magic pots, much like it does in actual Zelda games. You can use this to charge your attacks and deal extra damage, which usually is only useful against enemy bosses, but it’s still useful nonetheless.
Another interesting Zelda touch comes in the form of the life meter, which is made of hearts rather than a static life bar. This actually makes your life a lot easier to manage as you can tell exactly the amount of hearts a strike will do to you. Enemies still have standard life-bars however.
It’s also worth noting that the maps in Hyrule Warriors are absolutely humongous. They are far bigger than any standard Dynasty Warriors maps. You’ll run through forests, take down castles, and explore underground caves all in the same map! The maps also reward exploration as going off the beaten path allows you to find weapon upgrades, item upgrades, health upgrades and more. These all factor into making you even more of a powerhouse than you already are.
The character roster is probably the most impressive thing about Hyrule Warriors. You can play as Link, Zelda, Impa, and Midna, and more characters will be coming! You’ll also get to play as Gorons and Zoras and a whole bunch of other Zelda staples. I hope that you get to play as Ganondorf… or Tingle!
Overall, Hyrule Warriors was a fun game. I can’t see it supporting the hours of play that a Zelda game supports, but for a Dynasty Warriors title, it was pretty solid. Besides, there’s just something awesome about hearing the Legend of Zelda theme play in the background as you stomp around Hyrule and murder your enemies. It’s basically all the great things about Zelda combat streamlined without all the puzzle solving, and I certainly remember times in Zelda games where I felt like indiscriminately murdering things due to frustration. Cough Cough water dungeon anyone?
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: June 25, 2014