|System: Wii U|
|Dev: Omega Force, Team Ninja|
|Pub: Koei Tecmo, Nintendo|
|Release: September 26, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes|
It's always more fun to play with a friend, and Hyrule Warriors let's you do so with two player local co-op. Yet it's a very bare bones use of multiplayer that has much more potential. With one player using the GamePad display while the other uses the TV, each player can tackle a separate horde of enemies, but besides clearing the level more quickly the synergy between the two characters is lacking. Also, there is no competitive multiplayer in a game that has the foundation for a remarkable tower defense experience. Also, there's no online multiplayer aside from a network feature in the Adventure Mode that grants you additional rewards for clearing a board another online player is sitting upon.
It's near impossible to make a judgment about whether Hyrule Warriors is more of a Dynasty Warriors game or a Legend of Zelda game. At its gameplay core it is by far the former, but the sheer amount of encyclopedic references from the Zelda series makes it hard to see anything but the latter. You'll collect classic items like the boomerang and hookshot by reaching into the glowing insides of treasure chests accompanied by the expected musical fanfare. You'll hunt down Skulltulas that award you sections of collectible illustrations. Travelling through areas like the fiery Eldin Caves, the serene Lake Hylia, and the blackened Palace of Twilight present layouts very familiar to veterans of the series. You'll even find yourself slashing your way through a horde of Cuccos. There are just so many nods to almost every game of the series, you'll pause when stepping away and realize you weren't playing a dedicated Zelda game.
If you're a fan of the Dynasty Warriors gameplay and the lore of The Legend of Zelda series, you will absolutely fall in love with Hyrule Warriors and enjoy the extensive list of replayable modes. For those of you who feel this is a taint on the Zelda brand, I can assure you that nothing but care and dedication has been given to the mythos of the franchise. That said, the gameplay itself can become quickly repetitive without a difficulty challenge besides beating the enemy to the punch. And though it looks like a Zelda game, it certainly doesn't feel like a traditional one. The story races through in quick segments, mostly to introduce a new playable character. It's not the epic tale masterfully weaved from past Zelda titles. It's a game with perks and a game with flaws, and it will be up to each player's personal preferences to decide whether it's a worthy addition to their Nintendo library.
Date: September 18, 2014