Our resident Nintendian Kii gives us her verdict on the new Hyrule Warriors game on the Wii U.
I know what you’re thinking, how can Kii possibly be reviewing a game within a year of the release date? Well I’ll tell you. Hyrule Warriors. That’s it. Hyrule Warriors, Kii’s wet dream of a Legend of Zelda game. When Nintendo first announced that they were going to be giving third party companies access to their core franchises I was unsure what to think. Were they giving up on their in-house developers or trying to breathe new life into potentially stale game formats? Whatever the reasoning for their choices I am so friggin happy. Not only did the Tekken team get hold of the new Smash Bros but Koei gleefully ran off with the Legend of Zelda to squirrel it away in the insanity house that births Samurai and Dynasty Warriors.
Omega Force (ω-Force) are famous for the 1 vs 1000 style of game that they have perfected. This is a format that is often repeated by other companies but in my opinion none can hold a candle to Omega Force so it’s understandable that if Nintendo wanted a company to display an outright war in Hyrule, Omega Force were the perfect choice. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a childhood Zelda fan, Twilight Princess was my first hands-on experience with the series and I instantly fell head over heels. Since then I’ve worked my way through the DS games, Minish Cap and the fabled Ocarina of Time. Ocarina was where I met Sheik. In Hyrule Warriors you can play as Sheik. Can you see where this is going?
YOU CAN PLAY AS SHEIK. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT? Actually you can play as a fantastic selection of characters and use a myriad of weapons from all over the Zelda universe which not only makes the game really interesting but great for long term fans. Nintendo, as always, build games with the ability to enjoy them with more people whether that be via the Miiverse or in your own living room. Hyrule Warriors has taken my household by storm, myself, my partner and our housemate all have our favourites and rotate the Game Pad when levels with those characters appear. There’s also co-op using the Wiimote or Wii-U Pro Controller where one player uses the TV and the other exclusively the screen on the game pad.
But I’m not so blinded with love that I can’t critique the game. The Wiimote controls don’t feel very natural when you’ve been using the game pad and I feel that you’re at a disadvantage if your player 2 doesn’t have the Wii-U Pro Controller. Swinging your arm to do your standard attacks works in the normal Legend of Zelda games, however when your attacks are extremely combo based as Omega Force love to do, it’s hard to know where you are in your inputs. It’s also exhausting with the amount of enemies around. My other issue is a bit of a catch-22, Hyrule Warriors has stayed true to the Zelda standard of nobody having voice actors, solely relying on screen text to display dialogue (including a literal ‘Proxie’ fairy for Link’s speech). Whilst I’m happy that they’ve stuck with the formula, this has reduced the game’s accessibility if you’re playing with someone impaired or a younger child who can’t read as fast. The story is great and it saddens me that some people will miss out on it or even miss in-game instructions through no fault of their own.
On a less in-depth note, it’s beautiful. The character designs are elaborately stunning and the updates to older characters like Impa brought them immediately on par with the newer guys. The other game modes are also fantastic including Adventure Mode where you play to acquire segments of the original Legend of Zelda map. According to the DLC release schedule on the Nintendo e-shop future releases will include Adventure Mode maps for Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess as well as new playable characters, weapons, costumes and game modes. Why yes, I have already bought it.
With the, quite frankly, ‘iffy’ response to Skyward Sword I feel that Hyrule Warriors has been the adrenaline injection that the Zelda franchise needed. No longer is it a series locked to outsiders who don’t know what a Cucco is and why you NEVER EVER HIT ONE. People who like the Dynasty Warriors style of game are wandering over to see what all the fuss is about and without the prerequisite of having to spend five hours in the water temple utterly lost, less marathon style players are having a look too.
So my final words on Hyrule Warriors are this; If you like The Legend of Zelda, bloody well play it. If you don’t, bloody well play it anyway. Borrow someone else’s, be someone’s Player 2 (but ask to use the Game Pad) or watch a Let’s Play and then just buy it, I guarantee that you’ll have fun.
Now I’m off to stare at Sheik’s butt. I mean, play as a kick-ass ninja who gets 100 KOs in one move (whilst staring at ninja butt).