There are many questions that I am asking myself about this game; Is this REALLY a Zelda Game? Could this encourage more cross-overs between franchises? Could this be Nintendo’s Trump Card?

Since the beginning of 2014, Sony and Microsoft have battled it out for the industries favourite child, with Nintendo being the younger brother deemed not to be worthy enough to play with the nicer toys. Hyrule Warriors could quite possibly be Nintendo’s brand new Bike that he got for Christmas. A bike that Sony and Microsoft just wish they could ride.

hyrule-warriors-spin-attackIt is definitely worth mentioning that this is definitely not a Zelda game. Anyone could tell you how to make a Zelda game, as it is definitely a franchise which sticks closely to a formula. A Zelda game involves the player controlling an Adventurer throughout the exploration of caves and dungeons featuring fearsome creatures throughout the land and etc., i’m not here to tell you that. This game is a Dynasty Warriors game, in the Zelda ‘world’. You’ll find no caves in this telling, nor any puzzles that you’d be familiar with, this game is for the people who enjoyed the other side of Zelda games. Battles. This game is about one thing, HACK AND SLASH! There is something thoroughly enjoyable about mowing down enemy after enemy and being so powerful that you can plough through any army with ease.

But this fun factor can also be the games deepest flaw. The only difficult parts about the game are the boss battles, where you have to carefully plan your attack on the enemy using the (very easy to find) weak spots, and these encounters are few and far between. Although towards the end of the game, the bosses become harder to battle but involve modern gamings most annoying trait, ‘waiting’. Waiting is a trick that this game implores to make gameplay seem harder, most of the “difficult” fights in the game involve waiting for an opponent to open up a vulnerability and then HACK AND SLASH. Smashing B and lot and then hitting Y for a heavy attack can get you through 90% of the games armies and enemies.

“For years I have waited for Link to take on one enemy at a time. Now I get to see him obliterate entire armies in the blink of an eye”

hyrule-warriors-656x491On the other hand, it is a ton of fun. Though the combat is simple, it is a welcomed change to the classic Zelda controls of having to wild swing your Wii-mote around to slash an enemy. For years I have waited for Link to take on one enemy at a time. Now I get to see him obliterate entire armies in the blink of an eye. A common problem with modern-day Zelda games involves the fact that the difference between exploring and battling is literally game changing, it feels like two different games. In early Zelda games you could slash down a bat or throw a bomb at a skeleton while you were exploring the basement of a dungeon, and ever since the 3D changeover there has been a distinct line between exploration and battling. This game feels like that latter part of those games. There are a lot of secrets in general gameplay as well, if you decide to plough through the game till the end you’ll have a great time, if you decided to plough through the enemies and take a minute to look around your surroundings, you’ll discover a few hidden secrets. I feel like this feature is a nod to the typical Zelda formula, considering exploration is no longer a key portion of the game.

The storyline is pretty flat. You can tell what the story of a game is going to be like when it is called ‘Campaign Mode’ for a start. But the coveted ‘Adventure Mode’ is very good. Adventure mode brings you back to the original map from the first The Legend of Zelda game and brings you into a ‘scavenger hunt’ of sorts for items from the original game. Using the items that you have discovered and used in the man game, you can uncover more (after a battle of course). The further you go through this mode will unlock more styles of combat, secret weapons and playable characters.

Another saving grace for this game is the amount of characters you can play as throughout standard play. With a whopping 13 playable character gallery to choose from, you can really ‘tailor make’ your experience in adaptation to your desired playing style. If you’re the sort of guy who wants to be the ‘Press B and annihilate’ as previously mentioned, then playing as Link would allow you to do so. Wether as players like Sheik (Zelda’s alter-ego) requires a faster reaction with a quicker strike. Each character has their own unique weapons as well, truly changing the gameplay. I found that playing as Midna resonated with me pretty well. Her abilities revolved around the realms of Twilight (after spending countless hours playing The Legend of Zelda : The Twilight Princess, I found this nostalgically entertaining), which allowed her to reach into the darkest corners of her world and call upon the beasts and forces that lie within.

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