Editor’s Note: This game was reviewed on the New Nintendo 3DS.
Hyrule Warriors Legends is a port of sorts of the original Hyrule Warriors which launched on the Nintendo Wii U in 2014. Hyrule Warriors was a surprise hit on the Wii, published to Koei Tecmo and a spinoff of both the Zelda series and the Dynasty Warriors series. While some may look at the game as just a port, it has just enough features to distinguish itself as its own game, from the new characters available, the additional chapters in Legend Mode, and the long overdue appearance of Tetra and The Wind Waker in Hyrule Warriors.
The main campaign in Hyrule Warriors Legends is mostly the same as the campaign as its Wii U counterpart, albeit with a few changes. There is now Linkle’s tale, the female Link, who is a a journey to Hyrule Castle but continuously gets lost. She holds a golden compass bearing the Hylian Crest, which has been in her family for generations. Her adventure is charming and once it comes all together it is very satisfying. There is also the epilogue with Tetra and the King of Red Lions, the much-awaited debut from The Wind Waker, and is a very satisfying conclusion to a wonderful tale that spans the entire Zelda universe.
There are some very cool new features in Hyrule Warriors Legends that distinguishes it from the original. First, there are now owl statues, which you can both unlock and use the Ocarina, which is a new item, to warp across the map. This makes things so much more convenient when trying to protect bases, especially the allied base. Second, you can now command squamates to go to a specific location. Is one of your teammates in trouble but you’re too far away? Send one of your allies! Third, you can now switch which character you are controlling in-battle and it really helps when a character is in a pinch or an objective has to be completed close to a character’s location. The rest of the gameplay is mostly identical to its counterpart. It is a hack-and-slash adventure with a lot of button mashing and combos. Keeping, capturing, and maintaining keeps/bases is very important and there’s a lot of skill customization and weapon customization in the Bazaar. Adventure mode and other various perks you can get from playing different stages with different characters give the game unlimited replayability.
Hyrule Warriors Legends also has a unique feature called “My Fairy”, which allows players to customize/take care of a fairy in both Pokemon and Tamagotchi style. It is unlocked in Adventure Mode and you can feed your fairy, help increase your fairy’s skills, cloth your fairy, and unlock skills for your fairy by going to “school.” While it is possible to have multiple fairies, only one can follow you into battle. These fairies can be used in Adventure mode and can be incredibly helpful.
The graphics in the game, while not the greatest, simply work. The game is able to manage the amount of enemies on screen and the slight outlining of the characters actually reminded me of the ones from Super Smash Brothers for 3DS. The music is great, with several remixes of classic Zelds themes and the cast of characters now reaches 24, which embodies the ultimate Zelda universe.
Hyrule Warriors Legends is a love song to the Zelda franchise. It embodies almost 30 years of the series’ rich history, filled with tons of fan service and an interesting plot that if cannon, would explain all of the time travel and branched timelines the series has. It is not without its problems, like a somewhat robust control system and graphics that are just okay, but the fact of the matter is, when it all comes down to it, the game is just a lot of fun, and that sums up Nintendo. A lot of the game is a rehash of the original, but, there are enough that is new to keep the game fresh. When it all comes down to it, Hyrule Warriors Legends is a great way to help kick off Zelda’s 30th anniversary.
Thank you to Nintendo of America for providing Gamer Professionals with a review copy of Hyrule Warriors Legends.