Zelda game series fans get a comprehensive and immersive experience as Nintendo and Koei Temco combine the famous franchise with the hack-and-slash Samurai (Japanese) and Dynasty (Chinese) Warriors series gameplay. Hyrule Warriors action-filled title delivers free roaming fun and various mission objectives amid epic battlegrounds, with expanded actions like climbing and swimming so players can fully experience the boosted graphics.
This Nintendo Wii U exclusive game blends two game series together for exciting action and character situations. Zelda fans who have never experienced the Warrior game series will love this high quality remediation as Nintendo continues to make creatively appealing games for the Wii U console that build on their existing franchise and strengths. Non-Zelda fans obviously won’t get as much out of the content as a die-hard fan would. Developers make multiple considerations and even feature the various objects, which can easily put fans into a frenzy. Puzzle fans will also have fewer challenges as the game uses an action-focused format. Warriors series fans will likely welcome this action-packed modernization with a battle strategy format that stretches back to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms Super Nintendo game.
The delicate balance of the Triforce has been disrupted, and Hyrule Kingdom is once again being torn apart by a dark power, this time lead by Sorceress Cia. Now its up to the legendary hero Link to face hordes of enemies and find the missing Princess Zelda. Advance the story to unlock new playable characters with unique moves and weapon types. Collect Rupees and other useful items to upgrade weapons and craft badges, which you can use to bolster each warriors abilities. Then unleash the full power of your attacks with intense combos to clear wave after wave of Bokoblin hordes. You’ll have to get your gloves dirty to save Hyrule this time.
Hyrule Warriors has a very high replay value and demands strategy, decision-making, and cunning to be successful yet veteran Warrior gamers won’t find much that evolves overall gameplay and mechanics within the game series. Developers Omega Force and Team Ninja handle this Wii U exclusive game with precision offering players deep content, several playable Zelda characters and multiplayer action.
The increasing challenge of defeating wave upon wave of enemies (complete with improved AI) doesn’t stop after the battle. The enemies do not just stand there and take your best hits. The battles may be repetitive for some players, but the graphics and large visual scale of the battles make this game a welcome activity for players craving an entertaining escape with realistic battle physics. The improved graphics also enhance performance because players can easily see items and enemy movements.
The main characters include Link, a Hyrulean knight-in-training; Zelda, princess of Hyrule; Cia, a dark sorceress and Lana, a sorceress of light. The voice work is well done and even more would be great. Each playable character has different styles with consequential advantages and disadvantages. Players can also get other playable character for free via download. Characters actions match the free roaming world format as they easily climb, jump and swim throughout the environments.
The button mashing is always heavy in the Warrior games, so this version is not much different. Spin moves (like Link’s signature spin attack) using the analog sticks would have relieved some stress here as the sticks are used for moving (left) and camera moving/target locking/target cycling (right) through enemies instead. The smooth combination moves among the bloodless battles and interactive “game board”-type environments are easy to complete.
Entertaining and strategic actions include knocking enemies into exploded plants or off bridges. The battles have a high amount of opponents to fight with good flowing controls that allow for many combinations of attacks and special “Musou” feature. Power moves may vanquish more of your enemies, but make sure you have enough space to perform them because they do take a longer amount of time to execute.
The jumping action gets you out of a lot of difficult situations. You can also mount on a horse, but make sure your area is clear so you don’t get knocked off and swarming enemies. Go to near the back half of the horse to get a successful mount and go after those archers and “soften” up the enemies for your troops following behind.
Map management is very important here (mini map in the upper right) as players invade and conquer various areas (a.k.a. keeps). The color coded areas helps players keep status on where enemies and allied strongholds are. Current objectives are in an easy view as well as the money count (in rupees) in the lower right along with enemies defeated and level/experience.
Players can strategize tactics by assessing individuals strengths and powers using he upper left magic gauge (vertical & green) and special attack gauge (horizontal & yellow) plus track selected items (in circle visual).
The power-ups correspond include red health hearts and green magic bottles, and yellow special attack triangles. Players also get bags with new weapon or new crafting materials using gathered rupees and materials at the Bazaar (a.k.a. the game store). Special treasure gatherings trigger a special cutscene.
The Gamepad screen option works well. Players can also play co-op thanks to the Gamepad instead of a split-screen option – a wise choice since there is already a lot happening on the screen. Split-screen would also diminish the beautiful HD visuals. Players can also use remote/nunchuk and classic controller combinations.
Nintendo’s new collectible amiibo figurines embedded with NFC technology include Link and Zelda with many more on the way. Players can use the Link amiibo to get the “Spinner” weapon. Hyrule Warriors includes a download code for a Ganondorf downloadable costume offer. Downloadable content (DLC) packs include the Demon King Costume set, Hero of Hyrule pack, Dark Link costume, and Master Quest Pack along with the upcoming Twilight Princess Pack (December), Majora’s Mask Pack (February 2015) and Boss Pack (March 2015).
Highly recommended “hack and slash” for the graphics, action content, Zelda/Warriors fan satisfaction, and entertaining situations all in an easy to use format.
Hyrule Warriors sells for $59.99 at Amazon [affiliate link] and other stores.
Source: Personal copy
What I Like: Amazing visuals (appeal, ease movements, spot items easier, etc.), action packed battles, considerable challenge level, showcases Zelda franchise references/experiences, varied mission objectives, storyline, helpful color coded maps/game elements, visuals, quality voice acting, no split-screen.
What Needs Improvement: Some repetitive button mashing instead of less stressful touch pad/analog stick use, little new/evolving content in the Warriors franchise, more variety, more voice acting, other controls options to relieve button mashing stress (e.g. analog stick)