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TGS2015 Hands On Hyrule Warriors: Legends

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Ah, Tokyo Game Show. I always look forward to you but you burn me every year. At least I got some time with Hyrule Warriors: Legends for 3DS, something I feel most sites are skipping, which is a shame.

The first thing to get out of the way that I know many fans have asked about: no, this is not a new 3DS exclusive. Two floor people confirmed that the game works with your regular 3DS. There’s still very few reasons to upgrade to the new system in my opinion, especially since I personally dislike the C-Nub, though the slide pad does make the 3DS less portable. First world problems, I know. Get over it.

Now, I loved Hyrule Warriors. I’ll admit, I didn’t finish all the DLC due to other reviews and that “paying the bills” thing, but I kept up with it and helped some of you along for three Adventure Maps. I also never could motivate myself to finish Wind Waker, but spent hours happily exploring the seas (perhaps that’s why I got burned out). However, I’m one of those players who never touched the other Warriors games, loved Zelda, and thought the combination of the two was beyond awesome.

For Legends, new ability to switch between characters feels quite natural, but I’m not sure how that’ll affect treasure rewards, and I didn’t notice an effect on XP, but I only had so much time with the demo. At least in my demo, I could choose between two characters for my mission from a roster of three: Tetra, Toon Link, and the Link we’ve had on the original Hyrule Warriors game. I obviously chose Tetra and Toon Link. Tetra has a strong nod to her true identity as one of her abilities, but otherwise she feels, well, standard. Her sword attacks are quick and feel similar to Link, but her strong attack(s) generally make use of her water gun. I’m not sure what else I expected. Maybe use of her crew?

Toon Link, on the other hand, just feels like a natural extension of Adult Link except with Wind Waker themed tools (Lana’s not the only one with a leaf now!). Maybe it’s because the level is Wind Waker themed, but I didn’t feel either character was out of place, even with regular Link standing next to me. It feels like the “toon” aspect was toned down a bit, perhaps in the colors being slightly less bold than I remember them.

The new hammer tool feels a bit unnecessary. Go out and pound stakes to fire a canon at objectives that require it, stun nearby enemies, or pound blobs that you can’t defeat normally. It’s not particularly interesting I think and just feels like it’s cluttering my bag. The ocarina, though, feels like a solid addition, allowing you to warp around the map to other owl statues and saving you some time, though at the cost of those epic moments you’re dashing across the map in a literal race against time. I’m really curious about how that’ll connect to old maps, if at all.

And that’s the one thing that kind of bothers me about the game. The ability to warp around makes the game feel smaller, and we’re already playing on a smaller console. Normally, we get a 3DS game that leads to a console game, don’t we? To now have new characters, tools, enemies, and maps in the 3DS version of the game that also streamlines the gameplay a little feels backwards. It’s nice you’ll be able to send the DLC to your Wii U version of the game (only the new stuff; you have to buy the other DLC for your Wii U even if it’s included in the 3DS game), but again, getting new content from a smaller game feels odd. It doesn’t help that we still have no idea about crossplay yet either (my Japanese isn’t perfect and the people on the ground floor had limited English, but it seems like they haven’t been told).

For those who skipped the Wii U version of the game, Legends may just be the better buy so far. The game’s smaller, but still looks impressive enough, and the spirit of the game carries over perfectly. Plus, you can get some swag if you upgrade. We’ll update as we learn more!

Original Author: Laguna Levine