Hyrule Warriors Legends
3DS Video Game Review Written: By Adolph Vega
This Nintendo 3DS video game can be played on either
the NEW 3DS hardware or the original 3DS hardware. It's the same game regardless which hardware you play it on but the user experience is different and within this review I will highlight those differences.
To play this game in 3D you must play this game on the NEW Nintendo 3DS hardware, it's literally impossible to play this game in 3D unless you have a NEW Nintendo 3DS hardware . The game automatically recognizes the hardware that you have it in, and turns off the 3D function if it's not being played within a NEW Nintendo 3DS system . You can move the 3D slider up and down all you want of the Nintendo 3DS hardware and it will not do a thing. All that being said, how is stereoscopic 3D if you are playing this game on the NEW Nintendo 3DS? Well to put it simply, it's awful. This is both uninspired visually and negativity impacts the game play.
The 3D is basically two layers – one that is a front layer with the menus, and the second that's a recessed background. So the visuals have some depth to it when you play it in 3D, but it's not really compelling to look at, or really adds anything to the experience. If anything the stereoscopic 3D visuals actually are a negative to the game because it dramatically hurts the frame rate and fluidity of the gameplay. The game engine can't process the information and it causes the visuals to slowdown and appear choppy when you have the 3D activated. With the 3D on, the performance takes a major hit and it actually impacts how the smooth and fast the game plays. This slowdown is enough to be a noticeable distraction and annoyance to the player. Even if the visual fidelity were kept at a constant speed I couldn't recommend the 3D element of this game, because it's not at all visually interesting. A little bit of depth isn't interesting to look at and doesn't do anything to make the gameplay better.
The game developers don't even bother to implement stereoscopic 3D into the various full motion cut scenes, where the frame rate isn't an issue. I bet the cut scenes would look gorgeous in 3D, but alas they don't even try. Considering how awful the 3D element is within this game, I quickly decided to play this game in 2D because, why should I bother to purposely make my gaming experience worse when I can easily make the game operate at a faster tempo and provide smoother visual experience by playing it in 2D? Technically speaking when playing the game in 3D it is sharper than when playing in 2D, because how the technology presented within the 3DS operates with showcasing two images at once , but this comes at a large visual cost . It just doesn't make any logical or practical sense to play this game in 3D. Nintendo should be ashamed of themselves for this awful 3D that requires new superior hardware to display.
Final Verdict: Terrible 3D , Play in 2D instead
3DS Video Game
Hyrule Warriors Legends is the combination of two popular video game franchises; The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors. I have extensive experience with the Legend of Zelda video games but no experience playing the Dynasty Warriors video games. If this is any indication of the quality of that game franchise, than I don't want anything to do with that game franchise ever again.
The story of this video game is a convoluted mess that tries to connect the entire Legend of Zelda mythology together. Essentially a evil person uses the power of the gods to try and change the time line and the multiverse. I love the Legend of Zelda video games but I can recognize the "time line" of events of the entire franchise makes no sense. I have grown not to care how each individual game connects to the "greater" storyline. I enjoy each game and each storyline and accepted the time line doesn't make any sense. The story of Hyrule Warriors seems like a bad fan fiction, which assumes the player has played almost all the games in the Legend of Zelda franchise because it references them all . In a way its kind of amazing insane spectacle how they try to connect the dots between over a dozen games, multiple time lines, and parallel dimensions of lore from the past thirty years of gaming . All that being said, it's a total failure of narrative and is incompressible mess that doesn't know when to quit, and with the it drags on far too long. I played the entirety of this game and all the current downloadable content (October 2016), and it took me about 40 hours to complete, and the last few episodes seem to be entirely pointless, like an extremely extended post credit scene .
The game doesn't have voice acting within the game play, but it has voice narration before the levels, and it's execution is dreadful . The narrating voice actress reads her script in a monotone and cringe worthy storybook fashion. The game has many full motion videos interwoven into the game, and they are very jarring to watch because the graphics look vastly superior to the actual game play. The game tosses lots of dialogue at the player to read with near constant text message updates, and it becomes frustrating to read so much banter during the hectic game play. The story mode is a major aspect of this game and it's a total failure in execution.
This game includes a new main character that isn't present in the original Wii U version of the game named Linkle. This character wants to be a legendary hero just like Link and stars in her own side adventure with her trusted crossbow and compass. This character is a major part of the marketing of this game, and it's a shame this character even exists, because she is annoying and just plain stupid. She is portrayed as a ditzy girl who is always getting herself in trouble, because she can't read a map and doesn't know how to use a compass. The game goes out of its way to play up how stupid this character is for "comedic effect" and it totally misses the mark. It's as if Nintendo is actively mocking the idea of a strong female protagonist, which is strange because the Legend of Zelda franchise has several strong, likable female characters, and many of which are present within this game. Maybe this character works for a traditional Japanese audience, but I found her representation to be sexist and almost purposely offensive to any female gamers. It's just cruel how much they mock this character within the game. The Legend of Zelda franchise has several silly characters, but this one is really outlandish, and I don't know why Nintendo bothered to make such a pathetic character for this game.
The most disappointing aspect of Hyrule Warriors Legends is the game play, which is tedious and repetitive. You play as different characters in different areas from the various Legend of Zelda games but it all feels the same. The characters do play differently and various attributes, but it still all feels the same . The game consists of your character and a few other characters taking over areas of the map and eventually fighting a boss character at the end of the level. The individual level map is broken up into several open ended rooms and dozens of simple enemies who appear all over the level. Occasionally, different rooms in the map can be taken over by enemies and the enemies must be cleared out, so that your team can take control. The villains usually have a base of operations, and the player has an allied base to defend. The enemies within this game are numerous and are mostly stupid punching bags that don't offer any intelligence, resistance or strategy. Some of the more advanced enemies require some basic strategy , but for the most part the player can mash the attack buttons wildly and brute force their way though the game. Sometimes, you may need to rescue a certain character on the map or escort another character to a specific part of the map. Other times, you may need to secure multiple areas of the map and defeat several mini bosses. The amount of variety presented within this game is minuscule , and it all starts to blend together to a monotonous grind. The game is more focused on having hordes of mindless enemies attacking the player than giving the enemies artificial intelligence to keep game play interesting or fresh. As you complete the game the player will defeat thousands of simple enemies that are only in your way and provide no challenge or strategy to overcome. These simple enemies only take one hit to vanquish and will often reappear and they all look identical. The game has no problem repeating the same simple enemy design or having identical boss battles, so get used to killing the same small goblin 10,000 times and small dragons 500 times throughout your adventure . The level design is ugly with graphics that look like they belong in 1996 not 2016. Overall the Nintendo 3DS hardware has more graphical prowess than this and it should look better . It's obvious the graphical resources were over taxed and designed to have dozens of enemies on screen and not have good looking environments . The game makes no attempt to make the graphics look clean, interesting or distinct . Textures are ugly and blurry, and everything has a low polygon count that looks dated. The level design is incredibly simplistic and forgettable, and I quickly became tired and bored of defeating the same enemies in similar looking levels using the same game play scenarios.
As you defeat the enemies they will drop money and items that you use to upgrade your characters. This upgrade system gives you a tiny bit of depth to the game. Some maps only allow certain characters to battle with, so you really need to balance out each of the character(s) as you progress within the game. The game does give the player the freedom to upgrade or not upgrade characters as you see fit, but if you don't upgrade your characters, the game will become dramatically more difficult as it progresses. As you play, the characters will also level up and do more damage to the enemies. Crafting and leveling up takes very little skill and the changes to game play are incremental and forgettable. You can also make potions that restore your health, so that is useful crafting abilitiy to have, but I would just prefer that life hearts were more plentiful or you had healing characters instead.
The player can craft new offensive combinations for your character to demonstrate in battle. These combos are interesting visually and are helpful, but can easily be forgotten. Pressing Y, button five times then X button then Y button again potentially has one combo for your character, but also pressing Y button four times and the X button twice can also be a combination. The various combos seem to get lost in the shuffle of gameplay, and it gets tiresome to watch the same animation for the one hundredth time. Video games that have crafting and a leveling up system should really try to make the upgrades feel substantial and important. The difference between playing as a level 3 character and level 4 character is not noticeable enough. So what if your character does .01 % more damage when you level up? Grinding up levels becomes very boring with so many characters and identical enemies. Leveling up feels like a necessary chore and not like a rewarding experience. This crafting and leveling up system gives the illusion of making the game more compelling but honestly, it's a token, throw away feature.
The difference between playing this game on the NEW Nintendo 3DS and regular 3DS is striking. The original 3DS is simply not fully capable of handling this game. The game operates at a dramatically slower clip and enemies will frequently pop up in front of the player just randomly. The game is fully playable on the original 3DS / 3DS XL hardware, but just barely. The slower pace and enemy pop up make playing this game a drag both figuratively and literally. The enemy pop up is very annoying. It honestly feels like the game is pushing the original 3DS to its limits and the experience is worser. That being said, playing this game on the NEW Nintendo 3DS hardware (in 2D) isn't a fast silky smooth experience either . It's clearly the superior way to play this awful game. If you play the game on the NEW 3DS in 3D it is almost as slow and choppy as playing it on a regular 3DS. The added camera control on the NEW NINTENDO 3DS version with the c-stick is a nice but unnecessary addition to gameplay.
The way this game saves its data leads to some serious frustration. The game has many invisible checkpoints that are triggered as you progress, which is fine. The game also has a 'save anywhere at any time' feature, which is fantastic for a portable game. The problem is, the game will allow you to save after you hit the point of no return in the game play scenario. You need to do certain things to complete a specific area such as defeat the boss enemy or secure enough rooms for your team. Several times, I was unable to defeat the area and failed the mission, and I would reload my save and attempt again, but it would always lead to failure. You can restart from a previous checkpoint but it can be very annoying to retrace your steps. What ended up happening, is that I may have messed up earlier in the scenario and I continue the level and assume that I can still able complete the area when it was a no win scenario regardless of what I did. Being able to save any time, anywhere and continue to load your game gives the player the false sense of security that you can still win a scenario, when in fact it's impossible once the player hits the point of no return with an unknown failure much earlier within that scenario. I appreciate the save anywhere at any time nature for a portable game, but having a system that allows you save after you enter a lose - lose scenario is just frustrating and a poor design choice.
Hyrule Warriors Legends is a failure of a game, and honestly Nintendo should have never bothered to take a contemporary Wii U game and port it to handheld device that isn't fully capable of playing this game. I had some fun with it, but it's like a sugar high and my enjoyment quickly vanished as I played the bad game. It is interesting to see different characters from the various Legend of Zelda games meet paths, but it seems like Nintendo is simply focused on pandering to fans than making compelling, enjoyable game. I found the game to be a chore and totally tedious to play regardless of which hardware I played it on. Even if the game had preformed better, I still would find the actual game play to be boring, tedious and repetitive. The story of Hyrule Warriors Legends makes no sense, and seems like a terrible fan fiction brought to life. If you are a super fanatic of the Legend of Zelda games it might be worthy of a look on YouTube and watch others play the game, but I couldn't recommend buying this game unless it's heavily discounted, because it's just not worth your time to play.
Once I completed this game I decided to sell it immediately, because the thought of my ever playing this game again was repugnant. This game is clearly a cash grab from Nintendo to attempt to capitalize on the popular Legend of Zelda franchise, and combine it the pathetic shallow game play of Dynasty Warriors. Don't reward this greedy endeavor with your money, because it's just not that much fun to play, and the concept of this game is better than the actual execution.
Final Score :
4/10 if you play on a NEW Nintendo 3DS
3/10 if you play on a Nintendo 3DS
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