The Kingdom of Hyrule is under threat again, only this time you’ll be saving it with a lot more people and on a handheld. I first reviewed Hyrule Warriors when it originally released on the Wii U. I was impressed and found the game enjoyable and loaded with content. Now, does the 3DS version compare just as well?
Important note: Before I carry on, it’s important for you to know that the game should be played on the New Nintendo 3DS. I reviewed it on my NN3DS and I didn’t have a problem, but I saw a comparison video on YouTube with the game on the old 3DS and the framerate is shocking. I also have confirmation from another reviewer who played it on the old 3DS.
To ease this review, I won’t be repeating too many things from my original review. A lot of the game remains the same, like the story, basic features and gameplay (only with minor control differences). I’ll be discussing what’s different and what’s improved this time round.
Can you control it?
Like you’d expect the controls are slightly different in Legends. Since I reviewed the game on the NN3DS, I had the little nub to help me control the camera. This was great and helps with aiming in a big way. I’m not a fan of the pressure stick, but that’s the hardware’s fault not the game. The touchpad is used as a map and to switch between characters (which I will discuss later on). Other than that, everything else is straight forward.
A quick glimpse at a new member
Everything that you saw in Hyrule Warriors returns and is streamlined in the new 3DS version. The story, which wasn’t particularly stellar is still the game, contains a lot of additional content to spice it up. One of the new additions to the story is Linkle, the latest and newest member of the Zelda universe. Her chapters are unlocked as you progress through the main game and highlights her adventure, which occurs at the same time as the main campaign.
Linkle’s story is simple – she journey’s to become the hero she knows she’s meant to be. Along the way she gets to help out many people and aid in the fight against Cia and her army. In terms of combat, Linkle is by far one the better characters. Her combos are easy to master and her crossbows give you both close and ranged advantages. She, just like everyone else, is available to play in Free Mode and Adventure mode.
Some nice changes
Unlike Legends mode, which follows the story of the game, Adventure mode is a bonus section for an additional challenge. It was included in Hyrule Warrior, but what wasn’t were the fairies. Legends includes a new mode called “My Fairy”, which is a kind of a Tamagotchi for fairies. You can feed and clothe the fairies and have them assist you in combat. You unlock them in Adventure mode and find food clothes for them there too, but you can use them in the story as well. It did take me a long time to figure out how to unlock them, which I didn’t like. It would’ve been a better idea to give you a fairy from the start or at least make it part of the main adventure. As a result, I didn’t even use one for most of the game. They are very useful, but do require a bit of patience to train. In order to level them up, you need to feed them, but food is a little hard to come by. That’s my main gripe with the fairies.
Another welcome change in the battlefield is the option to change between characters. Once you’ve unlocked them, and met certain battle criteria, you can switch between characters. This makes moving around the field much easier and helps reach objectives quicker. Another way to move around is by teleporting. You can activate owl statues all around the battlefield and use them to instantly move around, saving you lots of time.
Grinding and other issues
My biggest issue with Legends is that it’s still a massive grind. Each level can easily soak up 30 minutes of your time, which isn’t the ideal length of time when you’re playing on a handheld.
Another feature that didn’t quite work very well is the 3D. Hardware limitations have meant the cutscenes are barely 3D. The game itself can be played in 3D, but it drops the framerate and becomes a little unpleasant to the eye.
I, unfortunately, wasn’t able to test the Wii U and 3DS transfer or amiibo support for various reasons.
As I mentioned before, there’s a lot of content in Legends. I’m still unlocking a lot of things. Adventure mode is huge and the Legend Mode has a lot of stuff that still unlocks after you’ve beaten the game. There’s a lot going on, which is great because games these days, just don’t seem to come with a lot of added content.
All in all Hyrule Warrior Legends is a great game to have on the 3DS. If you have the time to play 20 – 30 minute missions, and you’re a Legend of Zelda fan, then this game is great for you.