The Legend of Dynasty Warriors
When it was revealed early last year that The Legend of Zelda was shifting genres and receiving a spin-off based on Dynasty Warriors, many gamers, notably fans of Zelda, didn't quite know what to expect, or even think for that matter. Was Nintendo selling out and cheapening the Zelda name in the process? Well, after having played the end result, Hyrule Warriors, quite extensively, I can happily say that not only is the Zelda brand not cheapened, but the actual game itself is a remarkable creation, worthy of both Zelda and Dynasty Warriors fans.
For those who have never played a Dynasty Warriors or Musou-style game before, which is quite possible considering how niche of a series/genre it is, Hyrule Warriors basically follows the same approach. Thus, once you've played through Hyrule Warriors, you can most likely ease into any other Musou-style game without much problem.
|Feel free to attack me, Ghirahim,|
just don't do that creepy tongue thing!
|Target practice for Link.|
It helps he's aiming for the big one!
|Open wide and say "ah", King Dodongo!|
|Lana is a wholly original character|
for Hyrule Warriors.
|Link occasionally uses this sword at home|
when he misplaces his flashlight.
Regardless, there are approximately a dozen characters to use and level up with experience points within Hyrule Warriors. Each possesses their own personalities and combat styles to fit said personalities, making so that each character feels unique from the others. In addition to that, each character eventually unlocks multiple types of weapons. For instance, Link starts out with a basic sword, but he can go on to unlock an arsonist's dream, a Fire Rod, and a mighty ball and chain as seen in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
|Burn, baby, burn.|
The Bazaar is where the customization of characters takes place. Dropped materials from captains and bosses can be used to create badges for characters. Badges basically instill effects on characters, such as giving them new combos, better defense, better restoration upon collecting a heart, decreased time to capture keeps, and so much more. As the better badges require rarer materials from foes, there can be A LOT of grinding in hopes that that one enemy will finally drop that rare material you've been looking for, which can be frustrating and no doubt annoying to some players.
|Badges are a warrior's best friend.|
As for modes within Hyrule Warriors, Legend Mode is the story mode of the game. It puts you in the role of various characters through multiple chapters, following a story involving a wicked witch who wishes nothing more than the destruction of Hyrule. Thus, Princess Zelda and her faithful assistant Impa look to an ordinary soldier (save for his blatant disregard for safety, as he is the only soldier without a helmet) named Link to help save the kingdom. The story is told through cinematics and has bookends featuring a fully voiced narrator.
|It's a who's who of Zelda characters|
in Hyrule Warriors.
|Aren't they the same per--|
Oh, wait. "Spoilers" and such!
|Adventure Mode contains the |
hardest challenges within Hyrule Warriors.
The further out you are from the starting Adventure Mode square, the harder the missions become. However, the better the potential bonuses become for completing said missions are, as well. Some missions are as simple as defeating a set number of enemies, while others implement parameters such as all attacks being devastating (i.e. a given hit takes out nearly all of your warrior's health and the same goes for attacking enemies). Adventure Mode is necessary if one wishes to strengthen their stable of warriors, unlock exclusive weapons for them, and increase their health through finding heart containers and pieces of heart.
|Stop, Darunia says, because it's hammer time!|
Playing missions multiple times is sometimes a requirement just because some missions can be quite challenging! However, Hyrule Warriors does allow for an easier time if you have friend to help you with its local cooperative play, which can be played in any mode of Hyrule Warriors. One player uses the Wii U GamePad and plays on its screen while the other player uses a Wii U Pro Controller or other controller and the TV screen. This is a very cool way of doing things, as it gives both players an entire screen of real estate to work with. However, there's two negatives here: 1) The frame-rate takes a noticeable hit during co-op play, and 2) While it's nice to see local co-op represented, online co-op play, something that most Dynasty Warriors games have featured in the past, is questionably absent from Hyrule Warriors. This is a big oversight, especially for those without a local buddy to play the game with.
|Two warriors are better than one!|
That IS the saying, right?
Hyrule Warriors is without question my favorite of the Dynasty Warriors/Musou style games. That is most likely due to the amount of Legend of Zelda fan service, but it's also because of how complete, engaging, and enjoyable the entire package is. The lack of online play and some minor gameplay annoyances do detract from the overall experience, but all in all, Hyrule Warriors successfully gives Dynasty Warriors and Zelda fans the best of both worlds.
[SPC Says: 9.0/10]