Review: Hyrule Warriors
Title: Hyrule Warriors
Platform: Wii U (Exclusive)
Release Date: Sept 26, 2014
Reviewed by The String Player Gamer
Plays like: Diablo meets God of War with a sprinkling of M.O.B.A. elements.
Why you should play: Hyrule Warriors is a decent action-game with a surprisingly entertaining story that involves almost the entire Legend of Zelda franchise timeline, and tons of replay value with its multiple game play modes and unlockables.
Why you shouldn’t play: Lots and lots of grinding. It’s a divisive feature, some love it, and some hate it. If you belong to the latter, you might not get the maximum Hyrule Warriors experience as it involves grinding for lots of materials to upgrade your weapons and skills. Also, if you expect to find some traditional Zelda elements here such as elaborate dungeons and puzzle solving, you’ll find none. This is after all, a spin off.
Boss Fights – A standout among the regular mobs and a welcome break from all the mindless button bashing, boss fights require some pattern recognition and timed blows to achieve maximum damage. You can still dish out damage against bosses by just slashing away, but it will take a lot longer especially in Hard mode.
Capturing Enemy Territory – After spending hours hacking at huge crowds of enemies, I still felt a sense of satisfaction everytime I capture an enemy territory, it just feels, well, heroic.
The Visuals – Nintendo and Team Koei really pushed the art style here. All the characters look gorgeous. It’s how you would imagine Link and Zelda in HD at the prime of their lives.
The Fan Service – Yes, I went there. But I’m not kidding! I have no interest in Dynasty Warriors at all, knowing that this is a spin-off. But, having the entire Hyrule gang here, and then some, that sealed the deal for me! You will have fun hunting for easter eggs.
The Music – Great! More on that later!
Some Questionable AI – Especially allied AI. It’s a little disappointing that one moment I’m playing as Impa and is a total badass in the battlefield. But then I play as another character, AI controlled Impa suddenly becomes a weakling who constantly needs help. It’s the same case for all characters and I know it’s to give the player more stuff to but to do, but it’s a little jarring sometimes.
With at least four gameplay modes, three difficulty levels, a bunch of characters, hundreds of skills and weapons to unlock and upgrade, expect at least 50+ hours of gameplay if you plan to maximize your Hyrule Warriors experience.
Fun moments: We’ve all been so used to watching Link gleefully open treasure chests that I found it humorously entertaining to see the likes of Zelda, Darunia, or even Ganon to open a chest, and gleefully smile at the camera, cue Treasure chest fanfare.
Since this is my first game review, I will just say that music is a big focus in this blog as I am primarily a musician in and out of Youtube. Let’s proceed.
The music is of true Hyrulian quality. Big sweeping orchestral scores, textured by hard rocking guitars, this is the kind of music that can also be at par with any Hollywood film score.
One particular piece that I was really ecstatic about is the new arrangement of the “House” theme from the older Legend of Zelda games. What used to be just a simplistic short loop transformed into an epic orchestral suite that fits right in the battlefield. Just listen to it!
I haven’t even unlocked all extra songs, but I’m loving what I’ve heard so far. And have I told you that the game allows you to choose the music for your next mission?
Nitpick: Voice Acting! Or rather, the total lack of it. As Nintendo’s visuals upgraded to HD, it’s voice acting department is still lagging behind. We can only take so much grunts and moans. It gets even awkward to watch when you can clearly see the character’s mouths moving as if speaking, but no words come out. They did find a good solution to make Link “speak” while still retaining his “muteness”, which I won’t spoil for you.
Final Word: If you love all things Zelda and don’t mind some mindless hack and slash action, then by all means, go play Hyrule Warriors.
SPG Score: 8.5/10