Hyrule Warriors Legends is a hack-and-slash game for the 3DS developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja and published by Nintendo. A spin-off of the Legend of Zelda series, it combines characters in the Zelda franchise and puts them in a game similar to Koei Temco’s Warriors series (Dynasty Warriors, Samurai Warriors.) It is a port of the original Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U with additional characters and levels. It was released in North America on 25 Mar 2016.
(Note: Pictures taken from the official site because there is no screenshot feature for the 3DS. Used for review purposes only.)
In an original story, not related to any previous Legend of Zelda games, the world of Hyrule is once again beset with evil forces. Princess Zelda (or her latest incarnation) raises an army to fight the tide of darkness, which is led by the evil sorceress, Cia. Along with Impa, she is also looking for the returned Hero of Legend, the latest hero named Link. She finds him within her own ranks as he steps up and battles the evil army. With his allies, he seeks to reunite the Triforce, the ultimate power in Hyrule and what the forces of Cia seek. To do so, they will find themselves not only fighting for Hyrule’s future in the present, but in the past as well.
The main game is the Legend mode, in which gameplay is like other Warriors games, but with only one faction playable at first (and them it depends of the level you play.) You control your character on a large battle field, fighting enemy troops and completing various objectives. You start off with only Link playable, but as you progress you unlock more characters like Impa, Sheik, and newcomer Lana. Perennial Zelda villain Ganondorf is also a playable character as you progress further in the game. This is the same as in the Wii U version. Unique to Legends are characters like Skull Kid, Toon Link. Tetra, King Daphnes and Linkle, a new character. She believes that she is the reincarnation of the Legendary Hero and runs into battle to save Hyrule armed with twin crossbows.
Other modes in both versions are Free Mode, in which you can re-play levels using any character that you have unlocked, Adventure Mode, it which you play levels with certain conditions to unlock items and characters, Gallery where you can view unlocked artwork k and an extras menu. New to Legends is My Fairy, in which you can collect fairies to gain special abilities in battle.
Graphically, it is a good as one can expect for a 3DS game. Though the gameplay is the same as the Wii U version, obviously the visuals are not a nice. But over all ,the characters are detailed, the colours are good and there has not been any noticeable slowdown, at lest not in the New Nintendo 3DS, which is the system this game is meant to be played on.
The game will work on any 3DS system, but it is meant for the new Nintendo 3DS due to the Z buttons and the C-Stick. Controls are like the Wii U version (with a choice between Warriors style, which I use, or Zelda style controls) with regular attacks on Y, strong attacks on X, Dodge is B and the special “Musou” attack on A. The Left shoulder button re-centres the camera and the Right button uses you equipped Item (Bombs, Bow etc). The New 3Ds adds the option of a lock on button (ZL) for fighting Boss Characters and the C-stick allows you to rotate the camera, with the lack of which had serious affected my enjoyment of Samurai Warriors Chronicles 2 for the 3DS. My only complaint is the location of the C-stick which is a hardware issues and nothing to do with the game.
Another this about this release that I like is that Nintendo was kind enough to include some extras. There were two download codes included in the game’s packages. The first was a Hyrule Warriors Legends theme for the 3DS, which was a nice touch. A free theme based on the game you just bought would be a nice bonus in all of Nintendo’s 3DS games. The second is a code for the Wii U. It adds all five for the new characters to your Hyrule Warriors game. Though they are not playable in Legends Mode, you can used them in the Free and Adventure modes. This is a nice gift that rewards those who had bought the original for the Wii U.
Overall, Hyrule Warriors Legends is a perfect game for the 3DS. Though the levels can be long, the ability to just close the system to suspend the software so you can take a break for the action. This game is also a good reason to upgrade to the new 3DS and it takes advantage of the system’s improvements. Fans of action games like Samurai Warriors and Zelda fans will definitely enjoy this mashup of the two series.