Hands-On: ‘Hyrule Warriors’ Slices it up at SDCC
THE CROSSOVER GAME BRINGS LINK AND PRINCESS ZELDA TO SAN DIEGO.
While at SDCC this year, I was treated to one of the new wonders of mankind known as the Nintendo Lounge: a giant room filled to the brim with recent and upcoming Nintendo games, all fully playable but having lines larger than the number of Mario spin-offs released.
Naturally, as a longtime Zelda fan I found myself drawn to Hyrule Warriors, a crossover title that mashes up the world of The Legend of Zelda with the gameplay of the cult series Dynasty Warriors. After playing it, I can confirm that the game is a lot more “Warriors” than “Hyrule.” My demo had me outside of Hyrule castle mowing down huge swaths of moblins in true Dynasty Warriors style, using my two basic attacks to cut a path towards the Castle. I chose to play as Princess Zelda (because I’m into girl power and such) and she handled quite well, using her short sword like a pro and executing some pretty cool combos. Not to mention developer Omega Force obviously had a lot of fun making the super moves, as after getting the requisite energy I was able to imprison my enemies in a giant Triforce then hack them to bits, Smash Bros. style. At the end of the level, I rejoined the Hylian just in time to face a boss: King Dodongo, who looked pretty good in HD and could be defeated just like his counterpart from the 1985 original.
Visually, the game is very much in line with the Zeldaverse, sporting a slightly more realistic style than Skyward Sword but still keeping things cartoony enough that the enemies pulled from the various Zelda games over the years mesh well together and look consistent. Not to mention, it also features 8-Bit Link kicking some ass on every loading screen. The traditional Zelda sounds are present as well, with the sweeping music and usual audio cues that you’d expect (even the on-screen messages from characters forego voice acting in favor of the emotive noises that the series uses). The game is confirmed to focus on three Zelda titles: Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword, while also having its own place in the Zelda timeline with its own version of Hyrule. While the game will reportedly feature 16 characters from across the Zelda franchise, only Link, Zelda, and Twilight Princess’ Midna were playable. On the whole, however, Hyrule Warriors is shaping quite nicely, although gameplay wise, this is very much still a Dynasty Warriors game and won’t do anything to change the mind of those who don’t enjoy the series’ brand of crowd control combat. However, Warriors fans will love it, and Zelda faithful will find more than enough to like. And if you happen to be a fan of both, this may be a game ripped straight from your dreams.
Hyrule Warriors comes out August 14 in Japan, while we Westerners get it a bit later on September 26.
‘Dynasty Warriors’ fans, are you sold? ‘Zelda’ fans, should they keep or take their hand out of the Rupee Jar? Let us know in the comments below.
*This feature on Hyrule Warriors is based on playing a public demo of the game on the Wii U console.
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