Hyrule Warriors: Zelda Fan Service
First of all, I really wanted this game to be great. After E3 I was very excited for Nintendo’s future with the Wii U. Their presentation was fantastic and the future releases that Nintendo announced included game after game of quality titles that for once made the Wii U seem relevant. Hyrule Warriors was one of the titles that seemed like a fun idea, but not a game changer. Unfortunately, this speculation was accurate. It is a fun experience, for the couple of hours it takes before it becomes monotonous and makes you reach for your PS4 controller to play Destiny or Shadow of Mordor. While everyone loves Link and the Legend of Zelda series, the nostalgia is not enough to carry this title. Nintendo is going to have to look to Super Smash Bros. to carry them through the holiday season.
Secondly, let’s clear one thing up right now. If you are looking for the next chapter in the Zelda series or anything but fan service then this game is not for you. This is not a traditional Zelda game and players have criticized this title for not following its iconic format. However, this is the game’s best feature. It is pure Zelda fan service at last! Besides Link’s presence in Super Smash Bros. the Zelda universe has never been huge on guest appearances in other titles. Tons of easter eggs and characters from the Zelda franchise are included in this game including a bada$$ looking Princess Zelda, who is finally a playable character. This is a feature that fans of the series never expected to be a possibility and is fan service in spades. The first couple hours playing Hyrule Warriors you are on a nostalgia high and the game can do no wrong. But, then the monotony kicks in and you realize that most characters only have about six useful combos. These combos are awesome and look amazing, but after performing the same handful of moves for 180 mins in repetition it becomes easy to lose interest and hurts this games re-playability.
Thirdly, this is not anyone’s fault. Koei Tecmo did an excellent job with this title. The characters look fantastic and they really did an excellent job with the characters expressions and animations. The game looks perfect and really has every character’s persona spot on with what you would expect these characters to appear like in battle. The problem is that there is too much Dynasty Warriors in Hyrule Warriors. Fans of The Legend of Zelda expect a certain amount of puzzles and thinking while guiding Link in his quests to save Hyrule and Dynasty Warriors does not contain any of these elements in its gameplay. It is hard to appeal to Zelda fans with this type of genre that has fueled Dynasty Warriors popularity. Even though it has a Zelda skin, this game seems to forget its audience as far as gameplay becoming just a button masher the longer you play.
In Nintendo’s defense, they never claimed this game was going to be anything more than it is. This game was meant to be a fun fan service marathon featuring Zelda characters and it definitely produced on that promise. This game was not meant to compete with Destiny or compete in sales with the likes of Mario Kart 8. It is a fun game featuring the cast of The Legend of Zelda and nothing more.
While I still want this game to be better, I can be satisfied with the explosion of fan service experienced in my first hours of gameplay. Nintendo and Koei Tecmo created a graphically stunning version of the Zelda universe and it is the first glimpse of what is to come visually in the next installment of The Legend of Zelda series for the Wii U (scheduled for a 2015 release). If money is an issue then avoid this game and pick up Shadow of Mordor. However, if price is no object and you are just looking for some Zelda fan service to tie you over until the true sequel on the Wii U then pick this one up. But, keep an open mind, because Hyrule Warriors is not the Zelda game that you have been waiting for.
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