For April, my game of the month is actually one that has been featured on this blog before, sort of. See, it was a Wii U game when I originally featured it back in 2014, but as you can see from the title, I’ll be taking a look at the 3DS version. If you keep up with Nintendo news, then you’ve probably guessed what the game is. If not, it’s a crossover between one of Nintendo’s legendary franchises and a certain series of hack and slash games by Koei Tecmo.
Hyrule Warriors Legends squeezes the original Wii U game onto a tiny 3DS cartridge, bringing over almost everything you could find in the original game. The Challenge mode and local co-op from the Wii U didn’t survive the transition (Legends is pretty much strictly a single-player game), but there are a few new things.
So if you know how Dynasty Warriors goes, you’ll know how Hyrule Warriors Legends goes. If you’re not a fan of Dynasty Warriors, then this game won’t do anything to change your mind. However, I find it immensely fun to cut through hoards of enemies, and the varied selection of characters gives you a multitude of different ways to do that. Even though there’s three different versions of Link, they all play in their own unique way. If you want to get technical about it, there’s also three different versions of Zelda – though only one of them goes by that name.
Anyway, what’s new?
Well, might as well stick with the theme of characters. Making her debut in this game is Linkle, first seen as concept art for a female Link. She fights wielding two crossbows, and is actually really fun to play as. Her story is scattered throughout Legend Mode. Utterly convinced that she is the legendary hero, Linkle sets off for Hyrule Castle with her crossbows and a special compass in tow. Trouble is, she has a terrible sense of direction.
Also new to Legend Mode is the ‘Saga of the Great Sea’, in which characters from The Wind Waker make an appearance. This saga takes place after you’ve cleared everything else in Legend Mode, including Cia’s tale. Cia’s tale is only available on the Wii U as part of the Master Quest add on content pack – it’s included in Legends.
Three characters from The Wind Waker join the fun. One of them, Toon Link, is unlocked through the Adventure Mode. The other two characters, Tetra and King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule join during Legend Mode.
Finally, the last new character to the game is Skull Kid from Majora’s Mask. He fights together with his fairy companions Tatl and Tael, with his weapon being an ocarina. He’s also wearing Majora’s Mask, and he can summon a puppet to fight much like the Skull Kid seen in Twilight Princess.
Big bad of the series Ganondorf has a new weapon, as well. It is a trident, probably based on Ganon’s weapon in A Link to the Past. All the new characters and weapons can be transferred over to the Wii U version using a download code included with the game.
There are a couple of new items and bosses appearing in Legends as well. The first new item is the Ocarina – on some maps, you can find Owl Statues to awaken. By playing the Ocarina, you can warp to activated Owl Statues, making travelling across the map easier.
The other new item is the Hammer. It’s the key to beating one of the new bosses in the game, the Helmaroc King. The Hammer and the Helmaroc King don’t put in an appearance until the Saga of the Great Sea, so there’s a fairly large part of the game to get through before encountering those.
The other new boss also serves as the final boss for the same saga, though I won’t say any more than that.
A new feature for Legends is the ability to switch between up to four playable characters. You can also direct your playable characters, so you could send someone to defend a vital keep or engage an enemy whilst you take care of something else. This feature was also available in SAMURAI WARRIORS: Chronicles 3, though it might have debuted before that game, I don’t know.
My Fairy is a new thing for Legends, in which you raise a fairy to aid you in battle. You have to find one during Adventure Mode first, though. Once you’ve done that, you might find food or clothes during a battle. Feeding a fairy will alter its attributes, whilst different pieces of clothing have different effects. Most of the stuff I currently have cuts down the cost of certain elemental attacks, for example.
There will also be new AOC, or Add-On Content for the game. There will be four new packs. The Master Wind Waker Pack comes with a new Adventure Mode map and 16 fairy clothing items.
The Link’s Awakening Pack comes with a new character, weapon type, Adventure Mode map, three special battles and 16 fairy clothing items. Also, the new character for this pack has recently been revealed:
There’ll also be a Phantom Hourglass & Spirit Tracks pack. This will have a new character, weapon type, Adventure Mode map, three special battles and 15 fairy clothing items. I strongly suspect the new character for this pack will be Linebeck, but nothing official has been revealed at the time of writing.
The fourth and final pack is A Link Between Worlds, which features two new characters, an Adventure Mode map, three special battles and 15 fairy clothing items. My guess for the two new characters would be Ravio and Hilda. I’m not entirely sure about Hilda, since Zelda did get a costume based on her on the Wii U at least, so I’m going to add a third guess in there in the form of Yuga. Of course, it might be one of the sages, but again, no official information at the time of writing.
You can buy all four packs together in the ‘Legends of Hyrule’ Pack, which also includes a ‘Wind Waker Robes’ costume for Ganondorf. If you so desire, you can also buy a pack which includes a download code for all that stuff for the Wii U as well.
Hyrule Warriors Legends works well as a portable experience – whilst some Legend Mode levels may a while to clear, the Adventure Mode provides shorter levels to work your way through. There’s also plenty of collectables to be found, in the shape of Heart Containers, Pieces of Heart and Gold Skulltulas. There’s a lot to the game, though it won’t appeal to everybody.
Oh, and this is one of the those games that works on the original 3DS and 2DS, but is probably best played on a New Nintendo 3DS. Just another thing to bear in mind.