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This week I played: Hyrule Warriors Legends

Joseph Harper plays Hyrule Warriors Legends and loves it, but not really.

A few years ago Nintendo and Koei Tecmo teamed up to create a Zelda/Dynasty Warriors mash-up. Zelda, Ruto, Darunia, and various Links bash their way through hordes of enemies, earning upgrades and generally thwarting evil. For some reason ($$$$$) Nintendo decided to port the game down the 3ds, which was cool to me because I have one and I like Zelda.

It’s a fast-paced, button-mashing hack ‘n’ slash filled with characters you probably already love.

In theory, Hyrule Warriors Legends is #winning but after playing it a bunch over the last few weeks I can’t help but feel it should have stuck to the big daddy console.

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As far as I can tell it’s essentially the same game with a few minor graphic and gameplay tweaks and (more importantly) some new characters. The most talked about is Linkle, the world’s first ever “Female Link”. She wields dual crossbows and a has a compass and wears a version of the hero’s clothes that include thigh high boots which is definitely problematic. Also weird to name her “Linkle”.

I didn’t have to deal with this but if you play on a classic 3ds edition of the game, it is apparently plagued with sluggish frame-rate issues (see the excellent Digital Foundry video below). But even with the game running smooth as on a New 3ds, it looks shitty. They’ve modified the Wii U graphics down to a weird cellshade thing and often times it looks like absolute mud.

The ability to switch characters using the touchscreen was a nice way of moving about expansive playing fields and the battle sequences for the most part feel satisfying. It’s definitely cool to unleash a bit of the old Din’s Fire on a clutch of crappy foes, and playing as characters like Impa and Tetra is fun. At times I felt super disorientated though and found myself just running around busting up random posses of stooges. Also my joystick thumb got sore.

It’s fine but it’s not awesome or anything.

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