This year has been chock full of surprises from our lovely gaming giant Nintendo, spanning to the third generation Pokemon games getting a remake, Smash Bros. coming to both handheld and console, and even the announcement of a new version of the 3DS! So, why would it surprise us that a new Zelda game has come out? Probably because this isn’t exactly like any other Zelda game you’ve ever played, and that’s probably because the game wasn’t made by Nintendo.
Hyrule Warriors is a bit of a strange game compared to the majority of The Legend Of Zelda titles floating around in stores here recently. In this game, you play as Link, Impa, Sheik, and a slew of other characters in your quest to protect Hyrule from the forces of darkness. This game has you hacking and slashing away through massive hoards of enemies, defeating giant bosses, and managing your army all at once. Each character has a specific set of weapons they can use, and their own set of combos they can perform on the field of battle. Now hold on, this doesn’t sound like a Zelda game at all! Well, that’s kind of true.
Hyrule Warriors is actually a spin off game created by Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo Games. These are the same developers who are responsible for the popular samurai hack and slash game series known as Dynasty Warriors, and Ninja Gaiden. With Nintendo’s permission, they more or less created a Legend of Zelda themed Dynasty Warriors game for the Wii U, and it’s probably the most refreshing thing the series has ever seen. The game manages to capture Hyrule in a totally different light, there’s not just one hero trying to save the world this time, combat is incredibly action packed and very fast, and for once Zelda isn’t playing the “Princess trapped in a tower” scenario. Yes, there are some familiar themes in the game, such as Ganondorf being the main villain, but they are introduced in a more exciting way, instead of the usual epic scenario for the games. Even the character roster is full of familiar faces, all brought back from their respective games just so they can duke it out on the battlefield.
The game does have it’s flaws though, despite being incredibly fun, it can also get a little taxing after a while. During battle you’re given a set of missions you have to complete, like say taking a keep or reaching the Great Fairy’s fountain in time before your castle falls. This all becomes a bit of a pain in the neck to try and accomplish when you keep seeing new tasks flashing up on the screen. Often, many characters will need assistance, and it’s up to you to help them. However, if you fail in your current mission because you went to go and rescue the Captain of your army, it could seriously damage your battle plan. Management of the surrounding conflict is near impossible at some points, and it eventually boils down to an ultimatum on your part. You either let that captain run away because he got beat up by a couple imps, or you save him and let the keep fall into enemy hands and lose the entire battle.
Hyrule Warriors is a nice, refreshing take on the Legend of Zelda franchise, combining your favorite Hylian Heroes and massive amounts of combat all into one game. While it does have it’s faults, it overall as a game is a fantastic addition to Nintendo’s roster, and is proof that there is hope for Nintendo letting third party developers touch their IP’s when it comes to games for the Wii U. Hyrule Warriors gets a 4 out of 5 rating, for a bit of creativity and fun wrapped up all in one.