Reviewed on Wii U
The other big thing Hyrule Warriors has going for it is a diverse playable roster of 13 familiar Zelda characters including Link, Princess Zelda, Ganondorf, and more. Each has unique weapons and abilities - a heavy-hitter like Ocarina of Time’s Darunia swings a mighty hammer to crush foes on the field; Sheik, on the other hand, uses a mix of quick strikes and a harp with elemental properties. Unlocking and switching between characters keeps the action interesting a little longer.
Some surprising depth materializes out of the crafting system, but you have to dig for it a little. By replaying stages and farming materials, I could build useful equipment to augment character combos, weapons, and special abilities as the in game Bazaar. Creating special badges makes a character more resilient. You can also synthesize cool new weapons at the Smithy and carry over handy traits that add strength or magic properties. It’s handy that you can spend rupees to level up weaker characters, because I felt encouraged to experiment without needing to grind each one for experience.
Overall, Hyrule Warriors just isn’t much of a challenge, and even turning up the difficulty doesn’t do anything for it. On higher settings, the average mini-boss just inflicts more damage and requires double the hits to vanquish, but doesn’t change up his attack pattern. It becomes a monotonous chore to finish one off.
However, the local-only multiplayer mode is a huge disappointment because of very noticeable performance problems. Extending a second player’s perspective to the GamePad means the resolution takes an awful hit, creating jaggy visuals that would look at home on Wii. Even so, things intermittently slow down a lot when lots of enemies join the mix.
- +A fun sidestory
- +Customization options
- +Adventure mode
- –Bad two-player performance
- –Dull bosses