Overall score 90

Released originally in 2014 for Wii U, Hyrule Warriors took the action combat of the Dynasty Warriors series and mixed in characters and elements of The Legend of Zelda franchise. Sounded like an odd pairing at first, but once the game released, it was surprisingly good and quite a nice pairing. Now, I normally enjoy Dynasty Warriors games, even if there’s not too much difference in gameplay from one game to the next. However, the added LoZ elements in Hyrule Warriors made the traditional DW gameplay feel fun and fresh. Basically, I enjoyed Hyrule Warriors very much. Forward to 2016, we see a re-release of that game in Hyrule Warriors Legends for the Nintendo 3DS. Not just the core experience either, as additional characters and other game elements were added to the game. So is that home console experience kept well intact when ported to the less powerful handheld? Yes and no.

Hyrule Warriors Legends for Nintendo 3DS has all the same contents found in the Wii U version. Including all the DLC that was released for the game, along with new characters like Linkle, Skull Kid, and characters from Wind Waker. A new My Fairy mode, as well as some gameplay changes. If you’re worred about the handheld version being short of content, it’s pretty far from that. In actuality, it features more content than its console counterpart.

The Good: If you’ve enjoyed Hyrule Warriors in the past on Wii U, this is more or less the best version of the game. It has all the DLC content as well as new content and enhancements. Kind of crazy in a way, but I give Nintendo credit for opting in to doing more to the game rather than just porting the exact thing for handheld. Whether you’ve already played it before or for the first time, Hyrule Warrior Legends will offer a new experience either way.

Not much change to the core gameplay, but what’s there was already great. If you’ve played a Dynasty Warriors game, it’s more or less that. The combat is simple and performing combos is easy, yet satifying. Game is still a button masher, but the added elements from the LoZ series help change things up. Each character plays differently and the different weapons they can each equip add in more variety. There’s a badge making system that will also help tweak certain elements of your character like giving them more combos to perform.

One change from the console version that I really liked is the ability to now change playable characters during battle. Before, you were tied to one character throughout the level. Now, you get access to each playable character on the field. Simply tap their icon on the touch screen, and you’re now controlling that character from wherever they were on the field. This certainly helps keep the game fast-paced since you can just transport to where the action is without having to spend minutes running across the field to get there.

The Bad: While Hyrule Warriors Legends does feature more in terms of content, the graphics are on the opposite side of things. Being on the 3DS, there is obviously a downgrade to the visuals. This wouldn’t have been too big an issue, except for the fact that it does kind of run a little sloppy. Stutters in framerate and things popping in and out of the screen. 3D mode is also disabled for 3DS. Even with that said, I played a good amount of the game on an old 3DS and it’s still very playable and enjoyable. So if those issues don’t sound too upsetting for you, I say give it a try. On the other hand, with the New Nintendo 3DS, you’ll get a more smoother experience and it is what I highly recommend you use to play the game.

Overall Thoughts: If you loved the original Hyrule Warriors game on Wii U, then Hyrule Warriors Legends on 3DS is a must buy. It’s the better version of the two content-wise. Of course you lose a lot in terms of graphics, but the gameplay experience is kept well intact. It’s kind of amazing how the game got bigger when moving to a smaller platform. For those who haven’t experienced Hyrule Warriors yet, I highly recommend it. Sure, it’s still a button mashy game but the Legend of Zelda content bring new life to the formula. Featuring the characters you love in an all-new, yet familiar storyline in the Zelda universe. 3DS users do need to be wary of some framerate issues, but those on New 3DS can look forward to an enjoyable experience.

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