En route to Los Angeles for this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo, I was still getting over the surprise that was Hyrule Warriors‘ announcement. In fact, I’m still having a hard time believing that Nintendo is mixing Zelda with Dynasty Warriors. It’s a weird-sounding concoction, to say the least, and one that you’d never expect to exist. However, that said, it’s also a surprising amount of fun.
Luckily, we were able to skip the lengthy lines at Nintendo’s booth, by booking an appointment for a tour of its VIP section. There, around ten different Wii U kiosks were set up, with most offering several different demos. Hyrule Warriors was one of them, and it’s what I chose to play over great-looking games like Super Smash Bros. and Yoshi’s Wooly World. The spinoff’s announcement was simply so unexpected that I felt the need to go hands-on with it, in order to prove its existence to myself.
I’ll be honest here and mention that I only had the chance to play half of an available mission, because one of my peers ended up taking over at that point. I did, however, put in more than enough time to get a good idea of just what the Big N is offering here.
Upon starting, the main menu presented two different playable characters, those being Link and Zelda. Being the purist that I am, I chose Hyrule’s elvish saviour, and went ahead with my mission with sword and shield in hand. Call me boring or uncreative, but I expect that Link will also be my avatar of choice when I play the main game.
Following that all-important choice, I was dropped into a large map, which was dotted with trees and covered in grass. It was at that point where things really started to sink in. The map was familiar Dynasty Warriors fare, and so were the objectives, which first tasked me with running to a marked point, where allies-in-distress were in need of my assistance.
Most of my time with the game was spent hacking and slashing my way through hundreds of enemies. That was to be expected, though, and I was thankfully able to dispatch them with relative ease, using light, heavy and special attacks. That and unlimited bombs, which made their way into Link’s inventory after he became trapped in a cave.
Those enemies didn’t stand a chance.
Over time, killing enemies (and mini-bosses) filled an appropriately titled super meter, which then allowed me to boost my strength and speed for a limited time. However, even after being activated, said meter still needed to be watched. Why? Because, if you time it well, pressing another button just before your super ends unleashes yet another devastating attack. It’s a neat system, which forces you to keep abreast of each situation, and really makes you think about when and where to use your best abilities.
It was shortly after I found the bombs and pulled off my first super move that my friend took over for me, but I continued to watch as he kicked ass with green-clad Link. And, from the looks and sounds of things, he had as much fun as I did.
Hyrule Warriors may sound weird on paper, but it’s surprisingly fun and thoroughly engaging. I may not be a Dynasty Warriors fan, but this game has certainly piqued my interest.