Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hyrule Warriors: Version 1.5 Impressions

While I like the Majora's Mask DLC, the update to version 1.5 is somewhat of a "screw you" to loyal players of the game.

The grind fest continues to Level 200 and I fear that's not even the last raise, because the three DLC characters still didn't get to 45 hearts. I suppose the last update will raise the level cap to 255 (that's the maximum of Rupees in TLoZ), where the original characters don't get new hearts and the DLC characters get their last five.

However, while the new Experience potion really makes things twice as fast, leveling up still is very boring, since there are only few good levels, where you get lots of Experience. Those are basically the last "Rack Up Your KO Count" missions, as well as the last "Divisive Plan" battles, though the latter are only good for Light and Darkness characters. Maybe you use some missions on the Rewards Map as well, but overall Hyrule Warriors sadly doesn't offer much variety in its extensive grinding. The main problem here is that all the other missions, even the very hard ones, just give so little experience. It wouldn't be a problem, if you still would get a couple of levels with each mission, like you did in the beginning of the game.

But by now weapons only deliver around a third of the total damage and to compensate this Koei has released a new set of weapon skill with a 4000 K.O. seal. Mainly "Hasty Attacks", which speeds up all your attacks to Focus Spirit level, is a very powerful ability, which you don't want to miss and you can even have two of the new skills on one weapon.

And to get these skills on your old favorite weapons, they even improved the smithy with features that I wanted for a while now...! But this is where the big "screw you" gets in. Removing a skill costs 300,000 Rupees!! THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND!!! Even if you already have millions of Rupees, this is way too much, rendering this feature almost useless. You can only use it rarely and you really have to think about where to use this feature on. It's a shame really, because I have many weapons, which I would like to improve, but I would never have the money for that, even with the new Rupee potion. So, you're back to luck again, where it's all about being lucky finding a good weapon. Good job, Koei. Thanks for nothing!

It's the same with the inspect skill feature. Remember, how I suggested that it should cost 10 Rupees per K.O. to unlock a seal? Well, Koei took this pricing, but you can't unlock the skills, you can only peak at them. While this is very helpful, it costs way too much. Selling the weapons (which you now finally can do in the smithy) never gets the money back. If the seals would be unlocked, you would at least get more money from selling.

It's good that there are uses for Rupees, but leveling up was already expansive enough, so they could have at least keep the smithy features at a saner level. It would also still be nice, if you could upgrade your weapons by buying stars or additional empty sockets. Anything that helps against the randomness would be great. However, if they would add features like that, it would probably cost 1 million per star or socket...

The new potions finally offer the Material potion, which I wanted for a long time. But now it's already way too late. I did unlock all of Young Link's and Tingle's badges right away and I don't need to grind for materials anymore. And I don't understand, why they keep adding these things update per update. All these helpful tools should have been there from the beginning and you shouldn't have to wait until all updates have arrived, before you really can go fully at the game.

Because by now it doesn't feel like they added these things because of player feedback. It feels more like they planned all these potions and level ups from the start, but they only give them to you in rations. While this might be a good system for the level ups, they shouldn't hold back potions or even weapon skills.

They also improved the Adventure Mode. You can now see your taken damage in the pause menu and have the option to restart. Again very helpful, but still lacking. Why not add the save feature from Legend Mode? How hard can that be? I guess, they don't want you to abuse it for A ranks, but if they would design fairer missions, you wouldn't need that.

Also, for some reason the loading times got tripled after the update... why? This is really annoying and I very much miss the old loading times. Hopefully this gets patched in a version 1.5.1. ... it might even be the reason, why the U.S. release of the DLC got delayed. They probably want to patch this, before they release it. Wouldn't be the first time.

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