Wednesday, June 17, 2015

TriForce Heroes Announced

Called it!

Well, I didn't make any super accurate predictions, but I did predict a new Four Swords game on the Nintendo 3DS with the graphic engine of A Link Between Worlds, the energy bar and online multiplayer, coming this year instead of Zelda U. The main difference is that instead of a Four Swords game, we got a "Three Swords" game. And you probably could have predicted this by putting more thought into the depth system of A Link Between Worlds, but anyway... I'm still proud of this prediction, especially since I didn't see anyone else predicting anything similar, not even a new 3DS Zelda, let alone a multiplayer title.

So, overall I'm quite excited to see this happening. It's something I wanted and it's something that has potential. Though the full potential might not be met, because I noticed several issues with TriForce Heroes. While there's a singleplayer mode (which they haven't shown yet), it just seems to be playing the multiplayer alone with two dummies. So, this is a pure Four Swords game, there's no singleplayer Zelda like The Minish Cap behind it. It also seems to be very linear, which it doesn't have to be. For example the first Four Swords let all the players roam freely around the current level. And they took away the competition in favor of a more puzzle heavy gameplay. The "Totem Time" looks annoying and it seems to be the most dominant mechanic, probably replacing the wall merge from A Link Between Worlds. But only cooperating without any real reason to screw each other doesn't seem like as much fun, it was what made Four Swords really unique in the first place.

I do like the costume concept, where different outfits offer different abilities. It's somewhat similar to the Magic Rings in Oracles, with the main difference that there are big visual clues to what player has what abilities, so this is nice. However, I didn't like Link in Zelda's dress or in the cheetah suit, which is illustrated in one of the artworks:

It's too much androgyny for my taste. And this leads to my main question: why three Links? Why not have Link, Zelda and a third character, each representing a part of the Triforce, each with their own abilities and unique costumes? (Somewhat similar to Trine.) The cheetah dress could be for Toon Zelda for example. Hyrule Warriors demonstrated that Zelda can easily participate in all the action and this would have added more depth to the game. On the other hand you probably would miss the Four Swords humor with multiple Links screwing each other... but it would have been nice to have Zelda and Link work together again like in Spirit Tracks and they might even could have achieved the same humor.

Still... I'm excited here and it honestly looks like Nintendo's best offering at this year's E3. I also hope that this time we get the StreetPass Shadow Battles from A Link Between Worlds as an actual online multiplayer component. This feature was a lot fun, but you could only fight bots. So, I really hope that TriForce Heroes comes with a good Battle Mode, like Four Swords Adventures did back in the day.

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