Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hyrule Warriors Legends: Legend Mode Impressions

Instead of writing a review for Hyrule Warriors: Legends right away, I will go through the game step by step and give my impressions about the various parts, which I already did for the new characters and items. Right now I've completed the first Adventure Map and I will also make a post for each map in the game, since every single one of them takes a significant amount of time. I'll probably write my review at the very end, after all the DLC got released. In case of Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U I've written my review for the release day, after I cleared the entire Adventure Map, and I was very happy with the game at the time. The updates and the DLC then changed things and not all for the better, I especially disliked the heavy grinding to Level 255. That's why this time I won't give my final judgement, until the game is in fact final.

Anyway, before I share my thoughts on the Adventure Map and the My Fairy feature, let me go through Legend Mode first. I've actually beaten the whole story right after the game was released one month ago, but I never really got around to to talk about it. Overall, there are three new things here: the ability to swap between characters, Linkle's storyline and the Wind Waker storyline.

Character Swap

This is like the one new, big feature that goes through the entire game: you can now have up to four characters on the bottom screen and switch between them. In Legend Mode you often unlock these during the mission, where suddenly a wild Impa becomes available or the like. It even lets you play with characters, which you haven't unlocked yet, including Agitha, Ghirahm, Zant and Twili Midna. At the beginning you can't use all of their attacks yet, because you can't buy them any badges, but at least these characters got to be a real part of the action. One of my complaints with the original game was that certain characters got locked behind Adventure Mode and suffered in the story mode because of that. But now they found a good solution for this.

Together with the owl statutes you get a much better mobility on the map, but they also adapted the missions by adding more troops and events that need to be taken care of simultaneously. This includes the occasional appearance of the comedy reptilian Chieftain duo, Volga's best friends. Originally they only got featured in Cia's tale, but now they appear in pretty much every mission with Volga. And they feel like a lame joke, because they are simply just one Lizalfos and one Dinolfos buffed up. In the German version they even got cute names (basically "Lizal" and "Dinol"), which is why I can't take them seriously.

Anyway, you can give your other characters commands to go to a specific point, keep or character / enemy. Even to follow you. That works somewhat, sometimes you have to give the commands twice, because they aren't acting or got stuck on some outpost. But besides these bugs, it works pretty good and it saves you a lot of wandering around, because the AI does it for you.

They even added a new mechanic, where gathering your characters around a giant boss gives you magic and certain buffs. The boss then glows green and it feels pretty epic, however, the characters might cause some trouble, because they just mindlessly attack the boss. Especially Gohma and Manhandla then just trigger their defensive "you are too close" attacks, which makes it hard to attack their weak points. A solution is having the characters follow you and then getting some distance. But they might also steal the K.O. and then you don't get any experience or materials.

In Free Mode you can also chose characters freely for every available spot, but this screws with the story parts. All the dialogues still use the original characters, while they aren't really there. You might stand in front of Tingle, but get a message from Zelda. Princess Tingle it is then...

The Girl in Green

Linkle's campaign works similar to Cia's tale, so her missions are all over the place. She usually arrives after the original battles already have cleared and she helps out with other situations. The scenarios are equally artificial, where you sometimes wonder, how and when the other characters exactly found time for all this, but it still creates some interesting and fun situations. You get Linkle chasing Skull Kid through the Faron Woods, as well as Linkle teaming up with Fi, Darunia, Ruto, Twili Midna and finally Impa to fight some bad guys, save some princesses and bomb some Dodongos. There's five new scenarios in total.

Overall I enjoyed this part a lot. Linkle is such a fun, energetic and cuckoo character, with her sense of direction and duty. And I love, how they gave her an army of Cuccos to follow her, while the ideas for the scenarios are overall pretty great and well told.

There's this battle at Lake Hylia, where Darunia goes fighting Volga, which is something that you would have already expected in the original game, since Volga is a human form of Volvagia. However, this mission can be somewhat annoying, because you have to constantly babysit Darunia and he basically adds a strict time limit to the whole thing, since either he or Volga will fall and end the battle. A healing circle of a Light Fairy can be very useful here, but I will talk more about fairies in an upcoming post.

Another interesting scenario is the one at Sealed Grounds, where Ghirahim fails to summon the Imprisoned and you get lots of Mini Imprisoned instead. It's funny and you even can get materials from them, which makes collecting the scales a lot easier. But the most entertaining part is probably the mission in the Palace of Twilight, where Linkle actually gets the chance to save Princess Zelda. She even says hilarious things like "saving princesses is my specialty as the Legendary Hero". The cinematic ending of her campaign will leave you very disappointed though, because it essentially cuts off at the most interesting point... What a tease!

Except for the Palace of Twilight all of these scenarios got new variants for the stages. There's a night time version of Faron Woods (though it's hard to notice), Lake Hylia at sundown, a dark version of the Sealed Grounds (it looks similar in color to when Ghirahim did his ritual in Skyward Sword) and a new version of Hyrule Field after the battle at Ganon's Castle has cleared. They also added a blue sky version of Lanayru Gorge for Ganondorf's Campain, which I already had missed in the original game. It always bugged me that it still used the cursed version of this area for this fight, but now they finally fixed it. And in general it's nice to have different repaints for the stages, it adds more variety to it all.

And I love Linkle's music theme. It incorporates the main theme of Link's Crossbow Training, which is very clever, while at the same time it offers a distinct variation of the Zelda main theme.

The Wind Waker

This chapter adds four new scenarios at the very end. It doesn't get unlocked until after Cia's tale, which comes after the big original finale. And there's a reason for that, because the Wind Waker story actually revolves a lot around Cia and Lana and brings their story to a happy ending, which is something the original game missed.

As a big fan of Cia's character I enjoyed having her join and even lead the good forces. It's a nice twist and the "protect Cia" mission in the Palace of Souls, one of my favorite stages, was quite lovely.

So, the whole Wind Waker campaign is only 50% Wind Waker. Two of the scenarios take place on old stages (Gerudo Destert and Palace of Souls) and half of the main characters here aren't actually in the toon style. Seeing Link (the normal one), Lana and Cia right next to the Toon King and Tetra looks pretty weird. But it still works...

The new stages and enemies are still great to have. We have been constantly getting new characters and weapons, but playing the same 14 stages with the same six types of troops over and over again can get quite boring, especially when the Zelda games have so much more to offer. The Wind Waker content is a start, but a potential Hyrule Warriors 2 should focus a lot more on this matter.

Well, I like, how the Forsaken Fortress stage mashes many different islands from the Great Sea together on land. It's certainly one of the most interesting stages. And the finale in the Earth and Wind Temple is simply glorious. I love, how they used both temples to create one big stage and how you have to bring all the characters together in the center for the big Phantom Ganon fight. It's also a perfect final battle for the new character swapping feature and the Molgera music is just awesome.

Other Changes

There are some other changes in Legend Mode here and there, but not everywhere. Most noticeable is that they changed many of the conditions for the Hard Skulltulas. I guess, here and there it was even necessary, because some of the original tasks were quite flawed, especially the one in Faron Woods, where you had to bring down Gohma below 50%, before she jumps to the Great Deku Tree, which is tough to do, if your level is already too high and you kill the thing in one hit.

They also added Skulltulas, Heart Containers and Heart Pieces to Cia's campaign. But sadly they didn't alter her mission in the Twilight Palace, which still really bugs me. Here Cia meets Midna for the first time, but Midna is already in her imp form, while later she claims that it was Cia, who cursed her. Originally they didn't have Twili Midna in the game yet, which is probably why they did the mission the way it was, but now they have the character and they could have easily fixed this and show, how Cia cursed her... Too bad that they didn't. And that's while they actually went through the lengths of making a new version of the Valley of Seers to match the story better, where here they just would have to change some dialogues and a character.

But overall Legend Mode is great and can take roughly around 20 hours to play it all. It's a nice warm up for the lengthy Adventure Mode, where you have a lot more to do, but a lot less substance in the missions.


Marandahir said...

They've actually added variants for all the stages, but not all are used in Legend mode. For example, Full Moon Nighttime at Gerudo Desert, or Dark Red Twilit Skies over the aptly-named Twilight Field (despite it being otherwise in the "light world" mode due to lack of Legend Mode twilight barriers).

TourianTourist said...

Wow, I didn't know. I suppose, those are on the Great Sea Map?

They could have used that nighttime Gerudo Desert in Legend Mode though...

Marandahir said...

Yeah, I kinda wish they had used the nighttime in Gerudo Desert.

I'm on Master Quest Map now, and I saw these in the Great Sea Map. Can't remember if I've seen any on Master Quest yet – I keep jumping back and forth between the three maps I have, so it's a little jumbled in my memory.

TourianTourist said...

Well, I've stayed on the Adventure Map for now and will start the Great Sea Map today. See my newest post.

From what I've seen they left the Wii U missions as they were for the most part (only the rewards, character restrictions and locations of goodies have changed, sometimes you also fight new characters, such as Tingle). And I suppose it will be the same for the Master Quest, Twilight and Termina maps. Only the Great Sea Map and the upcoming DLC maps probably will make use of the new stages and enemies.