Friday, May 27, 2016

Hyrule Warriors Legends: Master Wind Waker Map Impressions

Another map almost completed. I cleared pretty much everything, except for Medli's Level 4 weapon mission. You can't use any magic there, while she's my weakest character and completely underleveled for the part and the game is just not fun, if you're too weak.

So far I could go through the game without grinding, thanks to fairies and the ability to chose secondary characters. My favorite character Cia even has reached Level 99 during the course of this map and Link is getting close as well. Now, on the Master Wind Waker Map I came to the inevitable point, where this backfired. All of my other characters are around Level 40 and this can be too weak for for the tougher missions. On the other maps you can compensate this with Fairy Magic, but the Master Wind Waker Map has the new "No Fairy Magic" and "No Magic" rules, which can be troublesome, if you're also locked to a weak character. That's interesting, because you're essentially just falling back to Wii U conditions. There you couldn't use other characters (without Co-op) and you didn't have any Fairy Magic...

It's funny, how much you can get used to these new comforts and rely on them. But it's a lot more fun, if you can just rush through the game without the need of grinding. So far I have spent about 160 hours with Legends and I have cleared four Adventure Maps in this time. On the Wii U I wasn't even finished with the first Adventure Map in the same time frame. That's how much of a difference it can make, alongside the rescaled difficulty. The 3DS version is a lot more enjoyable overall. Of course it will be necessary to spend some time grinding with the characters, but that's a lot more fun, if you have different costumes and their best weapons available. And I personally hope that they won't increase the level cap with the upcoming DLCs like they did on Wii U, because that's when the Wii U version really started to become tedious and unenjoyable.

The Master Wind Waker Map itself is very solid. I enjoyed the Great Sea Map quite a lot and the Master Wind Waker version stays close to the experience, whiling offering more challenge, but not too much. Playing this map after the Master Quest Map felt just right, but the first half you could also start right after the Great Sea Map.

They did revamp the entire course, which I liked. You now start on the west half of Outset Island and like on the Great Sea Map, the final mission is right next to you, on the east half of Outset. You can't get there in the beginning, because you need a Hookshot item card, which is found, where the final mission of the Great Sea Map used to be. And for this you have to go around the entire map again, only in reverse this time. You can first clear the west half of the map, which goes down pretty nicely, and the you get funneled in the south, leading to Forest Haven. Medli's Level 4 weapon mission is actually on Dragon Roost and from there you spiral towards the center. The also put all the dungeon battles in more obscure places, like the islands with star formations.

The east half of the Great Sea Map used to be a green starting area, which made the map quite easy, if not too easy. You also only got two red squares at the end. On the Master Wind Waker Map this is pretty much the opposite, nearly half of the map is covered in blue and red zones, which is good, if you need rare materials from some of the new enemies.

Item Cards are also well distributed. Only in the 2nd half I was short of some Salvage Arms, but for the most part there's no need to grind item cards to unlock awards, because there's usually something else to do, where you get the cards that you need. You just have to be willing to look for a different route, if you happen to run into locked rewards or hidden enemies.

Looking for a different route also helps with the Great Sea Rules. Those are back from the Great Sea Map and the work exactly the same, so if you don't want to play with the nasty "Don't Get hit!" rule, you just get a Boomerang item card and use it on the Big Octo on the square. But for the most part you can also completely go around and fully ignore them, because these missions don't yield any rewards. That's one of my biggest complaints with the map, because I don't like having empty spaces. Throw something in there, Koei Tecmo, even if it's just some fairy food.

In addition they also added Master Rules to all the other squares, similar to the Master Quest Map. You still have "No Healing", "No Guarding" and "Speed Run" and those are essentially freebies. "Don't Get Hit!" and "No Item Attacks" are exclusive to Great Sea Rules, so luckily you don't have to deal with them, if you don't want to. New are "No Special Attacks", "No Rental Skills", "No Magic" and "No Fairy Magic". And these try to teach you not to rely on all these powers too much.

Especially the "No (Fairy) Magic" rules usually caught me in places, where I really thought that it would be nice to use some. I wanted to try Shade in the "Balanced Attack" missions, because those are usually annoying, but naturally they prevent you from using Magic in them. And then they let you fight three Dark Volgas, which sting like oversized dragon hornets on Speed. With Shade you just could let them stand there and go cut some grass in the meantime. Luckily the Twilight Map doesn't have any Master Rules, so I can't wait to abuse fairies all over the map. Wait, that came out wrong...

Sadly, it seems that they also nerfed one of my absolute favorite mission types from the Twilight Map, the "Divisive Plan" challenge battles. On the Wii U those were godly to grind materials, weapons and Experience, because every clone would give you something. But that's not the case anymore... The more I hope that they won't go above Level 99 again, because I hate being stuck on the bottom left corner of the Master Quest Map with every single character.

The new Adventure Battle scenario is about having two forces, where you can make the yellow forces join your own by defeating their commanders. This can be fun, because you can conquer multiple keeps in an instant with this and easily double your forces, but it also takes away a lot from the potential K.O. count.

If you finish the Master Wind Waker Map's final mission, you will also be rewarded with another fairy slot. So, if all DLC maps do that, you will be able to hold twelve out of the 20 fairies in the game. The map didn't add any new fairies or new fairy food (it mostly just reused food from the Great Sea Map), but it did offer new fairy costumes, as advertised. I finally got a fire head gear (Keaton Mask) and a Darkness aura, so that Din and Demise are finally at their full potential.

Well, two months are left until the next DLC and my goal until then is to complete both the Twilight and Termina maps again, as well as getting all the characters as strong as possible. But I'm overall I'm looking forward to the upcoming DLCs.

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