Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hyrule Warriors: Marin and Linkle's Boots Impressions

Before I check out what may as well be called the "Cucco DLC Pack" on the Nintendo 3DS, I returned to the Wii U version of Hyrule Warriors to try out the newest additions to the roster in pretty, featured in the Link's Awakening Pack. From today on you can also buy the Legends Character Pack, if you only have the Wii U version, so you might want to read my impressions about Linkle, Skull Kid and the Toon Trio as well.


Marin plays like a dream (pun intended). Her Bell has quickly become one of my favorite weapons and is probably the best water weapon so far. Of course all the water weapons have been fairly mediocre, so that's not saying much, but Marin seems like the real deal. Her attacks are fast, ranged and strong. Especially the Strong Attack can deal a high amount of damage and it works in a similar way to Twili Midna's Mirror, where you built up a meter by dealing damage. However, there is no real drawback to using it, if the meter isn't full - the higher the meter, the more bubbles will appear in front of you, up to five at once.

The C6, where the Windfish wipes the battlefield in front of you, is pretty amazing as well, though the K.O. count seems sometimes underwhelming for such a big attack. Similar attacks of other weapons have more power, e.g. Narisha, but Marin makes up for it with her speed. Her attack string is very fast, even more so during Focus Spirit. You can easily attack with two C6 on a downed boss monster. That might not be enough, however, Marin seems to struggle a little bit with weak point gauges of giant bosses, which eventually prevents her from being a top tier character. Without using any Special Attacks it is quite dependent on her C6 and fully charged Strong Attack, which is why she isn't as reliant as Cia for example.

The overall presentation of Marin seems to be pretty lovely. Link's Awakening was my first Zelda game and Marin was basically my first video game character crush, so she means a good deal to me. And she's well done here, she looks great, her weapon sound effects are awesome and she uses quite some comments from the game. It all seems pretty fitting. However, I have two complaints with the design choices.

One complaint is that you don't really get her to sing the Ballad of the Windfish that often. She does it during the Focus Spirit Special Attack, but only briefly. And it's not featured in her victory animation, where she bows in front of an audience of Cuccos. That does make sense, because she's a performer and she likes to perform for animals, but this way she only really sings in her intro animation. But you're not going to see that one on the Wii U...

The other complaint is the lack of any seagulls. I guess, having her transform into a seagull to fly over the battlefield as her "running" animation was asking a little bit too much, but it would have been nice to see her transform into a seagull in some way. The other Instruments of the Sirens are also absent, she's really only using the Sea Lily's Bell. I hope that she will get another of the eight instruments as a secondary weapon in a potential Hyrule Warriors 2. She could blow into the Conch Horn for example.

Anyway, in both versions she needs Link's materials, which makes sense, since he's her only reference point in the roster, but also King Dodongo's materials for some reason. Medli already used those as well on the Wii U and I ran out of crystals again... Luckily Marin is good enough that I could farm those with her in the first Boss Challenge battle. Also, from what I've heard, Marin does appear on the Koholint as a potential enemy and really does drop Zelda's materials. Nice reference.


Linkle's going full Sanji with this one, but it seems like an underwhelming weapon, especially when compared to Marin. It's weird to see a character in the game fight with his feet, the only other weapon that really does that is the Spinner and both weapons seem very similar, since they also share the same element type: Lightning. However, the Spinner has a very interesting mechanic with the little spintops that you can place around you and make them go crazy with various combos.

The Boots don't really have that. The Strong Attack does a small charge boost, where Linkle runs one meter and that's it. It does connect with larger enemies for an extended attack, but it makes the Boots feel very slow. They are supposed to be the Pegasus Boots, but like Epona or the Spinner they can't make you actually go faster, since every character is supposed to have the same speed. Maybe that's something that they want to change in a sequel, because actually running around with high speed would make the Boots so much more fun and interesting.

Out of the Combos I really like the C6, where Linkle spins vertically, stomps on the ground and creates a large blast around her, but that's something Link also could do with the Spinner. The Boots do play a little faster, so overall this new weapon feels like the "Spinner Lite".

The incorporation of Cuccos is very funny, however, they missed the chance to include the Flying Rooster... Which is disappointing, because it would have done more for the Link's Awakening theme of the DLC pack. Her victory animation, where a Cucco lands on her hand, is very charming though.

And Linkle's animation, when you enter Focus Spirit Mode, is also adorable. She looks like she's preparing for a 100 meter dash, it's cute. The 2nd tier of the Boots do look like the Iron Boots from Twilight Princess, which doesn't make any sense at all, because these are supposed to make you heavy, but it at least fits the electric theme. And the third tier, which is supposed to be the classic Pegasus Boots, looks quite crazy. It matches the Magic Sword in color, though in general the Link's Awakening DLC seems to have a thing for red and white color schemes.

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