Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hyrule Warriors Legends: Rewards Map Impressions

Right now I'm completely done with the current Adventure Mode of Hyrule Warriors: Legends, where I also want to take a look at the Rewards Map here on Hyrule Blog. Technically this map isn't completed just yet, because the future DLCs will add two more squares, but I'll talk about the new illustration battles together with the upcoming Adventure Maps, when they get released.

Right now there is a total of 220 Gold Skulltulas in the game, most of them found in Adventure Mode. 20 Gold Skulltulas form an illustration, which then results in a new mission on the Rewards Map, where you can unlock new costumes on some of them. This includes the Dark Link costume and the five Boss Costumes, which originally came with the Boss Challenge Mode on the Wii U.

The following lists all illustration battles, where you can find the corresponding Skulltulas and what Boss costume they offer, if any:

  • True Partners: Legend Mode Main Story + first two Hard Skulltulas (Dark Link)
  • Boss Rush: Hard Skulltulas Main Story + Adventure Map (Zelda)
  • Running to the Rescue: Adventure Map
  • Chosen by Fate: Linkle's and Cia's Tale
  • Scattered Seeds: Legend Mode The Wind Waker + Great Sea Map (Lana)
  • Unity: Great Sea Map
  • Evil Power: Master Quest Map (Cia)
  • Rulers of Twilight: Twilight Map (Ganondorf)
  • The Giants Gather: Termina Map (Link)
  • A Prayer Received: Master Wind Waker Map
  • Nightmare Looms: Koholint Map

The name "Rewards Map" doesn't feel all that appropriate anymore, because there aren't too many rewards here. In German this map is actually called "Extra Map", which probably puts it better. It's just some extra missions for you to enjoy that unlike all the other Adventure Mode battles offer some special mechanics or story segments.

It used to feel quite rewarding on the Wii U at first, though. It was the only place, where you could get alternative costumes for a character at the time - the blue and red tunic for Link. The only other costumes were from the preorder deals and costumes felt like something really special at the beginning. And the Rewards Map also had some of the best farming places in the game. That "Unity" mission and its relentless Goron Summoner was great for breaking all your weapon seals, while "True Partners" and "Evil Power" gave a lot of character materials in a short time. Especially "Evil Power" was one of my absolute favorite missions, because it felt so intense and crazy, there was nothing else like it in the game. But with the DLC all of this got outclassed. And now it's really just some extra missions.

On the 3DS I couldn't even get myself to hunt all the Hard Skulltulas in Legend Mode for the longest time. It wasn't before the Termina Map that I did that. On the Wii U I always enjoyed playing Legend Mode and replaying all its scenarios, but I probably played them all so much that I can't see them anymore. It was more fun to make progress in Adventure Mode instead and the costumes didn't offer enough motivation.

And that "Boss Rush" mission still is absolutely terrible. You need to beat it for Zelda's gorgeous Argorok recolor, but the mission with its 4000 damage limit can be unforgiving. One hit of Ganon's megabeams and the A rank is gone. And King Dodongo's constant distance spam for fireballs doesn't help either. Thanks to Double Bombos time is not an issue anymore, however, because you can one-shot each boss. You can also bring in two additional characters, though they are mostly useful to refill your magic. They don't fully keep the other giant bosses in place, like they are supposed to. What makes this mission usually difficult is the bosses ganging up on each other. And what's worse, your other characters might get into danger and switching to them, while they are close to the giant bosses, is generally a bad idea. Because then you might end up in a Manhandla Seed Attack... You have to command them to go to safety, bur then the bosses will run loose. It's not as bad as on the Wii U, but the whole mission is still very luck based and not very enjoyable due to its immense damage values.

"The Giants Gather" on the other hand got a lot easier now, since you also get to switch between three characters and use Double Bombos, which saves a lot of time with the three King Dodongos at the end. On the Wii U the 15 minute time restriction for the A rank was what made this scenario quite difficult.

The trick on the "True Partners" mission, where you wait five minutes and then join forces with a halfway healthy Midna, while all the other girls are near dead, still works fine, save for Agitha, where you have to get closer, before she starts losing more health. But it's a good grinding mission early on.

The new scenarios on the 3DS seem to be more story focused with a mix of the usual craziness, like in the new "Nightmare Looms" battle. That's okay, but it all seems quite forgettable with little replay value.

In the very least every mission should offer a costume to make it somewhat more rewarding. "The Giants Gather" should unlock Lana's Skull Kid costume for example, instead of placing that on some random spot on the Termina Map, since it actually gets featured in this mission on the Rewards Map and this mission only. The other battles without a costume could have offered Link's Classic Tunic for example, which shouldn't have been some preorder bonus. They also could offer the Dark Toon Link or "Shadow Link" skin. Like the Dark Link skin it would feel more special, because Shadow Link was quite the thing in Four Swords Adventures. And Toon Link still needs his red, blue and purple Four Swords recolors. So, there are plenty of easy options for alternate costumes.

And with the DLC Rewards Map battles there should be costumes for the new characters: Medli and Marin. If every mission had a costume, it certainly would feel more rewarding and worth all the trouble.

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