Thursday, January 11, 2018

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition Announced

If you've been anywhere near a Nintendo site or board in the last few days, you know that the hype for today's rumored Nintendo Direct has been crazy. And I have to admit that I got quite excited as well, hoping for announcements of both the rumored Link's Awakening remake/requel for Nintendo 3DS or the rumored Zelda Smartphone game. Or some Metroid Prime 4 footage. The last thing I was hoping for, however, was yet another port of Hyrule Warriors on the Nintendo Switch.

For someone, who has bought and completed both the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS versions including all the DLC, so far at least each version had their merits. Hyrule Warriors - Legends offered many more and much more balanced Adventure Maps, the ability to switch between characters and the new My Fairy mode. And Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U had the better graphics and performance, a local coop mode and the Challenge Mode, where you can play as Ganon or the Giant Cucco.

The "Definitive Edition", where all of these merits and all the DLCs are combined into a single ultimate version, seems like an obvious offer at this point, but it also makes the previous versions fully obsolete and makes them appear like a bad purchase, almost, which might feel like a slap in the face for all the earlier adopters. "You should have waited for Switch version!" is what Nintendo is saying right now.

They also added two Breath of the Wild costumes for Link and Zelda on top of that:

And some people actually have the effrontery to ask for more exclusive content in the Definitive Edition... As if having all the content, features and advantages of both versions isn't enough already. Well, with any new characters Nintendo should also release them on the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS as an "apology", ideally for free, which is probably why they won't add any new characters at all. But this would have been a nice opportunity to finally fill that 30th character spot, which is still glaring at us:

Well, finding a suitable 30th character as a promotion is probably still as hard as it was back then, because most of the major characters are already in the game. Hilda wouldn't feel special now and with the big and successful new Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, there are mainly the Champions as candidates for new characters, who come in a pack of four. Those should be saved for a sequel. But they could have created a Wild Link or Wild Zelda as a separate character using the Sheikah Slate, instead of just offering plain skins. On the other hand the Sheikah Slate could also fill that eight slot in Link's weapon arsenal...

(Update: A potential character from Breath of the Wild would also be Kass with the Accordion as his weapon type. He would fill that 30th character slot and it would fit his character to appear out of nowhere on the battlefield, playing his trademark tune. An alternative would also be Beedle with the Bug Net, a character that appeared in many Zelda games including the Wind Waker, the Minish Cap, the Nintendo DS Zelda games, Skyward Sword and even Breath of the Wild. He would be a nice choice for a "final" character of Hyrule Warriors.)

However, at this point, Koei Tecmo probably will save any new characters, weapons, stages or other content ideas for an actual sequel. There needs to be Hyrule Warriors 2 with a focus on Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch. The Definitive Edition is just a filler for all those, who might have missed the previous versions of the game, to get some more sales out of it. It's a great title and certainly deserves every purchase, especially with that much content. But I wouldn't expect any DLC or major exclusive content for the final version.

I'm personally struggling with myself, whether I should get this or not. Well, at first I need a Nintendo Switch and yet another port in the library isn't going to change this. But when I get one, this feels similar to Mario Kart 8, where I really like the game and I'd like having the better version with all the content, but I wouldn't want to complete it yet again. The Adventure Mode is so extensive and takes so much time that I spent hundreds of hours on both Hyrule Warriors and Hyrule Warriors - Legends, where I don't feel like going through all this a third time. Well, I don't have to, but it then it feels like I'm missing on the ultimate edition of one of my absolute favorite games...

As a side note, the new "3D" fairy renders in the My Fairy mode look very weird:

I liked the sprite versions on the Nintendo 3DS much better.


wintercoast said...

The game wasn't made for you or me; it was made for those who skipped out on the Wii U entirely and who couldn't play the 3DS version because it was virtually unplayable on the original 3DS and 2DS. I personally got the new 3DS on day 1, to play Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, and haven't looked back. But a lot of people are still out there with 3DSes. And they're not planning on using them much anymore anyway - because the Switch is the new big thing. The Switch has now exceeded the lifetime sales of the Wii U, so there's that too. They're going to port over every major Wii U title, to capitalize on that market and let them experience these great games they missed out on.

That said, I'll still buy it, as I love this title to death. I was frustrated that I couldn't have both the "full set of content" and HD graphics. I wanted to be able to see the new outfits in detail, and the 240p graphics of the 3DS don't capture the pretty designs of the unlockable costumes (which didn't come over to the Wii U). I'm looking forward to having a complete gallery mode on Switch.

Plus, they didn't Disconfirm new content. They just confirmed 2 new outfits. There might be a 3rd season of DLC, even!

I agree with you about the My Fairy models. I prefered the sprites, and the models look weird.

Finally, I hope they bundle it with the scarf or the compass or both. I missed out on those. :(

TourianTourist said...

Of course this game targets those, who haven't purchased it before. But Nintendo keeps doing these things at the expense of their trusty customers. Such an ultimate edition always sucks for those, who have purchased a previous version and maybe even all the DLC. They could have saved money by simply waiting a measly three, two years.

Also, Switch is at 10 Million, Wii U was at 13.5 Million. It's getting very close, but it hasn't exceeded the Wii U yet.

And I really, really hope that this isn't getting any new content or even DLC. They should be working on a proper sequel instead of cramming even more stuff in here. This was already messy with the 3DS version, where they tried to support the Wii U version along it. Either they would have to cut off owners of previous versions or they would have to update three games on three different systems simultaneously. So, I guess they'll just skip any new content and save it for a sequel.

wintercoast said...

Sorry, misspoke. Already beat lifetime sales in Japan, and well on the way to exceed total worldwide lifetime sales.

I don't think they need to support Wii U or 3DS versions of the game with DLC. They do need to incorporate the DLC Legends characters into the base game, as they did in Legends for the DLC original game characters. But there's nothing preventing them from doing DLC. And yeah, they do need to work on a sequel, but earliest we should expect that is now 2020, given the 2-year cycle on Hyrule Warriors ports.

Eren Jaeger said...

I'm sure we're going to be getting a bit more BotW content besides the two outfits; at most, a playable Champion, and at least, an adventure map with skins based on characters in BotW (like Champion palette swaps for Darunia/Ruto/Medli/Ganondorf.)

Richie said...

Oops! Deleted the comment by mistake, trying to fix a typo.
But seriously, I agree in full. iI's such a huge time investment...Not to mention potentially being burned out on doing these things a second time, some of those a third. (and with Fire Emblem Warriors in my current gaming rotation no less)
If there's not gonna be any meaty new additions beyond the cosmetic BOTW ones, I'll take that as a low key confirmation that Hyrule Warriors 2 with a BOTW focus is on the cards, and I'll be waiting until that is out...however hard resisting the triple dip may be.

wintercoast said...

Re: Lifetime sales:

Nintendo now confirms that Switch sales have overtaken the lifetime sales of Wii U.