Hyrule Warriors Legends for 3DS brings a similar experience to its Wii U counterpart to Nintendo’s handheld system. And while the new perspective that mixes the Legend of Zelda characters with the Dynasty Warriors series is still interesting, a variety of problems prevent this version of the game from being a step up from that on the Wii U. However, the worst part about playing through Hyrule Warriors Legends isn’t its technical shortcomings, but in how much potential is loss for all of the new additions it provides.
Hyrule Warriors Legends is essentially the same game as Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U, but with a few extra additions change up the flow of the game. Unlike before, you can now control more than one character that is present in battle, which can be done by tapping the touchscreen to switch between fighters. This was great most of the time, as I didn’t need to constantly worry about going to one area and leaving another completely defenseless.
There’s also a fast travel option using an Ocarina item you obtain early in the game, which makes things a bit easier when getting around. Although it didn’t help with the fighting itself, I did appreciate shortening my time to traverse the map and defeat enemies.
But even with all of this, nothing helps solve some of the big issues from the original game. There are still times where enemies will attack you out of view, combos will prevent you from recovering and drain your life incredibly fast, and areas will be captured by enemies with little notice. While playing, there were a few times I felt there was a huge spike in difficulty despite me having domination of the entire map, causing me to restart a mission after playing for a long time.
The 3DS D-pad is assigned the camera controls and lock-on feature, but the camera itself can still cause problems when fighting, especially in tight areas that are claustrophobic. Occasionally, there is also slowdown in the frame rate when there’s a lot of action on screen, and even more if you have the 3D option turned on.
The new content for Hyrule Warriors Legends comes with new characters and scenarios. Linkle, the female version of Link, comes with her own unique fighting style that focuses on ranged and area attacks using dual crossbows. Unlike the other new characters, which are based on the Wind Waker, Linkle was the most interesting to control in battle.
Her third-person shooter crossbow attacks and variety of area explosives were powerful and felt radically different from the rest of the roster. Linkle has her own set of missions in story mode, which changes up some of the scenarios from before. Plot wise, these missions don’t contribute a lot to Hyrule Warriors’ main story and feel a bit unimportant compared to everything else.
The biggest issue with Hyrule Warriors Legends is its inconsistent performance on different 3DS systems. On the older model Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL, Hyrule Warriors Legends can be a technical mess with its bad frame rate, constant texture and character pop-ins, longer loading times, and various other bugs and glitches. On the newer model 3DS system things aren’t as bad and everything works properly, but the problems I mentioned before are still present. If you don’t already own the newer model Nintendo 3DS, than you probably wouldn’t want to play this game until you purchase one.
Hyrule Warriors Legends is an okay port from the Wii U with a few nice additions that fans of the original game will appreciate. The new characters and story content are a nice touch, along with the fast travel and switching control between playable characters. However, the technical issues and inconsistent performance between different 3DS systems keep this from being a must own on Nintendo’s handheld.
If you didn’t already enjoy Hyrule Warriors on the Nintendo Wii U, then you won’t be losing out on anything by skipping over this game.
This review was based on a digital review copy of Hyrule Warriors Legends for Nintendo 3DS provided by Nintendo.