The Nintendo 3DS library has a great assortment of games for fans of The Legend of Zelda series. The previous two titles, A Link Between Worlds and Majora’s Mask 3D, offered new and improved experiences that lived up to the franchise’s legacy. So it would be natural to assume that the next entry into the Zelda series for 3DS would follow suit of its predecessors. However, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes only does so much to give gamers another epic adventure to lose themselves in.
Tri Force Heroes on Nintendo 3DS follows a lot of the formula established from previous The Legend of Zelda titles. While the visual style is reminiscent of A Link Between Worlds on 3DS, the gameplay follows in the footsteps of the series’ multiplayer entry Four Swords Adventures. This can be good or bad depending on what you expect from a Zelda title. If you like taking in the adventure alone, then you may be somewhat disappointed with how Tri Force Heroes requires you to play with friends.
The story of Tri Force Heroes takes place in the land of Hytopia and is set several years after the events of A Link Between Worlds. Everything revolves around the notion of style and dressing up in various outfits, which is tied into some of your abilities throughout the game. The plot that unfolds feels more uninspired than previous Zelda titles, as there is a strong lack heroism and adventure that the franchise is known for.
Series staples like Ganondorf and the titular Zelda are completely absent with hollow substitutes to fill in their roles for the story. Everything you accomplish throughout the game, either alone or with friends, feels more insignificant than it should be for a Zelda game.
Every area you explore is made with multiplayer in mind. Having two friends online or locally with you will help make puzzles and challenges somewhat easier to solve. Solving the clever teamwork-centric puzzles and fighting bosses can be great and make for some fun moments. But these obstacles can also feel dragged out when playing alone, which often makes the simplest of tasks become a huge time waster in some sections.
Playing with two other friends locally or through the 3DS download play feature is great. However, playing online with other people around the world can either make or break the experience. You may find yourself constantly matched up with players that do their best to mess everything up, which can be frustrating in areas that require a heavy amount of teamwork to push through.
This can be solved by quitting and re-entering the matchmaking lobby, but this can also turn into a big time waster very fast. It would have been ideal to have options to host a multiplayer room with a little more control over who joins in. When you are finally matched up with good people, the game’s online multiplayer can be incredibly fun for everyone.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes does what it can to follow up to everything its predecessors have done before on the Nintendo 3DS. While there are some interesting parts to the gameplay and sharing features, the overall story and online functionality really come up short. Zelda veterans may not find as many things to be excited about here despite this being a new multiplayer entry for the series.
While not a totally bad game, Tri Force Heroes doesn’t quite live up to standard of previous Zelda titles on 3DS. If Tri Force Heroes had told a much more interesting story, then it would have been enough to forgive a lot of the game’s shortcomings. As it stands however, you won’t be missing much by skipping over this one.
This review was based on a digital copy of The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes for Nintendo 3DS provided by Nintendo.