When great minds come together, amazing things can happen. This is exactly how Hyrule Warriors was created. Combining Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda with Koei Tecmo’s Warriors has allowed for Eiji Aonuma, director and producer of many installments of The Legend of Zelda, and Yosuke Hayashi, head of Koei Tecmo’s Team Ninja, to lead the production of an epic new title.
Hyrule Warriors has the settings, characters, items, and weapons of The Legend of Zelda, but it also has the one-man army combat made famous in Dynasty Warriors. Surround by familiar landscapes, such as Sky Loft from Skyward Sword, Lake Hylia from Ocarina of Time, and Twilight Field from Twilight Princess, players can use sets of simple commands to perform complicated combos to slay hordes of enemies. Like Dynasty Warriors, allies will fight alongside a player’s character on the field, while objectives and goals continuously change as a player progresses through a stage. This allows for dynamic gameplay as battles are won or lost.
The in-game map should also be familiar to Dynasty Warriors fans. Using blue icons for allies and red icons for enemies, it displays who dominates each Keep on the stage and where each army is located. Taking over Keeps is key to winning each stage. Keeps serve as strategic strongholds, granting players favorable ground while forcing the enemy back. In certain Keeps, players may find a stage boss. Bosses must be defeated to clear a stage and are often very tricky to beat. However, in The Legend of Zelda bosses are often susceptible to recently discovered items, such as bombs or gauntlets. Keep that in mind when going up against massive foes like King Dodongo.
Impressive combos and Special Attacks are a Dynasty Warrior staple and can be found in Hyrule Warriors as well. Special Attacks are unique for each character and allow players to defeat a large number of enemies at once. However, Focus Spirit is a new feature just for Hyrule Warriors. To access Focus Spirit, players must release a full magic gauge, and once activated, Focus Spirit temporarily increases a character’s abilities. Use Focus Spirit at key points in battle along with Special Attacks for maximum damage.
The all-new Adventure mode is another departure from standard Dynasty Warriors gameplay. In this tribute to classic The Legend of Zelda games, Adventure mode has a retro map players can explore. Select a block on the map to enter its stage and complete its special victory condition to unlock adjacent sections. On certain maps, players can use the search function to explore the land and look for hidden items. If a player’s exploration is successful, rare items, such as weapons and pieces of heart, will sometimes appear as victory prizes. Progressing through Adventure mode will unlock new playable characters, and certain weapons are only found in this mode.
One of the most exciting features, however, is pulled from Dynasty Warriors. In Hyrule Warriors, 2-player co-op is available, but instead of splitting the game screen to accommodate both players, Hyrule Warriors taps into the power of the Wii U GamePad. Player one’s screen will be displayed on the TV, while player two’s screen will be in their hands on the GamePad. Off TV Mode is also available when playing single player.
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