Beat-em-up games thrived in the 90s, thanks to classic franchises like Final Fight and Streets of Rage. The genre stumbled making the jump to 3D, but Tecmo Koei’s Dynasty Warriors carried the torch with multiple sequels and spin-offs that resulted in more than 18 million copies sold.
In each of these titles, you control one of several warriors from history and mash buttons to destroy enemies clogging the screen. There’s little depth, but you don’t buy one of these games to solve complex puzzles. You play Dynasty Warriors to kill virtual people by the thousands.
Enter Hyrule Warriors, a wonderful looking collaboration between Tecmo Koei and Nintendo that blends Dynasty Warriors with The Legend of Zelda franchise. We’ve seen mash-ups before, specifically Dynasty Warriors Gundam, but we can’t help but drool at the potential for this new game. That said, there’s a great chance Hyrule Warriors will be the greatest Dynasty Warriors spin-off in history. Bold claim? Join us as we count the ways.
The powerful Zelda franchise
In its basic form, Hyrule Warriors is essentially Dynasty Warriors with Zelda characters. Instead of controlling someone that may or may not have existed (let’s be honest, you have no idea who half those people are), you cut through swarms of bad guys with the Master Sword-wielding Link. That alone is worth the price of admission, but you’ll also play as multiple characters from the series, including Princess Zelda’s Hyrulean Captain, Impa. We don’t have many details or locations, but Hyrule Field is a cool place to start.
Hyrule Warriors comes with an untold number of Bokoblins and Lizalfos in need of a beating. Thankfully you’ll have a variety of weapons at your disposal, the aforementioned Master Sword of course, but also bombs and other items that automatically change a character’s style when equipped. This presents the chance to achieve big combos and score a huge adrenaline rush slaughtering evildoers.
More action, less puzzle solving
Diehard Zelda fans may view this as a weakness, but we consider Hyrule Warriors’ action heavy nature one of its greatest strengths. We already know that Nintendo has a new and perhaps more traditional Zelda game in the works for Wii U. With Hyrule Warriors, puzzle solving, traveling for hours on end and speaking to townsfolk seem to take a backseat to hack-and-slash combat, which is perhaps a refreshing change of pace from games like The Wind Waker and Skyward Sword. If anything, it bridges the gap between last year’s The Wind Waker HD and this mysterious new Zelda.
Hyrule Warriors looks incredible
Considering the hundreds of hours we spent playing beautiful Xbox 360 and PS3 games, the level of detail Nintendo and third parties pull from the Wii U continues to impress us, and Hyrule Warriors is no exception. Thus far, the game looks gorgeous, with pretty character models, a wealth of baddies to pummel and plenty of attractive scenery. Whereas many Dynasty Warriors games could use more background detail, this doesn’t appear to be an issue (at least initially) with Hyrule Warriors.
Hyrule Warriors will release on Wii U later this year.