Review: Hyrule Warriors


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Hyrule Warriors feels a bit like Flintstones Vitamins. If players want the comfort of familiar faces and scenery to lift their spirits, here’s their game. The Legend-of-Zelda-flavored candy coating provided by game developer Tecmo Koei will undoubtedly prove irresistible to curious gamers.

But, like Flintstones Vitamins, Hyrule Warriors has its downsides. The recognizable characters and colors may seem tantalizing at first, but they are only a cosmetic choice insidiously used to make people buy things they don’t actually need.

Koei is a repeat offender. It has made games based on anime classics such as Gundam, Fist of the North Star, and One Piece. But it is more famously known for its prolific series of games based on the classical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Dynasty Warriors) and the feudal era of Japan (Samurai Warriors), which have both been crossed over into a hybrid series titled Warriors Orochi.

All of those games (which number in the dozens), and this one, are the same. They may look different to the untrained eye, but the weathered eye will see a recycled beat-’em-up filled with lifeless armies of enemy cannon fodder, stale environments, and a truckload of characters who will make fans gush at first but may cause them no end of bitterness once their vitamins have been swallowed.

I suppose some people may enjoy Hyrule Warriors as a form of stress relief after a long day. I suspect that’s the reason these games were made in the first place. Their plots and missions are often banal and repetitive, prompting a wiser players to simply turn off their consoles and go outside.

But if your idea of stress relief is mindlessly slashing away at hordes of enemies with your favorite Legend of Zelda characters, all power to you. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend this title unless you’re a Zelda fan who is interested in finding all the references to old Zelda games found throughout — or if you need something to rant about next time you go out with your friends.

Hyrule Warriors will be available Friday for Wii U at $59.99 (or around $60, if you don’t believe pennies come from heaven).

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