Hyrule Warriors Switch Review

The Switch has blessed us with numerous ports over the past few months with Bayonetta, Bayonetta 2 and Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze all releasing in recent times. The latest of which, Hyrule Warriors, has graced the Switch with a Zelda-spin on the traditional musou style games that Koei Tecmo has become synonymous with thanks to the Dynasty Warriors games.

Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition takes the original on Wii U – plus the additional DLC – and moves it over to the Switch in a complete package that runs at 1080p docked and 720p in handheld mode. If you want to play Hyrule Warriors in the best way possible, there really isn’t an alternative. The Switch port trumps both the 3DS and Wii U versions in every way possible – especially in co-op where the game runs wonderfully, allowing two players to hack-and-slash their way to victory.

For those of you who aren’t aware already, Hyrule Warriors takes a great deal of inspiration from the Dynasty Warriors games and sees you take charge of one of the legendary characters from The Legend of Zelda and run onto a battlefield where you’ll fight endless amounts of enemies while capturing forts, defeating captains, tackling bosses and completing objectives. Each level will last between ten to thirty minutes and ranges in a great deal of aesthetically pleasing locales, most of which are based off of past games in the series.

While you will open chests with the traditional Zelda jingle and use items like the Boomerang, Bow and Ocarina; this is far from a traditional Zelda game and instead leans heavily on its musou influences – hence the reason why the title doesn’t have Zelda in the name. While that may be a disappointment to traditional Zelda fans, there is a healthy amount of fanservice within Hyrule Warriors. You’ll see characters from a wide range of games and all come together in Hyrule Warriors main Legend Mode, which sees you travel to various locations killing enemies based on the loose framework provided by the story. It’s a narrative that won’t be long remembered but it provides players with a reason to traverse from place to place. Its missions will keep you occupied but there was never anything that really compelled me to play. Sure, I care deeply about this world and these characters but not in this context.

Hyrule Warriors Switch Review

Along with Legend Mode, Hyrule Warriors also provides an Adventure Mode, Free Mode and Challenge Mode, all of which provide numerous twists on the original legend mode minus the narrative. They all provide interesting challenges and ways to play that can keep things somewhat fresh but the combat itself is limited. Although downing 40 enemies at once using a special move is still kind of satisfying.

Despite Hyrule Warriors being caked in Zelda-lore, the better musou game with a flavour of Nintendo is without a doubt Fire Emblem Warriors. The series fits the musou style in a more natural way than Zelda which has been shoehorned in. That’s not to say it’s bad though. Through the roughly fifteen hour campaign, Hyrule Warriors holds its own, providing a competent if not stellar use of my time – Fire Emblem Warriors is definitely the one to choose if you’re contemplating one or the other.

Hyrule Warriors Switch Review Conclusion

Hyrule Warriors provides a nice distraction without being anything too compelling. For Zelda fans, it provides some nice fanservice but as a musuo it falls somewhat short, lacking the personality and charm of others – especially Fire Emblem Warriors.

3/5

We tested Hyrule Warriors Switch after receiving a review code from the publisher. Hyrule Warriors Definitive Edition is available now for Nintendo Switch.

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