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Pixelvision: Hyrule Warriors 3DS Leak!

hyrulewarriors3dsleak

Holy crap! Holy crap! HOLY CRAP!!!

If you haven’t seen this already check out this video! It says it all!

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Ok fair enough the video was entirely in Japanese, so it didn’t say much to anyone who can’t speak the language. However, I think the general gist of it is pretty damn obvious, the Legend of Zelda spin-off game – Hyrule Warriors, is coming to the 3DS. Brothers and Sisters of the congregation, welcome back to Pixelvision on the Book of Frog!

I’m a little late to the party on this reveal, because I’ve been in work today, but in coming home and checking the internet, I came across a number of videos talking about this awesome new Hyrule Warriors trailer from Koe-Tecmo, and surprise of surprises, it’s for the 3DS! When I finally found the trailer on the Koe-Tecmo page though, it had already been set to private. This is certainly an interesting move, leading me to believe that they accidentally let the fairy out of the bottle on this one, a little earlier than they were expecting. While it’s certainly true that this spoiled what would have been an amazing surprise at E3, I can’t be too mad about it, Hyrule Warriors was a fantastic game, and seeing it come to a portable system is great news in my eyes, no matter how I find out!

The first question I have though, is how the hell did they do it? Game Explain has done a side by side comparison of the graphics, and they are pretty damn good. For a game that was so big the Wii U it had to be toned down for the Wii U, how are they fitting it all on the a 3DS card. That is the first thing that actually really stood out to me, that this is NOT a New 3DS game, as you might expect. At the very end of the video when it shows the transfer of characters from the 3DS version to the Wii U version, the cover shown is that of a 3DS card, there’s no “New” logo in sight. If this is a faithful port of the original game, then there’s some kind of Holy Gaming miracle happening here!

Well enough of that, let’s talk about the differences that are already pretty obvious between the games.

The trailer shows the new Japanese title of the game. In Japan, the title of the original was “ゼルダ無双” or “Zelda Unrivaled”, compared to the Western title of Hyrule Warriors, in keeping with the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series of games. The 3DS port has a subtitle attached to it, so it now reads “ゼルダ無双: ハイラルオールスターズ” which translates to “Zelda Unrivaled: Hyrule All-Stars”. Maybe I’m reading too deep into it, but to me this suggests that despite being released on a different system, this particular Hyrule Warriors game, is a more definitive edition, as it were, is a similar vein to the difference between Capcom’s Street Fighter, Super Street Fighter, and Street Fighter Ultra revamps. Already we are seeing new characters and new mechanics in this version of the game, and I wonder if along with the new characters being “transferable” (more likely buying the 3DS version gives you a download code for the Wii U version.), these new mechanics will become available on the Wii U version, expanding the previously purchased game.

 

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zeldaThe reason I make mention of the New Mechanics, is because what they have shown is something I thought would make sense for the Wii U version, and thanks to the Wii U’s touch pad, makes it just as possible on the Wii u as it is on the 3DS. This new mechanic is the simple switching of characters on the fly, mid battle. This doesn’t mean that you can start the game as Link, and then pull Ruto out of no where. After the mission starts, you can switch between characters that are currently marked on the map, allowing to you to have even greater control of the tactics and strategy of the battle. This mechanic could easilly be implemented via a download update for the Wii U game, and personally I would love to have this ability while playing.

However, the cynic in me tells me that this is one of the many ways they’ve utilised to lighten the load on the 3DS.

In order to make the game run smoother and streamline the game in this version, they may have removed the character select screen. Instead of choosing a character before you fight, you start the battle with the “main character” for that stage, and during the battle, in order to make up for the lack of choice, you can instead switch between characters as you wish, provided they are in the stage. This may expand later, and hell I could be completely wrong, and you are instead given a number of slots to fill with whatever characters you want for when you replay battles. Which would also be a very nice move!

This mechanic seems to use the touch screen, by tapping the face of the character you which to switch to.

 

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tetraSo far there are two new characters that have been revealed. Tetra and the King of Hyrule (Or King of Red Lions), both characters from Wind Waker. This is an interesting move, as no characters from Wind Waker (or no characters in the Wind Waker style) had previously appeared in the game, nor any of it’s DLC packages. While I know, I’m not a fan of the Wind Waker art style to start with, I feel that the inclusion of these characters in this game, looks very out of place, and honestly I’m not entirely sure how to feel about it. King of Red Lions to begin with is just kinda weird, how he transforms into a boat, but I do like what I’m seeing from Tetra, and the way she uses her pistol and sword. This weapon combination makes for interesting moves and techniques, and a unique playstyle. I’m sure King of Red Lions will also be… ahem… unique.

Really though, I think I might have preferred it if they restyled Tetra and the King in a more realistic appearance. They already have Kid Link with abilities derived from Majora’s Mask, so they could have essentially created a “Kid Zelda”, as Tetra. I mean, they updated everyone one else for the game to make them all fit into the visual style of the game. Now suddenly BAM! Weird round heads and giant eyes.

 

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linkleOf course at this point I’m going to have to approach the topic of the female Link character rumour. Some time ago, an official artwork surfaced from the Japanese art book, released by Nintendo and Koe Tecmo. In the book they had a page of previously unreleased character designs. Of all the designs though, ONE became big news very quickly. The artwork appeared to depict a female Link.

“Games Journalism” websites of a certain quality, decided to grab the artwork and run with the idea that Nintendo had come up with concepts to make Link female in Hyrule Warriors, making it big news, before getting any real confirmation on what the art book was describing. The artwork is actually NOT a female Link, though she is designed to look similar to Link, however, she is instead Link’s younger sister, in the Hyrule Warriors tangential universe. Her name was to be Linkle, a particularly adorable name if ever I heard one.

In addition to this, she was on a page titled “Previously unreleased designs of REJECTED characters.” I added the emphasis on the word rejected. This was a character design that was vetoed from the original game, and has subsequently not been seen in any of the DLCs. That’s not to say whether this is a good or bad thing, maybe the characters appearance was good, but the mechanics didn’t work out, or maybe Aonuma-san decided he didn’t want what was ostensibly a female Link in the game. We may never know. All we do know is, if this character was going to come back, if she was of import to the developers, we would have her by now.

HOWEVER.

linklecrossbowIt appears that a diligent fan has noticed that there is a sneaky little hint in the announcement trailer for Hyrule Warriors on the 3DS. In the final sequence where the characters appear on the screen, around the 1:06 time stamp, a crossbow appears between Tetra and Agatha. The crossbow is the same one used by Linkle in the discarded design. in addition there are NO other weapons just randomly sitting in this artwork.

This suggests that Linkle may appear in Hyrule Warriors on the 3DS, and as such, may also be transferable to the Wii U version.

 

My opinion on this:

Good. I welcome the new character, and I hope she is accepted by the greater Zelda fan community. I mean just look at her, she’s a beautiful character, with a wonderful design, and I want to know about her backstory. How could I not see the Zelda world enriched by this character?

Look, I’ve talked about this before, and I’ve explained the reasons why I don’t believe Link should be female. These two are the reincarnations of the Goddess Hylia reborn in Zelda, and Hylia’s Chosen, who died to protect Skyloft, reborn in Link. These are the spirits of a Goddess and a MALE Hero, reincarnated over and over again, destined to be together, only to be torn apart by the same fate that binds them. It’s a tragic story. I don’t see why gender bending the characters will make it any better.

However the inclusion of a female character, like Linkle, as a sister character (there is precedent for this in Wind Waker), that is included as a partner to Link throughout a game (there is precedent for this in Spirit Tracks) is more than acceptable, I think it’s a great idea. Aside from Link being gender bent, there are also numerous female characters that could easily be the stars of their own games, like Zelda, Shiek or Impa, hell I’ll even take a Harvest Moon type game where you play as Malon from Ocarina of Time. Actually that sounds awesome.

There’s no good, beneficial reason for Link to be female, when there are so many other characters that can be explored.

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ocarinaThe short announcement trailer also shown one last thing, an new item: The Ocarina.

Judging by the colour, it appears to be the Fairy Ocarina or possibly some other random ocarina, but it certainly isn’t the Ocarina of Time. It’s possible that this is a weapon for Tetra, or an item similar to the Bombs, Boomerangs and Bow. If this is actually a weapon, I imagine that the stage three version will be the Ocarina of Time. So there’s something to look forward to!

It is however, for more likely that this is an item. Weapons appear in game as a Sealed Weapon, showing an item model of a sword in a crystalline structure, or a bomb bag looking object, where as items actually appear as the items they are. Plus, all previous trailers have shown character link Link or Zelda pulling bombs, bows and hookshots from the chests, never a weapon.

So let’s get to the speculation! I have to wonder how it might work. In the games Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, the Ocarina was used to solve puzzles and open seal passages ways using the various magical songs. It’s possible that similar to how in Hyrule Warriors, where some locations you have to throw bombs to open a passage, like the Great Fairy Fountain in the first stage, Hyrule Field, there will be locations where you can play the ocarina to either open a door, or teleport you to a different location. Maybe this simply adds a new hide and seek like mechanic to the game, similar to the Gold Skultulas, where you have to find a specific indicator, like a chime or a beep, and using the Ocarina in that location, reveals the new collectible. Just a thought.

 

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transferIt’s pretty clear why the Boss Package was the last DLC we got on Hyrule Warriors on the Wii U, the Hyrule Warriors team have clearly been very busy with porting the game to the 3DS and refashioning a lot of it for the increased limitations. However, what does this mean about the DLC that we’ve already bought?

Like I said above, to me this seems like a ‘Definitive Edition’ sort of thing, and so I suspect that the DLC that we already have released, will be available on the 3DS version of the game from purchase. Tingle appears on the cover of the game, but this could just be because he is very popular in Japan, ironically, so they may have only included him in the game as a selling point. That said, I also can’t imagine that Nintendo would charge for the same DLC all over again, they’ve done tremendously well with how they’ve handled DLC to date, being very pro-consumer. So if the DLC is not on cart, then I would like to think that, provided the game modes are compatible, if you have purchased the Wii U versions of the DLC you will get them for free, or at very least a discounted price for the 3DS. I have my doubts though that the DLC will be exactly one for one compatible, as we’ve yet to actually see much of the game modes on the 3DS.

What this does mean though, is that there is now potential for even more DLC for the Hyrule Warriors games. As the new game nears completion, and after it’s release, the devs will be able to work on further updates to both games, and release new DLC packages for either or both. I really hope they do this, I’m always up for cool new characters to play as!

 

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kingUnlike the Wii U, which is a home console, the 3DS has really been driving the ideas of interacting with other players and friends, and being generally sociable with it’s streetpass features. I suspect that there will be a streetpass element to the game, maybe as a way of collecting extra rupees, or as a way of opening unlockables. What I would REALLY like to see though, is a proper multi player mode.

With each player with their own copy of the game, and even with the possibility of the Wii U version of the game to act as a server (similar to how Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate works) I would like to see multiplayer co-operative mode, and up to eight player head to head mode. Where, you are split into two teams of four, with AI controlled mooks, and you play out a full battle, player vs player.

This is something I’ve wanted from the Wii U version, and I hoped and prayed to the Holy Game that we would get an online battle mode like that in the Boss Package. Alas, it never came to be. With the game coming to 3DS, and the 3DS penchant for pushing social interaction, I find it hard to believe that there won’t be some kind of multiplayer mode in this game. So here’s to hoping and praying again!

 

AndFinally-Pixelvision

Overall, from what little I’ve seen of this game, I’m impressed. The graphics look good, new characters being capable of being transferred or unlocked, while the characters themselves don;’t really do it for me, it means that the Wii u version has not been forgotten and it’s possible that there will be continued support and DLC in the future, keeping the game fresh for months, even years to come.

I think both the best and worst aspect of this game is one and the same though. It has potential, and every time a game has potential, I get skeptical.

Potential opens up a lot of possibilities for awesome future developments, but it also means that people who like to scrutinise game footage, can easily fall into the trap of over thinking it, and expecting too much from the game. That said, there’s no reason not to hope for the best. Even if this game is a horrible port, which given both Nintendo’s and Koe Tecmo’s reputations is extremely unlikely, this still means that there is even more support for the Wii u version coming, and that game has already proven itself!

Anything more is just gravy.

Thanks for joining me today for my thoughts on the new Hyrule Warriors trailer for 3DS. I’ve been Andy Frogman -The Priest of Gamers, and this has been Pixelvision, only on The Book of Frog!

Game bless you siblings! Peace and High Scores!