OPINION: In Response to Hyrule Warriors Naysayers

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

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For those of you seeking my Zelda credentials, please do check here, here and here. I also reviewed A Link Between Worlds recently. 

Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct offered a variety of quirky announcements. And while I’m definitely singing praises about NES REMIX and I plan on posting impressions for Yoshi’s Island Zone in Sonic Lost World very soon, I think one announcement stood as the most polarizing from the broadcast. Iwata told us that Nintendo had been working on a game with TECMO KOEI that blends the Warriors franchise with…The Legend of Zelda.

You’ve all seen the trailer by now, I hope. How many of you thought that THIS was the Legend of Zelda for Wii U that Nintendo’s been teasing since long before E3 2013? Iwata proclaimed: that game is still coming—I assume Hyrule Warriors exists primarily to keep Zelda fans busy in 2014 until the game we’ve been waiting for makes its way to us sometime in 2015. That’s been clear to me right from the start. As soon as Iwata showed off a new Zelda game, I thought, “Well, 2015 is a little far away, but…this will most certainly do in the meantime.”

Hyrule Warriors | Spin Attack!

The negativity and dissent really surprised me, to be honest. And that’s why I’m speaking my mind.

This is the worst idea EVER. Once you’ve played one Warriors game, you’ve played them all! I’ve heard the argument. And it’s not as though Nintendo has never tasked developers with dabbling in the simple hack and slash formula.

Pokemon Rumble | Chatot vs. The World Pokemon Rumble U | We Have a Pikachu Problem

While Pikachu and his friends don’t have swords and other medieval relics to slaughter armies, Pokemon Rumble and its many sequels serve the same sort of purpose as a Warriors game. It’s one (or two, or several) Pokemon versus heaps and heaps of them at a time. And the gameplay, while fun for a few minutes to a few hours depending on your patience, gets stale rather quickly due to a lack of variety. Just check out our review of Pokemon Rumble U. I mean, I get it. This type of gameplay has consistently proven itself to be overly repetitive and…worth making a fuss about if left in the wrong hands.

I think there are a few points the naysayers are missing, though. One of them, funnily enough, stays consistent with my Pokemon talk thus far.

Pokemon Conquest | What IS he made of?

The last major-market Nintendo & TECMO KOEI crossover was…Pokemon Conquest. Talk about two different types of gameplay styles! I still don’t know how the hell they made it work, but man…Pokemon Conquest was an impressive package that breathed new life into both the Pokemon and Nobunaga’s Ambition franchises, respectively. The reason Pokemon Conquest wasn’t a complete failure, the reason they ended up localizing it versus keeping that game Japan-only, was because TECMO KOEI had Nintendo’s guiding hand. In the case of Hyrule Warriors, I imagine Nintendo will be working even closer with them.

Hyrule Warriors | Impressive Visuals

This is The Legend of Zelda’s debut on Wii U (assuming you don’t count The Wind Waker HD; this marks the first original Zelda game on the platform), and you’ve gotta think—how much of what we see in this game will carry over to the next canonical Zelda entry? Graphical style, ambiance, some semblance of the battle system…I assume this game serves as a springboard to show devoted fans what Zelda can do on the new next-gen system. I think anyone expecting the gameplay to be stale based on a trailer that was over before I could blink is just a tad too cynical. But hey…let me give you the benefit of the doubt.

A Link Between Worlds | Treacherous Tower

The Legend of Zelda has featured many iterations of a “Battle Tower” that pits Link against countless foes. The most recent example of this phenomenon is the Treacherous Tower from A Link Between Worlds. Challenging, sometimes downright cruel—but the whole point is Link vs. 100 (or more). Why can’t this concept work on a grander scale? If Nintendo fine-tunes the Warriors gameplay to complement a tuned up Zelda battle system, would that really be a bad thing? To be honest—the second thing I thought after seeing that trailer was “This is Nintendo’s first real chance for online co-op in a(n albeit unconventional) Zelda game.” Could you imagine the Horde Mode of your traditional first-person shooter, but… with Zelda gameplay? You and your friend(s) against entire heaps of foes?

I know sometimes I have expectations that swing a little on the unrealistic side, but… Hyrule Warriors has the potential for greatness. Zelda certainly fits better with Warriors than Pokemon with Nobunaga’s Ambition. Perhaps the reason I’m standing on this soap-box is to ask dissenters to have a little faith. Hyrule Warriors isn’t going to be like a CDi Zelda game. Times have changed, I think. …What this may end up doing, however, is setting some sort of precedence for how good Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem could be. The hyped should get hyped’er. I think Hyrule Warriors will do exactly what Pokemon Conquest did, with even better results—refresh admittedly tired gameplay elements (depending on who you’re talking to) with the things/innovations that make the Nintendo games you love so much so incredible.

  • FireFox01

    Link is not going to save how horrid Tecmo Koei’s Warrios franchise is.

    Pokémon Conquest was an exceptional job, yes, but Nobunaga’s Ambition, is no Dynasty/Samurai Warriors.

  • FireFox01

    Link is not going to save how horrid Tecmo Koei’s Warrios series is.

    Pokémon Conquest was an exceptional job, yes, but Nobunaga’s Ambition is no Dynasty/Samurai Warriors.

    • Pedro Rosas

      You never played Samurai Warriors did you?

    • No he didn’t. -_-

    • FireFox01

      Yes, I had, it’s a terrible hack n’ slash. As with CoD it has not improved since forever.

      There has been like 9 of them with their newer versions of the same previous game with “Empire”,and “Xtreme” versions (talking about 6, 7 and 8), all between the span of 1 year, and they are even talking about “Complete” versions for PS4. If that doesn’t tell you how cheap the game is, nothing will.

    • Pedro Rosas

      >Samurai Warriors

  • Pedro Rosas

    Just by looking at this crossover this gives me hope for a Tecmo Koei based Fire Emblem. It would fit SO PERFECTLY, much more than Zelda indeed

  • Iyamtebist

    Looks pretty interesting to me, I’m looking forward to it. I have been interested in trying out the Dynasty Warriors series myself at some point.

  • NinTemple

    Well said, Mr. Higgins! I think that, if executed the way I’m imagining, this game is going to be a LOT of fun. When it comes to Nintendo the naysayers are just ….. they’re always gonna be there. Reggie’s right, they really can’t be pleased. “This is too similar!” “This is too different!” “This franchise hasn’t been released in so long!” “This franchise is being milked!” I really don’t envy being tasked with keeping those “fans” entertained.

    • Nanashrew
    • I got a good one.

    • Thanatos2k

      “WHAT DO YOU WANT!?!?!”
      “….We want a sequel to the good Zelda games, like Link to the Past”
      “Oh. It was that simple?”
      “Yes. No crappy gimmicks or cartoony graphics. Just improve what already works”
      “Oh. Well I guess we could do that. BUT AFTER THAT IT’S BACK TO CRAPPY GIMMICKS!”

    • Those “crappy gimmicks” change up the formula, you’re part of the reason why this image was made. If they did that, you’d be complaining that it’s the same thing over and over again.

      I know damn well at least half the Zelda fanbase wouldn’t be satisfied with that.

    • Thanatos2k

      Those crappy gimmicks are why they haven’t made a Zelda game better than Ocarina of Time until now.

    • Even Link Between Worlds had a so called “crappy gimmick” with it’s paint mechanics and stereoscopic 3D.

      Also, I found Wind Waker to be alot more refined. It’s pointless to make a rebuttal now, it’s obvious that no one agrees with you.

    • Thanatos2k

      The 2D wallwalking only appears to be a gimmick, when in fact it’s actually a revolution to 2D gameplay, which you see if you play the game. It adds an entirely new dimension to places you can get to based on wall connectivity and height.

      The other stuff really are gimmicks.

    • So that’s not what you call a gimmick? But everything else is?

    • Thanatos2k

      Yes, it fundamentally changes the level design possibilities of their 2D gameplay, for the better.

    • Tom Greene

      Ocarina of Time has not been trumped yet …

    • Aiddon

      congrats, you’re proving that mean completely and utterly right. You are now a cartoonish stereotype

    • Rick Xeros

      So far the only Zelda game with a gimmick worth gripping about is Skyward Sword… The repetitive motion controls hurt my wrist… >.>

    • Thanatos2k

      80% sailing.
      Only 3 days to live
      Zelda is a train
      Only using the touchpad to move

      The list goes on….

    • Rick Xeros

      :/ I heartily disagree that those are gimmicks worth gripping about… Except the Phantom Hourglass thing, that was lame yeah…

    • Vinicius

      Apparently, if zelda gives you a Timer that works with the story is a gimmick, if another games does this it’s a revolution in the way stories are told.

    • Thanatos2k

      It wasn’t a revolution in the way stories are told in Valkyrie Profile either. It was kind of annoying, actually.

  • Nanashrew

    I’ve been excited about it since day 1! I love me some musou games. I’ve even been speculating a lot that this could wind up being a half game taking place in one of the great battles. Like somewhere in the Era of Chaos (pre Hyrule kingdom) or the War of the Bound Chest (post established Hyrule kingdom) which could be very interesting.

  • Vinicius

    I heard every bad thing that can be said about this game now.
    “THis is a disrespect to the zelda franchise!”
    “After years and this is the zelda they give to the fans!”
    “The graphics proove that Nintendo/WiiU is doomed!”
    What I think, well, the A liked Samurai Warriors 3, and I’m looking forward to what this crossover with Zelda can do, the Fire rod looks absurdly fun to use.
    The sad thing about this trailer is that it showed me the prejudice gamers have against the Warriors franchise.

    • Nanashrew

      I’ve seen all those comments too! I even found some who believe Tingle’s Rosey Rupeeland was harmful to the franchise making it lose that “great scale of the world” and whatever.

    • Vinicius

      Heretics, Tingle Rosie Rupeeland was the greastet game on the franchise, and the greatest game ever made.

  • JonathanisPrimus

    Nintendo’s guiding hand sure helped Tecmo Koei’s own Team Ninja deliver a quality game in Metroid: Other M /sarcasm

    If Nintendo were to enforcing major changes on the game there’s no reason to brand it as a Warriors title. Not that I think there’s any sense in this project even existing, since the Warriors franchise has only sold well on PlayStation platforms, but hey gotta fill those Wii U software droughts somehow.

    • Nanashrew

      Team Ninja post Itagaki is a crap studio. And to be fair, even after Tecmo and Koei merged the studios between the two companies never communicate with each other. So, Team Ninja will never talk to Omega Force. Plus, Metroid Other M was a main title and not a spin-off, so that hurt it. This being a spin-off will do nothing to harm the franchise even if it may not turn out that good.

    • Somehow I knew the Other M argument was going to come up. Almost addressed it in my article You more or less summarized my thoughts, but if I may add to what you’ve said::
      – According to many a source, many of the elements that make Other M “bad” to Metroid loyalists (e.g. Samus gives a thumbs down) were Nintendo’s idea, not Team Ninja’s.
      – Even if many didn’t like it for a variety of (non-story) reasons (since I already addressed that), I still believe Other M is a competent game worth trying.

      The way a majority of the negative reactions I’ve seen against Hyrule Warriors are worded suggest doom/garbage. Other M may not be some sort of classic destined to stand the test of time, but I would hardly classify it as “garbage”.If you’re looking for a fun read, JonathanisPrimus, you ought to check this out. It’s more of our most polarizing articles: http://operationrainfall.com/opinion-in-defense-of-metroid-other-m/

    • NinTemple

      I’ve been playing Metroid games since forever and Other M is my favorite. Take that for what it’s worth, internet. =)

    • zeezee

      I liked it as well. I’ve been a fan of the series since the 80s. It’s not my favorite (that’s Super Metroid) but it’s still enjoyable.

    • Aiddon

      eh, I’ve never once bought into the “it’s all Sakamoto’s fault” story, mostly because the most important side of that (i.e. Sakamoto’s) is missing from the information available. The best people can do is bring up some interview with Hayashi that sounds like he (Hayashi) is whining like a brat more than anything. And let’s face it, that’s the ONLY source people can bring up. Not exactly fair when you get down to it.

  • James Fox

    I’m interested in this game as i’m not a Zelda fan

  • An Tran

    Personally, I’m REALLY excited for Hyrule Warriors. Can’t wait to play it.

  • Thanatos2k

    The point YOU are missing with Pokemon Conquest is that Pokemon conquest is worse than any of the main line Pokemon games. When Pokemon got mixed with something else IT GOT WORSE.

    Same will happen here. Does ANYONE expect this game to be as good as any Zelda game that has come out in the last twenty years? (Link’s Crossbow Training and CDi games don’t exist)

    Zelda + Dynasty Warriors makes Zelda worse, and I don’t think it makes Dynasty Warriors better either.

    With the battle tower – there’s a reason it’s a minigame – it wouldn’t work as the ENTIRE game. Zelda is not and have never been about the combat – exploration, collecting, and puzzle solving is the name of the game, plus the occasional boss fight. Hell, it was repetitive enough having to go through the expert course multiple times in the Link Between Worlds battle tower. I can’t imagine playing more than an hour of an entire game based on that.

    • SirFranku

      There is a reason for which it is called a “spinoff”. Hyrule Warriors will not be a traditional Zelda game in the same sense that Persona 4 Arena is not directly related to the main Persona series. The purpose of a spinoff is to create a different gameplay environment while keeping some of the elements of the main series which fans identify with the most, hence perpetuating the fandom and hopefully giving fans more of what they want.

      I personally think that spinoffs are great, although they’re not for everyone. Hopefully this one – for what it is – will turn out good. Nonetheless, there’s no escaping the cynicism of those who wish this was a full blown Zelda title.

  • Carlos Mendoza

    im actually gonna buy this game regardless of what others say and regardless if they dont like dynasty warriors franchise. speaking of tecmo koei, im still waiting on pkmn conquest 2

  • Aiddon

    At the very least it does show how serious Nintendo was with those collaborative projects Iwata talked about last year. So far we’ve had Pokemon Conquest, SMT x Fire Emblem, and now this. It does open some doors for some offbeat experiments, like maybe CAPCOM doing a DMC-esque Metroid, put SEGA on a Valkyria Chronicles x Advance Wars, have Arc System Works do a Fire Emblem fighting game, etc. It’s that kind of offbeat thinking that Nintendo has never lost

    • SirFranku

      OH MY GOD so I’m not the only one who wants a Fire Emblem fighting game?! Heh.

      I’m really liking what Atlus is doing in terms of growing it’s franchises through spinoffs; I wouldn’t mind if Nintendo took a leaf out of their book.

  • Jabba

    The Warrior series are AMAZING! Its 100% action what more could you want. The only consern I have is that the main thing that makes them so fun is the massive amounts of characters, and multiple campaigns, the games offer. With this being a Zelda game, Im really conserned about the roster aspect.

  • Lightthrower

    I like One Piece Musou, so this might be good too!

  • MegaX50

    I’m one of the people that really didn’t like Dynasty Warriors, as the lacky of variety in the game really hammered in how repetitive the combat was, though I could still see how some people could enjoy it. I gave it a fair shake one a couple of occasions with the tie-in games (Gundam, Fist of the North Star), and the same thing occured, I just didn’t like it.
    My problem with THIS however, isn’t so much that its just going to be a Dynasty Warrior game, it’s that because DW is a typically different genre entirely than The Legend of Zelda (DW being pure hack n slash beat em up, Zelda being an adventure game with puzzles, an emphasis on exploration, and collect a thon) That it would (though more likely could, no telling how they’re going to handle that yet) take out a lot of the elements that some might consider pillars of the game series.
    It’s not like Nintendo hasn’t done it before, I mean look at Links Crossbow Training, the CDI-I games, spin offs that were typically seen as bad, if not horrible, so they’re not exactly innocent in their handling of it either.
    I would think that it would be better if they had Link as an unlockable character so he could be a part of a DW game on the Wii U, but because they want to make the focus of it Hyrule, and remove it from being a main Zelda game, it really feels like it’s going to be missing so much of what makes the fans, me at least, love the game. Of course theres always passing on it and just waiting for the Wii U Zelda game in 2015, so even if it’s a crapshoot, there’s always hope on the horizon.

  • RagunaXL

    well, I know nobody will read this, or it will be ignored as usual. but I think a lot of people are upset for no reason. Super Mario is a long time platform series. Mario Kart (((((FEATURES))))) characters from that series. Camelot develops Mario Sports titles as well. those are all fun. Zelda is also a great series, for those who love. ‘Haters gonna Hate.’
    Like the Wii Zelda Crossbow game, this is Nintendo and Koei developing a game so that the Zelda franchise has something to show for in 2014 while we wait for the next ‘main entry.’ If anything it’s more a Warriors series entry. That series is struggling as you’ve all pointed out. Nintendo offering the Zelda property just shows how much they believe in their relationship with KOEI. That’s big. After all, everyone keeps crying about how Nintendo has no third party support. I applaud Nintendo and KOEI for trying.