I’d like to tell you that this long hiatus was devoted to exposing myself to new video games and anime nonstop to the point that I had no time for anything else, but it was really due to needing to get a new computer. And since my thumbs are incapable of writing anything on a phone, it was necessary to wait to get a new computer so that I wouldn’t rip my hair out trying to write a single word for an article. Seriously though. That would have gone nowhere. But during the wait, I did get to immerse myself in some games that I was looking forward to playing and writing about, so here we go!
Hyrule Warriors Legends
Hyrule Warriors Legends is a really fun game. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a fan of the “hack and slash” genre, but this game has made me gain a new appreciation for the genre. The action is kinetic, the combos can be absolutely devastating. Each of the playable characters all have their own unique fighting styles and combos that encourages the player to invest in all of them. Each character has Zelda themed badges that unlock various abilities that make parts of the game easier. The story of Legends is pretty reminiscent of traditional Zelda games for all of the right reasons – particularly Ganondorf leads his own conquest to take over Hyrule, and being able to play as him during this segment was a really immersive experience. We’ve seen Ganondorf conquer Hyrule plenty of times but never have we been the ones to do it. Finally, Adventure Mode is a fun series of battles that allows you to unlock Pieces of Hearts, Heart Containers, Gold Skulltulas and other treasures for the characters.
While Legends is certainly one of the best looking games on the 3DS in some respects, in others it seems like the game didn’t make the full transition to the handheld system smoothly. The cutscenes look really nice, but the the character portraits look almost pixilated and blurry in spots which is quite a shame since for the most part, the game looks really pretty. There are various missions that can be extremely difficult at times largely due to the lack of multiplayer. Trying to complete each requirement in succession can be challenging and at times impossible, taking multiple attempts to successfully complete a mission because they may require great speed to complete. This can make collecting the Gold Skulltulas quite difficult because you have little breathing room, which can be frustrating as it doesn’t encourage much exploration.
Despite some of the difficulty spikes or challenging missions, Hyrule Warriors Legends is an addicting and fun action game for the 3DS that any Zelda fan is bound to enjoy. The game’s sheer number of playable characters encourages experimentation, and the treasure hunting is super fun, with tons of content to be unlocked. The soundtrack is excellent, featuring remixes of classic Zelda tunes while sprinkling in some new original tracks to keep it fresh and exciting.
Score: 4.8 badass Sheiks out of 5
Kingdom Hearts Unchained X
I’ve been trying to delve more into mobile games lately, and when Kingdom Hearts Unchained X dropped, I jumped on the chance to play the game. The game is very straightforward – collect character themed medals to fight and complete the quests. New medals can be collected with jewels, which are won through the quests, and the medals can be evolved to become more powerful. The medals are easily the most addicting part of the game – collecting medals of my favorite characters has pretty much become my mission playing this game (One day, Roxas and Xion will join my arsenal when they aren’t impossible to get…), and it helps that being in a party with fellow players who are passionate about the Kingdom Hearts series makes it really fun. You can team up with these party members and borrow their medals in your own quests, and being in a group makes the game even more enjoyable.
When all of my priorities are on collecting medals of my favorite characters and I have no interest in the (supposedly) canon story, that’s not a good sign. I have little to no investment in the story at this point, and the in-game currency (jewels) is rather limited in quantity. It is only collected after a certain amount of quests are completed, and the amount is insanely small. Furthermore, the drops for new medals are really expensive, meaning that the game is essentially built around the cash grab of people paying real money to get more in-game currency. It’s ridiculous, and because of that it can make the game rather disappointing to play at times when it feels like a requirement to pay real money in order to truly get the most out of the game.
There are aspects of the game design that feel like obvious cash grabs that can make the game not as rewarding for a casual gamer, but collecting character themed medals is addicting and makes the game largely worth the trouble.
Score: 3.5 awesome Riku medals out of 5.
I have also been playing the Final Fantasy IX Android port quite extensively lately, but I’m saving my words on that port for its own review. Would I recommend the port of my favorite game ever? Find out next time!