Nintendo’s in an interesting place right now. It’s hard to deny that the home-centric Wii U is having trouble, but fortunately the portable 3DS is still going strong! The regular releases of high-quality games for the handheld show that Nintendo’s not out of the game yet. Today let’s talk about another of those high-quality release: The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, a new cooperative entry in the popular adventure series.
Tri Force Heroes stars you as uh…Not-Link. Who definitely isn’t Link. Your job is to defeat an evil witch that’s cursed Princess Styla of the Kingdom of Hytopia. Yeah, Princess Stella of Hytopia, the most stylish kingdom in all the land, has been cursed to wear a hideous and unremovable outfit forevermore. Just roll with it. To save the day, you’ll need to venture out into the incredibly non-stylish Drablands with the help of a couple friends; the three of you will need to work together to defeat foes and solve puzzles.
Those two friends are, essentially, required for this game. You can play solo but the experience is vastly degraded – so much so that you’re actually warned against it ingame! Likewise, you can play with random players online, but Nintendo’s typical restricted communication can make this difficult at best. Instead, you should definitely grab a couple pals you can get on voice chat if you’re going to try and conquer the Drablands.
The game is divided into areas with several stages each; you can pick and choose from whichever you like, unlocking more by completing what’s available to you. You’ll run through a level solving typical Zelda puzzles in a top-down view with the help of your pals. You can use the standard array of Zelda gear, including the bow, bombs and various magical rods, but the big new mechanic here is the Totem ability.
The three heroes can pick one another up to reach greater heights, shoot projectiles on different planes and attack foes that are out of sword range. You can be picked up and moved about by anyone at any time and can’t free yourself, so if you’re neurotic about this kind of thing then this might not be the game for you. Either way, if the problems are being caused by griefers online, you can blacklist them and avoid playing with them in the future. There’s also a PVP option available if you’d prefer to get your aggression out directly; not only is this a surprisingly good time reminiscent of the classic Graal Online, but it offers unique rewards you can’t get anywhere else.
Your prizes for adventuring in the Drablands include materials you can use to make sick new outfits! The various costumes you can wear all provide various bonuses and penalties. These range from allowing you to fire a spread of multiple arrows, to randomly avoid to damage from enemy attacks or to run at high speed at all times. Farming for materials to make better outfits is a big part of Tri Force Heroes, so Monster Hunter fans might find themselves falling for this one without even knowing it.
This is all presented with one of the most goofy styles I’ve seen in a Nintendo game. Tri Force Heroes doesn’t take itself seriously, not even a little bit. It’s a nonstop barrage of corny jokes and hilarious emoticons. Thank Paper Mario and those other Mario-styled silly RPGs and you’ve got a good idea. If you’re into the more sedate and morose style we’ve seen in Zelda games like Twilight Princess, uh…yeah, definitely not for you.
But if you’ve got some friends together and you’re after a good time, then you’re bound to like The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. It’s not for everyone; the same crowd who complains incessantly about levels they don’t like in Super Mario Maker are going to be flooded with nerd rage here, especially if they try to play with random players. The more laid back set who’s willing to cooperate with others, meanwhile, will find a cute and fun game that rewards teamwork with nice clothes. What more could you ask for?