A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hyrule: Warriors Legends is based on a 2014 Wii U title, which in turn is a cross between two beloved franchises: the Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors. Confused? In this Nintendo 3DS game, Link and his friends vow to destroy an evil force by banding together and traveling across the land. The fast-paced fantasy action is somewhat violent, with weapons such as swords, bombs, and magical attacks used to kill thousands of enemies, but the action is cartoonish without blood or gore. There are also some suggestive visuals, including characters with lots of cleavage. This is the latest title in the popular franchise with its popular characters and uses amiibo cards and figures that are sold separately to access additional gameplay features.
What's it about?
HYRULE WARRIORS: LEGENDS is a port of a Wii U game from 2014, with additional content added for the 3DS. Players fight as or alongside more than a dozen familiar characters from Nintendo's beloved fantasy series to save the land of Hyrule from an evil, menacing force. The fast-paced combat takes place on massive battlefields, in recognizable settings from Legend of Zelda lore, including Skyloft, Death Mountain, and Hyrule Field, as well as brand-new locations. Each of the characters has his or her own unique weapon and fighting style, and this 3DS port offers many more maps, stages, and playable characters to choose from -- such as Linkle (a female Link with duel crossbows), Skull Kid from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, and multiple characters from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker -- and the ability to switch among characters on the battlefield. Other features include a lengthy single-player campaign and a new mode, unlockable and collectible items from treasure chests, support for amiibo characters and cards, and huge boss creatures.
Is it any good?
Whether you've played the Wii U console game or not, this adventure game port is a fast and frenetic action game that lets you fight against countless enemies on large battlefields. Deep and gratifying, the combat -- while sometimes repetitive -- is exciting and intuitive, and the button-based controls are more comfortable than waving the Wii Remote. Clearing a field of menacing soldiers or a giant boss feels, well, great. Plus, this new portable version includes all the DLC (downloadable content) from the Wii U game, many more characters (and you can switch among them during battle), along with the ability to level up a personal fairy, an effective dual-screen display, and smaller mission-based objectives than those in the more open Wii U version.
Hyrule Warriors: Legends isn't a perfect 10. The frame rate takes a hit when there's a lot of on-screen action and, even worse, if you enable the 3-D effect. The game can get insanely difficult about an hour in. And while there are many new characters, the combat can get a little stale after a while. If you don't play a lot of games on the go and already own the Wii U version, there's probably little reason to pick this up. But action lovers and/or fans of the Legend of Zelda or Dynasty Warriors franchises will find this game a thrilling mobile companion.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the Dynasty Warriors-like combat in Hyrule Warriors too violent for younger Legend of Zelda gamers? Should parents be worried about players hacking and slashing their way through thousands of creatures?
Discuss whether you need to be a fan of both franchises to appreciate this crossover. Is there an advantage to having played both franchises? Are you a fan of role-playing games or action games?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Nintendo of America
- Release date: March 16, 2016
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: March 16, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.