Tag Archives: Wii U

Hyrule Warriors: Leading the Charge

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The Warriors series as a whole has experimented with a few twists on its basic mechanics over the years, and Hyrule Warriors most certainly provides one of the most accessible, immediate takes there is.

This is at least partly down to the influence of Koei Tecmo’s division Team Ninja, who played a role in the game’s development alongside longstanding series producers Omega Force. The result is a speedy, fluid Warriors game that is easy to get into but challenging to master in its entirety.

Today we’re going to take a look at the various components that make Hyrule Warriors’ gameplay tick, and see how they come together to create such an enjoyable experience.

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Hyrule Warriors: Fun with Timelines

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The Zelda series timeline is… complicated. Whether or not it was originally intended to be that way is a matter of opinion, but the fact remains: Zelda is complicated.

Hyrule Warriors is regarded as a non-canonical installment in the series as a whole. But to be honest, with the way it’s set up, it actually slots quite nicely into the convoluted timeline, albeit mostly unfolding in its own separate little corner, largely (but not completely) divorced from the main paths down which the series’ narratives progress.

Let’s take a look at how Hyrule Warriors fits in with Zelda lore as a whole… as well as how the series got to the state it’s in today.

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Hyrule Warriors: Introduction and History

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Omega Force’s Warriors (or Musou, if you prefer) is one of the longest-running, most prolific series in all of gaming. And yet it is also one of the most commonly misunderstood and misrepresented in terms of its gameplay.

Often dismissed by critics as being little more than mindless button-mashers, the Warriors series has, over time and the course of more than 50 individual releases for various platforms, continued to evolve and experiment to bring us to where we are today. Not only that, it has proven to be a great way to get people interested in a number of real-world historical events such as the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history (Dynasty Warriors) and the Sengoku period of Japanese history (Samurai Warriors) — as well as providing its developers the opportunity to explore more creative, fantastic stories that involve large-scale conflict.

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (just Hyrule Warriors hereafter), of course, falls into the latter category… but before we dive into it in detail, let’s take a look at the series as a whole and see exactly how we got here.

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The MoeGamer Awards: The Fond Farewell Award

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of made-up prizes that give me an excuse to celebrate games, concepts and communities I’ve particularly appreciated over the course of 2017. Find out more here, but you’re out of time to leave me suggestions, I’m afraid!

One interesting thing about modern gaming — and, to be honest, something I’m not all that thrilled with as an aspiring gaming archivist and historian — is the fact that we’re increasingly starting to see aspects of the hobby with in-built “expiry dates”.

Whether it’s games with multiplayer servers that shut down after it’s no longer viable for the publisher to keep them running, games that are patched beyond recognition from their physical releases via online storefronts or games that are straight-up no longer available to buy anywhere due to the closure of their digital distributors, it’s going to be a strange and difficult period to accurately preserve for the future. Today’s award celebrates one deeply fascinating aspect of modern gaming that we’ve already lost, only five years after it appeared.

And the “winner” is…

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Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed: Driving Into Dreams

There have been a number of attempts to dethrone Nintendo’s Mario Kart over the years, but none of them have been successful, at least in the multiplayer sphere.

There is one aspect of Mario Kart that has pretty consistently sucked over the years, though, and that’s the single-player offering. Offering little more than predefined Grand Prix championships, one-off races or time trials even in the most recent installments, Mario Kart has always struggled to provide anything of real substance for the solo player. Which is fine, as the series has always been known for being best experienced with at least one friend, right from its inception in the 16-bit era.

This has, however, left a decent-sized gap in the market for other developers to come along and offer more robust solo experiences in kart racing titles. And one game that succeeds admirably in this regard is the cumbersomely titled Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed from Sega.

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Shmup Essentials: Ghost Blade HD

Those with a longstanding interest in the worldwide shoot ’em up scene may well be familiar with German developer Hucast Games.

A developer primarily known for helping resurrect Sega’s defunct Dreamcast platform for modern audiences through the release of original, new arcade-style games for the system, Hucast’s work has had mixed reception over the years — though not necessarily entirely due to the quality of the games themselves, as this article from Segabits in 2015 explains in more detail.

As we move further into the “digital age”, however, it becomes a lot easier for developers such as Hucast to ply their trade — and, should mistakes occur, to correct them. Which is how we now find ourselves, two years after its original Dreamcast release, with an HD version of Hucast’s shmup Ghost Blade for Windows PC, PS4, Wii U and Xbox One.

And hey! It’s really good.

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Wii U Essentials: Wii Party U

Nintendo’s Wii gained something of a reputation as a “party game machine”, for better or worse.

The Wii U never quite captured the same success as its predecessor in this regard due to its considerably smaller audience — not to mention the rise of other types of games filling a similar niche — but that didn’t stop Nintendo in particular from producing a number of different games intended to be played socially. With other people. In the same room! Imagine that.

One such example was Wii Party U, a successor to its similarly named predecessor on the older platform. Designed to be accessible and understandable to all ages, it’s neither the most complex nor technically impressive game on the platform — but it is noteworthy for being very successful at what it does.

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