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The Legend Of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes Hands-On Impressions

by Dean James

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The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes releases later this week after first being revealed at E3 this past June. Nintendo has been good about showing off their games in person through local events, and since I was able to try it out this past weekend, I figured I would give some thoughts on the game after a little hands-on experience with it.

The Legend of Zelda franchise is one of my favorites of all time, having played through every single game in the franchise, sans the CD-i abominations. When The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes was first announced at E3, the reception was lukewarm at best, which was mostly how I felt as well. However, after getting a chance to finally try the game, Tri Force Heroes is actually a lot of fun.

While The Legend of Zelda series is typically an action-adventure series built for a single player, Nintendo has tried something different in the past with their two Four Swords games. These employed a multiplayer based setup that you could enjoy with your friends, ranging from being included on the GBA cart for A Link To The Past and later it’s own digital release on the DSi with Four Swords, to the GameCube for Four Swords Adventures. These games were hidden gems of their respective platforms, even offering the ability to play the entire game in single player if need be.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes takes the ideas forged from those games and creates a brand new game based on the style of graphics we saw in A Link Between Worlds. The game’s title is literal, as this time you can only use 3-players at one time, whether it is with each being controlled by a person or you controlling all three.

When getting to try out Tri Force Heroes, I got to experience both the multiplayer and single player. The multiplayer was literally the same demo that was sent out to most everyone last week, but is limited to local multiplayer or special online player sessions. This was a ton of fun to experience with two other players being right now, with the full game actually having download cart capabilities, so only one person actually has to own the game to play.

This demo is limited to only the first world in the game, but it did a good job at introducing the pretty simple mechanics found in the game, especially with the multiplayer aspects. The ability for each player to each have their own screen is fantastic and makes the multiplayer experience all the better, as everyone doesn’t have to stick around in one general area.

The totem mechanic is also really useful, though it admittedly does take a little while to get used to, with the one on top having to use items like the bow to shoot, while the one on bottom is moving around and actually positioning to where the one on top will be shooting.

The first world consisted of a number of pretty short stages, which culminated in a boss battle that used the multiplayer style well. This was pretty easy overall, but I can imagine this getting much more complicated and difficult the deeper you get in the game.

I also got to try out the actual single player as well, which is what I was most concerned with here, as the teamup elements like the totem are even more important here. As we knew before, you only control one Link at a time, while the other two turn into stone scarecrows until you switch to them.

This was actually really well implemented here, making the switch between them easy. This actually makes the whole totem thing easier, as you aren’t relying on another person to aim for you when you are shooting with the bow. However, there are also some parts that are much harder to do alone, such as hopping bombs across water while using the Water Rod.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes was one game that there was no doubt I was going to get eventually, but wasn’t really planning on getting anytime soon. However, after actually getting to try out the game, it really has changed my tune on that. The game is a blast with both single player and multiplayer in the limited time I got to play with it, so hopefully this will carry over through the rest of the game as well.

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