Breath of the Wild is probably the Switch game I have put the most hours into, but Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is close behind it.
I remember trying this game out on the Wii U a while back, with no context for what a Musou game was. I was immediately put off by it. There were seemingly endless waves of enemies that Link mowed down with no effort and no risk. It was some horrible power fantasy gone wrong, and I probably shut it off after five minutes.
I vaguely remembered hearing about other games in this style coming out based on Fire Emblem, Dragon Quest, and One Piece over the years. And of course, Dynasty Warriors. But I really didn’t understand why this formula was so popular.
Then, when Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition (the Switch version) came out, I heard about how fun it was. I heard about the big, impressive enemies to battle later on. I heard about how great of a cooperative experience it was. Since my rarely-gaming wife had recently fallen head over heels for Diablo III, I picked up Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition to see if it’d scratch a similar itch.
I was delighted to find out that it absolutely did. This game had a truly insane amount of content! Legend mode, Free Mode, Adventure Mode, Challenge Mode…my goodness. It’s so much.
What Changed My Mind About Hyrule Warriors (Spoiler: The Definitive Edition)
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is the third version of the game released. It features all of the base content and DLC from the Wii U and 3DS releases, plus a few new Breath of the Wild-inspired costumes.
The main story mode of the game is called “Legend Mode.” It combines the original dimension-hopping story and all of the Hyrule Warriors DLC for a grand total of 32 levels. Most of these took my wife and me upwards of 20 minutes of over-the-top hack-and-slashing to clear.
As you go through the campaign, you’re constantly unlocking new characters and gear. You will also be leveling up the stuff that you’ve already got, and you can navigate a set of skill trees for every character. Weapons upgrade, too, with a variety of quality ratings and bonuses, and these merge together in a blacksmithing system where you can min-max the most perfect crossbow imaginable for Linkle.
Linkle, Tingle, and More!
Linkle is a girl who thinks she is the Hero of Hyrule. She is my absolute favorite character I’ve unlocked so far, and I currently have 22 of them to choose from! For real. Dozens of characters are in Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition and Linkle is the best of all of them.
So that’s a lot already, but then in the main menu there’s this section called Adventure Mode. This mode features a series of adventure maps in the style of the original NES Legend of Zelda where each square is some sort of a battle with specific rules applied. Maybe you’ll get killed in one hit, maybe you need to take out a series of massive bosses, or maybe you need to COMPLETE A FREAKING TRIVIA CHALLENGE BY KILLING SPECIFIC ENEMIES AS A WAY OF ANSWERING QUESTIONS.
Needless to say that the Hyrule Warriors adventure map is pretty awesome.
It’s wild that there is so much content in just the first adventure map. I’m still not through even that one, and there are nine of these maps available right at the start. Each Hyrule Warriors adventure map in the Definitive Edition is based on a different game in the franchise and features unique mechanics to fit that setting.
As you play through the Adventure Map, you constantly get even more weapons and upgrades and characters. Characters like Tingle, for instance! Have you ever wanted to kill Ganondorf as Tingle? Then you need to be playing Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition! Head in to the adventure map and get to slaying!
Phew, so there we go! A huge campaign, and then a frankly ridiculous challenge mode to boot. This game really does have everything, right?
But the Hyrule Warriors Fun Doesn’t Stop There
We haven’t even talked about Fairy Mode yet! You remember Tamagotchis? This mode basically gives you a Fairy Tamagotchi that you bring into battle with you. This gives you boosts to different abilities.
How it works is that you play through Legend Mode or work through an Adventure Map. Along the way, you have to complete very specific, abstract tasks. Completing these tasks unlocks food and clothing for your fairies, which you use to level them up. This stuff makes them happy, and it gives them matching gear sets!
And…and…AND…I only just realized as I was writing this article that there’s a whole other main menu section called Challenge Mode. To be honest, I don’t even know what that is yet! I haven’t touched it at all. So when I say that Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition has an absurd amount of content, I mean it.
Do you see that? And quite honestly, the sheer volume of stuff in the Definitive Edition is why I am absolutely hyped for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
Summing Up Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition?
That’s obviously kind of hard. But let’s try: How Long to Beat has the completionist time for this game listed at four-hundred and five and a half hours. 405.5! That’s almost 17 straight days of action-packed goodness!
What is your favorite part of Hyrule Warriors? Have you tried the Definitive Edition? And what are you looking forward to the most with Age of Calamity?
Looking for more awesome Legend of Zelda content? Check out our review of Link’s Awakening and then look at why we need to get a Skyward Sword remaster on Switch.
This is a whole genre called “hack and slash” that goes back to to the 1980s. The 1985 game Gauntlet was very similar in concept, with dozens of enemy monsters coming at you.