After a week spent with the classics, I went the opposite direction this week and either played new games or games that were new to me. Although I suppose the original Dragon Quest was also new to me, but it matters not! We will leave the sorting of the facts to Mel, our local Fact Sorter and we will leave the random spewing of thoughts to me! The local Random Thought Spewer. Shall we?
What a strange game this is. Lusipurr has spoken about it on the podcast and my impressions are identical to his from what I can remember. The gameplay is fun enough (and is, I assume, standard Dynasty Warriors fare), and it is pretty satisfying to see combos play out as various Zelda characters, especially because the designs are surprisingly strong. Hyrule Warriors adopts a sort of amalgamation of styles for some of the characters, especially the ones who have multiple appearances in the Zelda series. Impa in particular looks like the Skyward Sword design mixed with the Ocarina of Time design presented in a Twilight Princess style.
The backend stuff is pretty fun too. It is ultimately shallow, but still satisfying to power up abilities and weapons to feel like killing all those monsters was doing something. Of course, it is not. It is just a loop of loot collecting and powering up to collect more loot, it is an old tale, but one that is fun enough if one is not expecting more.
No, where the game starts to stumble is the wet dream-style teenaged boy-ification of characters, voices, and cutscenes. Also, far worse, is the music. At times it is unlistenable, a double kick drum persisting relentlessly throughout a track that never, ever called for such a thing. It is impressive the way that the game is able to ruin Zelda music. Not that the series has the best music of all time, but typically the music is well-composed enough to be suitable at the very least, and Hyrule Warriors found a way to make a lot of it awful. And arranging the music to suit the Dynasty Warriors series is one thing, and so it arranging it to be more exciting, but there are ways to do that without butchering it.
I figured it was finally time to give this series a proper shot. I had played a little bit of Persona 3 a few years ago and it never captured my attention, but I also do not remember giving it an honest effort so as an escape from Final Fantasy X HD I downloaded Persona 4 Golden onto my Vita and I have been pretty hooked since. It is a series that I absolutely would have loved in high school. Playing it as I approach 30, I find the writing to still fall short a lot of the time, but I am impressed with the themes that the game chooses to tackle and its dedication to slow character growth. I also love the concrete separation of a battle world and a social world as it places more weight on decisions and puts more pressure on accomplishing a lot while in the TV world.
Needing courage to admit, absorb, and eventually overcome the darkest parts of ourselves is a great thing to explore, but so far the game just seems to scratch the surface, starting with promising internal conflict, but not maintaining the same level of thoughtfullness afterward. But I am also not that far into the game (relatively speaking, I have played about twenty hours), and I would like to complete it to get a proper sense of if the games can properly or even competently maintain all the story, character, and theme threads that they have set loose.
Also, the music has grown on me as I have slowly come to get a better sense of the game. I am still not completely sold, however.
Man, I suck as Rosalina. Maybe I can turn it around on the Wii U. For now, I am just trying to get a basic sense of the characters and the way the game plays. I am surprised that the more I play the game, the more fun it seems to be. Playing the series on a handheld surely takes some getting used to, but I am settling into it more than I expected. I still would say that there is no real reason to buy the handheld version for people who consider the console version to be the main attraction, but it is certainly more fun than I expected.
On the other hand…
Considerably less fun than I expected was attempting to transfer my save data from Wii Fit Plus to Wii Fit U. I have no shame in stating that I use Wii Fit as it is a good way to maintain a mentality of fitness although it clearly should not be relied upon as the only source of health. It keeps me thinking about fitness and it keeps me accountable to my weight and goals, and seeing as I am no longer a teenaged metabolism machine, these are things I like to pay attention to. But despite Wii Fit being a flagship title of Nintendo’s casual arm, transferring save data to the Wii U was a nightmare. It turns out that there was a relatively easy way to do it, but it appears as though Nintendo did everything it could to obscure the process. It told us to go back to the main menu to look at the game manual, but the game manual can only be accessed if one is still in the game, then save data could not be transferred onto the Wii U’s virtual Wii unless the game had already been played once before and after we had “initialized” it, the system did not let us copy the data, only “move” it although it provided no information or warning regarding the process. Anyway, one wonders if it was worth the trouble, but we did not expect to hit snag after snag in what should have been a five minute process!
Nah, that is it. Mel, what have you got for us?