For most, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords is a forgotten memory, a multiplayer attempt that few enjoyed before moving on to the next big adventure with Link.
Now, with online multiplayer the norm, Nintendo has decided to give multiplayer Link another try with The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. If you have friends, Tri Force Heroes will be a great time. By yourself, though, you’ll find a lot to be desired here.
Instead of taking place in Hyrule, you’re in Hytopia, bordered by the Drablands, A witch in the Drablands was jealous of the princess, so she cast a spell to hide the princess beneath a suit. That’s where the trio of heroes come in.
The trio then go into the Drablands through various dungeons to be able to get to the witch. Unlike other Zelda titles, there’s no overworld to wander about between dungeons. There’s just Hytopia to get new outfits, a chest-picking minigame, a Miiverse gallery, a few secrets and the castle to pair up with people to go between dungeons.
In the dungeons, Link only has a few starting abilities such as swinging a sword. At the start of each dungeon, though, you’ll normally be able to pick up a second ability, like bombs, bow and arrows, fire rod, etc. While some dungeons give each characters the same thing, others give different items to different characters, meaning you’ll rely on teammates to move forward in some areas and their necessity in beating some of the bosses.
Another aspect you’ll need the team for is the “totem” system. You can pick up another Link or get picked up yourself to attack in a new level or use your other item to possible hit a switch or enemy farther away. All three Links can be stacked, and you’ll often have to do so during boss fights.
Once you beat a world boss, the dungeons will get new challenges added to them to take on, such as clearing a dungeon in a certain time, not using your sword, etc. These new trials will drop different crafting material than the original dungeon normally, which is used to make costumes.
Now to talk about the costumes. There are quite a few new outfits you can create for Link, each with their own abilities or enhancements to items you find in a dungeon. To make the outfits, you use the crafting items you find at the end of each dungeon. Because some costumes use the same item, get ready to hit some dungeons again and again, hoping you get that right crafting material you’re looking for.
Considering the multiplayer nature of the game, it should be no surprise that the game is online. What is surprising though, is that Nintendo did fairly well in the online aspect. Sure, there’s no voice chat, but there are little emotes that help to get the point across. There’s also random matchmaking that works well, the ability to team up with only friends, a blacklist ability on people out to ruin games and even download play.
So far, I’ve never had much of a problem with just random matchmaking. Sure, there’s the occasional group that may be slow on the uptake or just want to wander, but it was mostly an enjoyable experience.
It’s worth noting that the game uses a roulette system to help determine what level you play when in online multiplayer, unless everyone chooses the same world, dungeon and type of playthrough. This random nature is the best way to be fair in determining what dungeon to run and how to run it when everyone has a different opinion, and I’m fine with that.
Also, while the game does feature a single player mode where you can swap between the three heroes to accomplish goals, that really isn’t the best way to play the game. You can find yourself running out of time in boss fights trying to do that, and leaving characters vulnerable by accident as you jump back and forth by tapping characters on the touch screen. Honestly, it’s worth forgetting the game has a single player and just focus on the multiplayer.
If you have an online connection, or at least some friends nearby to play, The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is great to play, if a tad bit repetitive sometime as you grind dungeons for items. If you’re alone though, you probably should wait for the next Zelda title to arrive.
Final score: 3.7