NS Preview: Post E3 hands on with The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes (3DS)


Continuing our coverage of the Nintendo Post-E3 Event in Shoreditch; we turn our gaze to of the most unexpected announcements from Nintendo’s 2015 Digital Event, Zelda, but not the game we all expected. A new, co-operative Zelda title for Nintendo 3DS!

Starting off the quest, Wes had this to say:

I’m going to be bold from the outset with this one; I REALLY enjoyed this game and can’t wait to get my hands on the full retail version. Quarter 4 2015 can’t come soon enough.

A genuinely exciting surprise announcement from this years E3 digital event, The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes introduces new multi-player Zelda fun for the first time since the original release of the four player Four Swords on GBA in 2003. This time it’s 3 of you that must work as a team of different coloured Links to make your way through dungeons and battle bosses – and from what I played it promises to be a lot of fun.

Featuring gameplay and visuals straight out of A Link Between Worlds, your start by each picking a weapon from a choice of the ones needed for the stage you’ve entered. The options available will be used to solve puzzles – e.g. two players may need the bellows to each blow bombs from one platform to the next and to the next, which the third player pulls from his bag. This variation gives each player a slightly different experience to the next and with a wide range of classic Zelda weapons the puzzles, enemies and gameplay within promises to be nice and varied.

Added to this, and what is perhaps one of the games most fun features, is the ability to touch a number of different Link emoticons on screen to communicate with your fellow team mates. Obviously the three of us playing were able to speak directly to each other, but for online play these icons will prove to be useful in requesting help, providing hints of what’s needed from your squad and for celebrating on solving a puzzle or beating a tough boss. Teamwork is key as you share your hearts and work together to battle enemies, form totems to allow access to higher platforms, attack hard to reach enemy weak points and activate bridges and switches, all to progress through the stages.

Different outfits to customise your character and boost abilities, the ability to control ‘dolls’ that appear in place of real friends to allow solo play and online and local co-op play will all feature in one of my most anticipated games launching this year.

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Then I played a similar tune:

Possibly the only good announcement from Nintendo’s Digital Event, this wonderful little hark-back to the days of simpler, multiplayer Zelda titles didn’t disappoint. As my most played game at the event, it almost doesn’t need to be said that I enjoyed it immensely. The beautiful art-style is referential to (if not quite the same as) the stunning style chosen for A Link Between Worlds and has some typically wonderful Zelda music; this is every inch a Zelda title.

The gameplay though is its main draw for me. Multiplayer but with a far stronger emphasis on co-operation than Four Swords was. With only one set of hearts between your trio of Links, and certain obstacles to overcome and enemies to be defeated that can only be achieved with three of you working together sets this apart as a unique title. The levels on the demo contained everything you could want from this bonus Zelda; puzzles, intricate boss battles, the ability to dress up your Links to give them different abilities (adding even more to the strategy). Simply put, this may not be the Zelda we wanted from Nintendo at E3, but it is nonetheless a worthy entry to the series.

Boots slashed away at some points:

I’ve always preferred my green tunic adventuring viewed from up above, so another series entry in the same vein as ‘A-Link-Between-Four-Swords’ is not be quaffed at!

What about Triforce Heroes’ schtick then? As an in-game loading screen states “sharing is caring” that’s what. A title very much built with co-operative reliance in mind, right down to a shared heart container pool and the suggested avoidance of all deciding to wear the same tactical garb. Interestingly it has opted to hold the torch for (what I like to label) ‘third wheel mode’ a player cap tying-in perfectly with the franchise’s iconic symbol.

Putting the experience spoiling demo lag to one side I can see there’s going to be a decent portable party to be had here. Expect streamlined puzzle solving amongst dungeon hack ‘n’ slashing, although spin attack out Four Swords’ competitive streak.

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Finally a few bombs from Conor:

Taking the mechanics from A Link Between Worlds, the visuals from Wind Waker, and the co-operative gameplay from Four Swords Adventures, Tri Force Heroes builds itself on strong foundations right from the start and it didn’t disappoint.

There was something that just felt right about having three players co-operating rather than four, which can at times in games can feel cluttered. The totem mechanic is probably a good reason for this, since having four Links stacked on top of each other might have been overwhelming. Many of the game’s puzzles and enemies centred around this too; the player on the top of the totem could attack and fire arrows, and there were several points where only a two-stack totem was needed.

The game did pose a considerable challenge, and the co-operative aspect was helped by the shared heart metre. The weapons and items offered various abilities; the Gust Jar would launch teammates away from its user, and the Boomerang had the opposite role of bringing teammates to the thrower. Players could also choose different outfits to wear, which added a nice bit of customisation to the experience even if it was minor. Visual messages can be communicated across using the touchscreen. We made sure no puzzle was completed without all three Links were rapidly waving pom-poms on the screen in celebration. I walked away satisfied with Tri Force Heroes and can’t wait to see more of it.

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