So I've been playing a lot of Hyrule Warriors Legends on 3DS. I bought the cartridge the day it came out, and it's my 2nd most played 3DS game (behind Monster Hunter Generations, but that's another topic for another time). I never got a Wii U, so I never got the chance to play the original version of this game.
A little bit of history about myself, I've always found the Musou series games visually entertaining but they lacked that certain "flair", that hook that would get me to spend a lot of time with them. I had fun with Mystic Heroes, a Gamecube Musou ripoff, but that was only for the few minutes I played the game at a friend's house in high school. When I played that, it sparked my imagination, even then, about how ~~AWESOME~~ it'd be if Link or Sheik or Zelda or Darunia from Ocarina of Time could be there, in place of the characters in Mystic Heroes. Link could use his fire magic, his Light arrows, or maybe ride Epona. Darunia could roll around, or maybe he could listen to music, dance, and rampage around the battlefield, knocking over tons of enemies like in Mystic Heroes.
Little did I know, that 13 years later, the game that I had discussed with my friends at the lunch table in high school (Yeah, I was that nerd, we played Pokemon and talked about video games and listened to what *that guy* had to say about how to get Celebi in Pokemon Gold) would actually be released, and be a real thing. In Hyrule Warriors, Link can ride Epona, he can use a fire rod, he can use fire magic; Sheik can do crazy acrobatic backflips and crazy ninja shit, Darunia can roll around and smash people with a giant hammer, and even Zelda joins the fray- alongside like thirty more Zelda characters.
When I play Hyrule Warriors, I'm warped back to a certain place in time; where my friends and I discuss the "What if" scenarios, like "What if Link had THIS weapon....". It evokes a level of childlike glee in me, something that's so rarely done now that i'm a thirty-something jaded gamer that's "SEEN IT ALL". I'm not worried about the fact I'm literally mashing out a combo that consists of one, maybe two buttons. I'm referring to the notes I kept, that say if Link uses the Master Sword that it HAS to be the strongest weapon in the game because it's such a legendary sword. I'm not thinking about how the game has a ton of missions that roughly amount to "Capture this keep, and then go capture this one"; I'm arguing with my friend that Tingle can't be a character because he's such a wuss- I mean come on, a blowgun and a balloon couldn't possibly be a weapon that could compete with the Master Sword.
Don't get me wrong. Hyrule Warriors is a flawed game in a lot of ways. Anyone can see that. But the addicting gameplay and the lunch table nostalgia propel it to something near legendary status. It's a cartridge I won't be removing anytime soon- besides, my highest level character is level 60. I've got 195 levels to go, and like 120 more weapons to unlock.
It does make me think a lot, though; if anyone else is currently having lunch table discussions about something similar to this. Are freshmen in high school still arguing about what video game characters are the best? Are they arguing about which ones would win in a fight? Has someone else accidentally predicted a game that's going to be a reality 15 years later?
There's also the next lingering question; too. Where is Nintendo going to go from this? Fire Emblem Warriors is coming out later this year, on Switch and New 3DS (Which means I'll need to upgrade my handheld, one way or the other); but the WHAT IF scenario still hangs in the back of my mind, sparking something similar to those old discussions in high school. What if Nintendo decided to go all out and hire Omega Force to make a Nintendo Warriors- or better yet, a crossover with Masahiro Sakurai and make Smash Warriors? What if there was a Musou game that was similar to Smash Run from Smash 4? What if you could take Ness and have him use PK Fire into a group of like 50 Goombas? What if Samus charged a Wave Beam and fired it into a pack of Bulborbs from Pikmin? What if Captain Falcon used his Musou mode attack and drove the Blue Falcon through an assault force of Hammer Bros? What if Ganondorf, Bowser, and Charizard all used their flame attacks at the same time against the Ice Climbers?
There's just so many possibilities. And while the game itself isn't the best in the world, it's just pure, unadulterated, farm-fresh fun. It's that kind of fun that the game industry desperately needs- throw a bunch of awesome, fun things into a game just because you can, just so you can see what happens. The irony of that statement, though, is that the new Zelda game is almost exactly that.