The most surprising thing about Cadence of Hyrule, though it's so unusual, is how immediately you feel like a Zelda game. Aesthetically, it is somewhere between A Link to the Past and the more caricature games of Four Swords, but its Zelda roots are much deeper than that; This is not just the NecroDancer Crypt that is reskinned. Just like The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds on 3DS, Cadence is a shorter and smaller riff on Zelda's classic 2D model with a unique twist, a game that will appeal to longtime fans, but also feels fresh and exciting. .
In the opening game, Cadence (the protagonist of Crypt of the NecroDancer) is screened in Hyrule by a mysterious vortex and must choose to wake Link or Zelda. From there, the game is pretty open – you explore a random world map looking for classic Zelda artifacts and four dungeons to complete before you can storm Hyrule Castle, which fell under the yoke of the wicked musician, the wicked musician. Octavo. You will eventually unlock both characters (and potentially two others), but being able to play as Zelda from the beginning is wonderful and gives the impression of being a long-awaited correction of the series name.
The game does not tell you exactly where to go in the beginning, but luckily, the first hour or two, simply going from one screen to the other, to discover your map and understand how your generated version of Procedural way of Hyrule harmonizes perfectly, is exhilarating. If there are monsters on the screen, you have to move to the rhythm of the game's music, indicated by a marker at the bottom of your user interface, by synchronizing your movements in four directions in order avoid and attack enemies snatched from the Zelda universe. . Each enemy has his own model of attack and most have a clear say. If a wolf seems about to leap, for example, you'll want to make sure you're not on the box in front of him. the next time, while larger enemies may have larger attack areas that will be flagged a time before their assault. It's a system that the game describes as a "dance" between you and your enemies, which is appropriate because I would almost always find myself bumping and stomping next to my movements.
Learn the rhythm patterns of enemies and reach the point where you can determine how best to attack them in order to counterattack or defend yourself is a constant pleasure. When you slip into the area and feel that your movements and steps are perfectly synchronized with the pace and movements of your enemies, it is extremely satisfying, especially as you find new areas and new monsters in the game and you defeat them slowly. Returning to an area that you found intimidating at the beginning of the game and easily slaying all enemies, making the music calm and the loot lost, is fantastic.
Attacks and interactions are automatic based on your location, with each screen divided into grid titles that you move. Throughout the game, you must be attentive to your movements and your environment, so it is convenient for each song to follow the same tempo – once you are logged in, your ability to move the game depends on your ability to read the many animations of the enemy and quickly trace your movements on the fly. The only exceptions are some random game worlds that slow down or speed up the pace, and an inspired puzzle that asks you to play at the rhythm of a familiar piece of Zelda's music.
The entire soundtrack consists of superbly reworked pieces from the Zelda series, with a number of melodies featuring faster and more optimistic variations. These are all wonderful remixes of songs to which many players will already feel a strong attachment, and the often constant pace of the game keeps you in control, as you really only need to learn and get used to at a pace. There are also plenty of audible Easter eggs for Zelda's longtime fans. It should be noted that there is also an adapted accessibility option, called the "fixed beat" mode, which prevents enemies from moving unless you move, thus avoiding keeping pace.
Cadence of Hyrule also contains fancy little elements, but it's a very generous system that encourages you to use your consumables rather than storing them. When you die, you lose all the keys you've collected, all the rupees, your shovel, your flashlight, and all the stats-enhancing items you've picked up. Your vital equipment remains with you, as well as all the weapons you have found. You will not need to do anything as drastic as finding your best sword or knockout, which will alleviate any frustration and allow you to stay focused on your progress.
Many of these classic Zelda objects are hidden in the outside world, but none of them really is needed to progress in the game. In fact, it is quite possible to simply make a determined line towards each dungeon, and the timed standings of the game are likely to attract a lot of speed racers. For the rest of us, however, making the effort to find and use all the classic Zelda objects will make the challenge easier, and go to the end to locate the scattered objects in Hyrule is a worthwhile hunt because playing the game is a joy in itself.
Cadence of Hyrule understands how much the fun of playing a Zelda game stems from feeling up to the challenge of its environment and, after hours of learning and internalizing the rhythms of enemy attacks varied, you feel less intimidated by the creatures that the game throws you is a great feeling. Some items end up superfluous because they are not necessary – for example, I have never used the boomerang effectively, and even the bow (which can be equipped with many types of arrows) is irrelevant.
The dungeons are fun but short, forcing you to venture through randomly generated floors full of monsters, and possibly fight classic Zelda boss-themed musicals. These bosses all have wonderful designs that combine old favorites with new instrument-based powers, with really funny word play names. There are very few puzzles in the game; the dungeons are fully focused on combat and exploration. I found that the last two of the top four in the Overseas world were extremely easy because my version of Zelda had become quite powerful (I was on a long time eternal, equipped with some very useful improvements). But Cadence of Hyrule more than makes up for the challenge of the last hike through Hyrule Castle, making the final boss's battle extremely fun and the resulting credits well-deserved.
Once you're done, the reasons to come back are many. Chasing all the treasures is a fun reason to spend more time exploring and fighting, and if you find the right items, the map will tell you exactly where the unclaimed treasures are and allow you to move around as you please. allowing you to move easily. mop up everything you missed. If you try again, the fact that the card is random each time means that you will have a different experience because the zones will look different or have a different layout.
There are also daily challenges, which plunge you into the beginning under the names of Link or Zelda and allow you to compete on a leaderboard to see where you can go on a lifetime, as well as on a permanent way of life . These modes are really only there for more avid gamers looking to master the game, but it is good to have the option. You can also play the entire game cooperatively, a player taking control of Cadence, the other playing the role of Link or Zelda, which is a great addition. If a player dies, you both fall and if one of you goes on the next screen, the other player will also be deformed. It is therefore important to work together to align with time. The game works best as a solo player, but it's a good choice.
Cadence of Hyrule is a fantastic game of Zelda in its own right, even if it adopts the game mechanics of another series. Beyond the aesthetic, it offers a satisfying sense of exploration and increasing power, and revel in the joy of discovery, as do all the best Zelda games. It's an extremely successful fusion of two major games and an experience that makes Nintendo want to do more interesting things with its major licenses.