E3 2012: Nintendo Land's The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest Hands-on Impressions
A brief look at the one portion of Nintendo's Wii U title that relates to a series we cover.
06.15.12 - 1:29 AM
Only one twelfth of the Wii U's Nintendo Land (somewhat) falls under our coverage: The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest. This mini-game puts three players on rails in an effort to retake the Triforce in various stages inspired by the Zelda franchise. Players take on the role of either an archer or a swordsman, and I was able to preview both.
The archer uses the Wii U GamePad exclusively to control his avatar. I held up the controller and used it as a sort of first-person window into the world of Battle Quest, looking around by moving the GamePad around. Pulling on an analog stick and releasing it fires an arrow, and waiting a moment during the pull powers up an arrow for a more potent attack. Pointing the GamePad toward the ground reloads in just a couple of seconds. Swordsmen control via Wii Remotes in a Skyward Sword sort of way, complete with the special power-up from pointing the blade at the sky.
The mini-game removes all manual movement for an automatic, on-rails experience. Three Link Miis advance on enemies at a steady rate through a forest and miniature forest temple. We battled enemies (some of whom only the archer could kill), we solved simple puzzles, and we defeated a boss, all while sharing a pool of hearts. This is a cooperative experience; every player's mishaps contribute to overall failure. One skilled player can't carry the others, and all contribute to a dead final boss.
The forest stage was quite brief and simplistic, but more stages are available in the final version. I can't wait to see what horrors await in the water temple level, and I can only hope the desert level is as pleasant and inventive as it was in Skyward Sword. I enjoyed the focus on cooperation and solid Skyward Sword-inspired gameplay, and the cute cloth aesthetic is attractive and pleasant. Of the five Nintendo Land games previewed at E3, this was my favorite, and not just because of the adorable ChuChus.