Starting with Legend mode, which is honestly pretty much the same. The 3DS version has all the DLC from the WiiU version, so Cia's Tale is here, along with the two new and exclusive stories: Linkle's Tale, a story that has no actual story to it other then the controversial Linkle not being able to read a map and compass to save her life, trying to get to Hyrule Castle... by using a map and compass. All that this story is really good for is just material grinding on some of the more annoying enemies (like The Imprisoned), and getting the option to play as characters who you wouldn't unlock until Adventure Mode, being Ruto and Twili Midna, allowing you to get extra Heart containers for them. The smaller, yet meatier extra campaign, and what closes of Legend Mode now is Saga of the Great Sea, which relies more heavily on the new tweaks to the gameplay and new items. The new dungeons brought into the game, Forsaken Fortress and the Wind and Earth Temples (that is one map, not two), bring in puzzle solving elements akin to the main series, primarily using the Hookshot, an item from the WiiU version, and the new Fairy Ocarina and Hammer items. The Ocarina allowing you to use the Song of Soaring to get to activated Owl statues as a quick travel way around the map, and the hammer is primarily used to, aside from the usual means of injuring enemies and exposing the weak point of one of the new bosses, the Helmrock king, hit switches that change parts of the map, unlocking new paths. I really like this idea, and kinda wish they did it with the other items. It would be cool to do things like using bombs to change the water flow of a map, allowing you to make a bottleneck for the enemy forces, or using the bow to light fires like in the main games, potentially exposing chests of Rupees, material or weapons.
|Screw this thing, I swear the hitbox for the Helmrock king is off|
One other change they made to Legend mode was something to encourage the character changing, adding more sub missions to levels. Like "Take out the Advanced Summoner", "Stop the Keep Saboteurs" ect. Personally, I think this makes missions feel more cluttered then before, but again, I tended to forget I could change characters when playing Legend mode, which is probably the reason why.
The other major change to the gameplay is the ability to, if in the right level, change characters at will, and coordinate your other playable characters. This meaning that if you wanted, you could have one character taking a keep, while another goes to another, or you could have all your characters bum rush a boss, with more characters meaning the boss goes down faster, and you even get other good perks like a magic restore, and faster draining of the weak point gauge. It is very helpful for getting A rank rewards for weaker characters, but more often then not, I just forget I can do it, being use to the WiiU version and all.
I honestly don't have much to say about My Fairy, mainly due to the nature of how it works. The best way to describe it is "it's a zelda themed Tamagotchi" if that makes any sense. You find Fairies in some Adventure mode missions by breaking pots in the keeps. You give them food enemies may drop, or food you find by, again, breaking pots. You give them clothes based on iconic Zelda characters which enhance their traits, with food enhancing their stats, akin to Super Training from Pokemon generation 6, and in battle, they give you buffs and a "keep nuke", taking out large amounts of enemies near you at the cost of magic. At time of writing, I only have two fairies, one of which I haven't used yet as I haven't had the need to use a Water elemental fairy yet, and my Light Fairy gives me a health restore if I get knocked out for whatever reason, whereas my Water Fairy acts as another potion. The costumes are very nice though, and are a nice little collectable in Adventure Mode. Many say that this feature is broken if you know how to use it, which I can see if you put the time into it, I just haven't put the time into it yet.
As stated, Legends comes with all the DLC of the WiiU version, including all the extra Adventure Mode maps. What this also means is that there's more structure to them. You can only unlock the next map if you complete a specific mission in the last one, and rewards are more spread out now. This also means that many missions are now easier here then they were in the WiiU version, as they're not rewarding you with Level 2 or higher weapons in the Zelda 1 map. If I recall, you get the Level 1 weapons that your missing, and the completed roster in the Zelda 1 map, Level 2 in the Great Sea, Level 3 in Master Quest, and Level * in Twilight Hyrule Field. I'm not sure what there is in Majora's Mask, mainly because I haven't even gotten to Great Sea yet, because like with the WiiU version, Adventure Mode is the main meat of the game, and its not a quick thing to get through. I'm actually grateful for this change, it gives Adventure mode more of a structure, and it means that there's more reasons to do the later maps. I just hope that continues for the DLC maps coming to the 3DS version continue that trend.
In terms of gameplay, this is the superior version, however I personally would have liked a few other additions which to me, would have been the icing on the cake. One that I admit is more because I've been spoiled by Smash 4, an "iPod mode". For Smash 3DS, if you started playing a song in the jukebox mode and closed the lid of the 3DS, the song would keep playing. I loved that feature, and I wish it was here as well, mainly because I haven't found good .mp3's or .flac's of the soundtrack to both this and the WiiU version of the game. Another function I thought was a shoe in was a "Four Swords mode", something better designed around the character changing mechanic, where you controlled 4 of the same character through harder missions. Those along with any form of Multiplayer are missing, none of which are game breaking, and the game is still solid without them, they would have just been the icing on the cake. Though we do have an Ocarina micro game... yay?
What however isn't, is the presentation. Visually, its not the best that the 3DS family has to offer, as its blatantly obvious its just downscalled from the WiiU version, with the pre rendered cut-scenes looking the worst. I am willing to let that slide just because I knew this was never going to look as good as the WiiU version, its downscaling a HD game to something on par with the Gamecube and the Wii, it was never going to look as good. Combined with the nature of the gameplay style, and its good enough for what its trying to do. What however does become a bit annoying is entity pop in, making things like "Kill over 100 enemies with one special attack" almost, if not completely impossible. That one can be a bit of a problem, but what really annoys me is the game forgetting to load textures. It's only been happening recently, but I've had times when the Great Fairy's face didn't load when doing her Special attack, I've had Wizzro use the Force on me because the texture for his beam attack didn't load, but the coding for the hit still did, so I got blind sided by nothing (yeah thanks game). The Great fairy one wasn't too bad, Wizzro's one (which has happened twice) is though.
|People complained about her, but Linkle is a beast in HWL, and I don't even have her fully powered up yet|
if you never got the WiiU version, or you want more Hyrule Warriors, then this is an excellent version to get, as many see it as the definitive version of the game. Otherwise, there's no real reason to get this, as it is basically the WiiU version on the 3DS... or rather, New 3DS. If you're getting this game, DO NOT PLAY IT ON A 3DS, 3DS XL, OR 2DS. This game is badly optimized for those systems, and can only really be played on a New 3DS or New 3DS XL, so much so that it may as well have the "Only for New 3DS" label on it. Unless you've never played it before, or you want more of the same, then skip over it, as it is basically the WiiU version, just with lower resolution textures, and some more features in exchange for others (there isn't a Challenge mode). Up next from me, The Dark Knight Returns.