I was never the guy playing Dance Dance Revolution at the local arcade. My brief foray into Guitar Hero fused out quickly when I realized that I was void of the ability to move to a beat. With that being said I was little apprehensive of playing Cadence of Hyrule. I had never played Crypt of the NecroDancer but had heard it was music centric and thus could be the bane of my existence. As I began to play I quickly realized though the outside has the skin of a 2D Zelda the insides are all NecoDancer. The game starts with a brief introduction of Octavo the antagonist and then sends you on your way. Let’s be honest however storyline isn’t what we are here for. The game knows this and after utlra brief tutorial you are thrown into the game.
The biggest draw for this game is obviously the music. Having access to 25 remixed Zelda classic themes. They are reestylized seamlessly and as you would guess integral to the game. Everything from Ocarina of Time to Link’s Awakening has been sampled for the perfect balance. A particular favorite moment of mine is entering the Windmill and hearing that familiar, “Song of Storms”, and getting to play around with it.
The mix of 2D present calling back to the 3D past was done seamlessly. How could it not be? Music is the most critical aspect of this game and the creatures painstakingly incorporated. The music is interwoven into both moments of action and calm making you instinctively move react to the mood of the game. If you are a fan of Zelda music, this alone is enough to purge your rupee pouch. 10/10
Music and Gameplay are largely one and the same. Understanding the rhythm of music as you enter an area can prove critical. Combat occurs to tempo music of your particular area. There is no need for aggressive button mashing. Instead you must move at your opponent to the beat of the music. Do not be afraid a handy dandy sound bar with Triforce at it’s center pulses at the bottom of the screen to aid the tone deaf like myself. If you are on beat you will strike true, if not you will be punished as the enemies are unforgiving. This process seems simple enough at first but as you progress it gets more difficult. You will quickly find that increase of enemies with varying attack speeds and maneuvers can quickly throw a wrench into your rhythm.
The difficulty of areas can increase maddening for those who struggle with a game like this. An option has been included with a “Fixed Beat” mode. I don’t recommend as it takes away what makes the game fun. The game becomes essentially a walk through with this feature. For a young child however this can definitely make the game more accessible. In particular it was useful when playing local multiplayer with my young son.
There are initially two characters to choose from, the third being Cadence whom you earn after finding her at key locations. You can start the game with Link who has a shield and spin attack, or with Zelda who has a magic shield and fire, (think Oot’s Nayru’s love and Din’s Fire). Cadence herself uses a shield and shovel. Her shovel strike creating earth spikes to attack stun enemies and clear a path through dirt walls. Personally I didn’t find one to be “better” over the others in combat, and playing through with different characters could freshen the game for some.
There is at least one secret character a Deku Scrub named Yves that you find with Tingle. Give Tingle the 20 nuts and ta da! You have increased stamina and a new character.
On the negative the game play can become a bit like “Ground Hogs Day”, something that was a complaint for the first Cadence game. However that complaint is minor as the music is nostalgic enough, and the remixes good enough to keep me engaged. 7/10
The game itself is very beautiful taking its direction from the storied history of top down Zelda’s yet also remaining uniquely its own. The hero design seems to be a cross between Link to the Past and Minish Cap. The world itself is charming with cartoon stylings. The creatures feature bold large and expressive designs which I love. Our trio of heroes are smaller and I found myself wishing that they would be a bit larger to give off the same kind of bold expressions that the villains had. 8/10
This is a fun little indie style mash up from Brace Yourself Games with enough Nintendo magic to keep me interested. It’s not overly long (even with randomized sections of the game), nor overly complicated. Thats not a negative however as I felt the game was easy to pick up and play on the go with zero relearning. More importantly if you are a fan of Zelda music and have 24.99, this feels like an easily download. My overall impression for Cadence of Hyrule is a strong 9/10.
Tell me what you think! Did you enjoy this take on Hyrule? How were game mechanics for you? Let me know your over all impression In the comment section down below, or you can discuss in our wonderful forums.
Some say he is a leaf on the wind, others say he is the wind beneath their wings. Either way he is a huge Nintendo fan and has been gaming since the age of 8. One part Jedi Master, and two parts Starfleet Redshirt he has been known to quiet the ocean and make mountains sit. He comes to you now to share in all things Nintendo.