If you enjoy Zelda, you might like this rhythm-based adventure game

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If you enjoy Zelda, you might like this rhythm-based adventure game

Blake Prasch, Staff Writer

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From Brace Yourself Games comes a sequel/spinoff to their award-winning indie game Crypt of the Necrodancer. Cadence of Hyrule is a rhythm based, action adventure game that takes the mechanics of its predecessor and adapts them to the Legend of Zelda world.

Gameplay

In Cadence of Hyrule, time moves according to the beat of the soundtrack. Every beat, players and enemies can take one action, whether that be moving, attacking, or using items. Players who can defeat enemies without getting hit or missing a beat build up a multiplier, which causes enemies to drop better items. Missing beats will cause your character to stand still, and you’ll lose your multiplier.

For those used to rhythm games, this game probably won’t be too hard to pick up. However, most people are likely going to struggle at first. New players might get frustrated, as it’s easy to wander into a difficult area of the overworld and get slaughtered in a few moments, but once you get used to the controls, this game is a blast.

The action is fast and unlike anything else on the market. The more you fight and explore the more tools and abilities you unlock.

As much as I’ll praise the combat and exploration in Cadence of Hyrule, one element doesn’t really hold up. I’m talking about puzzles. Many puzzles in the game amounted to pushing a couple of blocks around. Sure, the original Zelda games were guilty of this too, but Cadence of Hyrule has the added problem poor controls. The controls work well during combat, but they don’t service puzzle solving.

Content

Similar to its predecessor, Cadence of Hyrule can be beaten within three to four hours. However, that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in things to do. Since the entire game is randomly generated, repeat playthroughs can yield different experiences. Depending on where key items drop, the game can be much shorter or much longer. After defeating the final boss, you can still seek out the rest of the items you missed for a 100 percent completion rate.

As for alternate modes, Cadence of Hyrule as a few. Fixed beat mode lets the player move freely from the music track. This makes the game significantly easier, but it also removes much of the game’s uniqueness. On the other hand, double time mode speeds up the beat by two times. Combine this with permadeath mode, in which there is no respawning, and you’ve got a ridiculously difficult challenge. One mode stands head and shoulders above the rest, and that is multiplayer mode. After playing Cadence of Hyrule by myself, I wondered how multiplayer could function in such a hectic game. I had expected my brother and I to get in each other’s way. To my surprise, it was more fun than single player.

Story

The story of Cadence of Hyrule is, especially when compared to other Zelda games post A Link to the Past, basic. Some evil guy named Octavo has been putting everyone in Hyrule to sleep with his magic lute. In order to stop him, Cadence, Link and Zelda must defeat Octavo’s four guardians, which are scattered across Hyrule. Aside from a minor twist at the end, that’s it. The amount of dialogue and story events are slim, but I don’t think it hurts the game. In fact, a more detailed story might have conflicted with the fast paced, arcade style gameplay.

Graphics

The visuals are quite similar to classic Zelda games, albeit more saturated and detailed than most. The closest comparison is with the Minish Cap on GBA. Although retro graphics might not everyone’s cup of tea, I found Cadence of Hyrule’s style easy on the eyes. Every element of the world is colorful and easily identifiable. This visual clarity is really the most important part! Because their visual “tells” are clear (though they can be quite subtle at times), a player can tell what an enemy is about to do. Without visual clarity, predicting enemy patterns would be extremely difficult.

Audio

Considering that music is so vital to Cadence of Hyrule, one would expect this game to have outstanding audio. It didn’t disappoint! Cadence of Hyrule features an extensive soundtrack of Legend of Zelda remixes. Now, LoZ is already a series that is known for its stellar music, so it comes as no surprise that the remixes are excellent as well. Songs representing plenty of past games are here, like the dungeon theme from the original NES classic, and the Song of Storms from Ocarina of Time.

Conclusion

Overall, there was very little to complain about with Cadence of Hyrule. The gameplay is  both unique and fun, the graphics are pleasant, the soundtrack is astounding, and there’s a decent amount to do. The only place in which this game stumbles is the puzzles. I rate Cadence of Hyrule 8/10! It’s a must-play for fans of Legend of Zelda and roguelike games.

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