ZeldaNintendo 3DS

All Legend Of Zelda 3DS Games: A Journey Through Hyrule

When it comes to memorable gaming experiences, The Legend of Zelda series has consistently delivered. Over the years, these games have captured the hearts of many, and the Nintendo 3DS has been no exception to this legacy.

On this handheld console, the series saw a blend of revamped classics and fresh tales, each adding a distinct chapter to the Zelda story.

From revisiting the land of Hyrule in enhanced 3D graphics to battling hordes in the style of “Dynasty Warriors”, the 3DS offered a diverse range of Zelda experiences. In this article, we’ll delve into each of these titles, exploring what made them stand out on this portable platform.

5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (19th Jun 2011)

Average Time Required to Complete the Game:

  • Main Story: 26.5 hours
  • Main + Extras: 32 hours
  • Completionist (100%): 38 hours

In the realm of video gaming, few titles possess the monumental significance of “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.” Originally launched for the Nintendo 64 in 1998, this game set benchmarks for action-adventure titles, introducing revolutionary mechanics and an intricate narrative that seamlessly blended time-travel elements.

When news surfaced that “Ocarina of Time” would receive a remastered version for the 3DS, fans old and new were brimming with excitement. Released in 2011, “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D” wasn’t just a nostalgic revisit; it was a thorough reimagining for a new generation.

Enhancements and Updates:

Graphics: The most immediate change players observed was the graphical uplift. The world of Hyrule, from the bustling market of Castle Town to the eerie depths of the Shadow Temple, had never looked more vibrant. The character models received a polish, and environments boasted a level of detail unimaginable on the original N64.

Gameplay: While the core gameplay remained largely untouched, the 3DS version introduced quality-of-life improvements. The touchscreen offered a more user-friendly inventory management, allowing swift changes between items. The gyroscopic controls made aiming with the bow or slingshot more intuitive.

Master Quest: For those seeking a heightened challenge, the “Master Quest” mode was included, flipping the entire game world and ramping up the difficulty of puzzles and enemy encounters.

A nostalgic masterpiece for many, “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D” beautifully encapsulated the charm of the original while employing the technological prowess of the 3DS. It served as a reminder of the game’s timeless quality and the enduring appeal of Link’s adventurous journey to thwart the malevolent Ganondorf and save the land of Hyrule.

4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 3D (22nd Nov 2013)

Average Time Required to Complete the Game:

  • Main Story: 15.5 hours
  • Main + Extras: 18.5 hours
  • Completionist (100%): 26 hours

Echoing the timeless charm of the Super Nintendo’s “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past“, “A Link Between Worlds” not only pays homage to this classic but also carves its own identity in the pantheon of Zelda titles. Released in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS, the game invites players back to the familiar landscapes of Hyrule and introduces the parallel world of Lorule.

Connection to “A Link to the Past”:

Legacy Landscape: While “A Link Between Worlds” stands as a unique entry, its roots are deeply intertwined with its SNES predecessor. Players will recognize the top-down perspective and familiar terrains, from Death Mountain’s peaks to the Lost Woods’ labyrinthine paths.

A New Tale: Set centuries after the events of “A Link to the Past”, this story follows a new iteration of Link, a young blacksmith’s apprentice, as he embarks on a quest to rescue the Seven Sages and prevent Lorule’s malevolent ruler, Yuga, from shattering the peace of both realms.

Innovative Gameplay Mechanics:

Merging Magic: A central mechanic is Link’s newfound ability to merge into walls as a living painting. This not only serves as a strategic tool for puzzles but also acts as a gateway between Hyrule and Lorule.

Item Rental System: Shifting away from the traditional dungeon-specific item discovery, “A Link Between Worlds” introduces Ravio’s shop, where players can rent or buy essential tools like the bow, bombs, or hookshot. This grants a refreshing freedom, allowing players to tackle dungeons in a non-linear order.

Reception and Legacy:

Acclaim and Awards: Upon release, “A Link Between Worlds” was lauded for its fluid gameplay, captivating narrative, and innovative mechanics. The game’s ability to tread the fine line between nostalgia and innovation earned it numerous accolades and solidified its status as a must-play for any 3DS owner.

3. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (13th Feb 2015)

Average Time Required to Complete the Game:

  • Main Story: 22 hours
  • Main + Extras: 25-28 hours
  • Completionist (100%): 33 hours

Emerging from the shadows of its predecessor, “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask” initially stunned players with its dark themes, time constraints, and transformative masks. Originally launched for the Nintendo 64 in 2000, the game marked a stark departure from the grand adventure in “Ocarina of Time,” opting instead for a more intimate, emotionally-charged experience set in the doomed world of Termina.

In 2015, Nintendo graced fans with “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D” for the 3DS, reinvigorating this classic with modern enhancements while retaining the core essence that made it so beloved.

Storyline and Unique Time-Based Gameplay:

Termina’s Impending Doom: Link finds himself in the mysterious world of Termina, where the moon is on a catastrophic collision course with the land. He has a mere three days to prevent this apocalypse, a time span players can manipulate using the magical Song of Time.

Recurring Cycles: The game’s unique time-resetting mechanic means players relive the same three days repeatedly, each cycle offering opportunities to change outcomes, save citizens, and inch closer to thwarting the game’s antagonist, Majora.

Improvements and Changes in the 3DS Remaster:

Visual Upgrade: “Majora’s Mask 3D” received a considerable visual overhaul, bringing the world of Termina to life in greater detail, from the colorful Carnival of Time to the haunting Stone Tower Temple.

Streamlined Mechanics: The Bomber’s Notebook, a tool to track the numerous side quests and NPC schedules, received a much-needed update for better clarity and usability. Additionally, saving the game became more straightforward, and certain boss fights underwent tweaks for enhanced gameplay balance.

Twin Fairies: A new feature was the ability to gather stray fairies in dungeons using the Great Fairy’s Mask, a quality-of-life addition appreciated by many fans.

To many, “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D” is more than just a game; it’s an emotional odyssey exploring themes of loss, hope, and the inexorable march of time. The 3DS remaster beautifully reintroduced this masterpiece, ensuring its haunting tale would captivate yet another generation of players.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes 3D (23rd Oct 2015)

Average Time Required to Complete the Game:

  • Main Story: 15 hours
  • Main + Extras: 26 hours
  • Completionist (100%): 56hours

In a delightful twist on the classic Zelda formula, “The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes“, released in 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS, embraces cooperative gameplay and sartorial splendor. Set in the fashion-obsessed kingdom of Hytopia, this title sees not one, but three Links working in tandem to lift a curse and restore peace to the stylish realm.

Setting and Premise:

Fashion Fiasco: In the heart of Hytopia, the beautiful Princess Styla falls victim to a mysterious curse, trapping her in an unflattering jumpsuit. The despondent kingdom is in dire need of heroes who can navigate treacherous dungeons and vanquish the witch responsible for the fashion tragedy.

Trinity of Heroes: Enter the Tri Force Heroes – three chosen ones, be it solo with doppels or with friends, who must synchronize their efforts, share a pooled life meter, and stack atop one another to overcome height-based challenges.

Unique Multiplayer Dynamics:

Teamwork Triumphs: The game’s core revolves around three-player co-op, whether locally, online, or solo with AI-controlled doppels. Puzzles and combat scenarios necessitate collaboration, from timing button presses to sharing resources.

Totem Time: One of the game’s signature mechanics is the “Totem” system, where heroes can stack on top of one another, enabling them to hit higher targets or navigate vertically oriented puzzles.

Fashion-Forward Mechanics:

Material Quest: As players progress, they collect materials from defeated foes and completed challenges. These aren’t mere trophies but essential components for crafting outfits.

Outfit Abilities: The game boasts a plethora of costumes, each granting unique abilities. Whether it’s the “Spin Attack Attire” that boosts Link’s iconic spin move or the “Zora Costume” that enhances swimming capabilities, players can strategize and pick the best outfit for each challenge.

Reception:

Divisive Design: “Tri Force Heroes” received a mixed reception, with praise directed at its inventive multiplayer mechanics and diverse outfits, but some criticism aimed at its perceived departure from the traditional Zelda narrative depth. Regardless, it remains an intriguing experiment in the Zelda franchise, showcasing the series’ adaptability and willingness to embrace new gameplay paradigms.

In “The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes”, the blend of fashion and adventure offers a unique and whimsical take on the Zelda universe. By championing teamwork and celebrating style, it provides a refreshing experience that stands out in the illustrious Zelda lineage.

Hyrule Warriors Legends 3D (25th Mar 2016)

Average Time Required to Complete the Game:

  • Main Story: 18 hours
  • Main + Extras: 39 hours
  • Completionist (100%): 141 hours

Hyrule Warriors Legends” is a title that diverges from the traditional gameplay Zelda fans have come to love, venturing into the fast-paced realm of “musou” or “Warriors” games. Released in 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS, this game seamlessly blends the hack-and-slash action of the “Dynasty Warriors” series with the rich lore and iconic characters of the Zelda universe.

The Fusion of Two Worlds:

A Spin-off Saga: Instead of the conventional puzzle-solving and exploration-centric gameplay of Zelda titles, “Hyrule Warriors Legends” immerses players in large-scale battles, mowing down hordes of enemies and capturing strategic points on the battlefield.

Heroic Ensemble: Players can control various characters from the Zelda series, each with unique combat styles and special moves. From Link’s swordplay to Impa’s naginata techniques, the game boasts a diverse roster that taps into multiple Zelda timelines.

New Features and Content:

Exclusive Additions: “Hyrule Warriors Legends” wasn’t merely a port of the Wii U’s “Hyrule Warriors”; it introduced new content, such as playable characters like Linkle, the dual-crossbow wielding warrior, and the mischievous Skull Kid from “Majora’s Mask”.

Wind Waker Campaign: In addition to the main storyline, this version offered an exclusive “Wind Waker” narrative arc, allowing players to delve into the adventures of Toon Link and Tetra.

Portable Perks: One notable feature was the ability to switch between characters mid-battle using the 3DS touchscreen, allowing for more strategic battlefield control.

Reception:

Balancing Act: While the game was generally well-received for its efforts to adapt the expansive action of the original Wii U title to the handheld device, some critics noted performance issues on older 3DS models. However, the sheer volume of content, characters, and the thrill of seeing iconic Zelda figures in frenzied combat garnered a positive response from fans.

In essence, “Hyrule Warriors Legends” represented a bold experiment, fusing two distinct gaming experiences into one cohesive adventure. It serves as a testament to the adaptability of the Zelda franchise, proving that even in a different gameplay format, the spirit of Hyrule remains undeniably captivating.

Alex Henderson

Alex Henderson, known to the online gaming community as "GameMaster", brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the world of video games. With over 15 years of experience, Alex has worked as a game tester, programmer, and designer for several top gaming companies before deciding to share his insights and reviews with the gaming community. He specializes in RPGs and adventure games, but his love for gaming knows no genre boundaries. Alex's goal is to help gamers of all levels navigate the exciting and ever-evolving world of gaming.

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