Because we were unable to play multiplayer Hyrule Warriors for our last date, we decided to try again tonight.
We have each played single player for a few maps since we tried it for date night last time. After the initial foray defending the castle, you venture out trying to find the cause of the monsters. The story quickly picks up and the maps get more diverse, with different styles of missions and a broader range of characters from across different Zelda games. We have discovered that there is a decent amount of farming involved to gather the materials required to power up the characters, which means we’ve spent a bunch of time replaying the same few maps trying to unlock everything. Running the maps with a single player usually takes us 30-40 minutes, so progress is somewhat slow, but we’ve leveled up a couple of the characters pretty nicely.
Throughout the story, the main characters change, which means that character has to be played on that map. Unfortunately, we had only been playing a couple of the characters while we were farming, so we had a few that were strong and the rest were severely underleveled. That was seriously impeding our forward progress through the story, but we made an extremely fortuitous discovery: the second player is allowed to play as any unlocked character. So now, instead of losing with weak characters who are trying to put out fires all across the map as things go wrong, we can split up the objectives and let one player do damage control while the other makes progress on objectives.
We had a lot of trouble when we first started with the second character. Since we had both played single player, we had both used the Wii U Gamepad, so we were used to the control scheme from that. The second player has to use the Wii U Pro controller, the Wii controller with the nunchuck, or a second Wii U Gamepad. Of those, we only had the Wii controller with nunchuck. It took us a while of playing with the controls (plus a quick internet search) to figure out that main attack with the controller is performed by actually swinging the controller. That was comical at first because I was flailing around, but it got old pretty quickly. With this style of game, you are trying to perform a series of combo attacks to wipe out wave after wave of enemies. Swinging the controller a specific number of times to initiate the combos was tricky at first, then tiring for my wrist. With two players using one strong and one weak character, it took us about 25 minutes to clear each map. We did three maps and my arm was pretty tired at the end. We had a few minutes in between maps while we were spending some of the new materials for upgrades, and some downtime in the maps themselves for cut scenes, but it was still a lot of controller waving.
Single player was a lot of fun, but multiplayer Hyrule Warriors was so much better. Now that we’ve gotten to play together, we definitely recommend it as a good date night. The maps don’t take as long with two players, so the minimum time required is about a half hour, but with so many maps and replaying the maps with different characters to farm upgrades, you can play pretty much as long as you like, or at least until your arm gets tired.