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Cadence of Hyrule Review: A Rhythm Slashing Link Adventure

I wasn’t sure what I wanted my first review to be because, honestly, there are so many great games on the way and a few gems already currently out. So, I decided to go with a game that I am currently playing on the Switch called Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer.

The game is by Canadian independent game studio Brace Yourself Games and is a spin-off off their originally released game Crypt of the NecroDancer, released back in 2015 for personal computers. The original game gradually became available on consoles, with it finally landing on the Nintendo Switch in February of 2018.

As someone who just started playing games on the PC, I know I'm late to the game, I started becoming more exposed to indie games on my Playstation Vita and now more predominantly on my Nintendo Switch. I picked up Crypt of the NecroDancer on the Switch and immediately enjoyed its dungeon-crawl like vibe and music. The whole idea is that you move the main character on the beat of the music. Your enemies also have their own rhythm, which makes for a different type of combat experience. You have to get the steps right or your character becomes immobile and may take damage.

When I heard the announcement back in March for Cadence of Hyrule by the same developer, I was immediately intrigued. I had to pause and look up more information on the game to verify that I indeed heard “Hyrule” in the title and that it indeed had something to do with the Legend of Zelda franchise. So naturally, I got super excited!

Cadence of Hyrule looks and feels like a Zelda game. But the mechanics are very different. The grid-like rhythm system can be very unforgiving when not completed on the beat of the music. If you fail to land on the beat in that grid, you are unable to move and leave yourself vulnerable to an attack. Each monster has its own attack pattern based on the rhythm. It took me a bit to get into the groove of the game and land my attacks right but once I got in line with the rhythm, the game was super fun. One thing that sets the game apart from a traditional Zelda game is the dungeon crawl feel with more combat encounters. The music also changes during battles with a remix of sorts, which I quite enjoyed (I can honestly love a game based on music alone, so I am a bit biased!). You can also choose to play as Zelda, Link or Cadence (the protagonist from the original game) which is nice. Zelda legitimately needs a bit more love than just Hyrule Warriors and I hope the prequel for the Breath of the Wild will add her into the playable mix!

What disappointed me a bit was how the game becomes noticeably one-sided for the player as you progress. As you obtain more heart containers, Link literally becomes a rhythmic killing machine, making it quite easy to destroy enemies and even bosses. BUT, the game is still super enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone who liked the original game, loves anything Zelda, or digs a great musical score.

My rating: 4.25 out of 5.0

Pros: Fun crossover, great music and visuals. Cons: Takes a bit to get use to and gets to easy to quick.


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