Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda

Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda

You would hope that the combination of one of the best recent indie games and a series whose titles are alright at worst and genre-defining at best would be closer to the genre-defining end of the spectrum, but apparently not. If I had to guess the source of Cadence of Hyrule’s alrightness, I’d suspect a lack of preplanning and/or revision. Elements seem to have been plucked from the parent games at random and inappropriately stuck together. Most importantly, rather than being a Zelda-themed NecroDancer game, it’s actually a surprisingly traditional Zelda game with mild roguelike elements and NecroDancer’s rhythm gameplay. The resulting degree of randomization prevents the level design from being memorable or smartly constructed, and the necessary pace renders the story half-baked.

To add insult to injury, the roguelike features are completely token. The resources lost on death are easily regained, and collected weapons are permanent, so there’s no incentive to use anything other than your preferred armament. In fact, existing NecroDancer fans are likely to mow through Cadence of Hyrule with insulted ease, especially if playing in the unbalanced co-op mode. Despite all of this, I maintain that the game is alright; its positive aspects are just less tangible and discussion-worthy. It controls perfectly, and there’s an undeniable joy to hacking away at enemies in rhythm to a medley of iconic Zelda tunes. Additionally, seeing content pulled from nearly all games in the series and reimagined with rhythmic elements creates a wonderful mix of nostalgia and novelty…that’s also very unreliable, as many items are next to useless in their new home.

5.5/10
5.5/10

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