Review: Cadence of Hyrule (Switch)

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There were a number of games I missed last year, and while I wait for the next big release, I decided to play one for review. Cadence of Hyrule was on my radar for a little while, but I haven’t played it until a friend recommended it to me. As such, I have the opportunity to review it today, and give my impressions.

The full name of this game is actually Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the Necrodancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda. That is a mouthful, so I will refer to this game as Cadence of Hyrule for the remainder of this review. This game is a crossover of the indie game Crypt of the Necrodancer and The Legend of Zelda series of games. As such, it features the world and characters from The Legend of Zelda, but has the gameplay of Crypt of the Necrodancer. While I have not played Crypt of the Necrodancer, I am familiar with the Legend of Zelda games. That being said, I will try to rate this game based on its own merits, though some comparisons to other games are somewhat inevitable. So let’s take a look.

The main thing Cadence of Hyrule takes from Crypt of the Necrodancer is how the player has to move and attack to the beat of the game’s music. I personally found this feature to be very difficult to grasp, as I couldn’t tell which notes the game wanted me to move to. This was difficult for me even though there was a visual cue to help out musically challenged players. Thankfully, there was an option to turn off this feature, which leads to enemies only moving when you do. This game is also a rogue-like where parts of the game are randomly generated, though that is limited to the dungeon portions of this game.

CadenceWorld
I found it easy to get lost in the world of Cadence of Hyrule.

For the most part, this game felt most like the original Legend of Zelda game on the NES, mostly due to it being easy to get lost. The frequent inclusion of a lot of enemies on screen at once also gave me flashbacks to the first Zelda game. This leads to the game feeling quite difficult, even after turning off the musical combat feature.

Early on, you do get to choose to play as Link or Zelda with each character having slightly different abilities. I chose Link for my playthrough, and the game does include a lot of familiar items from most of the Zelda series. Even so, this game is very combat heavy, with minimal puzzle solving.  If you were looking for a game with clever puzzles like most Zelda games, you won’t find it here.

CadenceWorld2
This game features a lot of enemies at once. Most puzzles are navigation based.

Another oddity of the game is how in game currency works. Every time you get a game over, you lose all rupees and keys, but get to keep all diamonds. Diamonds are usually found after defeating all enemies in an area, and are used to buy some power ups before trying again. Rupees, on the other hand buy more useful items and are easier to come by. Some areas are so full of enemies that it is hard not to lose a few times early on in the game, especially since you start with low health.

CadenceBoss
The Bosses in Cadence of Hyrule are a combination of classic Zelda enemies and a musical instrument. 

Cadence of Hyrule is a relatively short game, with only four major dungeons. Luckily the game does feature a co-op mode for two players, although I didn’t get the chance to try it out. There are a number of other options too, including a randomly generated over-world to spice things up.

In all, Cadence of Hyrule is a neat game with a fun idea of moving to the music. The game is most likely more fun if you manage to adjust to this game mechanic early on. That being said, this game does lack some of the polish of most Legend of Zelda games, but is still worth checking out if you are a big fan of the rogue-like genre of games. This is especially true if you want something to spice up that genre’s main formula.

Recommendations:

  • Try to figure out if you can handle the rhythm based movement early on. If you have a lot of trouble with it, be sure to turn off this feature.
  • Learn enemy movement patterns early, you will need this knowledge to clear large numbers of enemies often throughout the game.
  • Defeat all enemies in an area to hoard diamonds, as some power ups are useful enough to buy using this form of currency.
  • Explore much of the game world to get strong enough to complete the game.
  • After finishing the game, you can play as a new character. If you want more out of this game, try him out.
  • Also try these options out to spice up your subsequent playthroughs: co-op mode, randomized over-world, or play as the character you didn’t choose the first time around.
  • If you really can’t get enough of this game, try to beat the quickest time, get the lowest step count, or the fewest possible deaths as a new challenge.

Pros:

  • Colorful graphics.
  • Catchy music.
  • Unique music based gameplay.
  • Can turn off music based gameplay if you struggle with it.

Cons:

  • Game is a little too challenging (possible con based on skill level, or familiarity with the genre).
  • Rhythm based movement can be hard for some players to grasp (possible con based on your own sense of rhythm).
  • Easy to get lost in the game, at least the first time around.
  • Very few puzzles in this game.
  • Relatively short (possible con, based on personal preference)

Verdict:

7.7/10 A good but somewhat under polished experience

I suspect the game is more fun with the rhythm based movement on, but not every player can grasp this system. Without it, the game feels like a typical rogue-like, and players might feel a little disappointed if they were expecting a Legend of Zelda game.


And that was what I thought of Cadence of Hyrule. But what did you think of this game? What was your favorite music track? Did you play with the rhythm based movement on or off? If you tried both, which did you prefer, and why? Let me know this in the comments below! If you enjoyed this article, be sure to click that like button. Be sure to share this article on social media too! If you wish to keep up with That’s All Games, you can subscribe via email, or through WordPress if you use that platform. Until next time, have fun gaming!

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