The third time does really seem to be the definitive time.
When Hyrule Warriors first came out on Wii U in 2014, I played a ton of it, even with the minor nagging issues, primarily that you couldn’t switch characters during battles. When the game hit 3DS in 2016, I played a ton of it, even with the reality that the 3DS could barely handle it. Some of my affection comes from the fact that I love the Zelda series and this is filled with loads of fan service, but it also comes from the fact that Hyrule Warriors is a smart adaptation of Zelda elements into a Musou game. When Fire Emblem Warriors came out on Switch last year, part of me wished it was Hyrule Warriors instead. I’m just not quite as into the Fire Emblem fan service as I am the Zelda stuff.
Now, with Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition a mere month away on Switch, I had doubts if I would even want to replay it again. I still have some of those doubts, but after spending some time with the game on Switch, I feel a lot more pull to replaying this dopey, silly action game. I played two stages. The first was the intro level I have played countless times, but in smoother HD on Switch, it looks better than ever. Sure, building up to that Dodongo was the same as it ever was, but it ran smoothly and played well.
It was the second stage that I played that truly clawed at my Zelda-loving heart. The Wind Waker content was previously only in the 3DS version, which, even though I had a great time with it, looked rough. Now, the Wind Waker content is in HD and it looks fantastic. All of the content across each release’s separate season passes is in this version, as well as two new costumes for Link and Zelda based on Breath of the Wild. If you played the heck out of the past two releases, this might not be for you, but then again, I fall into that category and I’m going through a conflicted process as to whether or not I want to play this comfort food-esque game again. I don’t expect everyone to be weird like me, ready for a third go at a grind of a game, but I’m also sure a lot of you never checked out Hyrule Warriors before. This game might wind up in the same spot as every Switch port: it’s great if you never played it or if you want to replay it in a crisper way. Whether you’re ready for it or not, Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition hits on May 18.