Welcome to Nintendo Land, here’s your Link hoodie! What’s Nintendo Land? It’s what Nintendo hope will be to Wii U what Wii Sports was to the Wii—a killer app that sells the concept of their new controller. As reported this morning, Nintendo Land is a digital theme park attraction based on various Nintendo franchises that you play through using your Mii. One of these attractions is called The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest.
The Zelda demo had two modes. I started playing as an archer, green Link, who I controlled with the Wii U controller. Pulling the right analog stick down drew the bow back and swinging it forward made Link-Mii fire the bow. While I moved the mini-tablet in the air to aim, two other players controlled Links with swords using the Wii Remote. We had to work together as a group—with a shared six-heart life meter—to get to the Forest temple.
I got the hang of motion controlled aiming pretty quickly and took out two Moblin-like enemies on watch towers. All of the "monsters" in The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest have a cutesy patchwork art style. While you can one-hit kill monsters in the distance, it takes three or four arrows to defeat a monster right in front of you. Basically, if you’re playing an archer, you have to rely on the sword Links to cut a safe path for you.
There were a few mini-puzzles like hitting targets to open doors and switches where all three players have to stand on to open a door. Once we got inside the Forest Temple, there were one-eyed monsters that the sword players had to slash either horizontally or vertically. I tried to rapid fire arrows by flicking the right analog stick, which…didn’t work so well.
When we made it to the boss, we only had two hearts left. A Nintendo rep said it would be tough to defeat it, but gave me a tip—after the sword Links stun the boss, that’s when I should fire an arrow. Again, the only way to defeat the boss was through teamwork. I managed to hit the boss with one arrow, but that wasn’t enough to take it down. The boss raised its fists and hit the two sword Links, ending the game.
I then went back to the demo, this time playing as a sword Link myself. This mode is just played with a Wii Remote, which translates motions into sword slashes. Sword Links are on rails, but you can switch targets by pressing the A button. I also discovered you have two kinds of spinning attacks. Hold the remote to your side and you can do a traditional spin slash. If you do the Skyward Sword pose where you hold the sword to the sky, you can do a vertical spinning slash.
Since Nintendo Land is a theme park attraction, this wasn’t a full Zelda game. It felt more like the Wii Sports version of Zelda.