Yesterday, Japanese readers of CoroCoro magazine got a wonderful treat in the form of a demo for the highly anticipated Hyrule Warriors Legends for the 3DS. The demo was available via a QR code that had a one time use, meaning that customers who received the magazine couldn’t spread it around the internet for everyone to use and download.

Many people who did get their hands on the demo were courteous enough record and upload their various experiences of it. Finally we were able to see actual, real gameplay footage of the game rather than pre-recorded footage by Nintendo itself, and it really gave us a lot of insight on the game.

For starters, take a look at this comparison of the demo between the original 3DS and the New 3DS.

Immediately, anyone should be able to pick out the absolutely horrid framerate on the original 3DS in comparison to how the demo runs on the New 3DS. I can’t even imagine trying to play Legends on the original 3DS after seeing this! The game runs much slower than it does on the New 3DS, and while I can’t speak from experience, I can just imagine how frustrated owners of the original 3DS were when they finally loaded up the demo, only to realize it was much harder to play and much less appealing than what they’d been shown by Nintendo.

Now of course, that’s not to say that the game is bad all around. When you take a look at the footage from the New 3DS, the game looks like it runs fine. Obviously, it’s not to the caliber that it runs on the Wii U, but that’s to be expected because of the hardware it’s running on. Still, the game looks different enough when comparing to the original Wii U version, so New 3DS owners shouldn’t have a problem. Maybe this will finally justify buying a New 3DS in the first place?

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This raises the question of why the game was even brought to the 3DS at all. From my own personal standpoint, I highly enjoyed the original Wii U version, and I know plenty of others did too, possibly to the surprise of Nintendo. This could have spurred Nintendo to work towards a 3DS version so that fans could have a portable way to play, as the game was rather addictive. We know that the extra content of Legends isn’t a reason, as the original Hyrule Warriors is not stranger to DLC, with all of it being actually pretty good. If the idea was to simply add new content, Nintendo could have easily just released more downloadable content to the game. However, I certainly hadn’t ever seen a demand for a 3DS version, though the announcement was well-received. For all we know, Nintendo could have made this decision without any real basis, although that is a bit unlikely.

So we know that it’s being released for the 3DS, but why both versions? Legends was announced after the New 3DS was announced, meaning the new handheld was no secret to to the public, especially with Nintendo’s extensive marketing towards it and its announcement with the announcement of Majora’s Mask 3D. Nintendo easily could have marketed Legends as a New 3DS exclusive, and based off the sales and popularity of Hyrule Warriors, it probably would have convinced some to buy the New 3DS. Perhaps that was the original plan? When we look at the comparison again, it’s obvious that when the software was developed, it was developed to run on the New 3DS. The original almost seems like an afterthought here, so maybe Nintendo wanted to have it be a New 3DS exclusive, possibly even to boost sales of the handheld.

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Then what would have caused Nintendo to include the original 3DS in compatible hardware? As much as I’d love to be able to say that Nintendo felt it wasn’t being fair to those who didn’t buy the New 3DS, that’s likely not the case. Nintendo would rather see more people buy the New 3DS then pat them on the back and tell them it’s okay for not buying it. What’s more likely is that the New 3DS didn’t sell nearly as well as they’d hoped it would, and Nintendo probably came to the conclusion that even if making Legends a New 3DS exclusive would boost New 3DS sales, it would still be more detrimental to them to lose so many sales of the game by not making it available to all 3DS owners. Certainly the plan wasn’t to intentionally make the game run worse, causing people to reconsider buying a New 3DS… right?

Whatever the case may be, the situation here is peculiar. We’ve never really seen anything like this with a Nintendo game before, making the whole debacle a little hard to examine. Would you have rather seen the game exclusively on the New 3DS, or are you happy with the decision to make it available to all 3DS owners despite its obvious lack of quality in the original 3DS? The New 3DS, aside from its super-stable 3D (and cover plates for the standard size), has a disturbing lack of incentive to purchase if you’re not a hardcore Nintendo fan, or if you simply already have a 3DS and don’t see why you’d need another. A few non-obscure exclusives might help to remedy that, though being nearly a year into the New 3DS’ release with only a single one makes it hard to believe that Nintendo will push anything of the sort.

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Written by George Comatas

As a wannabe social media personality and professional in the world of sarcasm, George does his best to always adapt to the changing world around him. He considers himself a maverick: a true-to-heart gamer with the mind of a pop star. Whether this makes him revolutionary or a setback, he's yet to find out. But one thing’s for sure; he's one-of-a-kind.

George Comatas