Tried playing some levels in single-player. At first, it seemed like it was totally clunky and unplayable. But now I only think it's KIND OF clunky and unplayable. One thing that I didn't realize was that you could use items and slash with the top totem dude while controlling the bottom dude. Which is nice. Also, it looks like your unused characters don't take damage? Or at least certain kinds of damage, like falling meteors?
Like in Monster Hunter, playing single-player actually alters the dynamics in an interesting way, even though the mechanics and levels are identical. The pace becomes slower and more thoughtful, and the whole level becomes a sort of meta-puzzle. Almost like Pikmin, or something? Rather than a cog in the clock, you become the clockmaker. At the same time, action sequences and timing-dependent puzzles become more frantic and stressful. Also, the randomness factor which playing with two other people creates is gone and the framerate is perfect.
I still think it could be streamlined more, though. In particular, I'd love a Pikmin-esque 'grouping' button to immediately totem two or three players. That would help a lot. It's also strange how you can't just put players down. You always have to throw them. But that applies to both single and multiplayer modes.
So the single-player mode is pretty interesting, although I'm not sure how levels like the good ol' Abyss of Agony would translate. And multi is still more fun and dynamic.
Speaking of the game in general, it's interesting how certain suits (like the Goron Suit) basically allow you to circumvent entire levels by crossing hazards without needing to solve puzzles. And I love that you can buy materials and enter a daily lottery for materials. It alleviates the endless, fruitless grinding that sometimes occurs in games like Monster Hunter. (That said, MH4 also somewhat alleviated that grind.)
I'm still playing. I've been playing mostly with randoms. Sometimes I'll get lag or annoying teammates, but often everything works great. But we should totally try getting a group of 3 together. Especially for some of those brutal challenges!
Had some buds over for download play, and we beat the final boss! Took about 12-13 hours, only did one or two Drablands Challenge stages. Overall the game is fun, but probably not enough that I'll bother doing the rest of the challenges (which would take, what, 36+ hours based on our pace through the first time?!).
I wonder what happens when you complete all the challenges, though.
I feel worried I will never play this game. I don't know if that's ok or not.
I would only have one other person for local play probably ever. And I was waiting on it because I have to be a bit smarter with my budget right now. So I thought maybe a holiday buy or gift or something but I feel like everyone will have moved on from it by then. I love the Zelda series but I've never been huge on the Four Swords concept. Tri-Force seems like I may get the same OK experience. Still, an OK Zelda experience is better than some GOOD games out there really.
Online works pretty well if you don't have friends or family to play with. I don't know how things will be in a month or two, but right now it's pretty easy to find people on my skill level who know what they're doing and are willing to work together. It's odd how connected I end up feeling towards a team through the limited communication. I've had way more fun with this game than I did with Four Swords Adventures.
Single player kind of sucks, though. It's worse than FSA, actually, because you can't move all three characters as a single unit. Instead, you control one at a time while the other two turn into motionless statues. You can still move everybody as a totem, but that also means you can't attack enemies on the ground or pick up objects. The whole thing is clunky, harder, and slower.
But playing with other humans is a lot of fun- far far better than either of the Four Swords Games. This has been a wonderfully pleasant surprise.
I'll totally hit you guys up soon! My Wi-Fi doesn't seem to work well in my bedroom so no TFH tonight. Booooo! @DrFinkelstein The game is REALLY fun online, even with randoms. The communication system still makes me laugh (in a fun way).
Thanks for the feedback. I'm a bit more hopeful. As long as I get this by Christmas, I'm sure I'll have online people to play with (all those who also got it for Christmas). Maybe I can score it in a good deal also.
And as you progress, you're bound to run into good players more often. Some bosses are quite challenging! So someone who can't figure out how to push/pull a block surely won't be an issue if they made it in the later worlds
@DrFinkelstein Honestly, I think that Triforce Heroes is a real breath of fresh air for the franchise. Don't be put off by the reviews. It has its issues, but challenging, co-op Zelda is very novel and pretty freaking magical.
The online nicely circumvents the enormous logistical problems that Four Swords presented. Connection (and partner) quality can vary, but my positive experiences have far outweighed the negative ones.
Also, even if you didn't enjoy Four Swords, you might dig Triforce. Physical puzzles play a much larger role, and the game really makes the most out of its item toolset. The Loot aspect is a clever incentive to replay levels with different groups or under different conditions, and it also allows you to control the overall level of difficulty.
I played a volcano level solo today using the doppels. Anand is correct, they don't take damage from falling meteors, but if you leave them in an area where lava rises and falls, they will take damage.
It was only slightly awkward, but I got into a good flow of switching back and forth between the 3. Granted, there wasn't really a boss fight at the end of the stage, just a bunch of enemies, but it still went pretty well.
This morning I was playing with randoms, and had a great time. I joined up with one other person, and for some reason it was taking several minutes for a third to join us. While waiting, the two of us started making up our own games in the lobby, such as soccer with the music ball and tag by trying to pick up and throw the other person. All without voice chat, which made it even more hilarious. I was honestly laughing out loud several times. Probably my most memorable moment with the game so far, and all before actually starting a level!