Well, Nintendo recently announced they'd be doing a Nintendo Direct on Hyrule Warriors one August 4th, which was tonight. Did it show enough new things for us? Did it explain things that were unclear? Only one way to find out...
After the introduction, the Hyrule Warriors producer, Yosuke Hayashi, introduces himself and leads us through some of the first level, including finding bombs, and how the levels and combat work. Some enemies require you to lock on and circle around them to expose weak spots to be able to defeat them. The bosses, once knocked down, can be attacked with a special move that deals massive damage. Items can be found in chests in each level, and can be used in many different ways. Some bosses require specific items to be able to deal damage. For example, Gohma requires you to shoot her eye with a bow before going in with your normal weapons. There are also keeps that you can capture to increase your army's numbers in each level, which will be essential to gameplay.
After this, Eiji Aonuma, the director of the Zelda series, shows up. He pops in and out of the video to show things from past Zelda games that will be featured in Hyrule Warriors. He shows how the Cuccos can be treated as an obstacle, ally, or foe; you can cut grass to reveal Rupees, Hearts, and other goodies (he jokes there was going to be a level where you do nothing but cut grass, but it was cut in development); Bombchus appear as giant machines; the Chain Chomp from Link's Awakening (originally Mario) is an alternate skin for the Ball and Chain used with Link's Gauntlets; the Hookshot is used to pull the Moon from Majora's Mask down to crush enemies; and Gold Skulltulas appear in the game, giving prizes when slain.
Hayashi comes back to explain the playable characters and how they work. He shows all the revealed playable characters up to this point: Link, Zelda, Impa, Shiek, Darunia, Ruto, Midna, Agitha, Fi, and Lana, and shows that Zant and Ghirahim will both be made playable at some point.
Next, some alternate weapons are shown, such as Link's Fire Rod and Gauntlets, Zelda's baton (the Wind Waker), Lana's Spear and Summoning Gate, and Impa's Naginata. We're then how each character has their own special attacks, including the new Focus Spirit Power-Up, which strengthens your character for a period of time. We then get a look at some stages, including Skyloft from Skyward Sword, Lake Hylia from Ocarina of Time, and Twilight Field from Twilight Princess.
Character progression has also been elaborated on. Each character has their own Level and Experience gauges they can fill to Level Up. You can also find materials in the stages to make badges and enhance your fighters, and you can find better weapons for each character. The harder the stage, the better the weapon. You can even fuse two weapons together to make one more powerful one.
There's also a new mode called Adventure Mode. In this mode, there's a map screen modeled after the original Legend of Zelda, and each space has a challenge associated with it. If you beat the challenge associated with a space, the adjacent spaces around it open up. If you do good enough on the challenge, you can get a bonus. You can also find exclusive weapons and Pieces of Heart in each challenge stage. You can also investigate the original eight-bit version of each space to find new things. Using Adventure Mode, you can even unlock hidden characters, so it'll be worth checking out.
There will be a 2-Player Co-Op mode in Hyrule Warriors where one player uses the Gamepad, and another uses the TV screen and other controllers. During 2-player, the TV screens resolution is toned down a bit. You can also play with only the Gamepad in Single-Player mode using Off-TV gameplay.
In the end, we see Hyrule Warrior's North America release date is September 26. That may seem like that's it, but Aonuma shows up one more time to reveal a character: Ganondorf. And boy, does he look awesome here!
He has long hair, badass armor, and overall, looks like a combination of most of his previous selves, as well as Demise! He uses dual Demon Swords, and his super-moves have him summoning shadowy versions of his beast form, he just looks amazing! Also, as a funny little tidbit, when he opens a treasure chest, he just nudges it with his foot or knee, it's hilarious.
But wait! That's not all! If you register Hyrule Warriors on Club Nintendo before October 23rd, you get 2 free skins for Ganondorf: his appearances form Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess! Awesome! And they've confirmed that the Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword DLC costumes for Link and Zelda will be preorder bonuses from various retailers, though which is which wasn't shown.
Overall, while it didn't reveal as much as I had hoped it would, the Direct got me super-hyped for Hyrule Warriors. Thankfully I already have the game preordered, so I just have to wait a month and a half. I know I'll be reviewing it!
HBM, signing out!