Tri Force Heroes – Connectivity

Triforce Sanjūshi by lulu

Sometimes this game is so frustrating that I feel like I’m being punished in some way.

Here’s the deal:

You can play the game in single-player mode, but it’s clunky and repetitive.

In order to get all the outfits – or any of the outfits, actually – the player needs to grind for both rupees and treasure. There is very little fun involved in this in single-player mode. Replaying a Zelda dungeon once is okay, I guess; replaying a Zelda dungeon over and over and over in the hopes of getting a randomly generated treasure at the end is a waste of life on this earth.

The game really shines when you’re playing with other people, even if they’re strangers. There is an obvious joy in working together, figuring out puzzles as a team, and communicating via messages of support and encouragement.

HOWEVER.

In order for this type of play to work, all three players need to have a stable connection. If one of the players loses the signal – let’s say they’re using wi-fi on a train that enters a tunnel – everyone gets kicked off the game and all progress is lost, no matter how long your team has been playing together (and some of these levels take a long time). Also, if one person’s connection is spotty, then everyone’s game is going to be extremely jerky, which makes it difficult to perform complicated maneuvers like walking in a straight line.

So far I’ve spent about six hours in online play, and I’ve only had three completely smooth sessions. I performed a few diagnostic tests on my wireless connection to make sure that I’m not the problem, but who can say. I wonder if part of the issue lies with Nintendo’s servers, which were more than likely bombarded with a sudden influx of cosplaying Links these past few weekends.

There was obviously a lot of love put into Tri Force Heroes, but for me it’s almost painful to play at times.

Apparently I’m not the only one who has felt this way…

“It’s really too bad. Many of these unavoidable issues – lag, disconnects, bad teammates, etc. – are exacerbated by some baffling design decisions…”
(from the Kotaku review)

“For each wonderful moment there’s an equivalent frustration, however, with difficulty spikes that deplete a team’s shared life bar before you know what’s happening, or dungeon designs that are simply B-list in execution. There are even poor calls made in implementing lobbies online…”
(from the Nintendo Life review)

“But be warned: we encountered a few bouts of lag both locally and online, which is always a pain in puzzles that require careful timing. We couldn’t pinpoint the reason for the slowdown… Playing online was a much worse experience.”
(from the IGN review)

“You’d better hope your partners have a solid Wi-Fi connection, though. If not, the game will slow the frame rate to a crawl to ensure that everyone remains in sync at all times. There were times in my tests where I could literally count the frames per second on a single hand as the game chugged and buffered nearly unplayably. It’s hard to say how much Nintendo’s own server infrastructure is to blame for this kind of performance…”
(from the Ars Technica review)

“By choosing to play by yourself, you invite a level of micromanagement that transforms otherwise clever dungeons into heavy slogs.”
(from the Gamespot review)

“The game is challenging, multiplayer or not, and I cannot tell you how happy I am that this is the case. But on single player, it goes from challenging to just utterly annoying/frustrating.”
(from an editorial on Zelda Dungeon)

( Header image by lulu on Pixiv )

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