In order to get all of Link’s outfits in Tri Force Heroes, the player needs to grind for both rupees and materials.
Grinding for rupees becomes significantly less of a problem after Link puts together the Rupee Regalia, which allows him to pick up between 300 and 500 rupees in about 60 seconds just by cutting the bushes around town.
The materials are more of a problem. There are two types of materials: those that the player can win at the end of a level, and those that must be won through competitive play via the game’s Coliseum feature.
At the end of each successfully completed level, the player is offered a choice of three chests whose contents are predetermined based on the level and any challenge the player has applied to that level. If the player is looking for a specific material, there are stages and conditions in which two of the three chests will hold that material. Still, because the placement is random, there’s no guarantee that you won’t open your chest at the end of the level to get the 1/3 probability material over… and over… and over…
There’s a street peddler in town whose wares change every day, and it’s possible to buy materials from him. There’s also a free random treasure chest game in town from which Link can win materials. You can’t get every material in this way, though, and the daily selection is random.
A subset of the materials can only be won by going into the Coliseum area, connecting to other players via wi-fi, and then beating the shit out of them. You only have a chance at getting your hands on one of the Coliseum-specific materials if you win the match, but there’s no chance that you’ll get the rare material even if you do win. Moreover, each material is connected to a specific area, and there’s no guarantee that the other two players won’t choose to play in a different area.
Each match in the Coliseum is very short – only about three minutes – but you have to be prepared to play a lot of them in order to get the materials you need to put together all the outfits. What happened to this game being meant to inspire cooperative play?
In addition, there are the two outfits that can only be bought with friendship tokens. You don’t get friendship tokens by playing with strangers or registered friends over wi-fi, but only by connecting with other players in the same physical proximity via the Local Play feature. What this means is that you have to have a certain number of (a) friends (b) who have 3DS systems and (c) will agree to play this game with you. Either that, or you need to arrange some sort of meetup with a local geek community or at a geek convention. This all sounds fine in theory…
…but bros I am a grown-ass woman and don’t have time for that shit.
The point I’m driving at here is that Tri Force Heroes seems to put a lot of emphasis on grinding for materials, which is neither enjoyable nor strictly even possible unless you the player put in the time in your real life to grind for friends to play the game with.
I suppose I could be less of an introvert and use this game as an excuse to go out and find my local gaming community, but let’s be honest – I have to deal with other people all day as part of my job, and when I get home I just want to have a glass of wine and sprawl out on my couch and play some video games.
What I’ve always enjoyed about the Zelda games is that they give me a sense of completion and progress that I don’t always experience in my real life. In a Zelda game, there are a finite number of things to do and collect, and once you’ve done and found them all you are the master of your own little digital domain. With Tri Force Heroes, I feel like I am never doing or collecting enough. This makes the outfit construction elements of the game both addictive and repetitive – so all about grinding, basically.
I understand that there will be a DLC update in early December that will give the player an outfit (modeled after Linebeck, one of my favorite characters!!) that will allow her to see the contents of materials chests before she opens them. After I complete the main portion of the game, I think I might wait until this update to dig my heels into the project of getting all the outfits.
( Header image by Anri on Twitter )