We’re just about two years removed from Tri Force Heroes release, and it’s now pretty safe to say that this multiplayer adventure is not among the most popular Zelda games. Though its charm and originality can be admired, TFH simply failed to resonate with the fanbase in a meaningful way. Compare that response to a similar title, Four Swords Adventures. Though alike in many ways, FSA seems to be better accepted by the Zelda community by a considerable degree. But what was that important something in the GameCube classic that wasn’t present in Tri Force Heroes?

There are probably many factors one could bring up to compare Four Swords Adventures and Tri Force Heroes, from the contrasting tones, to the differing story focuses, to the ways each game handled player connectivity.

I personally believe that Four Swords Adventures really stands above Tri Force Heroes in the way it handles single-player gameplay. Obviously playing with friends is the primary gimmick of both games; and for the most part, that gameplay conceit can be fun no matter how it’s presented. So where the two games differ in quality for me is in the way they allow a single player to adventure alone, as finding fellow adventurers isn’t always a surefire option.

Four Swords Adventures is completely optimized for a single-player experience. All four Links can be controlled at once, marching in changeable formations for any situation. This allows one player to explore the world, solve puzzles, and fight baddies in a smooth, fast-paced way, despite multiple heroes on the screen. Tri Force Heroes on the other hand forces a single player to control three different Link dolls, one doll at a time. Traversing the game world is tedious in this respect, as one must either carry and throw dolls around or walk the same path multiple times just to reach a destination. Not to mention that action sequences can be chaotic and dense when three Links have to be accounted for in this way.

Obviously there are many more reasons why Four Swords Adventures succeeded where Tri Force Heroes failed, but I leave that to you. What do think FSA did differently than TFH that made it a better or more popular game? What aspects of the GameCube title would you have added to the 3DS installment? Let us know in the comments below!

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