If you haven’t gotten around to playing Crypt of the Necrodancer, stop what you’re doing right now and get on it. For if you want to fully appreciate what’s coming this way, you need to experience its origin.
Back already? Good. Because it’s time to say hello to Cadence of Hyrule.
Released in 2015, Crypt of the Necrodancer offered up an ingenious way of combing rhythm games and procedurally-generated dungeon dwellers. A good genre-fusion can be tricky to pull off. It requires cherry-picking the most successful elements from established criteria and hoping that the prototype fleshes out into something formidable.
Thankfully, the devs of Necrodancer did something right – and now none other than Nintendo is bringing them on board to produce a Legend of Zelda-infused procedurally-generated rhythm-based dungeon crawler. Thirsty for that title drop yet? Don’t worry. We’re not cruel: Cadence of Hyrule.
Featuring none other than the titular Cadence, continuing her journeys far away from the crypt of the Necrodancer.
Likewise, expect to see far less of Darren Arwonosky’s electro-fueled score, and more of Darren Arwonosky’s new fusions on fan-favorite pieces of music from the Zeldaverse. Lord knows they’ve got the material to make it happen.
This certainly doesn’t mark the first time that Nintendo has opted to work with an established studio, but it does showcase a growing openness by the historic Japanese software and hardware developer that paints an increasingly bright picture for the Switch.
In a market that has always been known for its cutthroat takeovers, strategic release schedules, and often nose-to-the-grindstone work environments, it’s nice to see someone playing nice.
Right out of the gate, Cadence of Hyrule looks like a love-letter to the Zelda game while also proving that the Necrodancer formula isn’t just a flash in the pan.
What’s perhaps most surprising in retrospect is how many of us didn’t see this coming. The overworld, the dungeons, even the hack-and-slash combat – hell, even Cadence herself looks as if she’s ripped from one of the earliest Zelda games.
Truthfully, there’s always a cadence to combat: when to push, when to hold, when to retreat. But few rhythm-based games have managed to make it feel as tight and rewarding as Crypt of the Necrodancer.
Now, we’d be lying if we said that Cadence of Hyrule frightens. What if it ruins Zelda’s combat? What if we get so spoiled we’ll demand sweet, thumping, rhythm-action forever on out?
We wants the precious.