Review by Firestorm88
"A Link to the Past… 1992 to be exact"
This a remake of a game that many Zelda fans consider the best in the series. And I can see why, this was the first Zelda game after the NES versions, and it was a major improvement. The first Zelda pretty much stuck you in the middle of a map with no intro or anything, this time you play with a full fledged story. This game is really when Zelda started to pick up the pace and become the legendary series it is. This remake lets a new generation enjoy one of the best games from the 16-bit era.
This game is very fun to play. A large emphasis is based one exploring as in all Zelda games, and your exploration is rewarded well, usually in the form of a Piece of Heart. The overworld is very large, and it even contains a “Dark World” which is sort of a mirrored image of the “Light World.” The storyline and dungeons flow together seamlessly. As in most Zelda games, the controls are wonderful. You assign a weapon to the “A” button, the sword to the “B” button and you’re set. Though only having one secondary weapon equipped may seem limiting, it’s not that big a deal. You can pause and switch at any time in your quest. The enemies are also portrayed well in 16-bit.
Great control as in all Zelda games! You just about never use the wrong weapon at the wrong time. The shield is a bit hard to use however because it’s always in front of you when you don’t attack. Meaning you usually have to be facing your opponent not attacking to make it useful. It gets tricky to control at time, and it’s harder to defend while in the middle of a battle sometimes. It could have been better to add a Shield function to the “R” button, but it isn’t too bad.
This game has an astounding story, especially compared with the first two games before it, which had basically no story. The events take place many years after the story of Ocarina of Time, which you might find odd. However, no spoilers are given to either game (sort of impossible for Link to the Past seeing as Ocarina of Time came out six years after). It begins with Link lying asleep at home in the middle of a huge storm. Your uncle leaves the house to help in the castle to the north. After he leaves, you’re telepathically contacted by Princess Zelda who urges you to free her. After escaping with her, you embark on a long journey to get to the bottom of the peculiar events happening in Hyrule.
I’m a fan of 16-bit graphics, and these do not disappoint. They are just as detailed and pleasing to the eye as a decade before. No slowdown is experienced in the game and the physics seems to be true. I really don’t know what’s with the pink hair, but it’s not distracting. The rain effects at the beginning are nice, and spells make a bit of graphical impact in the game. It’s no Golden Sun, but seeing as this is a 1992 game, it’s a graphical masterpiece!
Music is mostly the same as from the Legend of Zelda for the NES, with better quality and an increase in quantity of scores. It has the same background music you expect from any Zelda game, and that’s not bad. A Link to the Past doesn’t place as much emphasis on music as the games after Ocarina of Time however. The nice little touch in the Game Boy Advance version is that they incorporated Link’s battle cries from Ocarina of Time. A small addition that doesn’t make a lot of difference, but it’s nice touch all the same.
The game isn’t that hard if you’ve played Zelda games before. Not as hard as Ocarina of Time, but harder than Wind Waker. It took me about a month to finish the game (I don’t play for hours on end). The replay value isn’t bad, for some odd reason you want to relive the experience more than once. There are also many collectibles as in most Zelda games. Not all of the weapons are required to beat the game, so you can go hunting for those, and the always present Heart Containers are also something you might want to find. Along with the countless side-quests, you could play the game for countless hours if you had the dedication to.
Final Rank 9/10
This game is a must have for any Zelda fan. It’s one that many consider to be the best, and is where many enemies are introduced fully for the first time. Historically, it’s probably the greatest Zelda game and one of the best games of the 16-bit era. And I’d say that the 16-bit era was most likely the pinnacle of the gaming industry. The does however, lose a bit of feeling from being on the big screen to becoming portable. Of course that's fixed by the Game Boy Player...
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/25/04
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