"Classic, Masterpiece, Beautiful Work of Art, Best Game Ever, and Pinnacle of Gaming rolled into one package (With Four Swords!)."

(Unfortunately, I don't have a link cable to play Four Swords with, but I'll review the meat of the package, Link to the Past)

Intro: The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past is, quite simply, the greatest game of all time in my opinion. The game was released in the 90's on the Super Nintendo (SNES), and was one of the greatest success stories in gaming hero. I cannot give Nintendo enough credit for the creation of this game. When I say that it's the ''Best Game Ever'', know that I have played other games like Halo, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Super Mario World, Final Fantasy VII and Tactics, Morrowind, and Crono Trigger. Plus, the game is now portable on GBA/SP and contains an new four-player adventure, Four Swords, created by Capcom.

Gameplay: 10/10
Have you ever played a game with flawless gameplay before? Stick this cart into your GBA and you will have. The game's control's are simpler than most; which is a GOOD thing. All you need to do is press B to swing your sword, A to use a special weapon, and R to pick up/throw things and talk to npcs. The R button's placement is different than that of an SNES controller, it took me about an hour to get used to it. Regardless, the control is simply perfect. The item and save menus scroll down without a hassle, and the controls respond instantly, like all games should. The object of the game is to travel the world of Hyrule (and later, a Dark World) collecting items, defeating monsters, and recieving equipment upgrades to enter dungeons and defeat their bosses.

It sounds kind of simple, but you'll soon learn that all of it is of the highest quality. Exploring is one of my favorite pastimes in this game. You'll want to roam the two worlds bombing cracked walls and lifting heavy boulders to find hidden caves, which may contain large money caches. There is also a large number of legendary items hidden throughout the game, many of which must be reached by solving puzzles.

The puzzles in this game are very well constructed. A few of them may be very tricky, but nothing you'll be crying over (at least not until you get to Turtle Rock). There are a large variety of switches, levers, moveable blocks, floor tiles, and unique traps to take care of in the dungeons. There are even a few in which you must light torches using your lantern to open the way; very mysterious and wonderful indeed.

Combat is probably the main reason why this game is so great. Throughout your quest, you are given many different weapons (main one being your sword, which you can do an awesome spin-attack with) to defeat your enemies in many different and fun ways. Some of these expend your Magic Power, but that can be refilled using medicine of magic. Take, for instance, the Ice Rod. Go freeze a heavily armored soldier into a block of ice. Then whip out your Magic Hammer and smash him to pieces. Or even melt the frozen warrior using your superhot Fire Rod. The possibilities are limitless and fun. There is a very large amount of enemies to keep you on your toes, and some require you to use weapons other than your sword to defeat them. Your health, like in the original NES Zelda, is based on heart containers which deplete every time you get hit by an enemy.

The bosses in this game are my favorite, ever. They are gigantic, and most require some sort of strategy to beat them. The fights are pattern-based, and knowing the bosses' patterns will give you the upper hand in the game. You also get a new heart container whenever you beat a dungeon's boss. Even getting to a boss can be challenging, as their labyrinths are long and well-constructed. You think Halo, Metroid Prime, and GTA 3 have flawless gameplay? Play this game, and you'll know true perfection.

Story: 10/10 A classic Zelda story, with some new twists. Link is once again the main character, and once again he is called by Princess Zelda to be a hero and rescue her. It appears that an evil wizard named Agahnim has taken control of the palace and has captured Zelda. Link and his uncle set out to save her. The story picks up quickly, and is well-detailed and epic. Link will eventually find himself in the Dark World, where he must defeat the true evil and save the Triforce ('Golden Power'). One of the best stories in any video game, I even like it more than Ocarina of Time.

Graphics: 9/10
Some of the most artistically drawn graphics I've ever seen, I like then as much as Castlevania: SotN's hand-drawn graphics. They're not 3D at all, so don't expect Halo. The trees, water, mountains, grass, flowers, houses, even the dungeons and character animations look gorgeous. The graphics are crisp, sharp, and pleasing to the eye. This game is about ten years old, and yet it's still eye candy.

Sound: 8/10
The sound is pretty good too. It doesn't sound as good on the GBA as it did on the SNES, but nearly just as good regardless. Link now kiais (spirit-yells) like a true warrior whenever he attacks with his sword. The music, especially the two overworld themes, is so, well, EPIC! It fits in perfectly with the storyline. The Town and Dungeon themes are quite fitting as well. Great job in this department, Nintendo!

Challenge: 10/10 A perfect challenge level; nothing's free, but nothing's impossible.

Replay: 10/10 If you're a master who has beaten this game more than ten times on the SNES like me, you'll probably be able to beat the game (secrets included) in one weekend. I find no problem with that, because I feel that a game this perfect SHOULD be replayed several times a year. The multiplayer Four Swords game should keep you occupied with your friends for awhile as well. There are many secrets for new players to discover, too.

Final Recommendation: 10/10 PERFECT!

I swear, this is the most perfect game I have ever played, and I'd recommend this game to anyone. If you even consider yourself to be a true gamer, then you MUST pick this up. Even if you own it for SNES, buy this and a GBA so you can play this masterpiece anywhere.

PROs:
-PERFECT gameplay
-Excellent graphics and music
-Anything else

CONs:
-The game does not include Sturm Brightblade, so it is not as AWESOME as Heroes of the Lance. AHOY!
-The GBA's speakers are inferior to those of a television.

Buy this game now, if you haven't already!





Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/10/03


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