Review by ZFS

"A great port of one of the best NES games out there, The Legend of Zelda!"

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The Legend of Zelda
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Ah, yes the original Legend of Zelda. This is the game that started it all, this is what started the Legend of Zelda series and made the series to be what it is today: Awesome. Basically what we have here is a classic Legend of Zelda game where you play as (Link) a small Hylian boy who is destined to find Princess Zelda and banish Ganon away from the peaceful land of Hyrule. While there story isn't at it's peak in this game, that isn't really the focus in the original LoZ. So here we go as the tale is told for the first time in the Legend of Zelda.

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Gameplay - It remains great through the porting process
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Basically what we have here in the gameplay section is something new and different for gaming. Gamers finally have to use their brains in order to solve puzzles, figure out where to go next, and find hidden items scattered all over the land of Hyrule. This game finally introduced a type of gaming where you had to think about what to do instead of just trying to get from point A to point B. While the solving part was pretty basic and didn't require a huge amount of thinking the game still made gamers explore and try to figure out what to do next.

The overall world of Hyrule is pretty big and filled with something in every part of it. When you traverse Hyrule you walk from one section of it to another through screens. So every time you enter a new screen your just continuing on from where you left off. Now every part of Hyrule is filled with enemies, trees, rocks, etc. There is not one part of the game where you won't be fighting some kind of enemies, and usually there are a lot of them. I must say that while on Hyrule field the enemies seem to be a bit on the easy side when it comes to beating them down, but as you complete more and more dungeons the enemies get harder near and in those dungeons. They take out more Hearts from your meter and are harder to fight than the basic enemies from the first few dungeons.

Something that is really good is the puzzles in this game. Despite the fact that they are a bit on the easy side, some of them really have you thinking for a little bit before you figure them out. Most of them are well crafted and pretty fun to solve, traversing the dungeons looking for that all important Dungeon Map or looking for that new item to beat the boss with is all to fun. And while fighting the through the dungeons looking for keys and trying to get to the last room that contains the Triforce piece there is always a boss that stands in your way. This brings up the part about the bosses. The bosses are just plain fun in this game. Some of them are pretty hard while others are so easy that you can just stand back and hit them with your sword without even worrying about getting hit by them. The bosses are overall designed pretty well and are always fun to beat up on before gathering the all important Triforce piece.

One thing that is loved about Zelda is the fact that you can go exploring just about anywhere from the get go. In The Legend of Zelda once you start the game you are free to go anywhere you want in the entire game. That means you can search and find everything on Hyrule before you step foot into the first dungeon. It is pretty cool collecting all of the Heart Containers in Hyrule before going to the first dungeon. Of course some things you cannot do until you get an item that is needed to uncover a secret somewhere on the map. This is to be expected though due to the fact that the secrets aren't just uncovered for you. You have to go and find them, which really kicks up the exploring part of the game.

Overall the gameplay is just brilliant, introducing the Legend of Zelda to us in a great fashion and setting the standard for more Zelda games in the future. There game itself really isn't all that difficult, but again some things will have you thinking.

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Graphics - Great for their time, but no upgrade through the port.
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Now the graphics are pretty good looking considering they were running on the Nintendo Entertainment System(NES). The graphics for their time were really good. Most of the game looks finely well done while trying to make things look a little in detail. All of the things you see are repeated multiple times, so they didn't have to come up with a new sprite for say a rock. The environments look pretty basic indeed, but having put thought into some of the character/enemies is pretty well done.

Basically Hyrule is done pretty well, trying to make it looked textured from the desert of Gerudo Valley to the rocks of Death Mountain everything looks pretty good. There are some bad points in the game where some of the enemies look kind of weird, but of course that is to be expected while running on an 8-bit system. One thing that impressed me was rocks that fell down while in the Death Mountain section of Hyrule. When you are walking by there, rocks begin to fall from the top and bounce off the mountain walls and onto the field. The rocks actually look like rocks and are jagged to give it more of a feel that it is actually a rock rather than a sphere.

Character sprites are pretty good as well. Not a lot of detail put into them sheerly because the NES couldn't handle anything great than what is shown. While you can't see much of Link's face you can distinguish that he has a nose and eyes, as well as a brown shirt under his green tunic. All of that is seen which is pretty good, he doesn't appear to have a mouth, but what are you going to do? It's the NES. =D Anyway, Link aside we have characters such as the Old Man who truly does look pretty old with his white beard and bald head. Some of the enemies look kind of bland at times and just look like blocks when other enemies have a considerable amount of detail put into them. It's kind of disappointing to see some of the enemies looking like blocks while others look pretty good.

Overall, the graphics for the Legend of Zelda are great considering that the game is on the NES. There are some times when the graphics look bad even for the NES, but there are very few occasions when that happens. Hyrule also looks very well done with all of the detail put into the large land that you traverse.

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Audio - Some of the most memorable themes in the Zelda franchise started here.
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The music of The Legend of Zelda is awesome, the first introduction to the great Hyrule overworld theme song. The short song that plays when you collect a special item and the song that plays when you discover a secret. These are just a few of the great moments when you'll hear a nice audio track from this game. Even the sounds are well crafted, and who can forget the great sound of a beam coming out of Link's sword when he has all of his hearts?

The introduction of the great music from Zelda started in this game. A lot of the sounds in this game are just play fun to listen too. The music composer for the Legend of Zelda was a genius, every song just seems to fit right into the game perfectly. Especially the dungeon songs, it gives you the feeling to be weary and take it slow through the dungeons. While on Hyrule field it is fast and bright giving you a feeling to go explore and such. Sometimes the songs can be a bit overused and there isn't a wide selection of them. Most of the dungeon songs are the same or atleast sound the same with a small bit of something add to them to try to make them sound different. Of course none of this is all that bad considering that the game is running on the NES, which didn't have a extreme amount of capabilities in the first place.

The sound part of Legend of Zelda is awesome. My favorite sound being the beam that comes out of your sword when you press it and you have all of your Hearts. The sound is awesome. Almost every sound in the game is great and fits right into where it should. While the sounds you hear aren't that bad, they aren't extremely great either. Basically the sounds are average really and don't present anything horribly bad. You really don't even notice the sounds all that much in the game, while they are good don't expect them to perfect.

Overall the audio section for Legend of Zelda is good. It has it's ups and downs but of course isn't expected to be the best. With it's catchy tunes and well crafted sounds the game is sure to make it in the audio section and became the basis for the future Zelda games.

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Replay Value - You'll be playing this game multiple times.
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While is surely isn't as fun to play over and say SMB, but the game does sport its share of moments when you want to play through the game again to try to find more secrets or beat it with a faster time. That's another thing the game isn't extremely long, the game can be beaten in under an hour for someone who really knows the game so this adds more replay value to the game in the sense that it isn't a really long adventure. Going back to collect Heart Containers, find a secret room, or just try to look around Hyrule is all in great fun and will surely keep you coming back for a little while, but eventually the game will lose it's touch and become a little boring after so many times. And for that extra little challenge the no sword quest does wonders.

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Overview of The Legend of Zelda Review
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Pros
+ Great audio tracks.
+ Playing the game is just plain fun.
+ The puzzles are good.
+ Replay Value is pretty high.
+ Dungeons are great and get harder.
+ The game looks great for a game on the NES.

Cons
- Some bad visuals.
- Some tracks are a bit overused.
- Some slight NES to GBA port problems.

Scores for each Section

Gameplay: 10
Graphics: 10
Audio: 8.9
Replay Value: 9.2
Final Score: 9.0


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/24/04


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