Review by Mikaa

"Worth the US$20. And then some."

Back in the early 1990s, when I was first introduced to video games, there were only three titles that I could name off the top of my head, as I had played them either on my Game Boy or at a neighbor's house - Tetris, Super Mario Bros, and Zelda. Years later, when I tracked down a copy of the first NES Zelda game and played it, I found the game to be quite enjoyable, even if it lacked the graphical appeal of the Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles.

When Nintendo announced the Classic NES series originally in Japan (Famicom Minis, I believe they are called over there), I jumped for joy at reading that amongst the list of games (many of which I already had in the form of the E-Reader), I noticed Super Mario Bros. and Zelda. As soon as my local retailer carried the Zelda game, I bought it, immediately opening the box.

While the box was not as appealing as the Japanese release (which used the original Famicom box design), I flipped through the manuel, noting that it was issued in black and white for money reasons. This did not hamper the exitment of seeing descriptions of the foes and items, many of which reappeared in later Zelda games, but were never identified in the manuels.

Next I noticed the cart itself. The label was that of the box, but the cart's coloring was one with the NES/Game Boy carts of old, giving the game a slight classic feel.

Sliding the game in, I powered the unit on, and after the usual Game Boy Advance screen, the title appeared, with perfect sound and graphics right out of the NES. The Start button brought up the file screen, and after a brief moment of forgetting the menu's use of the Select button, I started the game.

And immediately, I fell in love with the game all over again.

Having said that, let me go into the game's finer points.

Graphically, the game is both ugly and gorgeous. By modern standards, the game looks archaic, even compared to numerous Game Boy games released in the mid-1990s. However, this does not hinder the game from reaching perfection in retaining NES-perfect graphics. Yes, the graphics are completely unchanged, and nothing new has been added, unlike the reissue of Link's Awakening a while back. When Nintendo said it would rerelease these games for the GBA, they meant what they said about unaltered emulation.

Sound is, again, perfect. I doubt there is a gamer on this planet that has not heard any of these tunes before, as many legendary tracks from the SNES and N64 (and some in the Game Cube game) were based on this soundtrack. I would not advise playing this with headphones, since the NES is nothing compared to even most Game Boy games, but it's a perfect translation, right down to the sound effects.

Control...it's the same as the NES, and that is both good and bad. For the most part, the controls are perfect, and with a bit of practice, anything can be done with the items in the game. And here is one of the few flaws in the game - the timing for the controls are differient enough from most later games to throw off anyone, myself included (wasn't helping that I played the Oracle games prior to this). This can lead to accidental deaths, as well as some dodging problems. However, after ten minutes or so, the feel is down, and you are able to fight off the worst foes the game can throw at you.

The game play is the same as it ever was on the NES, and this is good. Unless you spent countless months playing the game over and over, you probably would not remember where the White Sword is, or where the first Heart Piece is. The game is still as big and vast as ever, and Nintendo even included the ever-popular Quest 2 mode. Like the original, entering in ZELDA for a name nets you this quest from the get-go. Both games are identical to their original forms, and do not dissapoint those (like me) who prefer the games to be reproduced faithfully.

Note to first time players - at the menu, the Elimination mode is the option to ERASE GAMES. Be warned!

Replay value is dependent on how well you do in the game, and if you collected everthing. If you're like me and will replay the game years down the road, then get this cart, as it is well worth your time and money.

Before I close, I do want to observe why I gave the game an 8. While the game itself is a perfect port, the game itself is quite dated by modern standards. Also, I found myself dissapointed that Nintendo did not include the rare Zelda BS game, which was a SNES-revamped NES Zelda for the Japanese sattelite system for the Super Famicom. The only reason I was dissapointed by THIS was because Squaresoft, when revamping Final Fantasy II for the Swan Crystal, included both the original and reworked versions of the game. I know full well that the game would cost more for this, but it would have been worht it.

In closing, this is definately worth the US$20 to play, and while it is slightly cheaper to go to your local Flea Market and get a used NES cart in gold for cheap, remember this - you don't have to blow in the cart anymore!!!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/15/04


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