Review by imagine606
"A Fun 2D Zelda Adventure"
Going back to when this came out (I can't believe it's been so long now), this game was met with some questions before it even came out due to the fact that Capcom had gotten involved with the Zelda series. However, the result wound up being something very true to what has been the general evolution of the series.
The Zelda series had been scoring big around this time with both 3D and 2D games. The three 3D games (I don't think I need to say this, but not 3D like the 3DS or 3D television, but worlds where you can go in all directions) at this time were all excellent games. Ocarina of Time was a game that blew most who played it away with what was at the time a massive world with what was a lot of adventure to it. Majora's Mask was an extension of that, almost like a part 2 to Ocarina of Time, but with a much different style. Wind Waker brought a whole new level of exploration, and it involved a new element, alternative modes of travel (other than by foot or by horse). With the 2D portion of the series we had just come off of the two Oracle games, Oracle of Time and Oracle of Ages, both hugely popular, especially among many of the diehard fans of the series. So where would Minish Cap pick up? Right where it should have.
Games were beginning to involve more and more changes at the 3D level while at the 2D level they were also evolving. Minish Cap kept this going. While it kept true to how the series was at a 2D level, it took things further. It brought the idea of shrinking down, at many times entering a whole new world this way. With this there were many very clever puzzles that were brought in to the game. It featured saving the Princess Zelda, and contained many of the same games that had been introduced, but also featured Vaati for the first time as the main antagonist in a major Zelda game.
Anyway, to the main points. The gameplay itself was great. The controls were very easy, and actually they were very easy to personalize with the ability, as is with some of the other portable Zelda games, to set the sword as either the A or B weapon and setting your other weapon (or with no sword and 2 other other weapons) to the other button. Any further controls, or advanced moves were brought in gradually, and they were not rushed at all, especially some of the more powerful sword techniques. There were plenty of outstanding side quests in the game, the biggest one being the collection of kinstone pieces. There were four main colors of kinstones. Gold ones were usually used for immediate puzzles, red ones and blue ones were for more advanced mergings, while the green ones were for more trivial types of prizes. There was also the quest to get mysterious shells in order to gather figurines. Once you got to, I believe, 130 figurines, you would be able to get the final piece of heart. There is no shortage of collecting in this game.
The world you're in is quite interesting as well. Hyrule Town is right in the middle of everything, then you have North Hyrule Field which actually separates Hyrule Town from Hyrule Castle. Obviously this is quite a bit different than most Zelda games, but it makes for a nice difference and one that...how do I say it, kind of separates the town from the castle, which isn't normally done. The layout is complicated in the sense that there are plenty of obstacles to getting from one place to the other, like in Link's Awakening, but at the same time it's easy to know the general direction you have to go in.
Going past that, the visuals are outstanding for what had normally been released on the Gameboy Advance. The art style was in the same style as Wind Waker was, but scaled down in a Gameboy Advance sense. The result turned out to be the same bright colors and clear graphics that we got with Wind Waker. Going on from there, the music had a lot of general themes from past Zelda games. There were a few totally original songs in there still, but the general themes were from multiple past games.
This is a game with solid replay factor. The bosses are memorable enough to want to go against them again, and there's enough exploration as to where you will have to play several times to memorize where all of the main things are. The game itself is a lot of fun. There's a solid challenge to it, in fact, probably more of a challenge than any of the games that came out in the three years before and the three years after it. Even some of the things to do in the over world required some extra thinking as opposed to the recent and soon to follow Zelda games.
It's a game that brings all of the best of the 2D Zelda games. In my opinion, this is the best of the 2D Zelda games. I enjoy the story, it looks good, and it's very fun to play.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/19/11
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (US, 01/10/05)
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