Review by DarkLordRobert
Some time ago, a few days before the E3 I saw a announcement of a new Zelda game for the GBA. Living in Europe I didn't think it would come out here before 2005 but by some strange twist of fate the game got released in Europe first before the American release(but they get something extra in the game for the wait). I really looked forward to this game so is it any good?
Long, long ago Hyrule was shrouded in darkness and monsters were having a party. That was until the little Picori or Minish if you like that name better gave the hero of men(which was a Link of course) a sword to fight the darkness with. After that the sword was enshrined and was only shown to the victor the of tournament which is held at the annual Picori Festival in honour of these little people. The story begins with young Link going to the festival with princess Zelda. Link also has to deliver a sword to the minister of Hyrule castle and as he does his errand he is asked to stay and watch the ceremony in honour of this years tournament victor which happens to a shady guy called Vaati. Vaati makes quite show of the ceremony by breaking the sword which releases all sorts of monsters in Hyrule and by casting a curse on Zelda that turns her into stone. At a loss the king and the minister of Hyrule call upon Link to find the Minish and ask them to repair the sword so that Link can defeat Vaati with it. Only kids can see the Minish so this isn't a job for the Link of the upcoming Game Cube Zelda.
Game play 9/10
The whole thing about this Zelda is Links ability to shrink. He does this with the help of Ezlo, a talking hat with a beak, who Link meets early in the game. Link can shrink only on top of tree stumps or other objects with small cracks on them. The view in Minish mode depends on the location, in most places you see Link as a small dot with an arrow pointing at him so that you can see where he actually is, but in some places the camera zooms in on Link making the world and everything in it a lot bigger! Things like small stones or puddles of water become quite annoying when they block your road when your small, but you can get into small holes and cracks and of course you're only able to talk to the Minish when you're their size. Now you might think the whole game only involves around shrinking, but that isn't entirely true because there are interesting new items too, like the gust jar(a vacuum cleaner of some sorts) and the cane of Pacci(turns things upside down, that item is so cool!). I should also mention the Kin stones. When you find them you can fuse them with other people's Kin stones to make certain things happen. You can make treasure appear in the world or open up hidden paths or caves. It is really worthy to try and fuse a lot of those because you can get some really cool stuff out of it. The rest of the game is Zelda as you love with the big over world, some towns here and there and of course the dungeons which put the new stuff to good use. Controlling Link is a good as ever with two assignable buttons for items and a action button rolling, lifting, talking etc.
The graphical style of the game has been borrowed from the Wind Waker and boy, it looks good! There's a lot of detail in everything, the way Link moves, the design of the towns, dungeons and over world it looks fantastic and puts GBA hardware to good use. Also a lot of characters of previous Zelda games like Talon, Malon, Dampe the grave keeper and everybody's favourite (not really) Tingle make an appearance here and you recognise them directly. I think that makes the game even more fun look at and to play.
The sound is one the best you will hear on the GBA. A lot of old tunes are used together with very good new songs so that game doesn't fare on old music alone. The are also a lot voice samples from Link and the other characters which consists mostly of screams, grunts and yelps that sound very clear on your GBA. You should use headphones for this one.
This isn't the biggest Zelda but it is hardly short, especially if you go hunting the Kin stones. A few more dungeons would never be bad though.
If you love Zelda you love this. The game is feels very fresh thanks to the newideas but it stays close enough to the old fashioned Zelda game play to be called a Zelda game. A 9 out of 10 is what I rate this game. Go get it, now!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/22/04
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