Review by BASHERS33

"Old Formula With New Twists Makes a Great game!"

Many people complain about the Zelda series always using the same formula. For instance some say Ocarina of Time was not innovative enough because its child/adult theme was the same as A Link To The Past's light world/dark world theme. However there is a reason why Ocarina of Time is the best game of all time, as most who have played it do agree. It may be a formula that is used a lot in zelda games, but it is not a case of beating a dead horse. Just as most good stories involve good vs. evil, games work well with contrasting ideas or themes. So as long as there are SOME innovations, zelda games will always be among the best of any game available on the market.

You do need those innovations though. There are indeed some puzzles which are solved in predictable ways because they have been in other zelda games. However, I feel like this installment in the zelda franchise has better changed up the puzzle strategies in order to get the gamer to have to think more.

The game does still have a "2-way theme" if you will... This time it involves regular size Link and Minish size Link. This is discussed on the box and instructions, so you likely already know about the theme in a general way. i obviously will not spoil anything. I just wanted to point out it does indeed use the same old formula. But why change what has been so successful? Just toss in some new things and BOOM a great zelda game once again.

I will rate this game in some traditional categories and then twist it up a bit.

STORY
9.7- Well in general I think Nintendo needs to do some work on their stories. Make them more in-depth and add clarity to them. I thought they did a poor job with Wind Waker overall. but I did love this story for the most part. A lot of familiar characters, a few twists, and you even learn the history behind some things in the zelda series. The characters and the world in general makes hte gamer feel sucked into the fantasy world just as was the case in Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask. I guess that is about all i can say in this section without giving a spoiler. Playing this game will give you more to think about when trying to decide on where you believe everything belongs in the zelda time line.

GRAPHICS
9.5- The graphics are very good for a GBA game. I actually played this game on my 30 inch wide screen HDTV though, using game boy player. I was very amazed how well it looked. It was just as if I was playing a SNES (Super Nintendo) game only even better graphics due to progressive scan and other such changes in technology over the years. Nice clear colors and didn't seem distorted or anything. I would rate this a 10, but I can tell there is so much going on it would be a bit tough on GBA. So I figured it would probably get a 9 when playing it actually on GBA. So averaging it to a 9.5.

GAMEPLAY
10- ok, gameplay is BY FAR the most important thing in a zelda game. This game has gameplay that makes it VERY fun. I don't generally like the 2D zelda games as much as 3D. But after getting a few hours deep into this world, I loved it. As is said on the box and instructions, there is a new thing called "kinstone fusing". You find kinstones of different types and then you can try to fuse them with different characters. if your type matches with theirs, then something good will happen. I think this is a quite genius addition. I actually hope it is done in future zelda games, although it is highly unlikely it will indeed be utilized again in the future. The movements in the game are very fluid. Changing sizes and splitting into duplicate Links (as in Four Swords)are both used to make for some new, creative puzzles. And then of course the same cool zelda puzzles from the past show up sometimes. Some old enemies and items are also in this game.

ZELDA-specific Categories:- ok here are some categories to allow you to compare this game with others in the series.

LENGTH OF GAME
7.0- The only part of the game I did not like. This is one of the few zelda games I never wanted to end. It ended too soon. Really I don't know that any zelda game is shorter. I suppose maybe Wind Waker. But in general any other zelda game would take you longer to complete 100% if you don;t use a guide on any game.

BOSSES
10- Well another 10 here. Just what you expect from zelda bosses. Big bosses, have to think on how to defeat some of them, and several can be difficult if you do not have certain items or skills.

ITEMS
10- Many traditional zelda items for your pleasure here. And some cool new ones, such as the gust jar which can be used for many different things actually. You should love the selection of items the same as you would in any zelda game. And they make for some interesting puzzles. Have fun!

PUZZLES
10- Some traditional puzzles and very cool, and in some cases thought-provoking, new ones. I was pleased with them in this particular game.

DUNGEONS
9.5- Well not enough of them, but I would say the design is great and they are quite fun and fairly innovative. I doubt you will be bored with them if you are generally a fan of zelda games.

ENDING
8.8- Well I never like the length of zelda endings. I personally think they should be interactive, VERY long, and thus make you feel a great sense of accomplishment and reward for your time spent on the game. But they never do it just right. I would say the ending is maybe... about fourth or fifth on my list of favorite zelda endings. But pretty good, nonetheless.

CONCLUSION
I had to give this game a perfect 10. I rank it very close to the top on my list of favorite zelda games. Probably in the top 3. The same formula is used as all zelda games. But new puzzles, the 2 way theme feeling a bit innovative compared to other used in the past, and just the fun of kinstone fusing causing great rewards just teams up with the sheer enjoyment of any zelda game to make for an awesome adventure. if only it were longer, it would truly be perfect. If it could be rated more specifically, I would give it probably a 9.5. Zelda games always have a "feel" to them where you love the games even if you can't always put your finger on every single thing that gives you the feeling.

Buy the game. I can't imagine ANYONE disliking the game, whether a true zelda fan or not!

I do think there needs to be even more innovations from now on to keep from going stale, but the formula works, so why change and/or alter it? I would change nothing in this particular game other than adding 2 dungeons. Nothing!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/05/05


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