Review by Pyro Vesten

"Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (along with ages) is quite possibly the best GameBoy Color game ever."

Nintendo must have a lot of trust in Capcom, licensing them the rights to produce two games based around one of Nintendo’s biggest and best franchises, The Legend of Zelda could have been risky but Nintendo kept an extremely close eye on how the games were progressing, and Zelda: Oracle of Seasons (Along with it’s partner, Zelda: Oracle of Ages) turned out to be quite possibly the best two GameBoy Color games ever.

Ages, and Seasons were released at the together, but unlike say, Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue, Ages and Seasons are two entirely different games. You can use one game to unlock secrets, or extra items in one game, and vice-versa. So if you were wondering which one to buy, the answer is both. And so you know Seasons is much more action based, and Ages is more of a puzzle based game.

Originally there were to be three Zelda GBC titles released, a few weeks after each other, and all were to interact, but it proved too difficult and time consuming for the game designers to have three games working together, so they dropped one of the titles from production.

That classic Zelda gameplay still remains in Oracle of Seasons. If you’ve played Link’s Awakening you’ll have some idea of what you’re in for. If not then here is the basic idea.
The idea of the game is fairly simple, you talk to people in order to get clues on where to go, or what to do next and just to learn a bit more about the world, and it’s inhabitants. There are eight dungeons (levels) where you find keys by solving puzzles, killing enemies etc, to open doors, eventually you will fight a mini-boss and then finally fight the final dungeon boss to earn one of eight items that will ultimately let you fight the final boss. Along the way you collect items and weapons, as well as upgrades and other things to help you progress. You travel between dungeons, side-quests and other areas via the overworld, which is a very large area with many, many different places to explore and visit.

You start the game off without a single item or weapon to aid you. You’ll make your way to a group of people watching Din, the Oracle of Seasons dancing. You talk to them and soon Onox, your big bad guy will crash the party and kidnap Din (I bet you didn’t expect that :P). It’s up to link to rescue Din, and in effect save the land.

You’ll soon find yourself with your two most basic, and common items, your sword and shield. With these, you can both attack and defend on a basic level.

You move through the land, talking to people, learning about the land, finding out about people, getting clues etc. There are some very interesting characters to meet too. And if you have played Zelda: Ocarina of Time you’ll be in for a little treat, because the windmill is back, complete with the musician ^_^ the only problem, is that the windmill music is so good you’ll have a hard time leaving :P


If you’re playing this (or Oracle of Ages) on a GameBoy Advance you will be treated to another shop as well, everything is 100 rupees and there are three things to purchase. Pretty cool no?

Oracle of Seasons focuses quite a bit on the rod of seasons, which when fully upgrades and swung atop a tree stump has the power to change the season, from Summer, to Spring, to Fall/Autumn to Winter. This plays a big role in moving about the overworld. For example, in winter lakes freeze, allowing you to walk across them, snow build up between gaps, letting you cross etc, In summer lakes dry out and have only a small amount of water in them (you can walk across) and vines (plus loads of other pants) grow allowing you to climb up walls to new areas. in fall/autumn trees die, allowing you to get to new areas and much much, more.This is a really cool feature that changes the landscape, adding a new element of strategy to the game.

During your quest you will also come across Gasha seeds, you plant these in special soil one season, change the season ahead and they will grow into a magnificently sized tree. Growing amongst the leaves and branches on the Gasha trees you will find special seeds, there are different kinds of these seeds, the ember seed when thrown will become a fire ball, and have the ability to set things on fire, the Pegasus seeds will allow you to run very fast, Mystery seeds will reveal a hint/tip/secret when used on an owl statue. There are more of these seeds too, the different varieties all have a different purpose.
Apart from the usual items (Bombs, Boomerang, Guantlet, Shield, Sword, Roc’s feather, the Shovel) you’ve got a bunch of new items, like the steerable boomerang, slingshot, a bunch of flutes that do different things, bombchus and more. The introduction of these new items add even more elements to the way the game plays.

There are also three buddies for you to find along the way, Ricky, the Kangaroo (he packs a mighty punch, and can jump across small gaps, and up small cliff faces) the other animal buddies are Dimitri and Moosh.

I think by now you get the idea that Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is one hell of an awesome game, that is deep, entertaining fun and just a dream to play.

Gameplay
Again, it’s on of those instances where I wish I could give the game 11/10. Amazing, deep, invloving, classic Zelda Gameplay. Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is a dream to play.
10/10

Graphics
This looks pretty good for a GameBoy Color title, but isn’t the best example of the kind of graphics it can put out. It’s fairly similar to Link’s Awakening, graphically speaking, but with a decent amount of improvements. But who cares about the graphics? It’s the gameplay that matters.

8.5/10

Sound
The sound effects in Oracle of Ages are quite similar to Link’s Awakening, with the games sharing some sound effects (like picking up rupees). The sound effects are good for what the GameBoy Color can output. The game features some really cool music as well, with some memorable tunes to be heard throughout the game.

9/10

Multiplayer
There is no multiplayer to be found in these games, to be specific…………. I can’t really say much more though, because I don’t want to spoil anything.

N/A

Replayability
Actually completing the game doesn’t require you to have collected every single item and upgrade in the game. Once you’ve completed the game (finished the final boss that is) there is a bunch of other stuff to collect, from all of the heart pieces, to upgrading items and weapons, and finally collecting every single last ring in the game. I believe there are something like 64 of them to collect! Which seems almost crazy, but this assures that you’ll be playing for a long time trying to get 100% of everything there is to be found.

8/10

Difficulty
These games aren’t particularly hard to complete. The bosses are easily defeatable once you have figured out how to beat them. The thing that adds to the difficulty of the game is that sometimes you’ll have to figure out how to get past a certain area. You won’t be stumped for too long, and if you are truly stuck you can always take a quick look at an FAQ right here on GameFAQs to help you out.

Pros
(_) More of that awesome classic Zelda gameplay.
(_) Tons of stuff to collect
(_) Some memorable music
(_) The interactivity between this and Oracle of Ages

Cons
(_) The next Zelda game isn’t out yet :P

Buy/rent
Buy. You certainly wouldn’t be able to beat this in one rental, probably even with a walkthrough by your side. And why would you want to do that anyway? This is a must own game. If you have a GameBoy Color or GameBoy Advance go out and buy it now. If you don’t, go buy yourself a GameBoy Advance and a copy of this (and make sure to get Oracle of Ages as well :)

Overall

Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, and Oracle of Ages are quite possibly the two best GameBoy Color games ever. If not the very best they are not far from it. Classic, awesome Zelda gameplay. Proving that Capcom know how to make games, and Nintendo know how to license them :P


Overall 9.7/10
(Rounded to 10/10 for GameFAQs)


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/30/01, Updated 07/30/01


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