Review by chandlerbing
"A new GB Zelda - big and quite fun"
Nintendo's long existing and much successful RPG series arrives in full color for the Gameboy Color. Once again, you play the part of Link in another quest to save the world from destruction and mayhem and Nintendo has cleverly divided the Gameboy series into two parts: Oracles of Ages and Oracles of Seasons. Each are entirely new quests that can be played on their own but the best comes from linking up both adventures to exchange secrets, rings and other neat stuff. This review assesses the bits and bobs of Oracles of Seasons.
Anyone familiar with the old NES, SNES and Gameboy adventures of Link will feel right at home with Zelda: Oracles of Seasons. Setting your items and equipment to the A and B button, you must fight and solve your way around the world of Holodrum using means of various transports such as the kangaroo as well as various classic, new and updated abilities such as the Roc's Cape. Using the Rod of Seasons, you can manipulate the seasons in order to clear a preferable path for you to advance. For example, you may need the summer season to order to create vines for you to climb up to higher ground. It is great fun playing around with the seasons and is unique to the Zelda: Oracles of Seasons game.
New features include collecting and equipping rings. By equipping rings, you can give Link various attributes. For example, equipping a power ring L1, you increase the power of your sword attacks but also suffer in a decrease in your defense. Equipping a like-like ring changes Link into a like-like so he can pass amongst these enemy creatures without having your shield taken by them. With plenty of rings in the game, you can explore and find which ring or rings are right for you.
Planting Gasha seeds into soil patches also yields rewards for you whether they be potions, rings or some other goodies that you can take advantage of. However, this can eventually become a little tedious if you keep doing this.
There are plenty of other new stuff... play and see for yourself.
The definitive, classic Zelda tune returns once more. Outdoor and dungeon music retains the classic tunes that makes the series such great fun to play. You can't help but feel nostalgic when listening to music in this game. Then again, it might be possible to criticize the lack of originality but I wouldn't take this criticism as a means of putting down the game.
Same style as the previous Zelda game (Link's Awakening), the graphics retains the old charm as well as making full use of the color to create a gorgeous atmosphere of a Zelda game. Everything is clear and easy to the eye and the distinguishing features of each of the seasonal variations is amazing.
There is a lot you can do in this game, more so than in Link's Awakening. There are a total of eight dungeons all spread out over the large world of Holodrum (plus the castle of final boss). There are over 50 rings you can collect and it is impossible to collect them all without trading with someone with the Oracles of Ages game. This brings about a Pokemon-style form of trading and trying to collect all the rings takes a long time (considering you have to find them in the first place!) Along with mini-quests to get better items and equipment as well as some mini-games, the length of the game can be said to be long indeed.
However, the most noteworthy thing to mention here is that fact that after you have completed Oracles of Seasons, you can transfer your data info (that you have completed this quest) to that of a new game of Oracles of Ages. Your completion of this game will add more depth and more stuff to do when you move onto the Oracles of Ages game. It is far more rewarding if you do this rather than playing Oracles of Seasons and Oracles of Ages separately. The obvious drawback is whether you actually know someone who owns another Gameboy AND a copy of Oracles of Ages too so that you can continue the adventure.
This is a big game, thanks largely to a whole host of optional stuff and link-up opportunities at hand. It is not a quick game to complete if you take your time to absorb the new world and adventure presented to you. The idea of playing around with seasons to achieve your goals is very appealing and adds a creative dimension to role-playing as Link. The Zelda games have always placed emphasis on exploration and this game is no exception, Holodrum is a massive world with plenty to see and do and won't disappoint anyone looking for a big place to explore.
Despite this game being pretty darn good on its own right, it is a little disappointing compared to the steady flow of events in Link's Awakening. I just did not have as much fun as the previous Gameboy Zelda game. This is definitely not a put-down of the new Oracles series but a matter of personal preference. Who knows, this just might be your favourite Zelda game...
- Large game with a big world to explore
- Loads of optional stuff you can do
- New and fun characters all round
- Link-up adds new fun and length to the Zelda series
- Bosses pose a nice challenge
- New and neat gadgets for you to use
- Need a separate GB and Oracles of Ages to take full advantage of the transfer options.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 05/12/02, Updated 05/12/02
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