Review by neothe0ne

"If it ain't broke, don't break it"

Pros:
Experience system for health, magic, and attack
New magic skills and items

Cons:
Insanely challenging
Takes too long to level up later on
Original Zelda-style is gone
Side-scrolling battle mode does not fit
Everything looks the same, makes easy things too hard

Nintendo presented the world with The Legend of Zelda, a great, fun game with its own unique style of action and adventure. Now, Nintendo has released the sequel, which is totally different from the first. Change can be good, change can be bad, but Nintendo, please answer this... why break it if it ain't broke??

Zelda II, a.k.a. Link's Adventure, starts with Princess Zelda in an enchanted sleep, and you need to wake her up. You do this by going around dungeons and beating the bosses, and end up fighting a great phoenix and your shadow, and, um.... well, to be truthful, I never got that far. This game was too bad, too boring, and too difficult for me to finish.

The graphics of Zelda II are okay for the most part, but there are a lot of problems involving visuals. When you're in caves, you often can't see the demons that are haunting you and damaging you when there is seemingly nothing there. The world map looks pretty bad, and Link is a square sprite that looks like a little leaf. In the scroll-screen mode, Link at least looks like an Elf and is rectangular. In fact, most of the game is overly blocky, though most parts show improved graphics over Zelda I.

The music of Zelda II varies in quality. Some songs are better than those from Zelda I, while some others are terrible. When you enter a dungeon, the music that plays is where "Hyrule Temple" in Super Smash Brothers Melee comes from. Besides for that tune, I didn't really like the music very much. It wasn't as entrancing as Zelda I's.

The gameplay of Link's Adventure is definitely original, but is original good? In some ways yes, but in most ways, no. The main feature of gameplay is a side-scrolling platform style, where Link can jump, duck, stab his sword forward (which shoots a short-ranged sword projectiles when you're at full health), use some magic that he learns later, and gain experience to level up. It resembles Super Mario Brothers a lot more than The Legend of Zelda. The problems with Link are numerous, and apparent from the start. First, Link can't jump very high, so it's almost useless. Link's sword can only stab forward slightly, and his sword also seems to act like a shield when not used (or the shield looks exactly like the sword). Link controls somewhat sluggishly, with the jump working as a weapon against you, and enemies advancing at you. If Link gets hit, he flinches for a long time and falls back quite a bit, but when enemies are hit, and if they don't immediately die, they fall back very little, and they usually don't flinch at all. Another problem is the experience system. Enemies don't give a lot of experience, and the amount you need to level up rises unfairly and takes a long time to achieve. When you do level up, you can choose whether to advance health, magic, or your sword.

Another problem arises with the scroll-screen mode, and that is lack of variety. When you touch enemies on the World Map, you go into the scroll-screen mode, where there are enemies that you can kill, or you can just run to the extreme left or right to exit the screen. Now, the enemies are generally always in the same place, always attack the same way, and everything looks almost exactly the same from left to right. This isn't such a problem in random battle encounters, but is a huge problem in the caves and dungeons, where everything looking the same makes the easy dungeon end up being an endless maze. In addition to that, the game is very straightforward in battle mode.. I mean REALLY straightforward.. as in usually completely linear in design. There is no way one could ever have real fun with this game. It's too hard and too boring. Extended time spent in huge side-scrolling towns and talking to people also makes things more boring.

Nintendo, will you ever learn? Innovation is nice, but never completely change an entire game, put the same title on it, and expect people to like it. You are the Weakest Link. Good-bye.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 01/21/05


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