Review by Rango
"Most. Perfect game. Ever."
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was made for the SNES in 1991 or 1992. Today, we get games with all this high-tech stuff and guns and all, but in the way that casuals would think they're so cool and blow off all other games. Sure, I like games like that, but respect the classics, for they might be superior. This is no exception, either. It is the very definition of flawless.
Our story begins as a telling of a myth in Hyrule unfolds. It tells about how a war was waged for the legendary power of gold and how knights of hyrule would defend it in the war. Then, the Wise Men would seal up the way to the power of gold, and the story would be uncovered by time. A long time would pass, but then, a mysterious wizard named Agahnim would show up. He killed the good king of Hyrule and imprisoned 6 maidens to open the way to the Golden Land, where the Triforce, the power of gold, was kept hidden. As he would imprison each girl, the princess of Hyrule, Zelda's turn would come only nearer. It was only a matter of time before she was eventually sent away, much like the other maidens. One stormy night, Zelda contacts Link and his uncle about the evil plot that is unfolding. Link's uncle tells him that he's going out for a while, obviously to save her, and doesn't want Link to follow him. He leaves, Link follows him, and your adventure begins. However, this isn't your typical one-dimensional storyline that would appear in your typical game around 1991. Much like, say Ocarina of Time, this game has a bunch of different plot-twists, many of which you would least expect.
This game shows beauty, and it's seen more than in its deep, epic storyline. The graphics for this game are very colorful, almost like a cartoon. And to think that another follower of this game, Wind Waker, was constantly bashed for being cartoonish, as if this game wasn't. Everything has rich detail, such as the bushes with leaves, the inside of the houses, the dungeons, which are dark (not literally. Well, sorta, but dark in the sense that it looks creepy), and each environment, which has its own setting. Heck, it even rains in the game, too. This is a pretty dang good accomplishment for a game made in 1991. Some of the later spells, however, will totally blow your mind, though! They come from 3 special spells. Now, don't expect anything Final Fantasy X worthy, but think of it as that, transformed into 16-bit, ya? This game is beautiful.
More than graphics are shown in this game's beauty, however. The sounds of this game are produced to reflect most every action perfectly. Hitting the walls with your sword make a "kink" noise and your sword slashes with a "whoosh" noise. You get my point. The noises suit every action perfectly, to include fire and explosion noises, too. Even ice sounds very cool (pun not necessarily intended) with the sparkly noise. The music, however, is just wonderful. The intro area, when it's raining outside, has that mysteriously dark music to it, as the story is only just unfolding. The overworld is the classic Zelda theme that was first heard in the NES classic The Legend of Zelda (yes, it is the same overworld theme, but now 16-bit worthy). And the dungeons! They were dark, creepy, and scary. They were built like fine palaces, and though they are on the inside, with a dark tone to them, the music sorta scares you (or not. But definitely keeps you on your toes). Boss music makes a drastic change, as it's all high pitched and scary. The bad thing is, if the dungeon music does scare you, and you walk into the boss room, and find a gigantic dinosaur creature that covers a quarter of the screen, clad in a helmet, breathing fireballs at you, you might want to turn the game off when you hear that music! The music suits this epic game perfectly.
What else suits the audio and visuals of the game? Why, the most important part of it all: The magnificent gameplay that made this game so perfect. You run around and slash things and enemies with your sword. You have access to various sub-weapons, such as a Bow & Arrow set, Bombs, a Boomerang, and many different magic spells, too. Some items are more useful than others, such as the Hookshot and the Cane of Somaria. The use of items in this game is spectacular and offers some of the best items in any video game, to include the best variety of the entire Zelda series. You travel an overworld, fighting enemies, and in some areas, such as a town or inside a small house, it's peaceful and you don' t have to fight, but rather, you get to talk to people. However, there aren't many peaceful places like that, but there are a lot of people to talk to. The dungeons, however, are the second half of the real meat of the game, aside from all the fighting. You go through dungeons, battling creatures, and solving puzzles. Yup, puzzles. But they're not the simple get lost and move a block every now and then puzzles like the original Zelda was. Far from it. If you happened to play another Zelda besides the NES ones, then yes, the puzzle action is like that. You move blocks, step on switches, shoot other switches, cause blocks to rise and fall, chain your way across a gap, and many other things like that. It's much more difficult puzzle-wise than the original Zelda, Ocarina of Time, and especially Wind Waker. There are 13 dungeons in all, many harder than the last. And lastly, there are two worlds to explore in this huge game. Swordfighting with enemies, using magic spells and sub-weapons, talking with people, exploring hidden areas for Heart Pieces, puzzle solving, and traveling between two whole worlds all combine for one perfect adventure.
In case you didn' t hear me right the first time, yes, there are hidden areas in this game. Plenty of them. You have a lot of heart pieces to collect, which, unlike the original, come in fours to create one whole Heart Container. Hyrule is a pretty big land. Having an entirely different parallel world only makes it so much bigger. It was probably the longest video game between 1985 (in which games like Super Mario Bros. had a true limit of levels, not constantly repeating areas) and 1991. Also, this game is very fun to play over and over again. It also has a few mini-games to keep you entertained in case you feel like unwinding from all that adventuring.
Overall, this game perfectly defines flawless. It's one of my top favorites of the entire Zelda series and I've beaten it more than any of the other ones, save for Ocarina. The use of weapons, the length, the difficulty, the puzzles...man, this game just has it all! And has a very nice story to go with it, too.
Buy or rent: BUY THIS GAME! It is an absolute masterpiece. Fans of Adventure-genre games and epic tales will fall in love with this game. Even RPG fans would love this game, too!
Flawless is easily defined without a dictionary with this game.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/15/04
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