Review by Ofisil
"The Legend lives on"
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past is an Action\RPG or Action\Adventute if you like and was developed by Nintendo. Let's make something crystal clear here. Zelda is one of favorite game franchises, it was my first NES game and was the game that made me drool when a SNES commercial was on TV. Now that I have played the SNES version I still drool with this game since I consider it one of the greatest games ever.
When talking about the plot you must consider some things, like the genre of the game, when did it came out and finally compare it with game of its age. With that being said I must say that Zelda has a very good plot, since it was a gameplay driven action game that came out in 1992 and most games back there didn't have so good plots. If there where no Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy and some other games I would given a score of 9/10 but since I want to be fair this game deserves a 7.2/10. Now on with the actual storyline
The name of the game says it all I think since this game is actually the prequel to the original Zelda, (although Zelda games are supposed to be standalone games). So you are Link sleeping in your comfy bed and suddenly get a telepathic message from Zelda who wants you to save her. So you start wondering in the rainy night and begin your greatest quest yet. As I've said the game isn't story driven and by that I mean that 90% of the game is killing enemies, solving puzzles and finding items and only a small part of the game has to do with the plot or big dialogues with other characters, in fact NPCs only give you some clues about some puzzles or the location of an item. Nevertheless even without the typical storytelling of a pure RPG Zelda draws you into its world just like the first one did. I cannot explain why but the game has a great atmosphere that brings it to life
What I cannot stand in people is when they give a lower score to something because of their personal taste. I like being objective when giving a score so the fact that I'm not a great fun of the Anime\Cartoonish look doesn't affect my score since it does what it does in an excellent way. Yeah Zelda looks like a cute cartoon, typical of a Nintendo game. Link himself looks like a baby with his pajamas and his fake Halloween sword, enemies consist of pig men, colored blobs, typical magicians with pointy hats, etc, but they all look great and have excellent design using every little pixel in the right way. Bosses look even better and are usually 6 or 10 times your size. But all these are small details, what truly makes the game great is the Hyrule looks! Wonderfully designed areas, full of detail that look almost 3D since every surface has a great smooth look and doesn't look so pixilated. If you don't know already Zelda has a top-down non-isometric view, which means that you see everything from a bird's view, (a low altitude bird :P), something that has been done in a very good way compared to the previous Zelda games and creates a great feeling of depth\distance. The diversity between the various areas and dungeons of the game is wonderful ranging from lust forests and peaceful villages to high cloudy mountains and dark swamps and nice dungeons that have a unique design. Finally great work on the special effects for a game that old in the SNES history.
Who doesn't know about the melodies of the Zelda series? Even if you had lived under a rock for the past decades you'll surely had heard the main Zelda theme of the original one. Well music in A Link To The Past is equally good with some new versions of the old songs and some new tunes available too. Of course whether you like it or not is a matter of taste but you cannot disagree with the fact that it is much better from most SNES games out there and very well arranged. Sound effects on the other hand are very good too but without something greatly worth mentioning typical, high quality cartoon sounds.
Like most good games in game history, less means more and all Zelda games follow that formula. Once again we have a simple concept that is very addictive and makes you want to play until your fingers bleed. All you do in the game is wondering in the big wonderful kingdom of Hyrule in order to find items or clues about the various dungeons you need to enter. The overworld is full of little secrets like walls that need to be bombarded, trees with underground passages between them, stones with stairs underneath and many more that need a lot of time to find. Each dungeon has 1 useful item that you must retrieve in order to move on or go to some unexplored sections of the overworld. Also you must kill a certain boss in order to save a maiden, (why does it always have to be maidens???). Dungeons are the main part of the game since they are the ones that have the various puzzles you must solve and are usually complex mazes where you have to do certain things in order to reach the guarding boss. Along your quest you'll find many useful items that can be used in many ways. Bombs, torches, harpoons, magic rods with many uses, arrows and many, many more. Enemies are not so simple like before since each one has a certain strengths and week spot, something that goes for the bosses also. Now a bit of a spoiler that I feel I must inform you about. This time Hyrule has 2 parallel worlds something quite unique that completely enhances the gameplay since you have to make trips between the two worlds in order to reach a certain part of the map.
That pretty sums up the gameplay of Zelda, it's no wonder great things come in small and simple packages. But since I want to be fair I must include some flaws of the game. First of all the game is a bit too easy for a Zelda game and me being a Zelda fun I expected it to be even harder than the first one. Finally after completing the game there aren't many things you could do. You'll probably find 99% of the game's items in your first go whether you are an average or a hardcore gamer. Yes you will play it again after some time but its not the game you'll play again and again for months.
-A lot of searching, maze navigating and puzzle solving
-Great graphics with beautiful areas
-Great atmospheric game that draws you in
-The parallel worlds
-The game could be a little more story driven with more NPCs and stuff
-A bit easy
-Not the epitome of replayability
This game stayed in top one-hundreds in game magazines for months, is constantly in the top ten SNES games of GameFAQs, has a large, (and still growing), fan base and is widely considered one of the best games ever. PLAY IT! PLAY IT! PLAY IT! PLAY IT! PLAY IT! PLAY IT! PLAY IT!!!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/22/08
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (EU, 09/24/92)
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