Review by Joe the Destroyer
"In my opinion, the greatest Zelda game ever made."
I really used to suck at action/adventure games like this. When I got this the Christmas following my 13th birthday (which is when I got my Super Nintendo) I was a bit intimidated because I was so badly spoiled of my NES Game Genie. The only time I had played this game was at my friend's house using his Game Genie. So, I sucked up all my cowardly emotions and gave this game a shot. Playing this game actually improved not only my action/adventure ability, but my all around gaming ability. After this game, I was able to finish so many others that used to sap all my ability.
How it All Got Started...
This goes back to the beginning of Legend of Zelda, when Hyrule first needed Link. It seems an evil sorcerer named Agahaim has taken Hyrule Castle and kidnapped princess Zelda. The only way Link can defeat Agahaim is to gain a sword known as the Master Sword. Is that it? Oh no. There's a bit more to the story. This sounds like a basic save-the-maiden story, which I dread more than almost any storyline, but there is more to it than just that. One main reason I applaud Nintendo for this game: they were able to make a Zelda game that had more to the story than just, ''Save Zelda and ask no questions.''
It's the usual 2D, overhead view environment. You can control Link to go up, down, left, right, or diagonal. You start out the game with a basic sword which, if you hold down the attack button, you can charge to do an special swing attack. Throughout the game, you bump into various enemies and collect tons of different items as you did in the first Zelda games.
This one kept the idea of magic which Zelda 2 had. However, the magic serves a different purpose. Basically, there are only three true spells in the game. The rest of the items also run on magic, but are not true spells. You can regain magic by collecting the little green bottles. This is not the type of magic system that you compare to other games such as Final Fantasy or anything like that. In other words, it's a good system in and of itself, albeit simplistic.
You can find jars in the game which you can fill with medicines. You can also catch bees or faeries with a bee net and keep them in a bottle for special uses. I thought the idea with the jars was pretty cool. Heh, I guess that's all I have to say about that...
Two Sides to the Coin
This one also revolves around moving in and out of an alternate dimension that is the darker side of reality. You can do this with a certain mirror. I actually liked this idea as it added some good flavor to the game. Yet another nice idea introduced to the Zelda franchise. This is yet another factor that actually provoked a little thought as to how to get from A to B at different points of the game.
The graphics truly are beautiful, even if they aren't the best. One good example of great work on the part of Nintendo was the forest. I liked how they had some light shining down through the canopy of the forest and the way the light and shadows moved in the forest. Sure, it's nothing to compare to today's consoles, but compared to games of then... WOW! The game also had some very beautiful color usage.
The sounds are truly epic and are nothing less than you would expect from the almighty Zelda. A great soundtrack and the usual fitting sound effects. From the opening theme, I knew the sounds were going to be a strong point in the game. Each song in the score helped set a different mood very well, from despair to wonder to even the great sense of adventure.
Other Factors and Conclusion
The controls are very lenient and don't exhibit much complexity. As I mentioned, I'm impressed that Nintendo was able to add more to the game's plot instead of keeping it a strict save-the-maiden all over again. The gameplay is extremely fun and exciting for almost any Zelda fan.
Graphics: Not the best ever, but certainly worth 8/10
Sounds: Great soundtrack and sound effects 10/10
Controls: Lenient and simplistic 10/10
Plot/Storyline: Nintendo earns a major brownie point here 9/10
Gameplay: One of the best SNES games! 10/10
All Together: 10/10
*Superlative sounds and soundtrack
*Very lenient controls
*Lots of Zelda innovations
*Loads of fun
*There were a couple small parts of the game that made me sigh a bit. Yep, there really isn't much stacked against this, in my book!
For anyone who likes Zelda, this is definitely for you. If you're into action/adventure games, but haven't tried Zelda, this is worth a try. However, if you loathe Zelda or action/adventure, then you may want to put this down and grab something else.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/01/01, Updated 09/30/01
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