Review by David GoldLetter
"A powerful RPG, fun, classic, challenging, and all that other neat stuff!"
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for Super Nintendo Entertainment System is easily one of the top three best games ever made.
Introduction - First released, I believe, in 1991, this game has been a keeper for over ten decades. The story begins when the main character is in bed on a rainy night. He suddenly has a dream in which Princess Zelda needs his help to escape the castle! The main character's Uncle says that he will return soon, and not to leave the house-- the Uncle leaves armed with the family sword and a shield. The main character leaps out of bed and sets immediately out, perhaps not with prime obedience, but with full zeal for the quest which he had been so sorrowfully entreated to complete!
Gameplay - Gameplay is easily the most important factor of any game, and a Link to the Past has gameplay quality in abundance. The fun level of this game is incomparable. The main character can be Link, the traditional Zelda hero, or you can type your own name and be the official hero of the kingdom. As you progress through the game, you may arm yourself with well over twenty magical items, with four swords to acquire, each more powerful than the last, and several shields and armor sets to protect you. From the Pegasus boots and Zora's Flippers to the Cane of Byrna and the Silver Arrows, even to the infinitely helpful hookshot, there are more items in the game than can be counted. There are many detailed buildings and activities, including abandoned warehouses, gambling arenas, fotune tellers, and the classic shops in which you can acquire the items needed to vanquish evil! In the game, you must climb mountains, navigate mazes, swim lakes, challenge wizards, rescue maidens, banish evils, and more in your undying lust for the inevitable JOY of this game! Honestly, you're a boy who gets to wield a sword and shield, upgrade them and his armor until he's a powerful warrior, all the while enjoying fighting battles and solving intricate puzzles to save a kingdom-- and in return you get the gratitude of a King, the sweet smiles of a princess and a fairy queen, both of which are amazingly cute, and more fame with the local girls than Justin Timberlake? Talk about FUN!!! It's every boy's favorite dream! This game has so many traps, secret rooms, malicious foes, and friendly guides that it is nigh-impossible to get bored of it (I have yet to put it away)!
Story - The story of this game is very well conceived, it leads the character all over two different worlds with over ten dungeons to explore and hundreds of enemies to battle. Defeating monsters, hiring helpers, rescuing damsels, duelling bosses, there is no end to what you must do in order to beat the game! The plot twists are actually quite sophisticated for so old a game, there are heroes, villains, maidens, traitors, battles and losses. I mean, honestly: a boy's uncle leaves the house at night, fully armed, heading out into the rain and cold, with no explanation, while the boy himself has just had an enigmatic dream in which a pretty girl has just begged him to rescue her from a huge castle full of every manner of guard and trap? What more DO you want?
Graphics/Sound - Graphics are, in actuality, one of the lesser factors in a great game, and a Link to the Past still retains fairly decent graphics. You can distinctly see the characters, locations and items, and the brightly colored appearance is quite pleasing. These graphics won't please a hardcore XBox fanatic, but for anyone who is open-minded enough to try some of the older graphics, these will please well enough. I personally have no problem with these graphics, the top-scrolling gameplay fits it perfectly and I think playing the old classic graphics is fun. As for the sound, there are uncountable sound effects produced in this game, all of which bring a smile to my lips with how simple, and yet perfectly awesome they sound. As for the music, which seems to have been composed by various Nintendo sounds, it is some of the most beautiful art I have ever heard. Some soundtracks put you on edge, giving you the adrenaline you need to master a difficult dungeon, some are happy, catchable tunes you'll find yourself humming to yourself in real life, and some still are melancholy, sweet songs that bring a nostalgic tear to your eye from the innocent beauty of the sounds...
Play Time/Replayability - This game can be completed in 8-20 hours, some professionals can do it in 2 once they're used to it. I advise the gamer to play it with love, as the short hours are the only downside, yet they actually make this game all the more worth playing, so as to cherish the few hours you'll have with it. But no, a remedy for this sadness is come! The replayability of this game is IMMENSE, and I play through it every chance I get, just so I can have the satisfaction of a thank-you from this maiden or the sound effect from picking up that heart piece. With various strongholds, villains, and ways to complete the puzzles and defeat the monsters, you'll find yourself playing this game again and again, perhaps with different names, but with one and the same motive: fun!
Final Recommendation - This game is as rare as it is valuable, if that is possible, and I'd recommend instantly BUYING it forever if you can find a copy, and instantaneously playing it, after a brief thank-you prayer to God/the Fates for letting you find this beautiful masterpiece the likes of which the world had never seen before and sadly never will again!
Buy this game as soon as possible, even succumb to the Gameboy Advance version if you must, but remember, the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, though it is 13 years old, is still one of the top three ultimate games of all time!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/13/04
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