Review by dractilus

"A veritable 'link' to the past of gaming endeavors."

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, was originally made for the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). In recent years it has been ported over to the GBA (Gameboy Advance).

The days of the NES are over forever. Not many people even own them now. Many people do own GBAs, however, and this is your chance to see Zelda on a portable device.

Link has appeared on almost all the systems. From the NES to the Gamecube. From the original Gameboy to the DS. There has always been something charming about the little boy dressed in green, always on another mission to save the world.

He was sucessfully put into 3D for the first time, in Ocarina of Time. He was sucessfully cell shaded in the Wind Waker. He thrives in all enviroments and systems. There is something that never gets old in his puzzle solving/fighting endeavors. Always off to save the world from an evil wizard, helped along the way by numerous charming characters. He stands alongside the mighty Mario, level to the infamous Samus Aran. He is the Hero of Time: Link.

In this day and age, there aren't many original ideas. Many of the puzzles contrived, easily get stale. People look for games that give that unique feeling, and they find Zelda.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, easily fills these cravings, with amazing puzzle solving, exciting combat, and an engrossing story.

The game starts off with a background illustration of what has recently going on, the typical Zelda beginning. You are an unlikely hero that must save the kingdom of Hyrule, before the evil wizard Ganon murders the princess Zelda.

You will travel through 8 progressively harder dungeons. On outside glances this may not seem like much. But considering the numerous sidequests you can embark, and the pure length and difficulty of the dungeons, you will find yourself occupied for a long, long time.

There are thirty items too collect, most of them necessary. You have your bow, hookshot, bombs, boomerang, sword, shield, and magic attacks. Many of these items are necessary to open the next dungeon, or just to get other necessary items. Besides this, most of your items are upgradeable, so you will always be looking for the next sword or arrow upgrade. Most of your upgrades will be found with Great Fairies that you find in small ponds, usually in some cave.

Another kind of upgrade, the health upgrade, will be given to you in terms of 'heart pieces'. As your health is depicted in hearts, if you get four rare 'quarters of a heart' then you will be given an extra heart on your health bar.

You can also collect non necessary items, such as fairies to restore your health if you get hurt, in a bug catching net, and then into a bottle. Some things you have to buy to get. If you lose your shield, you must buy another.

The currency in this game consists of 'rupees'. You can hold 999 of these curious blue, green, or red gems. You can find this currency in chests, hidden in grass, or lying in pots. In many games there is the frustration of not having enough money to buy things. Not so here. Rupees are populous everywhere, and it is rare you will have to search very hard to find money. You can choose to spend these on items, health, fortune tellers, or keeping it for various side missions that require them.

Not all 'necessary' items are necessary. Some are just very helpful. For instance, a shovel is not necessary, nor helpful, but it can be used to find another unnecessary item, that is helpful.

The graphics in this game are superb, especially for a GBA game. Everything is crisp, and the ingame map is massive. The enemies are all very distinct from one another, and the buildings are realistic.

The sound is also polished to the max. It nearly strains the GBAs sound capabilities. The main theme, though slightly overused in this game, has been copied and put into other Zelda games. Other non Zelda games, also used this amazing sountrack, albeit, slightly adjusted. Some of the songs are of the best known in video gaming.

But wait! I have only been talking about half of the game! The devolopers of this, went on, as if they didn't think there was enough content already, and added a whole new game to it! This game is called Four Swords. It is a multiplayer game, so unless you have a friend with a copy of this game, you are missing out. You might want to buy it for him, just so you can play this part of the game.

In Four Swords, you and a friend go about the game on another puzzle spree. Except this time, instead of lives, you have rupees. You must collect rupees to redeem yourself if you die. This is one of the most unique multiplayer games on the GBA there is. Plus, it's Zelda.

These two games are linked together. If you unlock something in one game, you may unlock it in the other.

You will want to play these 'two games in one' over and over and over. The massive replayability in the minigames, the Four Swords, it's almost too much to mention.

Buy this game. Buy two copies, one for a friend, so you can play Four Swords. Zelda has not gone out of gamer's minds and hearts just yet.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/05/07

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