Review by IAX

"If Nintendo ever makes a bad Zelda game at the rate they are going, time would stop, it'd be an ice age now, and I'd score with a chick."

The Legend of Zelda series, as many of you already know, is one of Nintendo’s all-time most popular franchises and had produced some of the most beloved games of all time by far. The Original Legend of Zelda and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are two of those such games. The last Nintendo home console Zelda game in Majora’s Mask was good but disappointing by Zelda’s high standard, and The Oracle of Ages and Seasons games, released at about the time of the Game Boy Advance were, again, good, but disappointing by what we expect from a Zelda game. The next Zelda game in the series came in the form of a port from Link to the Past, originally on the SNES, including a multiplayer game called The Four Swords. Some people consider A Link to the Past to be the greatest game in the entire series and one of the greatest video games of all time. I was thrilled to pick this up from what I heard. (Note: IAX has never even seen the original version on the SNES.) And this game, was the great game I expected it to be and a hell of a lot more. It provides some of the best visuals on a Gameboy Advance game to date. The sound was enjoyable to my ears and gave me a much of a thrill as you expect. The gameplay of this game gave me the thrill if not putting it down for hours. The only part of the game I was slightly disappointed at was the story of the game, put even then, but it was still decent. Best GBA game I have played to date. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past with the Four Swords is definitely a game you can’t go wrong with.

Story-7/10- The story is taken from the instruction booklet that came with the game:

“Eons ago, the deities of power, courage, and wisdom descended to the world of chaos. They created the world that we know and left behind a symbol of their strength, the golden emblem known as the Triforce, which they hid in the golden land.”

“After many years, an opening was found that led from our fair Hyrule to the Golden Land, where the mystical Triforce was still hidden. Many treasure in this place, but none returned-only beings of great evil returned from the Golden Land. The kind of Hyrule gathered seven sages to find a way to seal the entrance to the Golden Land so that his kingdom would be safe from the evil there. The sages succeeded and brought peace again to Hyrule.”

“However, strange things have been happening in Hyrule since the appearance of Agahnim, a mysterious socerer who gained fame for extinguishing a devastating blaze of unknown origin some years ago.”

“And now…”

“One night, a girls voice wakes you up from sleep, “Help me…My name is Zelda…I am in the castle dungeon.” Not knowing if the voice is a dream or reality, you step into the rain and forbidding darkness…and The Legend of Zelda begins.

The game’s story is good, but I reminds me of all of the other Zelda games for some reason. It always seems the game’s main quest is saving something of importance, whether it be a person, as in this, or an area, as in Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and both Oracle games. I’d like to see a Zelda game where story detours from that area of Link’s expertise. I’d like to see him do something other than saving a great kingdom or rescuing a fair maiden. Link does it better than any other game character so the quest is going to be enjoyable to any amount. The game’s story deserves a seven. It’s basically on the same on the same lines as ever other Zelda game when it comes to originality but it always turn out simply amazing in the end.

Graphics-9/10- Graphically, the game is excellent. One of the best-looking Gameboy Advance games as of right now. The game does have some slight room for improvement such as making the environments for detailed, better looking enemies, etc. That’s the only real downside of this game when it comes to its graphics. The first thing you’ll notice as you exit Link’s house, is that when this game was created, you can tell the graphic design people put a lot of effort into it. The environments are rather vast and extremely well-designed. They are lacking a bit of detail, but that doesn’t hender the visuals of this game that much. The characters can be picked out from the rest of the environment. When Link uses his weapons, you can see every one doing the different thing is does, whether is be his sword, shield, boomerang, magical rod, or bows arrows. The resolution and sharpness of the graphics are excellent and make the game so that it is pleasant to the eyes. The game will not disappoint when it comes to graphics. The graphics score a nine in my book. A few flaws knock this down from a ten.

Sound-10/10- Best of sound of any GBA game I have played to date.

Music-10/10- I’ve seen other reviewers talk about how the music in the old Zelda games were better than that of Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. I agree with those people. The music in A Link to the Past is the best of any game I have played in recent memory. The old-school Zelda themes seem like they’re a lot better than were on the SNES. The music that plays in the background while in Hyrule suits the mood. You are usually on the go, heading to the next area where Link’s bidding is done. The theme while in Hyrule is great overall and it could be ported on Zelda games to come with remastered sound of course. Dark World’s theme is excellent and really suits the dark abysmal feeling that Link would have in the area that he is at. The themes of the dungeons are more of a gloomy theme that suits the area. The music, hands down, requires a ten. It’s the best damn music of any GBA game in my opinion.

Sound Effects-10/10- Sound Effects. The sound effects of a game should be pleasant and good. They shouldn’t be annoying and repetitive. Sound effects in Zelda: A Link to the Past are no exception. They are indeed, great. You have to play this game just to experience the wonder of these effects. The main effect you’ll hear is Link’s own cry when he swings his sword. It sounds just like the N64 cry of Young Link. I think these rival the effects in Ocarina of Time. Other effects are pleasant and you just can’t go wrong with them. Swimming noises don’t sound realistic but great for the GBA. The sound that plays when Link is down to a few hearts left is classic and annoying. It’s supposed to be that way. Sounds not mentioned in hear should be great and will not disappoint. Post a ten for the sound. It’s godly.

Gameplay-10/10- Amazing. Simply amazing. The experience I’ve had playing this game is the best I’ve had with a game since Goldeneye for the N64. The game only has one difficulty, but that doesn’t matter. The game gets harder (extremely hard at some points) as you go along, but that is a part of the Zelda experience. You start the game without any weapons, but don’t hesitate. You’ll get the sword and shield within a few minutes. And the first few dungeons in this game are fairly easy. After you get to the Dark World that will all change, and your Zelda experience will start to be frustrating, but this is Zelda after all. It will be frustrating at times, making you mad and wanting to break your GBA, but don’t. Be persistent and keep trying and you will succeed. The enemies in this game can be easy like Octoroks and Snake Bushels or annoying like Peahats and Wizrobes. Some enemies can only be taken out with a certain weapon. You’ll need to find out what it is. If you can’t, consult the FAQs on the site. Bosses are at the end of every dungeon. They range in difficulty from the Armos Knights of the East Palace to Ganon at the end of the game. They will take some figuring out but will all die in the end. The game features a variety of weapons ranging from the vintage sword and shield of Link, some old favorites including the Hookshot, the Boomerang, and the Bow and Arrow. Some weapons I didn’t recognize like the Fire and Ice Rods are included. Playing the game and following the information given in the game is what it takes to beat it. It can be frustrating but Zelda is all about that. You need to persevere through it in order to succeed. Gameplay=10. ‘nuff said.

Replay Value-10/10- This is one of those games where you get hooked on it and have to keep trying it again and again. The game in general can take forever but you most likely will want to try it without help from GameFAQs.

Buy, Rent, or Screw All Together?- BUY- After reading my review, isn’t this obvious to you by now? You probably can’t even beat it in a rental.

-Everything not mentioned in the Cons
-Unoriginal Story
-Some things lack detailed graphics.

GameFAQS Score- 9/10- This game=ownz.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/31/03, Updated 07/26/03

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