Review by Galactus21

Reviewed: 11/07/04 | Updated: 03/28/05

Standing the test of time.

Just to start off, Zelda Link to the Past is the best game I have ever played in my life. I beat the game 14 times, and I never grew tired of it, it was such a shame that my Snes broke. But hey no problem because they ported the game over to the GBA. Zelda Link to the Past is such a timeless classic, I find myself enjoying it as much as I did when I first played it. Back in the Snes days, there were numerous great games; it was definitely the time where video games began to rise to popularity. Games like Super Mario World, Zelda Link to the Past, and Super Metroid are just a few of those great titles. These games are what I consider the pinnacle of gaming. Like all Zelda games, Ganon is the bad guy and he is terrorizing the land, so it is your job to save it. How does Link to the Past play after more then 10 years of its original release? Find out in this review on the port of the greatest game of its time.

After playing the Gamecube, and the Xbox, and then finally getting a GBA it is hard for me to judge the graphics, especially after seeing what the technology of today can do. Anyways I would like to start off and say the game looks identical to the Snes version. The only difference is that it is on a portable screen as opposed to a television. The game was definitely one of the best looking games on the Snes, and the same can be said here for the GBA. The world is fairly large considering the time of its release. The game of course runs smoothly and the character animations while simple look very good.

This is what separates Link to the Past to other games. The numerous weapons, the great dungeons, the intense boss fights, the side quest, the abundant amount of item collecting, and the combat all melds together into one fantastic game. This all makes up a highly addictive game. The combat is what made the game so great many years ago. And to this day it remains great. Pressing a button will allow you to slash your opponents, holding that button down will allow you to do a spin attack. With the master sword and at full health your sword will repel magic at your enemies. The combat may seem simplistic, but it is definitely not especially considering the amount of secondary weapons that you can possess. Everything from the arrows to boomerang, it makes you utilize each ones abilities. Some dungeons require certain secondary weapons in order to beat a dungeon, or to beat a boss.

The puzzles in the game are also what made Link to the Past so memorable. You will go through most of the dungeons by collecting keys to open up doors, but there will also be puzzles that will challenge you on how to achieve those objectives. While the puzzles, and the dungeons are rather easy to me now, it is because I beat the game 14 times, but someone who is unfamiliar with this game will find it challenging and tremendously rewarding in its puzzles and dungeons. There are also numerous characters that you can talk to and most of them have something interesting to say.

The game features a light and a dark world. While the dark world is similar to the light, it has different enemies. It does offer a very unique approach to the game, well at least during its time. Zelda has a lot of land for you to explore and a lot of characters for you to talk to. After beating each dungeon you will receive a heart, which gives you more life. You can also find pieces of hearts, which will eventually form one. Some are well hidden and some require doing some mini games to acquire it. You can also get ferries and potions to replenish your life. I really recommend having a full bar of health when you have the master sword because that repel move is really very cool. All in all Zelda Link to the Past, despite being more then 10 years old still holds its own.

The music in this game was masterful for its time. The dungeons gave me a creepy feeling and the music in the Church gave me a sense of something Holy and in towns the music was upbeat and happy. It still remains that way in this port. The variety of music is still as great as I remembered it. Link's little grunts gave me the nostalgia feeling of playing the game when I was a kid.

For its time Zelda Link to the Past was a very long game, but of course being that I beat it so many times, I beat it rather quickly this time. For someone who hasn't played it before, they will find a long quest, and will also find out why this game is considered by many as a masterpiece. It really is a work of art and really brings nostalgia; it makes you reminisce of all the good old days. This was what gaming was about, and Zelda Link to the Past was a testament to that. Someone who hasn't played the game before will also find that Link to the Past is quite challenging. So all in all you will find much value in this game.

Link to the Past presents itself with a solid story and top notch gameplay. It is everything you would expect from a zelda game. The music is reminiscent of Zelda games, and the overall mood is fantastic. The graphics are very nice for the GBA, and it also has such an epic feel that one would wish the game would never end. This is truly a masterpiece from the waking moments to the final boss fight.

Overall Link to the Past stands the test of time. Not only is this game as great as I remembered it; it really brought back memories of the classic Snes days. Zelda Link to the Past is simply a masterpiece. It incorporates so many things, and does them so well, it leaves you to wonder how a game more then 10 years old is still better then most, if not all games that are currently out. Zelda Link to the Past is hands down the best game I have ever played to date, and could possibly remain the best game I will ever play. Few games came close to dethroning it, but Link to the Past still remains the King of games in my mind, and will forever be what I consider the pinnacle of gaming. This game is as close to perfection as you will get. So if you have a GBA, whether you never had the chance to play the Snes version, or played it as much as I did, you need to go out and get this masterpiece.

+ Long quest
+ Nostalgia
+ Some of the best dungeons to be found in any game
+ Beautiful music
+ Great fighting system
+ Light and Dark world
+ Still fun after many playthroughs

- The game had to end
- The formula is a bit outdated
- Not quite as strong as it used to be

Graphics - 9/10
Gameplay - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Value - 10/10
Presentation - 9/10
Overall - 9.4/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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