Review by Toblerowned

"Possibly the best port ever."

The Legend of Zelda first came to us in 1986, an unknown name. Now nearly 20 years later, no one would have guessed the impact it's made on the gaming world, becoming one of Nintendo's most successful franchises. All this success can be traced back to the original 8 bit classic.

The Legend of Zelda was one of the most attractive looking games of it's time, taking full advantage of the Nintendo's 8 bit power. The world is large and dynamically changing, with environments such as the forest, desert, mountain, barrens, and graveyard being created in great detail, despite the NES's limitations graphics-wise. The game's story has also become the basis for many of the other Zelda titles. That is, Ganon plans to invade Hyrule and it's up to an young, inexperienced Link to defeat Ganon and rescue the kidnapped Princess Zelda.

This game embodies many key aspects which has made Zelda one of the most popular and respected series of all time. The idea of free exploration has been a key aspect in most, if not all Zelda games. This game is the epitome of exploration, with players able to explore most of the overworld right from the start. The overworld also contains a lot of hidden caves and grottos, many having to be burned or bombed. Dungeons are all about exploration, also. Some paths lead nowhere. Sometimes you might only explore half of the dungeon before reaching the boss room. You might choose to not collect the dungeon item, or may not even find it. You might run out of keys. You might collect too many keys, which can be used in other dungeons. It's open book, which is what Zelda is all about.

The items are unique and different. The items feel like they're one of a kind, irreplaceable, a feeling only matched by that of the Metroid series. But most importantly, close to half of the items are optional. Little other Zelda games do this; this game doesn't require you collect every item there is, finding some elaborate use to include it as a required item.

This game is also considered one of the hardest, along with it's NES sequel Zelda II. Being one of the hardest, it's also one of the most rewarding, with every advancement, finding a secret cave, beating a difficult boss, buying an expensive item, giving a sense of accomplishment.

What gives this game so much appeal is that it's been ported to the Gameboy Advance. The fact that this, among other classics, is portable is an instant selling point.

This game was one of the best selling in the '80s, and now with it's return two decades later it's still one of the greatest, and still challenging, possibly more challenging than some of the newer games in the series. It can be seen why Zelda was such a success when you play this title. It epitomises all of the aspects that Zelda is based upon, in their most potent form. It combines action, featuring some of the most difficult fights ever to grace any Zelda title, along with Adventure, something that all future Zelda games uphold, but with lesser intensity, in perfect synergy. It's truly a classic, made even greater and more widely available with this port.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/08/07

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