Review by Scimuso

"A Zelda game you have already played"

The Legend of Zelda series is not known for introducing groundbreaking changes in each sequel. The first few games created a template that was followed by most of the subsequent entries. That's not necessarily a bad thing since that gave us amazing games such as a Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time. Unfortunately, The Minish Cap simply doesn't rank among the best of what the series has to offer. While not a bad game, it doesn't stand out in any way. It is competent but never excellent. Every facet of the game suffers from this lack of originality and ambition.

Let's begin with the story. A little boy named Link sees his friend Zelda, who happens to be a princess, being cursed by an evil wizard. He then sets off on a quest to find a cure. Along the way, Link meets a magical talking hat called Ezlo. Together, they will travel a not so vast world, explore dungeons and gather special tools and items along the way. These are used to solve puzzles and vanquish monsters. The few plot twists the story has to offer are predictable but I won't complain since no one plays Zelda games for their story.

Many other aspects of the game seem content with recycling old material. Whether this is fan service of laziness from Capcom is mostly a matter of opinion. Considering what this developer does with their own series (Mega Man comes to mind) I believe it's the latter.

The soundtrack brings back many classics but the new content is far from remarkable. More than a few secondary characters are from Ocarina of Time. The puzzles are nothing new either. Push that statue on a button to hold it down, light those torches to make a treasure chest appear, etc. The only exception to this is Ezlo's power to make you tiny which gives you access to, well, small places. Another gameplay mechanic is the ability to combine special rocks with those of non playable characters. This can open up secret caves, make treasure chests appear or have several other effects. It's a nice distraction to the main quest but is mostly optional.

I realize how cynic I sound with this review. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad game at all and is well worth playing. However, for a Zelda game, this is mediocre at best. Still, there are worse ways to spend the 15 to 20 hours it takes to beat the game.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 03/05/12

Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (3DS Ambassador Program) (US, 12/16/11)

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