Review by Kaas
"This Legend was well worth the wait."
After the successful port of the Snes classic LoZ: a Link to the Past, another Gameboy Advance Zelda finally sees the light. And this time it's a completely new one! Fans have been waiting for an original Zelda game for the GBA ever since it came out. But is it worth the long wait? Is the "Nintendo touch" gone now that it's not made by Nintendo, but by Flagship (Capcom)? Read on and find out.
The story always has been important in a Zelda game. Well, this time, it's another "rescue Princess Zelda" story, as we've seen in pretty much every other Zelda game. I'm not saying that's a bad thing; you can compare with Mario rescuing Peach, Samus fighting Metroids or Tony Hawk riding a skateboard. Zelda is about what's around the story; they manage to keep it fresh. This time, there's a new villain in town called Vaati (although you might have seen him in Four Swords), and he has transformed Zelda into a stone statue, and it's up to you to rescue her. But, you'll get a sidekick. Yep, it's the Minish Cap. It's a talking hat who goes by the name of Ezlo, who gives you tips and hints. Also new are the Minish. The Minish are small people, who protected Hyrule a long time ago by giving the people a Light Force and a Sword, which the people used to banish evil. Every, people celebrate this event, even now, when nobody believes in the Minish anymore. It is said, however, that once in a hundred year a door gets opened to the world of the Minish...
An important thing in Zelda games has always been the sidequests. Luckily, plenty of them are in the game. Remember the Figure Gallery from LoZ:Wind Waker? It's back, but this time it's improved (it's a lot more fun now). There are also your standard sidequests as "find item A", "return my cuccoos" or "please deliver this". You'll also come across some swordsmen, who will teach new techniques. This is a pretty good idea; you don't have every attack at the beginning of the game. You'll also see some familiar faces in this game, faces you've seen in LoZ: Ocarina of Time and LoZ: the Wind Waker (I think I even saw someone from Majora's Mask...). It feels good to see them again, and they really contribute to seeing the Zelda games connected with each other.
The controls of this game aren't hard to learn; they are (almost) the same as in LoZ:a Link to the Past and LoZ:Link's Awakening. You just select an item to use with either the A or B button, then press that button to use the item. Very simple, yet it works perfect. And they finally implemented the "roll" action, which we've seen in the 3D-Zeldas. It works great in 2D-Zeldas too, it's very useful if you want to move along a bit faster. A new thing in this Zelda is the ability to shrink. When you find some kind of shrinking pedestal, you can use your hat to shrink down to the size of a thumb. This is done very well. When you shrink, you can explore parts you never thought you'd find something. You'll travel through houses, chimneys, a little puddle transforms into a river, you're attacked by cats, I can go on for a long time. It really adds something to the gameplay. Also, as is customary in every new Zelda, you'll come across some new items. I'm not gonna tell what they are, but I'll tell you some of them are pretty cool.
Another new feature of this game are Kinstone Fusions. Everywhere you go, you'll find some broken stones. There are 11 different types of these stones, and you can use them to get some secrets. The idea is to fuse your piece with another piece to form a Kinstone. When the pieces fit, something good will happen. This can be a chest with rupees, a new entrance to something, or something completely different. This will keep you busy for quite some time. Some of the fusions are even necessary to progress the game.
This game is not very difficult. If you've played some Zeldas before, you'll recognize quite some puzzles, only a bit different. Again, the bosses aren't very hard, you'll usually have plenty of hearts, the game gives you a lot of hints (for example, when you need to bomb a wall to progress, you'll find some bombs nearby), and if you really don't know what to do, you can just ask your hat.
The most important question here is if you'll enjoy playing this game. Well, I can pretty much guarantuee you'll enjoy this game. Have you ever played a game where everything just "clicks"? Well, this is one of them. Everything just works, be it the characters in it, be it the graphics or the music, even the boring parts every game has, it all just flows together to create one of the finest games available for your Gameboy Advance! The only reason this section doesn't get a 10, is because it's a bit too easy.
The graphics are very nice and detailed. The colours are fresh and clear, and the effects are pretty cool. This game is one of the best looking games ever made for the GBA. Some may say the graphics are a bit "kiddy", as in LoZ: the Wind Waker, but I disagree with that. They made it that way on purpose, because this is a story about a kid who goes on a quest. The pretty and shiny colours just deliver the finishing touch and distract you only when you realize how good this game looks.
The sound in this game is just great! I really like how they took some old classic Zelda tunes, remixed them and added some new music to the game. I'm also pretty impressed by the complexity and the clearness of the songs. If you've played Zelda before, you will be humming along! This game deserves to be played at high volume.
Play Time/Replayability 9/10
As I've mentioned before, this game isn't too hard. You can just speedplay through it, and be done in a day or two. There aren't a lot of dungeons, and you can go through them pretty fast. Yet, I've been busy with this game for quite some time. In this game, you'll want to take it easy and enjoy from every moment it brings. I'd say you'll be playing this for a while. As for replayability, there are a lot of things to do in the game. If you don't use a FAQ, you probably won't get everything on your first try through. The gallery takes a lot of time, there are a lot of Pieces of Heart, there are different sword techniques you can learn, a lot of Kinstone Fusions... there's plenty to do! Even if you're completely finished, you'll play it again in the future. Just because it's that good a game!
I definitely recommend this game to everyone. I had a blast playing through this game, I enjoyed the music, I love this game. Even if you're no Zelda fan, or never have played one before, I suggest you give this game a try. You'll be hooked before you know it...
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/06/04
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