Review by theEqualizer
"A great addition to any GBA library"
Since the 1980s The Legend of Zelda has been pleasing fans of the Action/Adventure genre. The latest addition: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap for GBA is another great Zelda game by Capcom and is a great addition to any GBA library.
This is Capcom's fourth go-around with Zelda. The previous three games being The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past w/ Four Swords. The Minish Cap (MC) can only be described as a combination many different Zelda games put together in one package. Now onto the review.
The gameplay in MC is superb to every extent. Zelda veterans will love the new, innovative ideas that are brought into this game. New items such as the Gust Jar, variations of old items such as the Roc's Cape, and the return of old items such as the Pegasus Boots and the Bow all help heighten the experience.
The Minish Cap is different from previous GameBoy Zeldas in many ways. Link can now roll which is a great addition. The control scheme is similar to Link Awakening/Oracle of Ages/Oracle of Seasons where you equip one item to A and one item to B. This is a little bit easier than the control scheme in Link to the Past (LttP).
There are a total of six dungeons/temples in MC. The standard for GameBoy Zeldas is 8, but the latter two dungeons in MC more than make up for the missing two. In addition, the many sidequests make up for it as well. The bulk of your sidequests will be "Kinstone Fusion" where you find one half of a Kinstone and try to find the person who has the other half. Doing this will open a secret in one of the areas.
Another thing added in MC is the Four Sword. Not as a multiplayer component but as a part of the game. When you charge your sword and step over certain tiles Link can split into up to three extra Links. This is truly innovative and adds a great deal of depth to puzzles and bosses.
In addition, the biggest addition is the idea of becoming smaller hence the name Minish Cap. When you step on a certain pedestal Link can become smaller. I felt that Capcom could have done alot more with this idea in relation to bosses and puzzles. While becoming a Minish is used alot in the overworld. You end up splitting using the Four Sword alot more. I just feel that since it's called "The Minish Cap" that it should be the main focus not one of the main foci. (whoa big word)
Since the game is called "The Minish Cap", Link's hat plays a huge role. Link's hat is actually alive and can help you out by pressing select. This game is apparently the story of how Link got his hat and I feel that this is the perfect story arch for a game like this.
The only faults in the gameplay of MC has to do with size. MC doesn't feature as many items as LttP nor is the overworld as big. But this comparison can be passed aside because LttP was originally a console game for the SNES which was ported to GBA.
The graphical style in this game suits it perfectly. Personally I hated the cel-shaded graphics of Wind Waker and felt that it took away from the main game. MC uses the same style Link but in MC it all just works right. Plus this Link is much cuter...
This game features some of the best graphics on the GBA probably only second to Kingdom Hearts (but that game is a monster when it comes to graphics).
If you play this game, you will have fun. For Zelda veterans it is a breath of fresh air with new items, revamped items, and old items. Each is used in a new and innovative way and just makes the whole experience really enjoyable. One thing I was surprised about was how much fun I had battling. I daresay it's better than LttP. You will know what I mean when you fight your first Darknut.
Once you complete a puzzle you'll feel a real sense of accomplishment. Even Zelda veterans will fell this because most of the puzzle are new. This game is just as much fun as any Zelda game.
The music in this game is superb. This game uses many tracks based on tracks from LttP with tons of original music. BTW, the Hyrule Town music is amazing. I personally like LttP's music a lot better because of the dark theme in that game. This game has a more light-hearted theme and likewise, the music shows that.
All Zelda games are usually made with a lot of care and thus, this score is a no-brainer. Capcom has always done Zelda games well and they have done it once again. Everything makes sense, it all flows together nicely, there are no grammar mistakes, etc.
I wish I could give Zelda games a high score in this category but it is just impossible. After you play through this game once, you'll probably want to play it again once or twice. If you really love the game then you'll play it more. Unfortunately, being an action/adventure game you probably won't play this game more than two or three times. A Zelda game can't have the replay value of a Mario Kart or Street Fighter but this one does well.
Gameplay: 9/10 - Classic Zelda formula with a lot of new and old ideas.
Graphics: 10/10 - Fits the game perfectly, makes feel complete.
Fun: 10/10 - You will as much fun with this Zelda as you have with any other Zelda or action/adventure game.
Sound: 9/10 - Light-hearted tracks fit the light-hearted theme.
Presentation: 5/5 - This is what is to be expected from Nintendo/Capcom/Zelda.
Replay: 2.5/5 - For a Zelda game, MC has great replay
Overall: 45.5/50 = 91% = A
Bottom Line: If you have A Link to the Past, get this. If not, get Link to the Past first then this. A must have for everyone!!!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/30/04
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