Review by GreenFire1

Reviewed: 01/18/05

An addictive Zelda game packed with extras

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is a gripping and amusing sequel/prequel to the Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. FS was little more than a minigame designed to provide a little more amusement and playability to Nintendo's port, A Link to the Past. But Minish Cap ties in not only with Four Swords, but also with Ocarina of Time, the popular entry of the series into three-dimensional gaming. And with a host of new items and features, it will rarely disappoint.

This game is incredibly amusing. There are no less than three new items never before seen in any Zelda game, plus several items that never got enough credit. The item from the fourth dungeon (spoilers removed) is amazingly entertaining to run around with. Making a return are the Roc's Cape, previously seen only in Oracle of Seasons and Four Swords, and the Magical Boomerang, previously only in Oracle of Seasons. And the sidequests and collections will keep you playing for some time after you "beat" it. All in all, it is a delight to play.

Like a good RPG, the story builds as you play through. The game begins with a festival and a delivery. But it quickly moves on to a powerful and dangerous villain who is after infinite power, and will stop at very little to get it. By turns gripping, comedic and emotional, the story will keep the pace.

Graphics and Sound
The graphics have been exported from Four Swords, but it doesn't seem like the game is the worse for that. However, the game has been bashed because Four Swords itself was inspired by Wind Waker's look, which didn't receive well. Still, the graphics are wonderful. Rain and wind effects are nondisruptive, yet easy to see and easy on the eyes. Enemies, NPCs and weapons are all well handled. The game handles distortion well, including rotation, resizing and pixelation.

The sound is roughly par for the GBA. The music and sound is mostly recycled from Link to the Past, Four Swords and Wind Waker, and the classic Zelda themes have all been wonderfully revived. There are a few times where the music is distracting or grating, such as the dungeon themes, but overall it worked quite well.

Lifetime and replayability
The main quest won't take you too long. However, there are extensive sidequests that must be undertaken, plus some reasonably challenging prequests between dungeons. Also, it must be noted that each time you get a new item, ability, or the like, several doors scattered across the overworld are opened up to you. This means some amount of exploration time each time you get an upgrade. The replayability isn't wonderful, but the game pulls its weight the first time through, so it shouldn't matter.

This game is certainly worth buying. It's especially good for people who like exploring extensively or sniffing out secrets at the rate of ten (challenging ones) per area. It's not for people who want long extensive dungeons or a complicated plot. However, it is a worthy game, and you shouldn't pass it up if you've enjoyed other Zelda games or secret-filled RPGs.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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