Review by IMAP

Reviewed: 02/22/04

Set the standard for real-time RPGs.

I have a motto: ''Just because a game is made first does not make it automatically worthy of a good review.'' For example, I enjoyed bashing Metroid because it was a horrible game. However, The Legend of Zelda has solid gameplay despite the fact that it was one of the first titles to appear on the NES. Although the graphics and the music within the game are not spectacular, the solid gameplay is more than enough to keep an interested gamer immersed in the action.

Graphics - 7 - ''Not bad for the NES is all I can say''

The graphics in this game are very simplistic, but you can tell that SOME effort was put into making this game looks good. The environments, while basic, still are defined by certain features (like trees, mountains, and sand). Link himself is nothing to behold, but then again, either was Mario. When I give a game a seven for graphics, it not only signifies that there is nothing wrong with them, but is also means that none of the graphics will stick out in one's mind, either.

Sound - 5 - ''Three main themes...basic sound effects...a small theme for acquiring items...yeah''

The music in LoZ is tinny and a little bit repetitive; there is only one environmental theme in the entire game. Furthermore, there is only one dungeon theme, and that is even more repetitive. The musically intolerant may have to mute their speakers prior to playing this game, but one should also take note that the scores at least correspond to their areas. The dungeon theme sounds dark and mysterious, while the world map theme sounds adventurous and upbeat, which is always a musical plus. There is one other musical track in the game, and that occurs when you start the game. I like this theme a lot, but since it is the introductory theme, one is not forced to listen to it.

The effects in the game are mediocre, since there are so few and they are not really high-quality; the bomb bursts are diluted, the sword flinging is overpowered, and the other effects barely sound believable. Whenever you acquire an item, a small theme plays that isn't poorly done, but does it matter? Overall, this game lacks musical quality, but I do not think it really matters for a game that was made so long ago.

Story - 7 - ''Well, at least it is somewhat original''

The storyline in this game is your same old ''rescue the princess from the big bad villain'' motif, but there are other elements molded into the plot to at least make it stand out. For example, the addition of the triforce and Link's mission to find all of its pieces is cool, and it allows the game to be totally non-linear (since you do not know where to expect these pieces of triforce to be). The characters in the game have some background that is mentioned in the introduction of the game, signifying that the producers put some effort into making this game different from the Mario series. Though the story does have quite a few holes, once again, it is still fun to play. At when Nintendo made this game, storyline did not matter too much to the gaming public (unlike today).

Gameplay - 9 - ''It is like one big treasure hunt!''

The object of the game is simple; you must guide Link around the world to find the dungeons that contain pieces of triforce and other valuable items within. There is a whole lot of looking involves in this title, but you must also defeat enemies with myriad of weapons, blow up walls with bombs, and even use a map and compass to navigate through the trickier dungeons. This simplistic brand of gameplay is very addictive, and it ultimately succeeds as an RPG because of it. The game is also quite challenging, since it is very hard to abuse the money system and some of the dungeons are well-hidden and can easily stump the gamer. This brings me to why I did not give the game a 10; the game lacks a high-quality hint system. Small tidbits like ''DODONGO DISLIKES SMOKE'' are your only clues throughout the entire game, and you will largely need to figure out what to do next on your own. But do not fret; if things become too sticky, that is what GameFAQs is for! When you know what to do in a particular situation, you should have no trouble executing your plan. It is the gameplay of this series that has led to its huge fanbase...and the first title reflects this sentiment.

Control - 10 - ''Alright, I can actually use both of my buttons!''

The control system works well without delayed actions or slow movement. In fact, this game allows the player to use the A button to weird Link's sword and the B button to hold another weapon. This innovative control mechanism is creative and works wonders when trying to execute combos on the unfortunate enemy.

Overall - 8 - ''This is not the weak 'Link' in the chain''

In fact, this is one of my more favorite Zelda titles. If you have not played this game, I highly suggest that you do, but not for the purpose of learning your roots. Instead, try to play Legend of Zelda because it is actually a good game worthy of the Nintendo seal of quality.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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