Review by Fossil
"15 years later and this game is known even by little kids. I wonder why?"
If you ask me, this is the Zelda game that really rocketed this series into a franchise. Sure, the original Nintendo was the start of it, but this my friends, the SNES version just flat out kicked ass. I really don't know anyone who hasn't played this game. But this review will probably only be of much use 10 years down the road when the millennium kids come to age with the newer systems.
The Zelda games back in the days were all about 2D action. Ocarina of Time on the N64 was the first 3D version ever and disputed as one of the best video games of all time. Picture LttP(Link to the Past) as it's prequel; Just in 2D. There really isn't much else to say, now onto the review.
Gameplay - 10/10
No argument here. Strategy is what defined games back in the 2D days. The dungeons were not easy. You didn't have a little faerie to guide you on where to go or what to do. You figured it out by yourself. All you have is Link, your weapons and a map of where you are going. Of course things get easier as you progress(in terms of making your way around), but as far as hidden stuff and secret locations go? Oh man, you will be stumped with every idea you have.
The action is fairly simple since all you really had was a few buttons. Unlike todays controllers having over 10 buttons, minus the joysticks/d-pad. However, it's mostly strategy that you will using to figure out the puzzles throughout the game and defeating each boss you run into. Mind you, dungeons and bosses isn't all there is too this game. If you've played OoT(Ocarina of Time), you will know there was TONS of side-quests to have fun with. Whether it be increasing your heart containers, your arrow capacity or getting a special pair of water flippers to finally jump into that cold blue water.
Your weapons range from short, long to magical. You got your basic sword and the ever famous boomerang. Bow & Arrows and other things such as bombs, a bug net, special bottles to hold things like faeries and magical potions to restore your health with. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Each will hold a use in the game(obviously) and some things will have uses you wouldn't think of. You gotta be simple when it comes to your items and there uses, how they would possibly benefit you in the game and make your idea happen. You never know, maybe catching bugs will get you something down the road.
The main quest in the game is to ultimately defeat the evil Ganon, who captured princess Zelda. And you will venture into many a dungeons to eventually take on this tyrant. Mind you, back in the 2D days, bosses were not so easy to take on and the bosses in this Zelda game will rock you. Here's a hint though, when you find a new weapon, chances are it's use will greatly affect your fight with the dungeon boss. Getting to the boss is the last stage, getting through the DUNGEON, that's a whole new ball park. That map will be your best friend unless you got a good memory. Dungeons can last anywhere from half an hour to hours if you get stuck. Sure, games may not be fun after some time of doing nothing, but it shouldn't be hard to figure things out with such simple resources. I mean at least you don't have to worry about the huge amount of content in the newer games. You have to use everything you got to figure things out. 2D games were more forgiving there. :P
The world of Hyrule is fairly large. You got the Lost Woods up in the northwest. The desert in the southwest, Lake Hyrule in the southeast and a mountain range in the north. Not to mention how deceiving a building can be from the outside. That is the one major difference from games back in the days. Size did not matter. You could enter a house a small as a shack and it'd end up being a mansion. Take the Castle for example, relatively small in size minus the outer wall and guard towers. This makes for some AWESOME dungeons that take up half the actual world map! Let's not forget about the Dark World as well. After a point through the game you'll be venturing into darkness to continue your battle to rescue Zelda. This is where the fun really begins in my opinion. All the things you were dying to get to in the light world are at your fingertips now. You just have to use what you got to figure out how to get them. ;) I will stress this now, attaining all the hearts is one HELL of a feat!! I don't think I've ever gotten the maximum amount of hearts. I think it's 20? I was always at some 19 1/4 or 19 3/4's hearts. Back then you had to call hotlines to get tips on games. And that cost money that I didn't have in my childhood days.
Control - 10/10
Controller setups back in these days were simple. One button did everything for you, or mostly. One button to swing the sword, another to use your selected weapon and the rest were some sort of interaction buttons. Oh and I think select was the map. It's been years since I've played this game and my memory is as good as ever!
Story - 7/10
The reason I gave this a low score is because the Story was somewhat lacking. Compared to OoT, it just wasn't opened up as much. You rarely ever talked to people and when you did, it was usually for getting something later on. You didn't talk to enemies or trees or a giant owl. You pretty much created the storyline as you played. But most people are familiar with the Zelda series anyways, so they already know the story and what to expect in a sense. If you really want the low down on the game, find the original game manual, now THAT was what I called a manual. That thing was thicker than most books(sarcasm) and had info on just about everything in the game... well maybe not the dungeons or bosses.. but it was visually appealing and you'll definitely get glued to that little book.
Graphics - 8/10
For a 2D game, the graphics were top notch in the early 90's. Sure, you don't see many games now with large, one colored pixels, but hey, this was 15 years ago people! They did a fine job on keeping everything smooth and looking good. I don't know about you, but something with old RPG's and adventure games... they always just had the coolest looking enemies, places and weapons. It's always a rush to fill your hearts and wing that master sword out to watch that crescent rainbow colored beam twirl into your enemy and knock'em back. The sound rocked too!
Sound - 10/10
The music is hands down some of the BEST you could ever find in a video game. I love the old Zelda music so much I got the dungeon theme on my cellphone and man is it a blast down memory lane to hear it out of the blue. Now that I think about it, a lot of the later Zelda games didn't have as much music while playing. Must be an old game thing...
Sound effects are great. I always loved the sound of that one red wand too... it sounded so cool...
Overall - 9/10
As much as I love this game, it's replay value isn't as great as one might expect. And the story could've used a little more, but this technically isn't an RPG game so I can't complain. Don't take this as a reason not to play it through again! There are still dozens of things to explore that you may of passed up the first time! Find any extra weapons you may of passed up. You'll know you missed something by the empty space in your inventory ;) I sure loved this game just as much as the first time through. Heck, I ended up getting the remake on the Gameboy Advance and relived it once again. It was as good as ever, and that my friends, makes a truly legendary game.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/26/06
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