Review by SuperPhillip

"The kid's still got it."

Back in the early nineties the third Zelda title hit the world with a bang. With 16-bit graphics, beautiful sprites, and a bustling land to explore, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past marched onto the Super Nintendo with critical and commercial success. Fast forward to the year 2007 and now this title is available in virtual form via the Nintendo Wii.

You begin the game seeing Link, our protagonist, settled in bed in his uncle's cottage. The uncle has left the house to who knows where and has left Link to his lonesome while the boy rests. Suddenly awakened, Link travels outside to brave the fierce trio of elements in the form of rain, thunder, and lightning.

Gameplay consists of an overhead perspective akin to the original Zelda on the NES. You'll travel the temporarily closed off world starting from Link's house to Hyrule Castle where the guards there don't take too kindly to Link's presence. After escaping the castle through the sewers with the Princess Zelda, you'll have the whole game world to explore. Classic enemies like Moblins, Octoroks, and Wallmasters appear in the many dungeons (eleven or so in all). The dungeons aren't as obviously crafted as grand as later 3D Zeldas (you'll seldom have a puzzle that takes up more than one room), but they are some of my personal favorites in the series. Some puzzles will still greatly test you. Each dungeon's climax concludes with a boss battle where the item you retrieved in the boss' dungeon will most likely be the achilles' heel for that foe. Speaking of items, you'll gather a large amount of them such as the hammer to pound hard-shelled enemies to the ocarina which will allow you to swiftly teleport across the world. Setting up items is as easy as selecting a button to use it with (A or B).

There are actually two worlds in the game once you've acquired the Magic Mirror-- the Light World and the Dark World. The Dark World features variants in the landscape like broken bridges, deadlier enemies, and other perils. You'll sometimes need to teleport from one world to another to solve problems such as draining a lake in the Light World to open up the entrance to a Dark World dungeon-- the Flooded Palace.

Overall, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is still one of the best games ever concocted in this reviewer's opinion, and the Virtual Console version does justice to the SNES classic severalfold. If you've never played the game or have only played the GBA version, you practically owe it to yourself to spend the $8/800 points to purchase it. The GBA and SNES versions have differences. Veterans to the game can still find a lot of bang for their buck as well. The game's an absolute classic.

The Recap:

Story: The evil sorcerer Aganhim has taken over Hyrule Castle and imprisoned Zelda in the castle's dungeon. Time to bust her out and do the usual hero fare.

Graphics: Colorful, bright, and beautiful

Gameplay: This is how you make a game. Link controls smoothly, battles are fun and frenetic, and everything just works really well.

Sound: Themes that have stood the test of time will have you humming as you slash up Stalfos.

Replay Value: Collecting heart containers, filling up your item inventory, getting all the upgrades-- even if you do everything this game will make you want to do them again. It's that good!

Overall: 10/10 - Legendary.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 05/17/07

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