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Joined: 2-November 04
Zelda Bulk Review!
Legend of Zelda (LoZ 1): 82%
It was the very first Zelda game, and, as such, is a bit basic. Or, it seems that way. There are none of the fancy bits and bobs seen in later games, and may seem lacking to newer gamers due to the lack of a fancy storyline etc. But that's in no way a bad thing. LoZ is a pure gaming experience, and is all the better for it. It set the formula which is still used in Zelda games today, and as such some of the puzzles will feel familiar. Despite that, it's still a great challenge, even Zelda veterans will struggle with it. On top of the actual difficulty level, it's the most non-linear Zelda game (I completed dungeons 3 and 5 before even finding level 1), and on top of the fact you get virtually no help whatsoever, you'll find yourself getting lost fairly often.
I, personally, really enjoyed LoZ 1, it provides a difficulty level you just don't get in the newer Zelda games (the first boss is probably harder than most of the bosses in TP), and there's some great puzzles in there.
Adventure of Link: 80%
This is, for some reason, the black sheep of the Zelda series. Some people will say because it's different, but I won't accept that excuse from Nintendo fans for obvious reasons. No, the obvious reason that people dislike AOL is that it's bloody difficult. Now, I understand that this would turn off a lot of gamers who are new to the Zelda series, or are fairly young, but I, for one, revel in the challenge. It does seem impossible at first, and I've yet to get very far, but with persistance, it's a very do-able challenge.
I think the main problem with AOL is that it was ahead of it's time. There's some fantastic ideas in there, with arguably the best overworld in any Zelda game ever. However, with it only being on the NES, it failed to reach the potential it deserved to reach.
A Link to the Past: 95%
Ah, now this is my personal favourite. It was a return to the top-down style for Zelda, and expanded on the formula set by LoZ, many things in Zelda games today can be traced back to this game, including the 3 pre-dungeons, and 7 main dungeons. The storyline had been improved from previous games, but this is to be expected. I've been playing Alttp almost all my life, and as such, the difficulty level has all but gone. However, I will still get the occaisional game over, something that I can't see happening when replaying a newer Zelda game. I think it's safe to say that Alttp got the difficulty level perfect. It's hard enough to give a challenge, but it's still accessible for those not looking for a big challenge
As for the GBA version, well, it would lose a couple of marks because of the Sound Effects, but the temple of the Four Sword, especially with what was one of the hardest Zelda bosses ever, more than made up for this.
I do feel a certain nostalgia for this game, however, that doesn't cloud my judgement. I still love this more than any other Zelda game, no matter how many times I play it.
Link's Awakening: 94%
Aha, now Link's Awakening is, imo, the second best Zelda game. It's got fairly similar gameplay to Alttp, although with slight differences. It's got, what I reckon, is the best storyline in the whole Zelda series. I don't normally give storyline as a strong point for Zelda, but this one drew me in, and I trully felt sadness at the end of the game. It, once again, built on the Zelda formula we know and love today, introducing the trading quest.
Now, there were some people who didn't like all the cameos that cropped up in LA. I personally loved it. It gave the game personallity, and made me feel more involved with the game.
As for the difficulty, it, much like Alttp had a pretty much perfect difficulty level. Joy!
Ocarina of Time: 92%
It's overrated, yes. But hell, if any game deserves to be overrated, it's OoT. It's not the best Zelda game ever, but it's impact was huge. I'm sure it's the same for all gamers who experienced OoT when it was new, seeing Zelda in 3D was awe-inspiring. Seeing Navi crash into the fence for the first time was possibly one of the best gaming moments in my life. It's silly yes, but it's the small things like that which make Zelda so brilliant. It gives the games personality, it gives them their 'Zelda' feel.
Ocarina of Time took the now well established Zelda formula, and ran with it. It converted Zelda, more than successfuly, into a 3D game. The storyline wasn't as good as LA, but it was good enough to make me feel involved with the game. The difficulty level was, again, perfect, although any level of challenge goes after the first few playthroughs.
As for the Master Quest, I didn't really find it much harder. I mean, some of the enemies were slightly tougher, but all that was really changed in the game was the dungeon layout. As such, the Master Quest title is a tad misleading, as Masters of OoT should find it a piece of cake.
Majora's Mask: 88%
A lot of people have mixed feelings about Majora's Mask, and I can see why. It took elements from previous Zelda games, but at the same time was rather different. And, as was seen with AOL, people don't seem to like a change.
There were people didn't like the time limit, they said it was too 'constricting', it took away the player's freedom. And to an extent, I do agree. Saying that, MM has the second best storyline in the Zelda series, but without the time limit, it juat wouldn't have worked. It enabled the characters to be developed in a way that doesn't happen in a game that 'lasts forever'. And the best thing about Majora's Mask is, in my opinion, not the dungeon design or the bosses or the combat, but the NPC interaction. Every character in the whole game has a purpose, every one of them can help- or hinder- you on your quest. There may only be 3 days in the game, but the way the characters develop in those three days, the way they say or do something new every day, the way they actually react to things that happen, is something that MM excels in, and is unrivalled in in the Zelda series. It's certainly not too shabby.
Oracle of Seasons: 89%
I'd just like to say it really annoys me how people always rate the Oracle games the same, as if the two games are the same like the Pokemon twins. They aren't. Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages are different games. Stop treating them otherwise.
Anyways, Oracle of Seasons, along with Ages, is one of the most unplayed and underrated Zelda games. And I don't know why.
OoS has a fantastic concept, where you can 'control' the Seasons. This opens up some fantastic opportunities for some great puzzles, and they are used
Gameplay-wise, it's very similar to Link's Awakening, basically building on the same engine.
It could be considered lacking in the difficulty department, compared to previous Zeldas, but there is a considerable challenge there, and in the link game there's a fantastic battle with Ganon ('tis also in OoA).
And that leads me onto another point. One of the many reasons some people consider OoS and OoA the same game, is that you can link the games together. But this doesn't make the games the same, it just makes both games even better.
Y'see, in a linked game you get several benefits; the storyline is altered slightly (plus you can actually fully the complete the mission spread over both games), you'll encounter a character from the other game, an ability to get hidden items (bomb chus, biggoron sword etc), and the chance to meet Princess Zelda.
Now, going back to the difficulty department, anyone who does find the game a bit too easy for their tastes, well, as with OoA there is the brilliant addition of being able to wear stat changing rings. They can do pointless things such as turn you into an Octorock, increase your abilites, or handicap you, adding a level of challenge.
Oracle of Ages: 90%
Ages is my preferred Oracle for several reasons.
Firstly, and foremost, I prefer the concept of travelling back in time by hundreds of years. It makes the gameworld larger, and adds more areas to be explored. Also, it's a more difficult game. That's mainly because while Ages is more focused on puzzle aspects, Seasons is more action based. And, the puzzles are harder. Also, Ages had a better storyline, Veran was a much better vilan than Onox, and is, in fact probably one of the best villians in the Zelda series. Then there was the addition of Ralph, which I really liked. Ralph is great because he's probably the only character in the whole Zelda series who doesn't rely on Link to do every damn thing. Sure, he's useless, but at least he tries. It's a shame there hasn't been anyone like him since. Also, the encounter you have with Zelda is better than Seasons.
Most other positives such as the linked game I've covered in the Seasons area.
Four Swords (GBA): 73%
Ah yes. There are a lot of people who don't count FS and FSA as Zelda games. But do you know what? They are Zelda games, and damn good ones too.
Four Swords came bundled with Alttp on the GBA, and, because you need a friend with the cartridge, not many people have played it. But I think those who have all realise how fun it is. See, Four Swords is not supposed to be an epic game. It's supposed to be a multiplayer game you can have good fun playing with your mates, and in that department it excels.
It's not the hardest game ever, but there's a suitabel challenge there, and the co-op gameplay makes some awesome puzzles possible.
Also, by completing it, you can unlock the temple of the Four Sword in Alttp, and therefore be able to encounter one of the hardest Zelda bosses.
The Wind Waker: 84%
When the Spaceworld 2001 demo was shown, Zelda fans everywhere were psyched for a truly realisted Zelda. Some were disapointed beyond belief when the Cel-shaded Wind Waker was revealed.
I for one, however, welcomed the style. It gave the game uniqueness, showed that it wasn't trying to be an OoT clone. It also gave the game personallity.
To date, The Wind Waker's Link is the only Link to show proper emotion through out the game. It was the cartoon style that made this possible, and those who get past it not being "realistic" (frankly, the graphics in the spaceworld demo were horrible. I would've hated an actual game with those graphics) truly fell in love with the game's graphics.
As for the gameplay, well, the combat was the best seen in a 3D Zelda yet, and made battling enemies such as Darknuts truly enjoyable. The game itself started out brilliantly, a great start to the storyline, and the first few dengeons were brilliant. After the Tower of the Gods, the brilliance fell off a bit, especially with the triforce hunt. I, unlike many, didn't actually hate this bit, as it gave me a chance to explore the overworld (Which was a tad too big) and exploring is something I love to do in Zelda. Saying that, the game was over far too soon, and the final boss was somewhat lackluster.
Now, the sailing, an aspect that many people hate, I actually really enjoyed. You could use a range of items, and was far more fun than riding Epona in OoT and MM. It could get tedious, yeah, but that was a fault of the overworld design more than the sailing itself.
It had a pretty good storyline, but wasn't much better than OoT's, and certainly didn't rival LA or MM.
Four Swords Adventures: 75%
Like the original Four Swords, many people don't count this as part of the Zelda series.
But it is, you just don't have to expect anything too epic.
I actually thought the game was brilliant; yes, it was too short, yes the storyline wasn't very good, yes it lacked true replayability.
But it wasn't supposed to be any of that stuff. I love FSA becuase it's a fast paced, non stop action game which as well as playing by yourself, you can have great (although expensive) fun playing with friends. There are some great puzzles using the four Links, and some of the special effects are amazing, for a top down game.
Stop expecting this to be an epic, involving, best-Zelda-ever game, and you will enjoy it. There's only oe downside compared to teh GBA version, and that is it feels more restrictive. But I suppose, when you think about it, it had to be.
The Minish Cap: 80%
The Minish Cap has come under some harsh criticism, for being too short and too easy. And I do understand that, they are perfectly viable complaints. Giving you a challenge was what made the Zelda games up to TWW so much fun. Without a serious level of difficulty, Zelda has to rely on the gameplay being fun enough to make up for this (as in TWW) or have a great storyline. The Minish Cap did okay in both of these categories, but not well enough.
Graphically, it was brilliant, with many fancy effects, and the game itself was good fun. However, it was over all too soon, and the game lacked, to a certain extent, a zelda feel. There was still enough there to make the game good fun, but it seemed to be a low point for Zelda. It redeemed itself somewhat with the final battle though.
Also, Ezlo FTL.
Twilight Princess: 74%
Ah yes. Twilight Princess. Endless hype. Endless delays. The last time that happened with a Zelda game we got OoT. Would we now see an OoT beater?
Well, no. The game had a weak beginning, and good middle, and a lackluster end.
I could sum up Twilight Princess with that, but I won't. Because, you see, Twilight Princess tried to do so much. Be so much. And on the whole, it failed. There was a good cast of characters, who you should've felt emotion for. But I didn't. In fact, some were kind of forgotten about after a while.
In fact there were countless problems with TP. Zelda felt tacked on, Ganondorf felt tacked on. Zant was a good enemy, until you actually fought him. All the bosses were too easy, over almost instantly. The game as a whole was too easy. The overworld had a great design, but flattered to decieve. there was actually very little to explore, apart from caves. Not a single area in the game felt like there had been time spent on it perfecting it. The NPCs quite plainly sucked. Very few had any purpose, had although there were hundreds in Hyrule Castle Town it felt empty because none of them would talk to you (some people have said this is good, it makes it more realistic. You know what? **** realism. It's a video game. If I want to go to a town and not talk to people, I'll go to a town and not talk to people, not play a video game)
And, unlike in Majora's Mask, the townspeople were blissfully unaware of their surroundings. Only one NPC in the whole game (With the exception of the small group of fighters who help you) noticed the barrier over the Castle. And something that annoyed me quite a bit was the overt reliance on Link by the characters. It's just not believable.
There was very little of interest in Hyrule. The main side quest was donating money to Malo Mart, something which had no place in the supposedly 'grown-up' TP.
My final complaint is that TP lacked the Zelda feel which has previously made the games so brilliant. For example, there were no more sarcastic comments made when you found rupees.
Now, there were two ood things about TP; Midna's relationship with Link was a great feature, and the combat (including horseback) was awesome. Those were the only things that stopped TP from being a failure. Even then, they weren't used to their potential.
Ah crap. I think I rambled on a bit.
Comments? Feel free to make your own list.
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