* Cool retro look that still holds appeal well past its prime
* Amazing music throughout the game
* Extremely well thought out
Cons * Fight controls somewhat difficult to adjust to
* Items needed to progress in the game are very difficult to find on your own
Console: Super Nintendo
Date Released: 11/21/91
Date Reviewed: 07/22/12
I have played many Zelda games, but I always find myself getting bored, lost, or can’t figure out where to find hidden items, so I never finish them. In this case, I decided to hook my SNES up and give A Link to the Past the good ole’ college try since I really like the graphical top down display of this title.
Presentation : A
Graphics / Animation / Sound
Letting my SNES sit for a few a little bit, I watched the story unfold. I had never played this title before so I was interested to see what it had to offer. Right off the bat I could see why even 21 years later this game and is copied over and over again in the other Zelda games I have played. I recognized a lot of the locales and names so I kind of knew what was going on. All of the sprites in the game look incredible even compared to the other SNES games I have played for years these graphics are very well done. The overworld that you travel through to get to different domains looks great, and they did a great job transitioning from deserts, to swamps, to lakes and so forth.
All of the other characters and bad guys in the game have distinguishing looks, and you can even see some expression of emotion on their faces…something very hard to present back then. You can tell what everything is, and see the great animation of a guard running at you, or a bird flying around.
The music in the game is some of the best I’ve heard on the SNES. They do a great job making you feel like a hero on a quest in one area, or in a deep dungeon in others. There are quite a few different themes, songs and scores in the game, none of which got repetitive or annoying. Even though the music is great, I couldn’t help but feel like I had heard the boss battle music before…It actually sounds to me like the same boss battle music in Super Mario World, just in double time. Now I could be wrong about this, but it’s not entirely out of the question. I couldn’t necessarily find any hard evidence linking the two, but I would be interested to know if it is the same music.
Single Player : B
Game mechanics / Length / difficulty
Ok so right off the bat I’ll admit that I’m not that cool and I used a walk-through. I did play the first few hours through without one, but I found myself getting bored with following vague clues to find where different people were located. I realize now this is why I’ve never finished a Zelda game. Some of these items you need to find in the game I could have NEVER found on my own. I don’t play too many of these types of games, maybe that’s it. So what I did was this, I used a walk-through when I was going around looking for stuff, like extra hearts (you need all you can get) and sword upgrades, then when I got to a dungeon, I put down the walk-through and figured it out on my own. I found this to be a nice compromise to my enjoyment of figuring things out, and still enjoying the game enough to continue.
I found, by the end of the game, if you don’t find almost everything, it would be near impossible to beat. By this I mainly mean upgrades. There are times when you have to throw things into hidden rooms with water. There are MANY times when you have to upgrade your sword, or shield, or arrows. If you do not do these things you are hopelessly lost in this game.
Everything works well in this game, except the sword combat. Though the controller has a 4 way d-pad, you can seemingly move in 8 directions, but when it came to doing this, AND swinging your sword, it was near impossible for me. I was hit MANY times being right next to an enemy, but couldn’t get my sword in the perfect direction for a hit. I did eventually get better at this, but the issue was never truly resolved, so I had to resort to backing up and letting enemies come to me…most of the time. This proved to be my only true problem with the game as I found the dungeons EXTREMELY fun to figure out.
If you never have played this game, or other Zelda games, what they want you to do is talk to people, find items, use them in the dungeons, find the hidden treasures in the dungeon, use that on the dungeon boss, then repeat. Though it is a seemingly simple formula, it does prove to become difficult as the game progresses. The dungeon boss fights were very fun, and some of them VERY hard. The over-world map is really helpful and you will need to visit every square inch of it to find all the hidden items and hearts throughout the game.
The game can really take as long as you want, especially on your first play through. You will need to look around and talk to a lot of characters, and also cut down things with your sword to see what they reveal. If you play like I did, and use a walk-through to get you to the dungeons, you are looking at about 12 hours.
The game itself is hard in the aspect of find items and figuring out mazes. Though once you do, and you replay the game it does become easier.
Multiplayer : –
Game mechanics / features / Online features
No multiplayer, but there are three save slot’s for different games.
Replay Value : A
Lasting appeal / Bonus Content / DLC
This game sealed the Zelda franchise’s fate when it came out. People still talk about this game today, and all other Zelda games are held up to the standard set in this game. The replay value is quite high in this game in my opinion. Perhaps you missed something on your first play through. Or if your like me, now that you know what needs to happen, it will be fun to go through again with out a walk-through like a big boy. What Nintendo did to make a long game was create a “dark world” and a “light world” for you to travel back and forth between. This is the same world and map, but with things moved around, different bad guys, and different paths. What this does is give you a nice change of pace with a whole “new” world to explore. The replay hours are all up to you.
Though difficult at times, this game can appeal to Zelda fans new and old, and does a great job of keeping your attention. It is a MUST play through for any fan of the series who may have missed it (like me), and a very high quality game. It is the only game that’s ever made me shout “Damn, I’m out of magic potion”, and that’s the mark of a good game.
Overall : A