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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past/Four Swords (Game Boy Advance)

Everyone
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
90
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  kbmb (399)
Written on  :  Jan 13, 2003

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Summary

An almost perfect port of the SNES classic.

The Good

If you've never played Legend of Zelda for the NES, or "A Link to the Past" for the SNES, I would suggest you stop reading right now, go buy a Nintendo and Super Nintendo and play through these games so you can come back here with some dignity. These two games in the Legend of Zelda series are some of the best console games, and I might even go so far as to say THE best console games, ever created. You can hardly call yourself a true gamer without having played these games. Get in the loop, man!

The Game Boy Advance is one of the coolest little things to come our way in some time. It's not as powerful as, say, an XBox, and that's why it's such a great thing. It brings back the simple 2D gaming of old console games, with enough added power that you don't experience the same "slowdowns" you would in the old console games. And it fits in the palm of your hand. Well, the palms of both your hands put together.

And it seems logical that Legend of Zelda would be coming to the Game Boy Advance. With the recent "Ocarina of Time", I'm rather happy they didn't bother releasing a "new" Zelda game, because I think those are pure crap. The last good Zelda game was "A Link to the Past", and I was thrilled that I was able to play it in my Game Boy Advance, since I no longer have an SNES to play it on.

The port is almost flawless. It runs just like the classic game, but with great additions. It might just be my imagination, but it sounds to me like the entire theme has been redone. It sounds much better than it did in the SNES version, and the SNES version sounded great. It's another one of those catchy console game tuns that you get stuck in your head.

Also, some graphics have been changed or improved. When you attack someone, they turn blurry for a second, rather than just...well...not. Small details like this bring a small, but noticible change in the game that adds to the experience.

Otherwise, this game is just like the classic. It also includes a multiplayer game, but I didn't bother with that because I don't know anyone else who has a Game Boy Advance.

The Bad

Almost perfect port. This game is great...except for one, horrible, horrible flaw that almost makes me not want to play the game at all:

The addition of a four year old kid's voice for Link.

Well, I don't actually have any proof that the jerk who did Link's voice is only four years old, but I would be surprised if it were done by anyone older...or by a male at all, for that matter. In short, Link sounds like a girl. A little girl. A four year old girl.

One of the reasons I hated Ocarina of Time so much is that it portrayed Link as a kid, maybe eight years old. EIGHT YEARS OLD! Maybe Link was always supposed to be an eight year old kid saving the world. I don't know. But in all the previous games he at least SEEMED older, or the graphics were just bad enough that you didn't really care either way. I always thought of Link as an adult, or at least a teenager. But Ocarina of Time ruined that image for me. And with the added "voice" to Link in the GBA port, it's ruined it for me again.

Every time you swing your sword, run, hit a wall, or jump off a ledge, you'll hear an annoying four year old kid go "Yah!" or "Whee!" or "Unf!" or "Ahh!".

Sigh.

WHY did they have to do this? Why are they trying to make Link a little kid, instead of the hero we've always known him as? Is Nintendo trying to appeal to a younger and younger audience?

Next thing you know, Mario's going to be portayed as a little baby out saving the world.

Oh wait, they already did that.

The Bottom Line

If you loved "A Link to the Past" for the SNES, or if you've never played it, you'll love this. However, if you still OWN an SNES and the game, just stay clear of the GBA port unless you want to play the multiplayer game.

Link's voice ruined an otherwise perfect port of the SNES classic.