Written by  :  Kartanym (12783)
Written on  :  Oct 05, 2001
Platform  :  Game Boy Color
Rating  :  3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars

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Link sees off the GBC in style...

The Good

In recent years I've become a fan of the Zelda franchise. Sadly I missed the early years at first, though I've since caught up. These days I'm all over the series that began with a little green and brown icon slashing away. Besides the obvious Ocarina of Time, it was Oracle of Seasons that caught my eye and educated me on Zelda's true roots.

The Oracle titles, both, are the last adventures for Link on the Game Boy/Game Boy Colour hardware. While the limitations of the console are clear, it doesn't hamper the game from evolving the franchise from its black and white roots, providing a wonderful experience.

The general gist of all the Zelda titles is the 'take Link from humble beginnings to saving Hyrule, etc.' formula, and that doesn't change much here. The obvious difference is the use of powerful magic that adds an extra level of strategy. For Oracle of Seasons, the rod in question allows you to modify the surrounding landscape via the four different weather seasons. So where one path may be obstructed by a large snowball, a quick use of the seasons rod to spring will clear the path for Link to continue.

There are a number of other additions to the design, such as animal friends who aid Link in a number of different ways, but at its core, it's still the classic dungeon puzzle/hack and slash adventure of old. The fact that it's still as fun as ever just goes to prove how good Zelda really is.

A secondary challenge also interested me, whereby you can connect two GBC consoles with Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages together, and complete both quests as well as the final outcome of both titles, but only when connected. Nintendo are good at making the most out of its 'two in one' designs, as Pokemon proves, and there's no faulting it here.

The Bad

As much as I can't fault the design, I'm not always a fan of developers making two of every title, especially if it means missing out on certain elements to the game. We don't always have friends who buy all the titles, so it can become annoying, knowing you can't find all those hidden items or see the proper conclusion. That's the one major fault, something I always have trouble with. Perhaps in the modern age, where wireless multiplayer and online gaming is a major element to game development, an idea such as this could be far better handled and appreciated.

The Oracles duo were eventually overshadowed by the release of the Game Boy Advance, which took a bite out of the possible market once it was released. It's a shame, really, since both titles are wonderful adventures at heart.

The Bottom Line

Besides perhaps the Pokemon franchise itself, Oracle of Seasons (and its brother, Oracle of Ages) was the jewel in the crown of the Game Boy Colour's existence. A fun and engaging Zelda title always comes with its fair share of rewards to the player, and this is no exception.

In the end, it's another one of those games I have to recommend you hunt down and try. I'm sure most of you still have an old GBC somewhere, and it'll be worth taking it out again to give this adventure of Link a shot.