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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

94
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4.2
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5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Pixelspeech (955)
Written on  :  Oct 20, 2011
Platform  :  SNES
Rating  :  3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars3.8 Stars

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Summary

It's not so bad

The Good

The soundtrack has really grown since the NES days and there was never a tune playing that I didn't like, given I didn't play until the end, but it was still great to hear songs such as the Lost Woods, Kakariko Village and Hyrule Castle. The Lost Woods amused me even more because that area reappeared in Ocarina of Time and later on also in Twilight Princess, so it was funny to see that area, but with a completely different theme song and design.

I really liked the way they mark important locations for the main quest on your map, it was a nice way to guide me to the puzzles I was expected to participate in next without giving away too much. Navigating using the map was a lot of fun and quite often I had to find alternative routes to reach a certain area, which was a fun experience for me. If you really can't figure out what to do next and believe you have exhausted all other sources of information (aside from the internet) , you can always go to the fortune teller in order to learn what you shall do next.

Hyrule has gained a lot of detail since the original Zelda, once again we return to a top-down perspective, but there is just so much more to it. There are trees, interesting locations, villages, secret groves, and a lot of beautiful scenery to be found in Hyrule and its darker counterpart. It's also swell that they managed to keep the original's great timing when it had to switch to another screen, that was such a great feature and it is welcome to return. All by all, it is really obvious that A Link to the Past set a new standard for Super Nintendo games.

It is kind of cool to finally see the Golden Realm, or Darkworld as it is called now, after Ocarina of Time hyped it up big, but never showed us anything but the inside of the Chamber of Sages. The memorable theme song also helps to present this interesting world, a world full of history and years of Zelda games hyping it up. It is too bad to see it in such a bad shape, as it is foretold to be a paradise when the Triforce is touched by the right person, but you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

The combat works so well and requires a lot of tactic. The major addition to the gameplay here is that Link can do a spin attack and walk diagonal, which gives us a lot of opportunity to experiment. Some of the enemies have shield which makes them hard to hit with just a stabbing move, others have spears and other arrows and there is even an enemy that is impossible to approach without getting a spiked ball in your face, so you will have to switch between weapons a lot and make clever use of scenery and cover to get out of the fights unharmed.

I was always psyched for the next boss-fight because they were just so interesting and there was no way to predict what was going to attack you. There was one moment where I fought my way up a huge tower only to find the item I needed guarded by a giant worm that was more than happy to push me off a platform and back to to another floor of the dungeon. The game was full of such moments, but Hyrule Castle was by far the most memorable dungeon in the entire game with an awesome boss-fight to top it all off.

The Bad

The biggest problem is that there is little to no interaction with other characters during the part of the adventure I played, you had to collect a few directions here and there, but the cast is bland and forgettable. Given, Ocarina of Time had a few problems when interacting with the world as well, but at least it presented us with an enjoyable and very well designed cast of characters, each one more lovable than the other.

As for the story everybody seems to be so fond off, I either stopped playing too soon or I have all the right to be underwhelmed. You are connected to an ancient race (apparently the Hylians somehow all died at some point) and because of that you are chosen to be the new hero, send out to save a bunch of maidens who are descendants of the Sages from Ocarina of Time who sealed Ganondorf away. Even that summary doesn't make any kind of damn sense to me because I assume half the events of this game have been changed because of the new ones (such as how the seven wise man were changed to just the Sages for Ocarina of Time and most of them were female). One way or another, very little of it is discovered through playing, you just get a few expositions at set moments and none of the details are ever discovered because you never interact with characters.

There were a lot of glitches in this game and none of it was my fault because both the cartridge and the controllers are fine. Bugs I noticed were; characters clipping into each other and doing massive damage if I was one of them, sound effects randomly dropping out and poor detection when using weapons or been attacked. It really took me out of the experience when I am busy fighting with some random enemies and I suddenly can't hear the satisfying slashes anymore or the sound of enemies disappearing into nothing when they die.

The Bottom Line

I found it difficult getting into A Link to the Past because the Zelda franchise has the habit of using previous games as the foundation for the next one, so naturally it wasn't going to be as good as Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. If you grew up with a Super Nintendo then you won't have any problems and this game is worth getting because it is both good and nostalgic.

Whereas Ocarina of Time is definitely worth checking out, even for kids who just became fan of the franchise, A Link to the Past is just something exclusive to the Super Nintendo fans. A few people might enjoy this classic, but this is not the game you should give as a present to your little cousin if he demanded Battlefield 3 for his birthday,