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Bomby plays The Legend of Zelda, game by game

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Bomby plays The Legend of Zelda, game by game

Post by Bomby » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:19 pm

I've always loved the Legend of Zelda series dearly, but it wasn't until recently when I realized I had actually beaten very few of the games. I started out just playing the original game, but eventually decided to go through the entire series, because YOLO or whatever. Originally I had planned to only the games I haven't beaten before, but eventually decided to go through the entire series. I'm going to excise the multiplayer games, because I have no access to them nor do I have access to other people who own them.

I've decided it would be fun to post my reactions to the games as I go by, and I'd love to hear your opinions on the games and/or opinions on my reactions to the games as I go along. I'm going to focus on the games I haven't completed yet, though I have played them all at least a little bit.

So here we go:

The Legend of Zelda
I unknowingly started playing this game on the anniversary of its release, which kind of felt like a neat coincidence. I've had the original NES gold cartridge since I was a child, but due to the fact that my system has always been kind of spotty with whether or not it feels like working, I never got really far, and was never as enthusiastic about the game (nor Adventure of Link) as I was with the rest of the series. However, being able to play it on my 3DS virtual console made the idea much easier.

I was pleasantly surprised right off the bat. No longer having to worry about a malfunctioning system, I was able to just plow through the game in a matter of two days, and I had a blast doing it. A lot of people have said it doesn't hold up well, that it's merely one of those "groundbreaking games that has been so improved upon that it's no longer fun," but I wholeheartedly disagree. I can think of two main complaints that people lodge against the game: 1. it doesn't have much of a story; 2. it doesn't give you enough clues to get around Hyrule well. My opinions: 1. A good story is nice and all, but what defines video games as a medium is how you play them. You can get a nice story from any medium. 2. Have a little curiosity, bruh.

To an extent, I can understand frustrations with the latter. It took me a bit to realize that I had to play the flute by a pool to uncover one of the dungeons, though I already knew about certain obscure things like burning the random tree down (which had to suck for most people). The gameplay itself, however, isn't much different from the other Zelda games. The main difference? Link stabs his sword forward instead of swiping it around. That's really about it.

As much as I enjoy the side quests in the later games, the fact that they didn't exist here was merely an afterthought. Just being able to focus on the dungeons themselves without the extra stuff added in was actually a nice streamlined experience. What made it even more fun was that I was able to go to the dungeons in whatever order I felt like. Though I played through parts of them out of order, I ultimately ended up beating the bosses in order. It was cool to be able to collect the various weapons without finishing the dungeons as well. As renowned for its difficulty as it is, I was so into it that I beat it in a matter of two days.

Oracle of Seasons
Capcom taking over the Zelda series for a few handheld games felt kind of odd at first, but for the most part, the games were faithful enough to the series that they didn't feel out of place at all. I started with the more action-oriented Oracle of Seasons, which felt like a more natural transition given its callbacks to the original game.

That being said, while still being an enjoyable game by all means, it there was a noticeable drop in fun from the first game. The feature of the changing seasons was cool and original, but at times it felt more like a chore than a challenge when I hadn't gotten the ability for a certain necessary season yet. My only other real gripe was waiting for Maple to come and hoping she would drop a heart piece, which I'm fairly certain I never actually got from her, which sucked because it was the one heart piece I was missing at the end of the game.In my previous times playing the game, I never really paid much attention to the rings, but I actually had quite a bit of fun using their powers this time around.

I never really paid much attention to the rings in my previous times playing this game, but being more actively involved in collecting and using them added more fun to the game, as well as little secrets like the random guy hidden out in the water.

You get to ride a kangaroo in this game.

Oracle of Ages
Am I a n00b or is this game really difficult? Or at least it's a major step up in difficulty from the previous two that I played. I gotta confess, I looked up a few hints along the way, though I've been trying not to. Seriously, Hero's Cave was confounding.

I don't really have much more to say about this game that isn't a rehash of my thoughts of Seasons, though to its credit, I do think there's more differences between the games than people seem to realize. The warping back and forth between two different eras of time was obviously done before, but unlike Ocarina of Time in particular, warping between the two different ages was done simultaneously, as opposed to finishing one age, then focusing on the other.

To both its benefit and detriment, warping between the ages changes the landscape of the game much more than changing the seasons in its counterpart. It can get a bit confusing to try to remember which events took place in which time that were necessary for you to go forward in the game, but the way going to the past would reshape the future was more satisfying when done right.

For all my nitpicking, I did like this game more than Oracle of Seasons. I think, more than anything, it probably had to do with the fact that it was the game I played second, and was able to get the codes to communicate back and forth between the two games. Perhaps I would have liked Seasons more if I had played that second. Either way, fighting the final boss at the end felt more like the completion of a long journey than any other Zelda game I've previously played.

You get to ride a kangaroo in this game.

Majora's Mask
Considering how much I played this game when it came out, I'm surprised that I'd never gotten past Great Bay Temple. This is likely due to one thing: completing the Bomber's Notebook. While the lack of side quests in the original Legend of Zelda made for an enjoyable no-fluff experience, the side quests are what truly make Majora's Mask the great game that it is. Even though there are only four dungeons, as opposed to the standard eight, the game doesn't feel any shorter than the other individual games in the series, mostly because of those side quests.

One of the big problems with the 3D Zelda games has always been how long the introduction portions of the game are before things really kick into action. Majora's Mask is refreshingly shorter in that regard. Since it's a direct sequel to Ocarina of Time and has the same mechanics, it also feels like the game spends less time holding your hand through teaching you the controls.

I remember being uncertain about the three day time limit before the game came out, but I soon embraced it once I played it. I think I appreciated the three-day time limit even more playing it years later. This time around, I played the 3DS remake (with the 3D turned off because I don't like being unnecessarily distracted). One improvement that I really liked was being able to warp to more specific points in time with the song of double time, as opposed to it just bringing to the beginning of the upcoming night or morning. Still, it was just as fun to use the whole three-day cycle to switch back and forth between various different tasks than just warp around focusing on one at a time.

My main disappointment was that, donning the Fierce Deity mask, the final boss was much too easy. I had drank Chateau Romani and stocked up on potion in preparation for the fight, and in the end, I beat the various forms of Majora's Mask very quickly without getting hit even once. Perhaps I'll have to do the battle again without the Deity mask on.

The list so far:
The Legend of Zelda
The Adventure of Link
A Link to the Past *
Link's Awakening *
Ocarina of Time *
Majora's Mask
Oracle of Seasons
Oracle of Ages

The Wind Waker
The Minish Cap **
Twilight Princess
Phantom Hourglass
Spirit Tracks
Skyward Sword
A Link Between Worlds *
* = Game I have already beaten previously
** = I got to the final boss in Minish Cap several years ago but never beat him


Ranking so far:
1. Majora's Mask
2. The Legend of Zelda
3. Oracle of Ages
4. Oracle of Seasons

Not sure whether to play Adventure of Link or Minish Cap next. I've never particularly enjoyed AoL in the past, but I've already gotten through most of Minish Cap previously. I was hoping to play Wind Waker next, but my disc of it is missing. Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword I'll have to borrow from my sister, and I do not own Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks yet, though I think my sister might also have one or both of them as well.

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Post by The Amazing Tazy Ten » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:27 pm

Gonna keep an eye on this for now. I may not play much in the way of Zelda games but I can comment regardless. :p

I've never beaten Zelda 1, but I think you could beat the game without a guide if you spend enough time on it. But Link to the Past does the exploratory thing a bit better in my eyes as it gives you a general direction if you want it but you can mostly do as you please otherwise. You're less likely to get frustrated and give up in that case. It's definitely a game I need to give an honest try though before I attempt to properly dissect it.

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Post by Bomby » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:48 pm

^ I've long considered A Link to the Past to be my favorite game of all time, period, though after I played A Link Between Worlds when it came out, I felt like it had eclipsed it, at least for the moment.

I also look back fondly upon Link's Awakening. That's probably the game I'm most excited to play through again.

I think I'm gonna start Adventure of Link, but I may end up playing other games intermittently between it. I've tried to like it, but I never really got there. Who knows how I'll feel years later?

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Post by X-3 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 5:50 pm

The one thing about Zelda 1 that strikes me as not really aging well are the controls. The lack of diagonal movement and the fact that you have to commit when you use your Sword make Link feel a bit sluggish, and it can be a bit weird if you're used to post-LttP. It also makes the game harder overall, because it gives Link less movement options. (Primarily the the Spin Attack)

The Oracle games are good, but looking back I feel as though their quality comes mostly from their use of the LA engine and basic progression system than their own unique merits. A lot of their unique ideas are either annoying or ultimately feel like they're tacked-on. Still, at their core, they're 16 additional LA dungeons that go above and beyond what was done in that game in terms of puzzles and combat.

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Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:04 pm

Play Minish Cap next, it's the best 2D Zelda, IMO.

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Post by Bomby » Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:06 pm

X-3, post: 1589950, member: 27765 wrote:The one thing about Zelda 1 that strikes me as not really aging well are the controls. The lack of diagonal movement and the fact that you have to commit when you use your Sword make Link feel a bit sluggish, and it can be a bit weird if you're used to post-LttP. It also makes the game harder overall, because it gives Link less movement options. (Primarily the the Spin Attack)
I didn't particularly feel bothered by the lack of diagonal movement, but I've also owned the game on NES since around '97-'98, so I was already familiar with that limitation from having played it.
The Oracle games are good, but looking back I feel as though their quality comes mostly from their use of the LA engine and basic progression system than their own unique merits. A lot of their unique ideas are either annoying or ultimately feel like they're tacked-on. Still, at their core, they're 16 additional LA dungeons that go above and beyond what was done in that game in terms of puzzles and combat.
I somewhat agree. I did enjoy the unique ideas - to an extent - but I can agree they could be annoying at times, especially the 5th dungeon in Oracle of Ages where you have to keep warping back and forth in time. Even that wouldn't have been too much a problem if there were time warp spots within the dungeon so I didn't have to exit and enter again.

One thing that I didn't mention that I really liked about Oracle of Seasons games was the creation of new weapons. Seriously, those magnetic gloves are fun. Roc's Cape was cool, too, as was the L-2 Boomerang whose movements you could control after you threw it.
I REALLY HATE POKEMON!, post: 1589975, member: 18119 wrote:Play Minish Cap next, it's the best 2D Zelda, IMO.
I remember really enjoying it when I played it. I'mma start that one again later today.

Why am I starting Minish Cap today? Did I finally beat Adventure of Link? No.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
I don't like this game.

I tried. Believe me, I tried. I went into this with an open mind, I really did. But trying to like something doesn't mean I'm actually going to like it. I remember trying to like Sprite as a kid because there was a contest I wanted to win, but no matter how much I tried, I just can't stand carbonated beverages. Cucumber. I've tried to like cucumber, and in certain items where the cucumber is mixed enough with other flavors that it doesn't detract from it, I'm cool with that. But the overwhelming taste of cucumbers? Can't do it. And honestly, at first, I was kind of enjoying parts of this game. Or at least, I was convincing myself that I did. I mean, I like a lot of other 2D sidescrollers, so this one can't be that different, right? But it is. For real.

"So Bomby, clearly you must only dislike it because it's different from the other Zelda games."
No, I don't dislike it because it's different. I dislike it because I dislike the differences they made. For one thing, my sword is too damn short. Yes, I do realize the magic projectile from the sword travels further each time you gain an attack level, but that magic projectile is completely useless against a lot of enemies. It would be nice if there was some sort of life replenishing item before getting the life spell.

"Ah, so you just don't like that it's a challenge."
No, I like a good challenge, but it has to be a challenge that I enjoy. Chewing my arm off would be a challenge, but I sure as hell wouldn't enjoy it. And I definitely wouldn't enjoy not having that arm afterward. Okay, comparing this game to chewing an arm off is ridiculous, but you get what I mean? Adventure of Link isn't physically painful or emotionally traumatizing, but when a challenge turns into joyless frustration and the fun doesn't return, I don't see the point in wasting my time playing it the whole way through.

This game has its defenders. I'm glad they exist, honestly. I wouldn't even say it's a bad game, per se. It's just a game I don't like. I also don't think my Algebra II teacher from high school was a bad person. He was just boring and insufferable.

Game Over. Return of Ganon. Moving on.

The list so far:
The Legend of Zelda
The Adventure of Link
³
A Link to the Past ¹
Link's Awakening ¹
Ocarina of Time ¹
Majora's Mask
Oracle of Seasons
Oracle of Ages

The Wind Waker
The Minish Cap ²
Twilight Princess
Phantom Hourglass
Spirit Tracks
Skyward Sword
A Link Between Worlds ¹
¹ = Game I have already beaten previously
² = I got to the final boss in Minish Cap several years ago but never beat him
³ = I don't like this game enough to actually finish it.


Ranking so far:
1. Majora's Mask
2. The Legend of Zelda
3. Oracle of Ages
4. Oracle of Seasons
5. Adventure of Link

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Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:29 pm

Yeah, AoL...I tried to like it, too. Actually, if they put normal Zelda puzzles, refined the mechanics, and enhanced the RPG elements I would love a sequel.

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Post by I am nobody » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:07 pm

That was my experience with it.

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Post by X-3 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:43 pm

I wanted to beat AoL, but I never got anywhere close. I feel like a scrub.

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Post by Bomby » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:44 am

The Minish Cap
Alright, I actually finished this game like two months ago, but I got too distracted by work/Hyrule Warriors Legends/Pokemon XY & ORAS to write a review and rank this game.

And it's a very, very good game. It may not be a particularly difficult game - it's possibly the shortest game in the entire series - but what it lacks in difficulty, it makes up for in just being plain fun. It was nice to see the return of Roc's Cape, as well as other cool new items like the Gust Jar and the Mole Mitts. The Kinstones created an awesome game-with-a-game experience. Trading sequences had been done to death at that point, so this was a very entertaining replacement. I'd really like to see something similar in the future, though I'm not going to hold my breath.

Ezlo is a great companion - a nice change up from Navi and Tatl, though it occasionally got confusing since I named my character Enzo. I also liked Vaati as a villain, who I understand also appears in both of the Four Swords games, but since I don't have any plans to play those games any time soon, this is so far my sole encounter with him. It would be cool to see him added as a character in Hyrule Warriors, but I severely doubt that will happen.

And that's partially because The Minish Cap, much like the Oracles games, is a very minor entry in the series that doesn't get discussed much - I don't even see it ranked among people's favorites very often. Which is a real shame, because it's a lot of fun to play. I'm having difficulty deciding whether I like it more or less than the original, so I'm putting both of them at a tie for right now.

The list so far:

The Legend of Zelda
The Adventure of Link
³
A Link to the Past ¹
Link's Awakening ¹
Ocarina of Time ¹
Majora's Mask
Oracle of Seasons
Oracle of Ages

The Wind Waker
The Minish Cap ²
Twilight Princess
Phantom Hourglass
Spirit Tracks
Skyward Sword
A Link Between Worlds ¹
¹ = Game I have already beaten previously
² = I got to the final boss in Minish Cap several years ago but never beat him
³ = I don't like this game enough to actually finish it.


Ranking so far:
1. Majora's Mask
2. Minish Cap (tie)
2. The Legend of Zelda (tie)
4. Oracle of Ages
5. Oracle of Seasons
6. Adventure of Link

BONUS REVIEW:
Hyrule Warriors Legends

As I don't have a Wii U, the Legends edition on 3DS has been my introduction to the game. I had always wanted to try playing the Dynasty Warriors games - I love Chinese literature, and it's based on the classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms - but they've never been available to me on the systems I own, though now that I have a PS2 I guess that could change. Actually, 8 is available on Steam... um... back to Hyrule Warriors.

Now that I've played a spin-off of a Dynasty Warriors game, I'm even more interested in them, because Hyrule Warriors Legends absolutely rocks. I love the strategy aspect to the campaigns. There's something extremely satisfying about taking all of the keeps. The action system sets it apart from your average strategy game, and that largely works to its advantage.

And then there's the numerous characters. The Legend of Zelda series has always had an awesome amount of significant NPCs, and Hyrule Warriors Legends allows you to actually play as them. The original characters are a lot of fun as well. In fact, one of them - Lana - is easily my favorite in the game. Her Book of Sorcery is one of the most fun weapons to use in any video game, period. It's sad that she'll most likely never appear in another video game again.

Which brings me to the weapons. As each character has their own set of weapons, there is a lot of creativity involved. Sure, some are more creative than others, but the functions of the best ones - like the aforementioned Book of Sorcery, Zelda's Baton, Sheik's Harp, Linkle's Crossbows, and Young Link's Fierce Deity Mask - are highlights of the game.

The main Story mode is relatively short - though that might just be the fact that I spent a lot of time playing it when it first came out - but the Adventure mode keeps me coming back for more with literally hundreds of extra scenarios with fun rewards to play through.

I'm not adding this to my official rankings since it's not a part of the official series and the gameplay is very different from an actual Zelda game, but I'm enjoying the hell out of this. One of my favorite games of recent years.

Currently playing: Twilight Princess.
Current Progress: I have so far finished the Goron Mines, the second dungeon.

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Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:48 am

Glad you liked Minish Cap, it's so good.

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Post by Valigarmander » Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:05 am

I've never played any of the GBA Zelda games. It seems I might be missing out.

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Post by Random User » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:37 am

I would suggest at least grabbing Minish Cap. It's a very lovely game, imo.

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Post by Marilink » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:16 pm

[QUOTE="Valigarmander, post: 1600433, member: 30663"]I've never played any of the GBA Zelda games. It seems I might be missing out.[/QUOTE]
GBA, or GB in general? Because Minish Cap is the only GBA Zelda aside from the LttP remake.

Glad to see you enjoyed Minish Cap, Bomby. I feel like that's the game Zelda fans glance over the most--even Zelda II gets more attention as the "black sheep." MC mostly flies under the radar, but it really is a fantastic game.

btw, since I missed the AoL discussion, I really do love that game, but I definitely recognize its faults. Its difficulty often isn't good difficulty (unfair pits, damage balancing, etc.) and its mechanical progression can be WAY too veiled and impossible to figure out. The hidden city? Come on. The fact that you need to have maxed magic before fighting the second-to-last boss that's all the way deep in the final level? come on.

I'd like someone to remake Zelda II but make things like that more explicit. That game could be refined into something exceptional if it took modern game design into account and made things a little more balanced. Still, as it is, I thoroughly enjoy the game.
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Post by Random User » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:37 pm

[QUOTE="Marilink, post: 1600570, member: 23215"]GBA, or GB in general? Because Minish Cap is the only GBA Zelda aside from the LttP remake.[/QUOTE]
And Four Swords, but that's a decent departure from your standard Zelda formula.

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Post by X-3 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:08 pm

I thought Minish Cap was a bit iffy. In addition to being too short, the game still used the GB Zelda item system despite having two extra buttons. L is reserved for fusing Kinstones, and R is used for rolling. (why?) There was really no need for a partner character, so if you used Select to Fuse Kinstones you could instead have 3 buttons to select items. (4 if you removed Rolling)

Edit: Or better yet, make Select let you talk to Ezlo and, if the Kinstone bubble appears, fuse Kinstones. It's that simple.

When you think about it, MC's plot is basically proto-SS.

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Post by Bomby » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:22 am

Got sidetracked a bit again by Hyrule Warriors Legends today because the Link's Awakening DLC is out and Marin is fun as a new playable character. Now I'm looking forward to replaying LA even more.

[USER=23215]@Marilink[/USER] I think there's the potential in the framework of AoL for a game I like a lot, because I still love side-scrolling platformers, but there was just something missing there in the gameplay that I couldn't put a finger on. The same goes for Castlevania III. Like you said though, just a few hints here and there wouldn't hurt either. Interestingly enough, someone actually remade AoL as an FPS.

Come to think of it, Shovel Knight might be the game I wish AoL was...

[USER=27765]@X-3[/USER] Now that you mention it, I do remember scratching my head at the control scheme a bit. Why not make the L button work as the power glove so I don't have to keep switching back and forth? Though considering I had just recently beaten the Oracles games not too long before, I was already used to the switching around.

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Post by I am nobody » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:11 am

Wouldn't have minded L being used for items, but rolling is more generally useful than anything besides the sword in that game. Definitely needed its own button.

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Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:22 am

Plus what is Zelda without rolling, seriously.

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Post by ScottyMcGee » Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:44 am

I was so close to beating AoL. I was at the second to last temple I think. Then I got sidetracked with something. Totally want to play it again.
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