Legend of Zelda Video Game Reviews
Hello all. I have written plenty of Zelda reviews in my day, most of them for gamespot.com. I can now share them all here! I think you will find them well written and rich in detail. All scores are out of ten. Enjoy. (NOTE: Some are long reads)
"Spirit Tracks offers a much deeper and thrilling experience than Phantom Hourglass, and adds even more to the series."
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, number 15 in the beyond-the-boundary-of-normal-popularity Zelda series made by Nintendo. Phantom Hourglass, the first DS Zelda, did a lot of great things for the series, but here's the deal: Spirit Tracks does more, in almost every way.
OK, to be fair, it doesn't do anything different with controls. The game controls identically to its predecessor. You'll use your stylus for everything in the game, whether it be moving Link, using items, or even writing notes on your map. It may be rehashed and redone, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
However, the traditional save-the-princess story has a new twist. The game starts out with Link at his home village on the day that he will become the official Royal Engineer of Hyrule. So he travels to Hyrule castle on his train (yes, train. More on that later) to have the honor bestowed upon him by Princess Zelda herself. 10-15 minutes of gameplay later, and Zelda fans are in for a big surprise. As it turns out you don't have to do everything yourself, Zelda will be with you! At least her spirit will, anyway. The new story is great, and puts a new twist on the old formula. There're also some great new characters, like Chancellor Cole.
After some cool cut-scenes and such, we find ourselves in the Tower of Spirits. Yes, you do have to return to it after every dungeon. But this is not a Temple of the Ocean King. Not by a long shot. You don't have to repeat any levels. Once you are through it, you're done. Zelda also accompanies you, except that she will possess a Phantom. The temple's puzzles rely on Link and Zelda working together. You'll draw a path for Zelda on the touchscreen and she'll follow it.
The puzzles that result are endless and simply brilliant. The first few levels are non-surprisingly easy, but there are some serious brain busters later on. You need to collect three Tears of Light to power up your sword so Zelda can possess a Phantom, and then it's beautiful puzzle solving from there. As you progress through the Tower, new Phantoms are introduced to the gameplay: Warp, Torch, and Wrecker Phantoms. Each one provides a special new ability that is used in some great puzzles.
The only problem with the Tower of Spirits is everything up until the last few levels stays pretty easy. I was pleased to see that it got harder, but I still managed most of it with no problems. It must be noted, however, that this is some of the best level design I've seen in a long time.
The rest of the game is what you would expect. There are five main dungeons, each following that formulaic pattern of find the special weapon, defeat the boss. At first the dungeons are short and simple, and may even disappoint in some places, but it picks up near the end. However, I would have liked to see some consistency, or at least a first dungeon that doesn't take 10-15 minutes with nothing remotely challenging to stand in my way. But the boss battles are still amazing, and even better than Phantom Hourglass's bosses, and the dungeons are better too.
There are some great new items. The Whirlwind, Whip, and Sand Wand are all great new and fresh items, and returning items like the Boomerang and Bow are as great as there were before. There is also the Spirit Flute. Just like the Ocarina, there are plenty of songs to learn on the Flute throughout the game, and many are useful and some are necessary to progress through the game. You play it by blowing into the mic and selecting the proper note with the stylus. It works well.
You will need to hook up with the Lokomos and play a duet with them to restore part of the tracks in a specific Realm. There are five in all, and each have a different, unique, and fun song to play on your Spirit Flute.
The mode of transportation or "gimmick" this time around is none other than your very own choo-choo train. You will be riding around the world of Hyrule on what's called the Spirit Tracks, railroads branching out from the Tower of Spirits into four different Realms (technically five, but it's contained within another realm). If you were apprehensive as to how this train thing would pan out, you can take comfort in knowing that, for the most part, it's a good mechanic.
There are some long rides that can be a pain, but there is a warp system that makes them shorter eventually. As the game progresses, you will acquire more parts for your train, like a canon and a freight car, and the customization aspects from Phantom Hourglass return. At a place called the Trading Post, you can trade treasure for new train parts, and there are many sets to choose from.
There's plenty of stuff to shoot, but on the occasional long train ride, it can get pretty tedious. The warp system in the game isn't executed very well, and the train needs one more speed option and it would have been perfect. But they never get extremely long, like some of the sailing in Wind Waker.
Aside from the main quest, there is a ton of extra stuff to do in Spirit Tracks. There is a side quest where you can collect all 50 bunnies for this weird dude at a place called Rabbitland Rescue. This may seem like a waste, but there are some great rewards like a heart container, rupees, and a new sword skill. There are also stamps to collect. After the Forest Temple you acquire the Stamp Book, from a guy named Niko (yes, Niko from Wind Waker and Phantom Hourglass. He actually lives with you) and he asks you to go to all the places he went to and collect a stamp so he won't "have any regrets in the world." There are twenty stamps to collect in all, including one from every dungeon.
There are some great prizes for this quest as well, including Link's old shield from Phantom Hourglass and a swordsman's scroll with the Great Spin Attack ability. The extra content doesn't stop there. You can transport many people from the land of Hyrule on your train to numerous places, as well as bring them materials for various things. If you do something for somebody, you will receive a Force Gem, which unlocks even more tracks in addition to the ones you restore by going through the Tower of Spirits. These new tracks lead to more bunnies, shortcuts, and even additional stations. You don't need to get a stamp from these additional lands, but they hold some great secrets and you will want to explore them.
The graphics aren't much different than Phantom Hourglass, but they seem a little better. I found myself panning the camera around the train a lot just to look at the great scenery: large mountains, forest, and endless plain.
Remember the mostly bland music in Phantom Hourglass? In Spirits Tracks, The music is awesome. The main theme is one of the best, and you will be humming a lot of the tunes. The boss music is once again great, and the dungeons all have their own theme.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is much improved from Phantom Hourglass, but it doesn't stop there. This is my favorite handheld Zelda. It's just a great game. The train for the most part provides a positive experience. The Tower of Spirits has some of the best level design in the series, and the boss battles remain epic. The final boss sequences and the fights are truly awesome, and the game is full of great new characters and even provides some laughs. With few flaws, Spirit Tracks is one of the best games I've played in recent years.
- fresh new story
- new items and old items combine for great gameplay experiences
- Tower of Spirits is not an Ocean King Temple repeat, with some of the best level design in the series
- amazing new Zelda tunes, you will be humming a lot of them
- the train is a fun twist
- awesome bosses
- great extra stuff
- Some long train rides become tedious
- easy for a lot of the adventure
- lame warp system
Zelda hits the Wii in fine form, but is essentially still a Gamecube title with a little motion control.
Twilight Princess has been met with much praise, and many consider the Wii version of the game to be the best. While it still looks like a Gamecube game, the motion controls do work extremely well and ultimately provide a more immersive experience.
- Beautiful in most cases, especially places like Zora's Domain
- Motion control implemented well
- Long game, 40 hours or more
- Wonderful level design with clever puzzles
- Fun new story with great characters
- Wonderful music, perfect for Zelda
- Graphics only improved a little from Gamecube version
- Spirit tear collecting can get tedious
- Boss battles are not very challenging
If you do not live under a rock, you have most likely heard of The Legend of Zelda. If you are a fan of Nintendo and Zelda, you know that these games never fail to disappoint the masses, and always deliver a solid experience in gameplay, music, and graphics.
You start off as a teenager living in the small Ordon Village. You have a part time job herding goats, and own your own horse named Epona. You have been well trained in the art of sword fighting by the local sword master, Rusl, and you are being sent to deliver a gift to the Royal Family of Hyrule. Just as you are about to embark on your journey, however, Twilight engulfs the land, and you must save Hyrule once again.
But you won't just be going to temples to save Hyrule this time. You must also return power to the three spirits, or guardians of Hyrule, by collecting all of the spirit tears. Once you collect all of them for a particular area, it is returned to its former self and the Twilight is no more. The only problem with this, is that it may get a little tedious after a while to track down all of the tears, as there are a good number in each area. But this is only a minor flaw, and the game makes up for it by handing you nine temples to traverse.
The interesting thing about Link in this game, is that, when in the Twilight, he is turned into a wolf. As a wolf, you can do things like digging underground and using your wolf senses to finds certain things. And you will play as a wolf for a good portion of the game, and it is fun and is something new and inventive.
There are nine temples in Twilight Princess, each one filled with puzzles and monsters, providing the awesome gameplay that Zelda fans have come to know and love. You will be solving a lot of clever puzzles to find keys and whatnot to get yourself to the boss. Now, these bosses are really, big, mean, and fun to fight, but they are not all that incredibly challenging. Sure the later levels will provide some challenges, but you won't be getting a lot of game overs. The general formula is to use your new weapon found in the temple, and use it in an obvious way on the boss until it is subdued, and then it is sword spamming from there.
But this is only a minor flaw, considering the incredible fun you will have fighting these guys. And they look great.
In fact, a lot of stuff in the game looks great. Places like Zora's Domain and Lake Hylia are beautiful, and the game as a whole looks fantastic. But there are some flaws. In a lot of instances, the graphics are no better than in the Gamecube version. I wouldn't have minded if they had delayed it so they could enhance the graphics more.
The game is massive. The entire land of Hyrule is gigantic, and Hyrule field alone takes over ten minutes total to cross by horseback. Luckily, later in the game, you will earn the ability to switch between wolf form and Link form at will, and when you are in wolf form, you can warp to areas in which you have a warp portal. In most Zelda games, you get the option to warp, and they definitely needed it here.
The characters in this game, I must say, are awesome. Midna, your impatient and sometimes bossy assistant, is a huge part of the story and helps you a lot throughout the game. When in the Twilight, she will ride on your back, and when confronted by shadow creatures, you will have to use Midna's special power to eliminate them.
The motion controls work well. Point your Wiimote at the screen to aim your bow, and swing the remote back and forth to slash your sword. To do a spin attack, wiggle the nunchuck. You get a lot of precision by aiming with the Wiimote, and almost always works.
The sound department once again delivers, offering great new themes and themes inspired from old ones. The sound effects are good too, but the sounds coming from the Wiimote speaker are not great. A flaw that can't really be fixed all that well thanks to the sound quality of the remote speaker itself.
Of course the minigames and sidequests are always fun. And fishing makes a triumphant return and is a heck of a lot of fun.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is one of the best Zelda games out there, and will not fail to deliver if you are a fan of series; it's a good game to get started on if you are not an avid fan of the series.
Ocarina of Time is the definitive textbook Zelda game, setting the bar for many games to come. A perfect 10.
Now, some may consider me a Zelda fanboy, but don't be fooled. When it comes to reviewing games, I try to look at them in every aspect and try to make an educated and unbiased opinion. So I will not just rave like a fanboy about how this game is amazing; I have good reasons for it.
- The game flows, as in there are no plot holes and there are no tedious aspects of the game between levels
- Massive game, nine dungeons/temples
- Balanced difficulty, easy at first and gets appropriately hard throughout
- For its time, the graphics were great and can still pass for a mediocre Gamecube game today
- Combat and puzzles are both well implemented into the game
- Awesome Zelda style tunes
- Some bosses are easy
- Aged well but not perfectly, some may have a new favorite
When The Legend of Zelda came into the 3D world, people around the globe praised it for its perfect Zelda gameplay and wonderful graphics and sound. This game is the textbook Zelda, it has all of the elements for a wonderful game and a perfect Zelda game.
If you have played Zelda before, you will know what to expect from Ocarina of Time. You will advance through the dungeons, picking up various weapons to be used on the boss, and there are a bunch of side quests and fun things to do in between. In Ocarina of Time, there are nine dungeons, and every one of them are packed full of enemies and puzzles.
The puzzles, in fact, may be one of the most fun and interesting aspects of any Zelda game. And in Ocarina of Time they are near perfect. You may find yourself in a room for ten minutes, trying to figure out what to do. And when you do, it is a very rewarding feeling to move on after figuring it out. And you will find yourself praising the ingenuity of some of these puzzles, and you will be praising yourself even more for figuring them out.
The puzzles and combat in dungeons are balanced perfectly, and almost none of them get too hard or punishing (except maybe the Water Temple, in some players' opinions.) In the dungeons you of course need to find small keys to unlock doors, and these can be tricky to find sometimes.
The main element of the game, and what it gets its name from, the Ocarina of Time, is a musical instrument that you will use for various puzzles and other things throughout the game. As the game progresses, you will learn many different songs for your ocarina. And all of them have some kind of useful purpose, but not all that you can get are necessary to advance in the game. And there are interesting things to do with these songs, like making it rain inside a windmill, for example.
In Ocarina of Time, you will start out as a kid, and after three temples, you will gain the ability to turn into an adult. Like the light and dark worlds of A Link to the Past, child and adult Link is a fun mode of play and it has a great story to go along with it, but I won't spoil it.
One of the great things in Ocarina of Time is that the game flows. The story is well told and does not jump around and doesn't leave you guessing about what happened. You will always know the reason why you were sent to a certain temple. And there are no tedious quests that purposely lengthen the game, as we have seen in some other Zelda games.
And the length of the game is a good one. You will probably spend anywhere between 20-40 hours on the main quest, depending on the gamer, and then there are side quests and collectibles for the completionists. Like killing all 100 Gold Skultulas, scattered throughout the world.
And a massive world at that. Hyrule field itself is very large. And then there is Lake Hylia, Gerudo Desert, and Kokiri forest, just to name a few. It may take some time to travel across the whole of Hyrule field, unless you get Epona the horse, however. The transportation of choice for this Zelda game. And Epona is a lot of fun to ride on. You can shoot your bow while riding, and Epona can kill some enemies just by riding into them.
The graphics are superb for the N64. There is immense draw distance, detailed environments, and short load times for them all. These graphics can still be impressive to people today.
The music in Ocarina of Time is the same and different. While there is no overworld theme from the original, the new Hyrule field theme is just as good. The shop music and town music is joyful and lively, and all of the music just seems to capture the mood of what is happening on screen. The dungeon music is extremely creepy, as it should be. The music in LoZ games is always one of its strong points, and Ocarina of Time does not disappoint.
So why is this the best Zelda game? There is really nothing that hinders this game. Wind Waker has a sailing gimmick that gets tedious after awhile, Twilight Princess is easier than it should be in some places, and Majora's Mask is based too heavily on sidequests. Ocarina of Time has none of this. The difficulty is almost perfectly balanced, the mode of transportation is fun and engaging, and it is long without relying on sidequests.
All in all Ocarina of Time is the definitive example of what Zelda is all about, and every Zelda fan and action adventure fans in general should play this masterpiece.
The Oracle games are indeed shining achievements.
Capcom took the reigns and developed the two Legend of Zelda games for the gameboy color. Nintendo was not behind the developing this time, which might of left some people skeptical, but the games turned out to be shining examples of what Zelda is all about.
NOTE: This review talks about both games
- The story of both games is solid
- Eight dungeons
- Some great sidequests and mini games in between
- Wonderful graphics that show off the graphic capabilities of the system
- Some fun benefits come from having both games
- Some repetitive tunes can get annoying after awhile
- Sometimes gets hard to the point of frustration
- Trading quests are too long
In the Oracle of Seasons, you are whisked away by the Triforce to a far off land, only to witness the kidnapping of a powerful Oracle (and a mighty good dancer) though I won't reveal her name. Your task sounds simple enough: collect all eight Essences of Seasons and restore power to the Maku Tree and defeat evil. But of course the catch is, with every Essence, there's a puzzle-filled, monster-infested dungeon to go with it!
Yes, the story is similar to a lot of other Zelda games, but it's still interesting in my opinion. In Ages, a different Oracle is captured by a different villain, but there are still eight dungeons. In this one, however, there are eight special instruments you must collect.
In Oracle of Seasons (OoS) you obtain a special item called the rod of Seasons, which has the power to let you change the season at will. There are four seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter) but the first four dungeons have to be completed before your rod can have every seasons power at its disposal. To change the season, you must wave your rod from atop a stump, changing the season to whatever you wish.
Some truly fantastic puzzles come from using the Rod of Seasons. Say you must go a certain way, but a tree full of leaves blocks your way. With the power of winter, though, that healthy tree now becomes a withered, leafless tree, which now allows you to pass through. Other seasons have different effects. In summer, vines grow up tall ledges. In fall, holes are filled in by leaves, and mushrooms grow. And in spring, special flowers can shoot you up to higher places. It works well, and is a lot of fun.
In Oracle of Ages (OoA) it is a little different. Using the Harp of Ages, special songs open up time travel pads that allow you to travel to the past and back to the present at will. Many puzzles come out of this. For example, a seed planted in the past is a nice tall tree in the present. Or a boulder blocking your path in the present is no longer there in the past.
I personally like changing the seasons in OoS better than the time travel in OoA. OoS has an abundance of stumps, and changing seasons is easier to work with. OoA's time travel can be a bit of a hassle at times, and can get kind of confusing.
Of course new and old items come into play while in the dungeons, and all deliver fun in the true Zelda fashion.
A new item found in the Oracle games are special seeds that give you special abilities. Pegasus seeds, for example, allow you to run fast for a period of time. Ember seeds will set fire to ojects. There are five types of seeds, and all are very helpful and are used many times throughout the game.
A lot of aspects of the two games are the same. It's just that each has a different theme and a different world. In OoS, the later dungeon bosses get incredibly challenging, and even got hard to the point of utter frustration for me.
This fact is not helped by the way in which a powerful sword is obtained: a long trading quest that can be hard to figure out. If you play the game without a sword upgrade, you will have one tough time taking down bosses with a measly wooden sword.
People say that OoS focuses more on action, while OoA focuses more on puzzles. I do think that OoA's bosses are a little easier, but both games offer great puzzles and action.
There is an added bonus for owning both games. Upon completing either of the two, you get a pass code which can be entered when you start the other game, which lets you start with four hearts instead of three. Also, you get the chance for more upgrades of your items like your bomb and seed bag, and there is even an extra final boss fight! Good luck beating that, though, because it is only meant for the experienced, dedicated players.
By going back to the game you previously beat, you can get special pass codes from characters in the game that can be put in your other game for some really cool stuff. This is a really nice feature and is an added incentive to buy both games.
Graphics are great. They really show off the capabilities of the system. The music is great also, until it starts getting repetitive, and when it's MIDI, the repetitiveness can get downright annoying.
The two Oracle games really are wonderful. They have few flaws, and the rest of the game is so much fun anyway you won't worry too much about the negatives. What is really surprising is the length of both games. They have eight dungeons and a lot of stuff in between. These can still be found, whether by internet or a used/retro game store, and all Zelda fans should have them.
Zelda takes a new cel-shaded approach that makes, quite possibly, the best looking Zelda game yet. And it plays well too.
- Wonderful level design
- Vast new world with plenty to discover
- Fun boss fights
- Detailed environments
- Awesome music
- Triforce Quest is a bit too long
- Tingle is a greedy jerk
I finally got my hands on this game a couple months ago, and I played it so much, I beat it in about a week. But I am far from completing it. The Heart Pieces are scattered all over the place all across the sea.
Wait a minute, did I say sea? Why yes I did. Wind Waker introduces a ground breaking new concept to the Zelda universe; the over world is now a vast ocean, called the great sea. As the story goes, ancient Hyrule was flooded long ago, and it is now deep on the bottom of the sea. And the tops of the mountains in ancient Hyrule are now various islands scattered all around in seperate sectors which your map is divided into. And while it may take some time to sail to different places early in the game, you can eventually learn a song on your wind waker that can warp you to certain spots, taking a chunk out of sailing time.
The core gameplay will involve you and your boat (The King of Red Lions) traveling across the ocean. You will be sent to different islands where different things are found. There is one island in every sector of the map, and you can explore these islands to complete your sea chart. The dungeon gameplay is basically the same, though there are some new things. They are basically a bunch of puzzles and monsters, big keys and little keys, and a kick butt weapon used to anihilate the final boss. And they are all really fun to face, though of course the first few are pretty easy, like always. Also, the dungeons themselves can be easy at times, though there are a lot of challenging parts.
While on different islands, treasure maps can be found. Once you get the grappling hook, all you have to do is sail to the spot and use your grapple to pull up the goodies. Most of the treasure is rupees and and heart pieces, but later in the game a required quest has you pulling up the eight shards of the Triforce of Courage. The treasure charts for these have to be located and obtained, and you can't just walk up to them and take them, either. You have to complete challenges to get it. Of course I would have liked an extra dungeon and less triforce shards, but it wasn't that bad. The bad part is having to pay a fortune to get your charts translated by Tingle (an annoying fairy wannabe) so you can read them. Of course you will hopefully have an updated wallet by now by visiting the various fairy islands scattered across the sea, and you will be able to afford it, but it takes a huge chunk out of your wallet.
The graphics in this game are, simply put, superb. The draw distance is immense. There are cool particle affects everywhere, and the characters all have big wide eyes and hilarious facial expressions. Cel-shading definitely allows for more graphical effects than realistic graphics.
There is a lot to do in this game. Almost every island has something to be explored, whether it is a Battle Tower, where you beat each room/level to advance, the most large of these being the Savage Labyinth, a fifty level fight for your life, where great riches and a bounty fit for ten kings awaits you. (lol, a line from a movie). There are also minigames on some, like a game where you sail a course on your boat and try to gain more rupees than what you paid to do the game. There is even a form of the game Battle Ship on Windfall Island where you must hit all of the hidden sea monsters (battle ships) that are threatening you and your crew.
Wind Waker is a masterpiece among Zelda games, and a phenomenal game in its own right. If you haven't played this game, get to your nearest used game store and buy it right now.
Best game on the GBA!! Minish Cap delivers in every aspect
The Good: Classic Zelda formula is familiar, but changed enough to deliver a fresh new take on the series; amazing graphics, some of the best on the GBA; balance of shrinking to Minish size and staying regular size is perfect; new items never seen in Zelda before; Kinstones are a fun new concept; classic Zelda tunes
The Bad: easy; short
Ah Zelda. One of the most widely loved series in gaming, and personally my favorite. With the GBA addition of Minish Cap in 2005, the Zelda series was taken to a new level on the hand held series of games, and it was also the last, and one of the greatest, 2D Zelda games.
At the beginning of Minish Cap, Zelda comes to invite you to the Picori Festival, held every 100 years in Hyrule. Rumor has it that the door to the sacred realm opens once every hundred years, because of the Picori. But these Picori like to call themselves the Minish, and are only seen by children. At the end of the sword competition, the winner, Vatti, breaks the Picori blade and turns Zelda to stone. Yes you are saving the princess again, and you must collect the four elements and fuse them together to make the legendary Four Sword and vanquish Vatti.
The gameplay in Minish Cap has that great Zelda feel. There are six Temples in all; each one filled with monsters, keys, weapons, the usual Zelda gameplay. Of course the puzzles in the dungeons are all creative and some are challenging, and you will have a great deal of fun solving them. In each dungeon you find the amazing weapon that will help you to vanquish the boss and collect the elements of the story and move on. There are all new weapons in Minish Cap, like the Gust Jar, Cane of Pacci, and the Mole Mitts. And there are some classic items that return as well like the bombs, bow and arrow, and even Roc's Cape makes and appearance.
All of these items are a blast to use on enemies and puzzles, too, and the new items are as fun as the old ones. The Gust Jar sucks up enemies and objects, and shoots gusts of air. Just one example of the numerous fun items in MC.
The boss fights in particular are great, though of course some can be easy, but there is no doubt you will be impressed by their creativity. But some fights are hard as well. The final boss delivers a great challenge. It is three stages and uses a variety of items obtained throughout the game.
One of the main points of the game, the Minish Cap, is really a living hat called Ezlo, a Minish magician turned into a hat by none other than the evil sorcerer Vatti. He will be your assistant throughout the game, and even gives you the special power of being able to shrink down to the size of the Minish people. They are tiny creatures, and they live simplistic lives among the big people of the world. They can be found in the roofs of houses, they have their own forest home, and they can even be found living in library books! Throughout the game there will be puzzles that require you to shrink to the size of these people. Passageways that seem too small to go through are all of a sudden passable when you are Minish size. Almost all of these puzzles are wonderfully designed, and are really fun. And you will also be able to be human size a lot too, so it is not overkill.
A new concept in the Minish Cap are things called Kinstones. When you find these throughout the game, you only get one half. If you meet someone in the game with the matching half, they will be fused together and something good will happen. Things like treasure chests, golden enemies that when killed give you a bunch of rupees, and other things. Kinstones are used to advance the story as well, about ten times you will need to collect golden Kinstones to advance past one area to another. The other Kinstone fusings are completely optional, however. Feel free to play around with them, as there are many throughout your adventure.
The graphics are certainly a point to be praised. When you are human size, there are plenty of detailed environments, but the graphics will really blow you away when you are Minish size. Giant plants, grass, shoes, books, humans, apples, are all stunningly detailed and really help put in perspective how small you really are. These graphics are no doubt pushing the GBA's engine to its limits, and you will love them. Trust me.
Classic Zelda tunes return in this game. The original Zelda Main Theme will be the theme of you overworld this time around, and it is a welcomed return. There are plenty of fresh new tunes as well, and you will be humming them before you know it.
Really the only problems I can find with this game is that it is a bit too short. While there is plenty to do in between dungeons and getting to the next can sometimes be lengthy, only six dungeons can feel a bit short. The Oracle games, after all, have nine, so I think Minish Cap could have had a bit more length to its adventure.
The only other gripe I have with the game is that it is a little too easy. While the final boss is challenging and the latter levels have some challenging puzzles and enemies, too much of the game is just linear progression without much difficulty. Seasoned LoZ veterans will agree.
All in all The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap delivers a game with the Zelda feel we have come to know and love, while still feeling fresh and new. A must have for a fan of the series, and a must have for GBA owners and Action Adventure enthusiasts.
Harry Potter Book Reviews? YES!
Yes that's right folks. I have also written to Harry Potter book reviews: one for the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the other for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Please read them, and ENJOY!
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire review
If you're a living human being in contact with the world in one way or another, you have probably heard of J.K. Rowling's masterful Harry Potter series. They are fantasy books, full of magic with wizards and witches and spell casting. Rowling starting writing the first book, dirt poor, on napkins. When she finally got to a state to try to get it published, it was rejected 12 times. But look at her now. There are seven magical books in the series.
The fourth one, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was a huge step up (at least in length) from the previous three books in the series. Now, the books revolve around a boy named Harry Potter, who goes to Hogwarts School for Withcraft and Wizardry, instead of regular school like you and I. He is in his fourth year at Hogwarts. The unique thing about Harry, however, is that when he was only a year old, an evil and powerful wizard, Lord Voldemort, set out to destroy him. Voldemort easily killed Harry's parents, but strangely, when Voldemort tried to perform the killing curse on Harry, it rebounded on him and he was reduced almost to death. Potter was left with a lightning shaped scar on his forhead.
OK, enough with the background and into the nitty gritty. The main focus of this story is that the Triwizard Tournament is happening at Hogwarts this year. Having used to have been held every five years, it was discontinued because too many wizards died in it. But it is being started up again, but with some added safety rules. One of the more unique things in Goblet of Fire than in any other book, is we get to see two other schools from different parts of the world come to Hogwarts. This is interesting because up until now we've just been thinking that Hogwarts was the only school (and Harry, it seems, shares our feelings)
But before all that, we get the Quidditch World Cup. In case you don't know what Quidditch is, it's like a combination of soccer, basketball, or football, but played flying through the air on broomsticks. There's more to it then that, but I won't take up space explaining. This was a great edition to the book, and after the world cup some important and exciting story elements are revealed.
Harry is worried throughout the book that Voldemort will return (and his worries increase when Death Eaters, Voldemort's supporters, show up at the World Cup). He is also having strange dreams and his scar hurts worse than ever. All of this nicely builds up tension for what happens at the end, and is executed nicely.
One of the only problems with Goblet of Fire is it gets off to sort of a slow start and has some pacing issues, minor problems that can be found in any lengthy book. And lengthy the book is, over 700 pages.
Now let's get back to the Twiwizard Tournament, basically the main thing throughout the course of the story. The tournament is composed of three challenging, grueling tasks, designed to test wizarding skill and intelligence. Two schools have travelled to Hogwarts to participate: Bauxbatons from France, and Durmstrang from Bulgaria. The new rule made to lower the death toll is only students at age seventeen can submit their name to be selected. Students drop their name into the mysterious Goblet of Fire, which selects the three students, one from each school, that will participate.
People under seventeen (mainly Fred and George, the Weasley twins) try to get their name into the Golblet, but it seems impossible. But to Harry's surprise, after the three champions names are spit out, his own name also comes out! Harry swares he did not submit his name, but he is binded by a magical contract to compete.
Of course he suspects someone is out to get him, probably thinking he will die in one of the tasks. When we reach the climax of the book, however, we realize this is not the case, but I won't reveal what happens.
The tasks themselves are action-packed and thrilling, and Rowling has created some interesting and entertaining new characters. The school drama is obviously present, and we get some laughs from the realistic teenage drama. Part of the Tournament is the traditional Yule Ball, a dance. When Harry and Ron realize they must get dates, hilarity ensues. At one point we find that Harry would rather do the first task of the tournament again than find a date. And disaster strikes for Ron when he trys to ask one of the Bauxbatons students, who is part Veela (a type of magical woman that has striking beauty and has the effect of making all guys drool over her) to the dance.
Goblet of Fire is a great book. Rowling seemlessly weaves her magical tale and readers are instantly captured by it's charm. There are parts of the story where I would think "can we get to the next task yet?" but I still couldn't put it down. It's funny, suspenseful, and filled to the brim with action. It has a very creative story, what with Bauxbatons and Durmstrang, and a type of "Who dun it?" mentality that lasts until the end.
We also get an amazing and surprising part towards the end, that pretty much lays the background for the last three books. You probably know what happens, but I'll keep it secret just for the heck of it. This suspenseful and climactic chapter couldn't have been executed more perfectly. It's wonderful.
The fourth entry in the magical series of Harry Potter is one of the best in my opinion, offering up a very unique story and it's full of action. It's not the best book in the series, but it is insanely amazing all the same. There's just no other way to describe it.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows review
Let's get one thing straight before I begin: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is quite possibly my most favorite book of all time. At least it's definitely my favorite Potter book. Yes, people have different opinions, but if you're like me you like to take the "A little less conversation, a little more action please" approach. And Hallows is full of it at every turn.
In Hallows, gone is Harry's endless help from Dumbledore, gone is a safe place to hide. Harry now has to fend for himself, albeit with a little help from Ron and Hermione. At the beginning of the story, after a bone-chilling foreshadowing chapter with Voldemort and his cronies, Harry needs to be moved from the Dursely's because the protective enchantment that keeps Voldemort out will break. Right off the bat, the book hits you hard with an action packed and thrilling chapter.
Two well-loved characters have died before the book slows down a bit for Bill and Fleur's wedding at the Burrow. Harry also finally comes of age. A lot of things have happened already, without a slow start. J.K. Rowling, it seems, really knows her stuff.
There's a lot happening in Hallows. For one thing, at the end of Half-Blood Prince we find out Harry will not return to the now unsafe Hogwarts and will instead search for the last four of Voldemort's Horcruxes. Ron and Hermione have agreed to drop school as well and go with Harry on this daring adventure. Their thrilling adventure changes very unexpectedly. The plot changes so well and smoothly it is generally impossible to put down.
The things they do and the places they go can prove very shocking. They infiltrate the Ministry and rob Gringott's, to name a few. And every time, they escape just barely. When you are reading, don't forget to breathe.
The book is not all action, however. On the contrary, it is very well balanced throughout in my opinion. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are not always braving Death Eaters and challenges and racking up the Horcruxes. In fact, we find that Harry really doesn't have much to go on, just Dumbledore's guesses. After obtaining the locket, they are at a stand still and the tension and drama rises between the three. Ron actually walks out on Harry and Hermione for awhile. In this way, Rowling excellently reminds you that becoming the hero isn't all fun and games.
Hallows has an interesting story. Halfway through we still don't know where the heck the title of the book comes from. When the story finally got to the Deathly Hallows, I was shocked but immensely pleased to see the story take such an interesting turn. Hallows or Horcruxes becomes the general and repeatedly pondered question.
This book does have everything. Action, tension, breakups, makeups, mystery, emotional struggles, tear-jerking moments. Harry, Ron, Hermione manage many narrow and thrilling escapes from danger, and then gear up for more like nothing happened. Harry's struggles externally and internally become apparent. Did Dumbledore really not care for his family and did he hate Muggles? Harry ponders many questions, and becomes obsessed with the Deathly Hallows. Rowling provides these many mysteries for us to ponder throughout the book, all the while tying everything in closer to the dramatic climactic battle for Hogwarts.
Rowling even fits some humor into a generally dark book. There are also a lot of welcomed light-hearted moments that remind us that everything is not going to hell. Again we see an incredible amount of balance in the story, reminding us again of Rowling's perfected storytelling.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the perfect ending to a perfect series. Everything is resolved. Snape's true allegiance and story is revealed. The battle is truly awesome, and Harry shows immense and admirable bravery. The ending is so thrilling. Once again, remember to breathe.
Even the Epilogue in my opinion was good. If there was one problem with Deathly Hallows, I would have to say it's this: it ends.
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