Monday, 24 January 2011

Living with Zelda (1) - A Review of 'A Link to the Past'

Let me take you back to my childhood and show you the awesomeness of Zelda...



For those that have been living under a rock for the past couple of decades or who have never picked up a control pad, Zelda is the great RPG's that came out in the Eighties and since then, on virtually every console that Nintendo has released, there has been game from the Zelda series.

A Link to the Past was also the first time I came into contact with Zelda, and I can honestly say that this game did change the course of my life. Procrastination, going on odd quests around London, rescuing princesses, all of these activities that I partake on a regular basis is a result of playing Zelda on the Super Nintendo as a kid.

And as the first time I played Zelda, this had a massive impact on me. I knew of Zelda from the earlier NES (never had this machine) titles, but never really played them. In the end, I was still unsure whether to get this game or not, but a friend of mine at school who had the SNES told me that it was the best game he ever played. With a recommendation like that, I pestered my parents and one Christmas, it was wrapped under the Christmas tree. I love Father Christmas...

Zelda as a series is loved as it is a combination of game styles. Yes, there are combat sequences, but they are not the major part of the game. Instead, as in all of the Zelda series, solving puzzles, going on huge quests (there is no direct path to the princess) and an absorbing story is what made this game brilliant.

Looking back through Rose Tinted spectacles, it is easy to overlook the flaws of the game. Namely the technology at the time sucked. But, despite the limitations of technology, this was an amazing piece of software. The graphics at the time were mind blowing, the sound was great and the size of the game was epic.

A Link to the Past was groundbreaking in so many ways. The Zelda series evolved because of it. The concept of two worlds (in this case the Light and Dark Worlds) in effect doubling the amount of gameplay first made its appearance here. So many items that have become iconic such as the Hookshot and of course, the Master Sword.

To say I loved this game is an understatement! Instead of going out and getting high on crack like the kids of today, Zelda kept me indoors for far too long and made me appreciate the a dark room and going for hours without food, absorbed by a pointless quest. Sarcasm aside however, this was so much fun to play! When I was a kid I loved it. However, as an adult, while I do look back with fondness, I have had no desire to replay this game. Maybe it was the length of the game (it is just far too long) or maybe it is because I want to get into the world of 3-D Zelda...but for some reason, I have not had an urge to replay this brilliant piece of my childhood.

Still, I look back on Link to the Past as one of the finest games ever, and the one game that got me sucked into a world where fighting bad guys with a bottle of bugs was not fantasy, but reality!

2 comments:

Asad said...

Great days...for me it was Sensible Soccer which changed my universe, but the same principle is at work...

el director! said...

@asad - but did sensible soccer have a great advert?