Friday, December 31, 2010

Single Player - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

  On April 13, 1992 one of the greatest games ever to be released on the SNES, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, went on sale for the first time.  Being a Zelda game most everyone knew what to expect of the series seeing as this was the third installment.  However, no one realized they were about to play a game that would set the standard for action rpg style games for years to come.

  Almost 20 years later this game is still a favorite of gamers in general, not just fans of the Zelda series.  The Gameboy Advance saw a remake in late 2002 and the Wii's Virtual Console was quick to get this game in it's roster as early as January of 2007, two months after the Wii's North American release.  Many popular gaming sites an magazines list A Link to the Past as one of the greatest games of all time, and for five years it reigned at #1 in Nintendo Powers top games list, even though the time of the Nintendo 64.

  So with that a review of the game is out of the question.  It's just simply a masterpiece.  It's easy to play yet deep enough to keep you coming for more.  Every screen has something to do so you are never bored.  The puzzles are challenging without being frustrating.  The dungeons are epic and the bosses at the end a good culmination of what you learned along the way.  The music is awesome even for the 16 bit era and many of the tracks would be used again for future Zelda games.  The story is good too, though if you are familiar with Zelda then you know that the story has just never made sense.

  There comes a time in a series, be it a movie, book, or game series, when everything comes together to create an instant classic and an experience that one want's to relive over and over.  The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was that moment for the Zelda series.  All other Zelda games up to this point have referenced back to this one in one way or another, but none of them really were as flawless in their execution.

  It's not a coincidence that I'm covering this game late in the year.  I used to be a regular tradition for me to play though the game around Christmas time.  With school out for vacation, I had all day to immerse myself into the world of Hyrule and search every nook and cranny for the secrets and treasures.  As I got better I discovered interesting glitches and mastered the minimalist completion of the game (no extra hearts, no bottles, no quest essential items, etc.).  In fact, this is the only game I've ever played to death.  My original SNES cartridge burned out from the use it got.

  I'm not the only one who loved this game either.  That's why music from the game appears in Super Smash Bros.: Brawl and Link made a cameo appearance in so many other games.  This is also why someone remade Hyrule from A Link to the Past in Minecraft.  Everyone loves this game.

  I can't recommend this game enough.  If you only play one Zelda game ever, then this should be the one you play.  I don't care if you've never even played a video game before.  A Link to the Past is where you should start.  This is truly one of very few games that just gets better with age.