The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - GBA

Also known as: The Legend of Zelda 3: A Link to the Past', 'The Legend of Zelda: Nodensetsu

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Also for: Wii, SNES
Viewed: 2D Top-down, Multi-way scrolling Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Capcom Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB)
Released: 28 Mar 2003 (GB)
Ratings: 3+
Connectivity: Link Cable


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If you’re lucky , very lucky, you will never have owned a SNES. And having never owned a SNES, you’ll have never played The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, renowned as being one of the greatest videogame experiences of all time.

Crafted personally by Shigeru Miyamoto, Link to the Past is the literature of game design, it’s as simple as that. This game, when first released for the Super Famicom more than a decade ago, changed the expectations of gamers and raised the required standards expected from game developers. Though not unique in its approach to gameplay, Link to the Past is unique in its splendour and its perfect delivery of concept.

Make no mistake, in a world when you are constantly told that this racer, and that FPS, is must-have, Zelda really, really is must-have, must-play, must-finish.

So why?

The plot, involving twin worlds, maidens and megalomania, isn’t really that important in Zelda, and merely serves as an excuse to incorporate some of the best linear gameplay the world has ever seen. An item-driven game, the player must find an item, gain new powers and access previously unreachable climes.

This is truly a massive game, arguably the biggest, in terms of game-space, to grace the Game Boy Advance to date. Set in Hyrule, a gate to the dark world is about to be permanently opened, a bad thing. Unless you’re an albino. Then it might be quite agreeable. Apart from the unspeakable monsters…

So off you go, as Link, to delve into the deepest dungeons, in order to gather the three pendants, in order to unlock the dark world, in order to free the maidens, in order to get to Princess Zelda, in order to thwart the evil Ganon, from doing whatever he planned to do with her, which would have opened the dark world and upset everyone other than non-monster-fearing albinos.

Zelda is massive and has no bugs and no glitches. The learning curve is still the most subtle and rewarding ever seen in any videogame. You will walk past something a thousand times, before noticing the crack in the wall that you blow up with a bomb. It’s simply amazing.

The dungeons are expansive puzzle driven affairs, rewarding lateral thinking, innovation and observation in equal measures. You are forced to think in three dimensions, sometimes four, all of which leaves the players mind feeling well exercised and somewhat expanded.

This is the sort of game that you simply have to buy. Otherwise, what did you buy your GBA for?