Review by LoveOfTheGame
A predcessor to Zelda?
I first played this game last week (August 2005), and fell in love with it from the beginning moments. As an avid gamer with tremendous experience in the Action Adventure genre, I felt I at least owed it to myself to try one of the classic NES Adventure titles. Some NES games have lost their allure with the introduction of more developed storylines, and unbelievable graphics capabilities of the newest systems, but this game is timeless and can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in Adventure games.
This game does have similiar gameplay to some other classic NES games, such as Zelda and Willow, but it is far from a clone. The gameplay is far greater, and the storyline is much more developed. This game reminds me more of "Zelda: A Link to the Past" (SNES) than any other game. That said, I guess I consider this game as more of a predecessor to Zelda than as a Zelda
clone. Did I just insult Zelda?!? As a matter of fact I didn't, I love all of the Zelda games, and the best of them was "A Link to the Past." I am glad that there was a game as awesome as this one to inspire the creators of Zelda. Thank you SNK (the company that produced the game) and Crystalis for improving a genre and elevating the standards of Adventure gaming to a level that no one thought possible on an 8-bit gaming system.
On with the portion of the review that someone might actually read:
Graphics: What do you say about the graphics of a Nintendo Game? To be honest, I thought they were pretty good. The landscapes were well developed. The characters, were what you would expect on the NES. The colors were rich and vibrant, although, I'm not sure what the developers were thinking when they chose pink as the color for the main character. The sequences at the end of the game, were about as good as you will ever see on an NES game. Now you have to buy or borrow it and beat it just to see if I'm full of it, or it really looks that good. 9/10 (No 10 because I don't like the color pink)
Sound: The sounds are ....Nintendoish. They aren't great. They aren't even good, but I find all games from the NES to sound annoying. One plus about the sounds of this game, is that the sounds aren't as annoying as many other NES games, and they actually set mood of the levels as effectively as can possibly be done. The sound effects are the best aspects of sound that this game has to offer. They're not so overdone, like many other NES titles. They seemed to be toned down to less annoying and distracting level. Example: you don't hear an excessively loud sound every time you swing your sword or jump. 8/10
Controls: The controls of the game are very good. They are most of effective because fo the quick fluid movements throughout the game. They are mildly confusing at some points, because some items are either controlled by A or B, and you sometimes don't know which until you press one of the buttons. But, considering that is only 2 buttons, the term "mildly confusing" may be a stretch. As stated earlier, this game is more fluid than one may expect with a regular NES game. The beauty of is it is that the controls are responsive to it, and you never feel at the complete will of the game. 9/10
Gameplay: The bread and butter of any Adventure/RPG game is it's gameplay. Where any sacrifices may be made with graphics, they must be made up for in the the gameplay. This game is no exception to that rule, in fact it sets a prime example of how good gameplay can really be. I had more fun playing this game than I have with any other game in awhile...probably since I finished (Metroid Prime: Echoes). As far as any Nintendo game is concerned, this is as good as it gets. I was addicted to the game for a few days. That's right, it took more than a day for me to beat it. Do yourself a favor and stay away from any walkthroughs of cheat pages. Pay the game it's due respect and play it the way it is supposed to be played. If you don't want to think about it, go play one of the countless shooting or fighting games on the NES. Anythings less than a perfect score in gameplay would be disrespectful to this gem of a game. 10/10
Replayability: It is hard to go back to a game like this. The secrets can only unlocked, and discoveries can only be made once. It's just too easy every next time around. The challenge is only there once, and then it is gone. Not to say that this game isn't replayable. I will eventually play it again, but for a different challenge. I will try to see how fast I can do it, or see if I can do it without dying. I may just go back to it because the best games just beg to be played again. It is as replayable as any Adventure or RPG game can possibly get. 9/10
Overall: The game is awesome! It's best NES game that I have ever played (narrowly eclipsing The Legend of Zelda). Anyone that hasn't played this game owes it to themselves to at least give it a try. The game does not receive a perfect score only because no game is perfect, and I have yet to play a game that deserves a perfect 10. 9/10
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