Something went wrong. Try again later


This user has not updated recently.

299 0 29 3
Forum Posts Wiki Points Following Followers

Link Between Worlds ramble. We done with this marathon!

Feel like I raced through this one. Not that's a bad thing or anything. The "too long, didn't read"; This is a solid Zelda games that tried to do things a little differently and is kinda uneven in the way they handled certain parts. Still enjoyed myself quite a bit.

Beginning of the game has Link waking up from bed as someone comes in telling him he's late and has to get moving. Link is shown to be an apprentice blacksmith and the blacksmith's son was the one that came to wake Link up. Link goes to to his mentor and sees that the captain of the Royal is there to pick up a shield. He then leaves, forgetting his sword behind. Link is then told to go and return the Captain's sword to him. Link goes to Hyrule castle and see the knights are busy cleaning up graffiti off the stone walls. The knight guarding the entrance says the captain hasn't returned and probably went to a place called Sanctuary. Link goes to Sanctuary and meets Seres, a nun and daughter of the Priest of Sanctuary and Dampe the gravekeeper. Seres says the captain is inside and goes to get the captain. Few moments later, screaming is heard and the door is locked. Link sneaks into Sanctuary through a hidden entrance in a gravestone and meets the villain of the game, Yuga. Yuga has turned the captain into a painting on the wall and Seres into a portrait. Link tries to fight and is knocked out. Link then goes to the castle to warn Zelda of the threat and is sent off to an old man to help try to find 3 pendants, once of which is given to him by Zelda right then and there. And the story pretty much begins there.

It's a light story, like a lot of the hand-held Zeldas tend to be. And this particular game takes a lot from Link to the Past since it's a direct spiritual sequel to the game. A lot of the pathways and secrets are in the same exact areas and even the whole "going to an alternate version of Hyrule" is recreated here. Link doesn't spend to much time with any of the characters so a lot of them feel one note and it works alright for what the game is trying to do but it's a bit hard to get too attached to anyone. There are some moments that could make you feel bad for the character's struggles. For example, you meet a witch named Irene who will act as your teleport ability and she mentions multiple times she's trying to take care of her grandmother who is also a witch that will sell you potions. At some point in the game, Irene will stop meeting you but her broom will continue to come and whisk Link away. It wasn't until later I found out she was a Sage and was captured. After saving her, one of the first things she worries about is her grandmother and that got to me a bit. It was a nice touch and was a good reason to try to save Hyrule so Irene can go back to her grandmother. But, it isn't a massive motivation and I can see it not affecting other players like it did for me. Probably the biggest disappointment was the alternate world called Lorule. There wasn't really anything to get attached to in that land since it was already a disaster from the conflict that spilled over into Hyrule. Any person you meet will probably be wearing a mask and be very standoffish to Link. Lorule feels like a place that just doesn't care about anything other than itself and it shows. So it was difficult to feel motivated to help the people of Lorule and that's a bit of a shame. I kept wishing there was a sidequest that had Link maybe restore some sliver of hope or good nature in the population. You do get one with Lorule's blacksmith and it was okay to see that the blacksmith got motivated to help and create again. It even showed on the blacksmith's wife and apprentice, as their dialog also reflected a slight change in demeanor. But this is the one exception for Lorule.

The first main gimmick you find is that Link will gain the ability to merge into walls, becoming a moving painting. As long as he has magic and isn't obstructed, he can walk forward and backwards as far as he likes. This allows Link to cross to areas he couldn't because there's no floor, or it's blocked off by bars or a wall with a crack in it and it's a clever mechanic used well to help solve puzzles. The ability can also help you avoid damage and enemy attacks, so you sometimes want to keep a wall nearby at all times to stay safe. The other mechanic is the item rental. Unlike it every other Zelda game, many of Link's core items can be rented from a person in a mask named Ravio (he moves into Link's house after a bit.) The fee is usually 80 rupees and you can keep the items for as long as you want and you can rent as many of the items as you can afford. However, once you die, Ravio's pet creature thing will come to Link and take the rented items, forcing Link to rent the items again. Eventually, you will get the chance to buy and keep the items for a way greater price, making rupees a bit more important in this game. The idea is interesting but the rules regarding the rentals are a bit too loose. it could be interesting to force a player to use different items because "I don't have enough to rent all of them at once" but rupees are pretty easy to find with multiple mini-games and multiple 100 rupee chests in each temple/dungeon. Also, enemy rupee drops are plentiful as well and there are multiple ways to gain a lot of rupees through mini games and treasure caves. I died a few times and easily rented back all the items so it never really felt like I had to make a hard choice. Since the possibility exists that the player might not have certain items, the world overall is pretty easy to navigate. So, the idea is interesting but never really used to it's fullest potential. Perhaps on Hero Mode?

Game looks really nice. The style they used for the 3D environments and characters work really well. I image it would look much better on a 3DS(edit for the future goes here), but it didn't look too bad with how I played it. Every character feels distinct enough for you to remember who they are or where you find them. But still it's a 3DS game so this isn't HD by any stretch of the imagination.

Game feels very responsive. I kept being amazing with how quickly Link could move with his idle walk. I found myself rarely using the Pegasus Boots (tho they are still nice to have). Link's sword also feels like it has a bit more range on it than in Link to the Past. Items felt fun to use, especially after you upgrade them. Still, I found myself using only a few items unless forced otherwise. Upgrade the Master Sword will be the biggest benefit to the player and I'd recommend doing it as soon as possible. Also, through upgrading the items, you will encounter Mother Miaimai. Find her babies as soon as possible to get the Great Spin Slash. GAME CHANGER. Being able to hit nearly everything on screen with the Spin Slash and a fully upgraded Master Sword feels so satisfying. My favorite upgrade in the game. Also, there are a ton of side ways

The music is very strong. Everything has an orchestra, making every piece grand. Also, music will change for familar areas, depending on how you've progressed in the story and it's very welcomed to mix things up. The final dungeon music does the smart thing of adding more to the track as you progress further into the requirements to advance. Reminded me of the tower in Spirit Tracks and I loved it then. I want to own this soundtrack.

There is a lot to love in this game. Moving through Hyrule and Lorule never felt like a drag. Dungeons are clever with how to solve them and advance. Enemies can prove to be challenging if caught in a group of them, music works so well, items are good, I have little to really hate on this game outside of how easy it is and how unattached you feel to the characters outside of a select few. I wish the rental system was used a bit better, since I never really felt like I was making any hard choices. Overall, the game is good to really good. I want to collect everything in it on Hero Mode at some point.

Well, I guess I've played most of the Zelda's. Didn't really feel like I should play Four Sword, Four Swords Adventure or Tri-Force heroes without friends there to help out to get the full experience out of those games. So, yeah. Finally played all of the big Zelda games. I can finally go back into Breath of the Wild and really understand what it took to get to this point in the franchise's history. I really enjoy this franchise and this feeling only got reinforced with each entry. I'll probably have a write up later for my impressions of Breath of the Wild and the franchise as a whole later. Might take a break tho. New games out. Holiday rush, here we go!

Start the Conversation

Head in the clouds and my arm is killing me. Skyward Sword ramble is over the rainbow!

So, took me a while cause life got in the way, but I finally beat Skyward Sword. Oh boy what a game. As usual, tl;dr, this game is tied for my favorite Zelda game with Breath of the Wild and Wind Waker. It had a lot of issues, so I can understand if others don't see it that way. Away we go.

Once again, don't know where to start with this one. Game starts with Link waking up in his room. You find out it's a special day where the cadets of the academy participate in an event to be chosen for Knighthood. Link is entering this year and has to go get ready. Before that he meets up with Zelda by a large statue of the goddess Hylia and you find out they're childhood friends and all live on a floating island in the sky. Zelda's father appears (he's in charge of the academy) and Zelda forces Link to practice once more for the event. She pushes him off a cliff and he calls for his loftwing (a giant bird that nearly everyone has on this island) but it doesn't come for him. Zelda jumps into the sky and calls her loftwing, saving Link. You then have to find you loftwing, deal with bullies, and take part in the event. You win and have to go through the ritual as the winner. Link and Zelda then take a flight in the sky and a tornado appears suddenly, separating Link and Zelda. Link explains what happened to Zelda's father and rests for the night. Then, at night, he sees a weird purple and blue woman and decides to investigate, going all the way back the goddess statue and finding a secret entrance. He finds the Goddess Sword and his adventure beings.

Right away, you feel how different this game is trying to be from other Zelda games. Link has a stamina meter that can deplete when you sprint or climb or use spin attacks. Motion controls are core to attacking and item usage, you fly to different areas of the map, your shields can break, you upgrade your items yourself instead of playing a minigame or side quest for them, there's upgrade crafting, and items to collect for said crafting. You see a lot of this stuff carry over into future Zelda games (Breath of the Wild even shares a similar look in a lot of ways). You travel by way of your loftwing. The world has been covered in thick clouds for thousands of years, separating the people of Skyloft from the earth below. When Link gets his sword, an area in the clouds opens up and a green beam of light appears. Link can fly over to it and skydive down (he has a sail cloth to use so her doesn't, you know, die) and from there, you open up two more areas in the clouds. First, the forest area where you meet an old woman that knows all about the destiny you have to go through to meet with Zelda again, a volcano area, and a desert. You go to each area, catching Zelda as she's escaping, meet the main bad guy Ghirahim (lacking of the Demon Lord, Demise, whom Hylia sealed away long ago, causing Skyloft to float in the sky), and learn of Demise and Hylia and of Link's task of making Fi/the Skyward Sword stronger.

Said I've said before, this game isn't like other Zelda games. Movement is similar, you use the nunchuck joystick to move Link around, hold A to sprint of climb faster. When you use the sword is how things really diverge. Skyward Sword came out on the Wii, so to use your attacks, you gotta swipe or stab with your Wiimote. You get a gust jar (it blows magic air!), slingshot (mostly used for hitting switches, can stun enemies or kill bats), a hook beetle (a flying mechanical drone that can pick up objects or hit switches), bomb, bow, bug net, clawshot (double clawshot from Twilight Princess. SUPER COOL!) digging mits, and a whip. All of these items require use of the Wiimote to aim or swipe or motion and they all work reasonably well once you get used to them. Certain enemies can block in certain directions so you have to use your sword and attack in the direction they're not blocking. You can press and hold the a button to charge up a arrow attack OR use the nunchuck to pull back an arrow and let it fly. The bird and the beetle control similarly in that you need to hold your wiimote flat in the air and tilt forward to fly down or backwards to fly down. Tilt the wiimote left and right to fly left and right. All of these motions feel pretty good and how you'd expect it work if you were to do it yourself in the real world. You get an adventurer's pouch (accessed by holding the minus button on the wiimote then highlighting with motion on the item you want to use. Pressing the minus button quickly with pull out the last item you highlighted) and this is how you carry bottles, shields, seed pouches, bomb bags, quivers, and medals. Link will also carry crafting materials divided into two categories: treasure and bugs. These items are used to upgrade shields, pouches, quivers, certain inventory items, or sold for rupees with certain NPCs (usually at night). Finally, you get the Goddess's Harp. You press and hold A and move the Wiimote back and forth similarly to how you would strum an actual harp. Once again, it mostly works. I did have major issues during important song moments where the motion would become erratic and move up and down the harp at random. The final harp moment was so erratic I had to swap to a different Wiimote and sensor bar just to complete it. After that it worked better than before.

Each area on the surface world (woods, desert, volcano) has two dungeons associated with it. At the beginning you MUST go to the forest, then the volcano, then to the desert. After that, you are allowed to go to the next dungeons in any order you choose (BUT DON'T GO TO THE DESERT ONE FIRST OR YOU MIGHT LOCK YOUR GAME PROGRESS BECAUSE OF A BUG!). You then return to each of these areas later on, but with a major twist that tries to make each area refreshing. I like the twists to each area (taking away your items, or flooding an area with water) but the reasons in story for why things are different feel very hamstrung and weak. The characters that caused the changes kinda just have the reason that they did it "cause they could" then just undo what they did like nothing happened. Each dungeon was pretty memorable and fun to explore with the high point for me being the Ancient Cistern for having a dual theme that worked really well together. The final dungeon did a great job not wearing out it's mechanics, keeping it short but also challenging enough to be rewarding when you figure it out. Each dungeon looks fantastic with it's colors and use of it's themes. I did have some moments where I would spin my wheels trying to figure something out only to discover I simply overlooked something or made it more complicated in my head than it actually was, but for the most part the pace kept me moving. LOVED the little cutscenes before entering each dungeon, with Link staring into the abyss, getting himself mentally prepared for the next trial ahead. The final cutscene before the final dungeon with Link looking then running headfirst into the dungeon filled me up with vigor. Very effective.

You really feel Nintendo going all in on this soundtrack. Each track has been orchestrated and it's better for it. Each swell of the horns as you triumph over a new challenge, each time you fly with your loftwing through the skies, exploring dungeons. visiting new sky islands, everything feels perfect in a way. This is Nintendo's music team at it's best and few others can reach this level of... I don't even know. It's just too good.

This is probably the strongest attachment I've had with the main cast in any of these games. Zelda starts the game off as Link's childhood friend and if you watched enough anime, you can feel how they tried to portray that relationship and it works. There are bullies that pick on Link and it does a good job making you dislike them. The lead bully, Groose, has the most character growth in the game, coming to terms with the things he cannot do and learning to leave things to others. He even comes in to help you out at major moments in the game and it's well earned when he becomes a hero in his own right. Personally though his growth was "by the numbers" but it works well in the story. As I've stated before, there are cutscene before entering a new dungeon that has Link mentally prepare himself for what's to come. And each one is slightly unique to the others, showing a slow progress in Link's confidence and determination. He still is a blank slate in lot of regard, however. You do, however, feel his desire to find Zelda and help her in her quest. That motivation is strong and consistent throughout the game. Zelda is probably the best we see her (for the limited time we see her) and makes me wish there was a companion game where we see her coming to grips with who she is and has to become and the trials she has to go through to make it to the end. We do see some of what she goes through in the ending credits, but that is mostly used to reinforce her relationship with the servant of the goddess, Impa. The big revelation with Zelda in the last thirds and the final moments of the game are the most emotional hits I've recieved on this marathon and made this whole experience for the last year worth it. The characters are that good. Mostly. Where things kinda fall apart is the extended cast. They are mostly quirky in some way and that's fun, but whenever you go to help, it's mostly trying to find a lost items, so it's hard to really feel attached to anyone outside of the main cast. And, for the most part, they don't even know what's going on. Fi, the mysterious blue and purple women you chase after at night, is the spirit that resides in the Goddess Sword, created by the goddess Hylia and acts are your assistant/side kick/guide for the game. She will comment on what to do and where to go, acting mostly robotic and impersonal, taking about percentage chances or things being where they are or likelihood of something being what it is. And mostly alright to hear and comical at times, but can easily be annoying with how much the game tries to feed your information through dialog. And moments where she sings feels uncanny valley to me. I can understand why people were turned off by her but I didn't mind it as much. She also helps the player by giving them an ability to "dowse" for objects or people, helping find the direction to go and that was a welcome addition with her character that I liked. Ghirahim if the main villain and he acts like a typical flamboyant villain, speaking in a crazed state when perturbed, waggling his tongue and licking his sword, clearly indicating that he likes torture. Once again, it's effective but not really anything that hasn't been seen before.

The final moments of the game are the strongest ending moments I've seen in this franchise so far. You see how the Master Sword was forged, why Zelda and Link keep reappearing, why certain areas are the way they are in the future games, and pulls it off so well. Skyward Sword, being the first game in the timeline, has MAJOR implications for the rest of the series and Nintendo did a GREAT JOB driving in the major implications for the series. And the story just drives your forward. You want to see all this stuff. When I first played the game at launch, I was amazed at how easily I was invested in everything I was seeing. It was so effective that the motion controls got in the way of my enjoyment of it all, turning me off from playing it until years later. 2019 rolls around and I've completely changed my opinion on the motion and the game, kicking myself for not being patient and experience it all when it first came out. The final boss is the BEST way to end the game. The final third of the story had me tearing up and blowing me away. If it weren't the weak reasoning for why the areas got changed, I would say it's perfect. But the game still has it's issues with motion and being too hand-holdy. Graphics don't fair too well either on an HD display, making me wish for a remaster on the Switch. In the face of these issues, I found myself enoying myself too much to really care. This, Link's Awakening, and Minish Cap have been the stand-out surprises of this Zelda marathon, making this WHOLE thing worth it for me. Skyward Sword is tied for my favorite Zelda now and I couldn't be happier. I will say, however, I probably will not revisit this game in the near or long-term future. My arm needs the rest, haha.

Two games left. Link Between Worlds is next and revisiting Breath of the Wild is on the horizon. Hope the emulator of Between Worlds works well, otherwise I'm recording a 3DS screen.

Start the Conversation

Traveled on the Spirit Tracks. Rambling Ensues.

Oh boy. Another Zelda game down. TL;DR: I actually could not finish it and had to watch the ending on a YouTube video because the microphone blowing sucked HARD. But there was some good ideas and if you liked Phantom Hourglass, I can see you liking this one too. If not, AVOID!

I don't even know where to begin. It's a 100 years later after Phantom Hourglass. There's a new Hyrule. Everything is connected with special train tracks called the Spirit Tracks that were here before Wind Waker Link and Tetra discovered and founded the new Hyrule. You are another Link, but this time you are a train engineer, going to Hyrule Castle to graduating and become a full fledged train conductor. You arrive and see Zelda, who gives you a letter. You read the letter, sneak into her room at her request, and board a train to visit the Tower of Spirits. On the way, the tower breaks apart and pieces lift into the sky. You train is attacked and the Spirit Tracks disappear. Zelda's spirit is separated from her body and Zelda becomes a ghost. From that point on, you are meant to restore the Spirit Tracks, fix the tower, try to stop the resurrection of Malladus, and get Zelda back into her body before they use it to take over the world.

So, from the get go, you shown that the way to travel around is only through train. You control it's speed (forward and faster forward), when to break and when to reverse. When you come to a junction in the tracks, you can also switch tracks. Finally, you have a train horn and it's fun to pull on the cord and let it go. You use it at the beginning of the game, before you get the ability to blow stuff up, to ward away enemies from the tracks or from attacking you. I like the idea of the train in concept. Reminded me of an old MS-Dos game I used to play (and barely understood cause I was a child) and it mostly works well here. But there are some issues. Rate of fire of your cannon is pretty low, so if you get swarmed with enemies, there's a good chance you could take a hit. Also, whenever you take a curve and you try to hit something, for some reason the blast will move to the side of where you pressed. Also, moving the camera involves pressing the touchpad and it's pretty slow so if an enemy or object is behind the camera, it could take a while to turn it to react to whatever's happening. Died multiple times to issues related to the camera and it's kinda rough. BUT, the idea of transporting people and goods around to help out is pretty novel for Zelda. I liked what they were going for in that regard but it's still very awkward.

Outside of the train, it plays pretty much like Phantom Hourglass. Use the stylus to move Link. Instead of tapping enemies to attack them, the game wants to you use more swipe motions than before. If you double tap a spot, you'll roll in that direction. This is a half good and half bad change. It means it more consistent to roll now but if you're surrounded by enemies and are mashing the screen, you'll roll instead of attack. Sometimes you can accidentally roll off cliffs. You get bow and arrow, sword, boomerang (works just like in Phantom), bombs but a few items are new. You have this leaf blower object that makes you blow into the microphone to send out a gust of wind to stun enemies or move objects around. New item called the Sand Wand lets you solidify sand, raising them up in place for you (or others) to stand on. Whip works very similarly to the grapple hook. It can be used to stun or damage enemies, grab and throw objects, or swing from wooden grapple points but this time you can swing from grapple point to grapple point.

The twist this time around is, whenever you go into the Tower of Spirit and collect enough Spirit Tears on a given section, you are able to hit Phantoms in the back, allowing Zelda to take over the magical armor and is able to assist you in the Tower. This is actually pretty cool way to has an assist and give Zelda something to do. There are four types of Phantoms: regular, (sword and shield and can use the shield to carry Link and objects around), a regular Phantom but with a fire sword (used to light torches and make dark areas lighter around Zelda), a teleporting Phantom (can only teleport to phantom eyes), and a phantom that can become a massive ball that can damage weakened rock and enemies. To control Zelda, you can press an icon at her feet or call her to you and she'll follow. After you press the icon, you can create a path for her to follow or direct her to interact with other phantoms or objects. This is the first Zelda game where you really feel like you're getting help from your partner character and it's VERY WELCOME. Unfortunately, this is ONLY in the Tower of Spirits and does not happen in any other dungeon in the game. And that's a damn shame.

Dungeons are very much like Phantom Hourglass and are very novel and puzzle based. And this is probably the strongest point of the DS Zelda's. The puzzles and item usage are fantastic and makes me wish other Zeldas were like it in this regard. Nintendo really, REALLY knows how to use the DS right.

Music is the best part of this game. The fun tune as your riding in the train, the way the music starts of with one instrument then fills in as your ascend the Tower of Spirits, dungeons music,, boss music. All of it is fantastic and it was always, ALWAYS a treat listening to it. The use of the flute in the music is very welcome and nice change from just reusing music from wind waker like in Phantom Hourglass. Highly recommend the game just for the music.

Characters are all pretty wacky and fun, very similar to Wind Waker. Not much to say in this regard other than they're pretty good and fun to be around but don't have much going on. Having Zelda help out is really cool and it's nice to have a companion DO SOMETHING.

This is the part where I gripe about another new item. The Spirit Flute was originally Zelda's and is used to decent effect in the game, similar to the Ocarina of Time or Wind Waker... but there are problems that made me stop playing the game and just watch the ending on YouTube. To play the flute, you need to move it left and right on the touchpad and then blow on your microphone to make a note. In the world, you get five songs to play: Song of Awakening (used to wake up Gossip Stones), Song of healing (used to call a fairy to heal Link once per dungeon), Song of Discovery (used to find hidden treasure in the ground, replacing the shovel), Song of Light (used to find diamond shaped objects that shine light), and the Song of Birds (calls birds to link so he can grapple and fly to different parts of the map slowly). These songs worked regularly for me and I didn't have much of an issue here. BUT, there are other songs that need to be played in order to advance the story. These are the duet Lokomo songs and they CANNOT BE SKIPPED. These songs are used to open up more parts of the map pertaining to the dungeons you need to go to. Also, there is one last song during the final boss that you must play with Zelda. Every time these sequences happen, blowing on the mic became VERY inconsistent and it felt like a dice roll on whether or not I could complete it. And if I did, I didn't quite get how I did it. Still got through ALL of the songs until the end. The last song with Zelda made me tape a straw onto my Wii U gamepad's mic to consistently register blowing on it. And even when I played the song "right", I failed out of it and had no idea what to improve. There is just no indicator to show that you played notes right and the character teaching you the song just aren't that helpful either. After 20 tries or more, I gave up and resorted to watching the ending on a YouTube video. and it's DAMN SHAME cause the way the game leads up to the ending is very tense and gratifying to see. Too bad I didn't get to play the end.

Another issue I had with the final boss is the combat. You need to use your sword to swipe at rocks to protect Zelda as she's charging her energy. As stated before, this game wants you to swipe and slash instead of tapping to attack.... the problem, like with the bombs on the train, if link can only attack so quick. You do have a spin attack, but can only be used 3 times quickly before you get dizzy and are unable to do anything for a short time. And during these attacks on Zelda, if she gets hit ONCE, you have to restart the charging from the beginning. Precision and combat are the WEAKEST point of these DS games and to have the final boss be dependent on these two points is... very frustrating.

Overall, if you like Phantom Hourglass, you would probably like Spirit Tracks more and also less. The changes to transportation are very interesting and I would like Nintendo to maybe try their hand at something like this again in the future. But... there were many problems and I don't quite know what the issues stem from. Could it be the way the game was made or could it be the emulation on the eShop of Wii U or could it be a syncing issue with the Wii U gamepad? It's really hard to say so if you want to play Spirit Tracks, maybe try it in an emulator or on original hardward. The game is mostly alright, but the issues are glaring and unavoidable for me. Damn, damn shame.

Skyward Sword and motion controls are next. yay

Start the Conversation

Phantom Hourglass done! Rambling impression Now!

Just beat Phantom Hourglass. As usual, tl;dr is that it's a good game. Very charming and a good template for how to use touch screens. Enjoyed myself.

I've played Phantom before, when it first came out on the DS. I remember, at the time, feeling like people really shit on the game and it didn't deserve the hatred it got. This time I have to agree with myself and say it REALLY DIDN'T DESERVE IT. It's not fantastic, however. There are still problems that I don't think any touch screen game now really addresses. But, thankfully, the adventure feels short.

The game looks bad. In comparison with Wind Waker, the visuals do feel like a downgrade. I don't really remember any DS games looking good at the time, however. The device just doesn't have that kind of power in it. The world is colorful, however and things are very distinct. And, it looks better than an N64 game... but not by much.

Gameplay is pretty simple and plays like 2D Zeldas but with touch controls as the primary means to do everything. Tap an enemy to attack it or swipe at it. Press the screen in the direction you want Link to go. It feels very natural to control Link with the stylus. And the items are pretty great to use on the DS (I played this game on the Wii U. You can buy it on the Wii U eShop). Boomerang was a treat to use, since you select it then draw the path you want it to go. Bombchus are the same way and it's really nice to have the boomerang just fly circle in front of you to stun an enemy while you run back to get some space. Bow is alright. Select it, press the screen at what you want to hit and let go. Grapplehook and hammer are the most interesting. Grapplehook can be used to pull light items towards Link or pull Link to heavy objects. You can also make a tightrope by linking two objects with the grapplehook. You can then walk across it or walk against it to help you jump across gaps like a slingshot or (and I really liked this twist at the time) use it to bounce arrows at different angles. Hammer is pretty cool as well, allowing you to hit enemies or switches at a distance without having to move Link. You also get bombs, a shovel, shield, and sword. Everything is controlled by the touchscreen. You can quickly equip one item (that you have selected from the Item menu) with the shoulder buttons on the DS. Also, face buttons are a good quick way to select the menu or see what you've collected. You can also use maps to draw notes so you don't have to remember everything all at once. It's very nice to use for puzzles about pulling switches in a certain order or finding out who is the liar out of a group of characters.

The world of Phantom, like Wind Waker (seeing as this is a direct sequel) is covered in ocean. So, like Wind Waker, you have to use a ship to get anywhere. This time, however, you use the screen to draw the path you want to take and the ship is essentially on rails after that, allowing you to focus on bombing enemies or objects in your way. There is a way to teleport to other "quadrants" (the world map is broken into four quadrants), but the teleport spot seems like it's a bit away from where other islands are. Sailing doesn't take much time, however, unless you're trying to move to an island in another quadrant. You can also be boarded by certain enemy ships. One of the reoccurring events is a pirate named Jolene chasing you down. You quickly learn how to beat her, but it become a chore at a point. Luckily, by games end, you stop having to fight her right before receiving your upgraded sword. Each island usually has a hidden chest or two to find.

Characters one of the weaker aspects of the game. You see some characters again from Wind Waker (Sploosh dude, the telescope people that say Ho Ho when you talk to them, Tetra and her pirate gang, Beedle. Side note on Beedle, they didn't give him any voice lines. TRAGIC!) but nobody really stands out. They try to make the owner of the ship you're using, Linebeck, to be a cowardly, treasure-hungry rogue that has a heart of gold by game's end. The cursor in the game is a fairy named Ciela. She is quick to speak her mind, but is very loyal and kind-hearted quickly willing to help Link find his friend Tetra. Also, she has amnesia. Ciela and Linebeck are constantly bickering which can be fun or annoying if you're tired of seeing it in other forms of media. Oshus is an old man that helps guide Link by setting him on his quest for the Ghost Ship. He is also the one the cares for Ciela at the beginning of the game. Typical Old Man in a Zelda game. Gorons are here, two new races called the anouki and the yook. No one really stood out to me, so it was hard to get attached to anyone besides Linebeck, Ciela, and Oshus, since Link interacts with the first two so often and Oshus is needed to point you in certain directions at important points in the game.

Temples are both great and disappointing. The temples you go around to to get new items, spirits, Sand of Hours (BAD NAME! but they probably didn't want to use the Sands of Time due to ANOTHER game that came out around the time), and Pure Metals are very enjoyable, especially once you get the item and it teaches you how to use said item. Bosses are very clever, using the best parts of what the DS is all about (touch, second screen functions). Everytime I got a new item to use on the boss, I was always surprised and pleased to use it and beat the boss. However, there is one exception and that's everything having to do with the Temple of the Ocean King. It is a reoccurring temple you must go through in the game to find a map for your next objective. The differences with this temple versus other temples would be it resets itself and you have a hard time limit. When you first go in, the temple eats away at your hearts (unless you're stand on safe zones). When you get the Phantom Hourglass, you have a timer that ticks down until, eventually, the temple saps your hearts again. The enemies are called Phantoms. We have 3 varieties of Phantom knights (regular blue, fast red, and teleporting yellow), the phantom Eye (can see in 360 around itself and alerts other enemies on the floor and eventually impede Link's movements), and Wizzrobes (can move through walls, have Boo like functions in that they only approach when Link's back is turned and turn themselves invisible when looked at). The knights are the main hurdle (outside of puzzles) and Link has to sneak past them in order to make it through the dungeon. If a knight or wizzrobe hits link, not only do you lose health, but you also lose time on your hourglass, making the window to reaching a new point in the dungeon much tighter. Luckily, with each you item you receive, a new shortcut is available, making traveling through each floor faster and easier in a lot of cases. Also, once you reach a certain point in the temple, you are a allow to just warp to a floor without having to go through previous floors but receive a time pentalty equal to how long it took you to get to point on that "run". You can choose to start at the beginning to try to get a better time to that point, which adds a weird speedrun aspect to the temple. I remember many people HATING this aspect of the game. When I played the game at release and when I played it now, I can see why it's frustrating. At the time, touch controls were still very new, so getting used to that aspect of the game and having to re-do a dungeon multiple times can be a bit tedious. But, playing the game again, I think it isn't that bad. We have had touch controls for over a decade now, and mobile games on smart phones have taken off, many of them using similar controls that Phantom Hourglass uses now. It's totally managable in 2019, especially if you more items and write good notes. And, going through the floors after recieving your upgraded sword is a real treat too. I started thinking of it like a Metroid game but just in one temple.

Music isn't too amazing. A lot of tracks are taken from Wind Waker so if you liked Wind Waker's tunes, you'll be alright here. And that's all I got to say about the music here, besides it was nice hearing the Goron track again on better hardware.

Phantom Hourglass isn't going to top lists of best Zelda's. At the time of it's release, Nintendo really tried to push the touch screen and dual screen function of their new handheld and that pushed people away from the tight, responsiveness of previous Zelda games. And I understand that, at the time when it was all new, it could easily push people away. But, every Zelda game has something different that always seems to push people away. Zelda 2 is way different than the first Zelda. Link to the Past is pretty different from the previous Zelda's. Ocarina of Time was the first 3D Zelda, Majora's Mask's time mechanics, Wind Wakers visual style and ocean exploration. Oracle games attempted to have one large adventure on two carts, Minish Cap being a love letter to Zelda up to that point. Each Zelda game I've played for the past year has shown me how... wide the flavors are to this franchise. There are a lot of things that are going to be similar but at the same time, a lot that will be changed up too. They aren't afraid to throw something at the wall with this franchise, experiment and keep what works for the next game. Phantom Hourglass is an experiment that helped pave the way for a whole new market of video games. I don't think it deserved the hate that it got at the time (like Wind Waker.) I kept finding myself pleasantly surprised with items and bosses and that couldn't have happened with a traditionally controlled Zelda game. And I'm here for that. This game isn't a top Zelda for me. But a middling Zelda game is still a damn good video game.

Spirit Tracks next!

Start the Conversation

Next Zelda Ramble: Twilight Princess way better I remembered.

Just beat Twilight Princess again (played it once when it was new on Gamecube.) TL;DR The game is WAY better than I remembered it being and is a top 5 Zelda.

A lot of what I remembered about this game, at the time of it's release, was the fan response to Wind Waker and the delay from when I pre-ordered the game to when I actually got it. I have memories of the GameWinners forums and people arguments people were having about Celda and just being mad. I was original part of that crowd. Looking forward to a mature Zelda game, especially after that Space World demo of Link and Ganondorf having a sword duel. Then Wind Waker came out and I played it. Fell in love. To this day, I still think Wind Waker is one of the best Zelda games to date (Breath of the Wild is the only other one at that top spot). So, after many years, I hear pre-orders for the Next Zelda game are up at Gamespot. I pre-order and wait. And Wait.... AND WAIT. Already, Twilight Princess (for me) has big shoes to fill after Wind Waker, but the delays and with a new console on the horizon (the Wii was a juggernaut in retrospect), I get pissed. Eventually, I get the game. I play through the game and I feel like it's TOO much like Ocarina of Time. It didn't do enough to fill my need to explore and grow attached to people. I begin thinking the game wasn't worth the wait and, eventually, forget about most of my time with the game (with some great exceptions, cause Midna is fucking amazing then and now.) So, fast forward to 2019. I start doing this stupid thing by playing through each Zelda game (minus the multiplayer Zelda's) and we finally get to Twilight Princess HD. Like I said in the first paragraph, it's way better than I remembered and teenage me was a big baby.

I really enjoyed Hyrule field. Riding on horseback and riding through the land feels great and with the option to swing your sword, it felt like an adventure... until you got into the other areas. A lot of it felt one pathed and a lot of the time, while riding on Epona, I would clip or run into walls, stopping all of her movement in an instant. Castle Town feels SO ALIVE during the day. Seeing people moving around, and the noises and all the different people to talk to was wonderful. A lot of the people of Castle down felt distinct too. Hell, I felt like I kept seeing people from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Zora's Domain wasn't that impression. And the Zora's themselves didn't feel too distinct from one another. Gorons was interesting when you first arrive but after that it's similar to Zora's Domain in that no one feels that distinct from one another, tho there are a lot more exceptions here with the Goron Elders. I like the new feel to Kakariko Village in this game. Very western and rundown and barely holding on, but still plenty of life. It's just a shame there isn't many people that actually LIVE there. Ordon Village is very much like the Kokiri Forest. Very intimate and comfortable but small. You grow out of it quickly. Riding your horse feels wrong a lot of the time cause of that smallness. Lake Hylia is kinda interesting but also not. Having the minigames there is good and the area is big as well but, like Ocarina of Time, there isn't much to do or explore there. Gerudo desert is a shame. No one lives there and the land is vast but only has a few key areas. Not much reward for exploring it, especially since sand monster continuously spawn and attack. Still, has the Cave of Ordeals and it's the toughest the series has seen yet. Really enjoy the cave.

Gameplays really well in most cases. In comparison to Wind Waker, it doesn't feel as snappy tho. A little slight more emphasis on animation. Mentioned before, Epona is fun but has some issues when the path gets tight. Also, camera is kinda a nightmare a times. Very good mostly, but I had plenty of moments where the camera sifted angles without a notice or would glitch out and freak out the screen. Many times, especially on epona, it felt like the camera would get stuck on a segment of the world, being left behind then suddenly racing forward to catch back up. This is probably the best swordplay you'll ever seen from Link. In fact, Swordplay really overshadows pretty much everything else in this game. A lot of the abilities were clearly taken from Wind Waker's counter system, but now instead of waiting for the button prompt, you can do it at will when needed. Rolling behind enemies all the time is fun, shield bashing and jumping over heads dynamic, quick drawing you sword from you scabbard (sheath? not sure which) is fantastic. My biggest issue with these techniques, with shield bash being in particular problem, was that they weren't consistent. I would roll to the side instead of roll behind an enemy because of the camera, shield bash just wouldn't work unless I spammed it. Overall, combat and gameplay were okay with some major problems in certain circumstances that kept coming up.

I also like a lot of the items but there are some issues. This was the first time I saw bomb arrows in the series ( I know now they were in other Zelda games before) and I LOVE them so much. Removing the need to walk over to something and placing a bomb or getting close enough to throw a bomb is just wonderful. The bow and arrow also feel like a god damn laser in this game. A target as to be pretty far away for the arrow to even begin to drop. The Hawkeye item is also nice, letting you zoom in on targets and even giving you crosshairs. Feels a bit out of place though. Bombs are back but slight different. There are 3 types now: the normal, water bombs, and bomblings. Water felt the most useful since you could use them on land and under the water but had a much limited capacity in comparison to normal bombs. Bomblings are a gimmick, Bombchus were better. Clawshots and double clawshots are pretty cool, but feel limited in comparison to the hookshot for the number of things you can grapple onto. Ball and chain are a neat item, but the lack of mobility really hold it back, especially against the enemies you are suppose to use them for. Gale boomerang combines the boomerang and the deku leaf from Wind Waker. Bring items(and small enemies) to you, can lock on to multiple targets, and move small fans. However, it seems to lack the ability to stun many enemies, making it not AS useful as other boomerangs for combat. Slingshot can only damage tiny enemies and after the bow, is completely and utterly useless. I don't really know why it was included in the first place. Bottles are back and still great. Always wish for more. Lantern also makes a return but instead of using magic to use it, you have lantern oil to replenish. Not a bad item, obvious not useful in combat but nice that you can put it on your belt when it's dark and that allows you to use other items or you sword. Not bad. The horse call item you receive pretty late into the game to be really useful. Some good sentimental value to the item, since it is the key to helping your childhood friend. Iron boots are iron boots BUT they added magnetic to it, so you'll be attracted to special ore or metal objects. Also, you use it to cheat at sumo wrestling, making this Hero the Hero of Cheating At Sports. The Spinner is a cool item, allowing you to work mechanisms or race along special walls. It's fun to use when you need to, but it's useless otherwise. Wish you could do more with it outside of special circumstances. Unique to Twilight Princess HD is the Ghost Lantern. It allows you to see if there are poes in the area, day or night. However, it does not give proximity and you still have to wait till night to fight the poes. So not QUITE enough to be great. Three types of swords, with the Master Sword being the highest level and doing the best damage. 3 types of shields (Ordon, Wooden, and Hylian). Didn't really notice a different besides wooden burns. 3 types of tunics/armor: Hero's Clothes (green), Zora Armor (blue and looks the coolest) and Magic Armor. Zora lets you breath and swim underwater, but you take MAJOR damage from fire and ice attacks. Green is neutral and Magic protects your health as long as you have rupees. Damage takes a certain amount of rupees away proportional to the damage you took. Also, rupees tick away slowly as long as it's equipped. Overall the items are alright. Sword is the BEST WAY to defeat enemies up close but you have enough to deal with enemies at a distance, especially after you upgrade your carrying capacities. Still, in comparison to Wind Waker, it does feel like some items are not useful in a lot of circumstances.

Music if fantastic here. And you hear a lot of old stuff too and it's used to great effect. Hearing the Serenade of Water with the dead Queen of the Zora's in regards to her now orphaned son hits you like a tone of bricks. The new stuff however really adds a flavor only in Twilight Princess. Whenever you encounter a Twilight realm enemy or are in the Twilight Realm, the music becomes distorted and manic. I can't even describe it well. Enemies even change their noises, sounding like undulating horns. REally fits the mood that there are a lot of extra dimensional events going on here. Would recommend this soundtrack for a listen. Also, using the Ocarina of Time temple teleport songs as a way to summon the Hero's Shade is a great way to give the feel of "old guard passing on to the new." The cycle keeps moving on.The cast is pretty fun for the most part. The human characters are very distinct from one another. And the cast the helps with the plot feels pretty big too. Link's childhood friends fall to the wayside at a point, just resigning themselves to Kakoriko Village until things settle down. Gorons are... uniquely designed in this game but, with the exception of the elders and chief, all feel like one or two types and nothing more. Zora are even worse. The only unique designs that stand out are the Prince and the late queen. However, they all do add to the overall plot in the sense that Hyrule is in turmoil. In a lot of Zelda games, you don't really get that sense. Link feels very kind in this game, which is weird to say. He smiles, he'll laugh, he'll look determined. It gives a a little sense of being. Still, clearly not as expressive as Wind Waker Link, who defientely feels like a kid. Zelda gives the impression of a ruler with a heavy weight to bear.Early on, she is shown to be locked away, secluded from her lands by being locked in a tower, with Twilight monsters roaming and patroling. the main enemy, Zant, is imposing and cold up until the last moments when he turns manic and hyper. Clearing filled with rage at his lack of power and obviously crazed from being so close and seeing it all slip away. Ganondorf is even MORE imposing. It's shame we don't get much screen time with him. Overall, it feels like Zant could have been the sole villain and the game wouldn't be worse or better for it. Midna. Midna is the star of this game. Early on, she's shown to be mischievous and selfish. Clearly she has her own agenda and she'll do what she can to get what she wanted. But, like Zelda, she has a lot on her shoulders and by game's end, you're sad to see her go. Best companion character in the franchise yet and no one has ever come close to that title. There are some fun characters too, Agitha who wants to have a ball with bugs, or Yeto and Yeta (yetis if you couldn't get it from their names) being so damn cute together, or Purlo who really doesn't like to be upstaged from you. Very unique cast. Not as memorable as other Zelda games, but still very solid.

Twilight Princess is another little surprise on my Zelda playthrough journey. I felt like I was playing a lot of this again for the first time, having forgotten much of it to time and other Zelda games taking hold better in my memory. I'm coming away from this game happy and sad. Happy in that I played one of the best Zelda games the franchise has to offer and sad that it's over. And that's the staple of a great Zelda game. The still image of child Link and Zelda staring at one another in the courtyard, the image of a bad drawing of Link and skull kid playing on a tree stump, Link and the pirates waving to the inhabits of Onset Island, the Door to the Minish closing, leaving a miniature world behind, Link waking up in the middle of the ocean, alone but knowing he'll make it out cause he's done it before and now Midna, shattering the Twilight Mirror and looking back at Link and Zelda smiling fondly know this is the last time Twilight and Light shall meet. Great Zelda games make you happy at these final moments but are bittersweet.Next game is Phantom Hourglass so yeah. Thanks for reading this far if you did. Or, maybe I should say sorry cause this felt like a longer ramble than usual.

Start the Conversation

Impression/Review of Ocarina of Time 3DS. From September of last year.

So I beat Ocarina of Time again for the 50th time in my quest to play ALL OF THE ZELDAs. Here's some thoughts.

Coming off of Link's Awakening, I gotta say the main story to Ocarina of Time is kinda boring. I do still like the beginning of the adventure, when Saria gives Link the Fairy Ocarina. That moment still has some good weight to it, but there isn't really much else there. Not sure if it's the tech holding back what they can do or if it was more thought was put into game play over characters, but many moments just fell flat.I do like the idea of Zelda and Link getting into things and not understanding how bad they might screw things up until they do. They are kids after all. Though, I have to question Impa's judgement of just going along with the ideas of two kids (ESPECIALLY one that was living in a forest for most his life and have NO UNDERSTANDING of what's going on outside of said forest.) I remember making up more character traits for the people in the game and going back through it again, I understand better why. There's just not much there from the characters. I think the only character that's changed would be Zelda, but she went from being a kid to just regretting stuff she did as a kid. That's about it. I would have LOVED to know more about what she had to go through in the 7 years.

Now that I realize the music was from another game, I'm kinda disappointed a bit by the soundtrack. HOWEVER, Gerudo Valley theme is still a high point in the series. Also, this is the second time they started making seperate tracks for each dungeon (the first one being Link's Awakening?) and I'm fully on board with that. It really helps give into each dungeon having a different feel. Also, I wish the Ocarina songs were longer. Overall, despite the music being mostly from something else, it's still amazing to go back and listen to these tracks again.

I do appreciate that they gave a bunch of stuff to Link (especially adult form) but a lot of it is kinda pointless or redundant. I do appreciate the different number of things to do (like the mini-games) and they do feel a bit more fleshed out than in previous entries. I never used Faore's Wind once. Nayru's Love is useful, but by the time I got it (on each playthrough of the game, not just this one) I was confident enough to not need it anymore. Ice arrows are pointless. So are deku nuts. Fairies in a bottle are OP AF and are EVERYWHERE. You can really tell that this is Zelda's first foray into 3D because it felt like they threw in the kitchen sink with items.

Dungeons are a high point for this game. Each dungeon really feels like it's own place, with it's own music and theme and mood. I think my favorites would be Shadow Temple and Fire Temple. The mood in Shadow Temple is top notch and really carries itself well, even now. Having to do all the work to bring down the central pillar is SO WELL thought out. My favorite mini-boss would still have to be Dark Link just because of difficulty. Nothing really challenges you as much as Dark Link. Hell, Dark Link overshadows a lot of main bosses too. Bango Bango is still very creative. Too bad it's too easy. (keep in mind, I've played Ocarina of time a lot, so my opinion on difficulty might be a bit skewed).

Ganondorf is still well done in the game. Nintendo does a fantastic job of making him imposing, making him feel like a threat. I do wish his first form had more phases to it. He feels like he just has two notes and it takes a lot away from how he was built up.

Overall, OoT is okay. I don't think it's held up too well in comparison to the 2D offerings. The world has a good feel to it, but the characters are too flat to really get too attached to anything. Music is still good, dungeons are still decent. Game is still easy by today's standards too. I still like the game, but it just doesn't hold up as well. Ocarina wasn't my first Zelda game, however. My first one (and the next one I'm going to play this year) was Majora's Mask. Overall, I feel that MM is the stronger of the two and it's a shame that more people didn't play it.

Start the Conversation

Impression of Oracle of Ages but also touches on Seasons as well. From February.

Okay, just beat Oracle of Ages for the first time. tl;dr: Game is interesting. Liked some of the things they threw in to change things up and feel like you made progress between the two games. Low point is gatekeeping through bad mini-games. Also Ages is better than Seasons imo.

Spoilers past this point. Also, sorry for rambling.

So, a lot of the things I said in Oracle of Season can pretty much apply to Oracle of Ages. The ring system is interesting way to modify your experience, tho some are pretty much useless and there for collectors but with no visual differences, there not much them for those useless rings. Story continues on with Link just going to another land for some reason and a lot of the characters you see in one game moves over to the other. The Oracle of Ages gets possessed in this instead of kidnapped (not much different but alright) and goes back in time and starts to change the events of the land. Queen in the past decides to build a Tower but stopping the passage of time so the sun never sets and the people never get to sleep/rest. Random people in the present disappear or get turned to stone, weird stuff happens all over the land. At some point, Link does rescue Naryu (Oracle of Ages) only to have the the Queen get possessed and continue the Tower. Zelda shows up, doesn't do much, and gets kidnapped at the very end of the game to be a sacrifice to revive Ganon. And my first issues with the plot come in. There didn't really need to be a Zelda and Ganon in this game. The main plot felt like a good enough motivation to help the people of both lands. Having the seasons out of wack, making people sick or stuck. Messing with the timeline so people are turned to stone or stop existing. Those feel like very good motivators. Having all this to try to stop a ritual to revive a Ganon that you partially fail to stop just feels like padding. This is an issue I had already with Twilight Princess when I first played that game. The main boss/enemy is already good enough. ESPECIALLY after the long boss fight I had at the end of the game. Don't need Zelda or Ganon. I will say, the true ending tying Link with Link to the Past and Link's Awakening was a very cool treat. Tho, we don't know why he left, so that could have been something they could have tried to explain in one of these two games. Weird but cool to see regardless.

Music is Ages is WAY BETTER than Seasons. I felt like I noticed the tracks more whenever I entered a dungeon and many times said "yeah this one is really good" or "oooooo". There are some reused tracks, as a Zelda do, but they sound really good on Gameboy hardware. Impressed here.

So... gameplay is a bit different between the two games. In both games, you get a lot of the items you first see in Link's Awakening (sword, shield, bracelet, bombs, seeds, shovel, feather.). What is interesting here is that both games have exclusive items you can only use in that game (seasons: magnet glove, Rod of Seasons, Roc's cape [Upgrade of Feather], Slingshot and it's upgrade, Boomerang and it's upgrade. Ages: Power glove [upgrade of bracelet], Switch Hook and it's upgrade, Harp of Ages, Cane of Someria) and some of these items are similar but different enough to make the puzzles feel different. Switch hook and magnet glove can be used to go across long distances but switch hook only lets you switch with an item (or enemy) it comes in contact with. Magnet glove can be used to move items, but it's mostly there to move link across a distance and if you're not fast enough, you can usually fall and lose a heart. Switch hook doesn't have that issue but you have to think a bit more with how you use it. Also, Ages has more emphasis on puzzles than boss battles. This is what pulled me more to liking Ages more, since I felt more satisfied with "solving" a dungeon. Still suffers from the problem of "you die to a boss and have to go to the beginning of the dungeon" that seasons had. And the final boss made it hurt more.

So, the link game systems are interesting. At the beginning of my Ages playthrough, I had a code I entered given to me when I beat Seasons. Also, I went and talked to a certain NPC to transfer the rings I collected in Season, so I didn't have to start from scratch in Ages. For most of the game, all I could tell was different was the continuation of helping a family raise their child, and dialog changing where people knew who I was already. It wasn't until I started finding "Secrets" (more codes but shorter) that I had to take BACK into Oracle of Seasons. These Secrets upgrade certain items like the sword, shield, ring box, bomb capacity, gave more rings, gave a heart piece. THEN for some items, like the upgrades, the NPC would give you a code to enter into Oracle of Ages so you could bring those over then. So it's very cool to be able to carry some of my progress over. BUT it was kinda lame that I went through most of the game before I decided to go back and enter codes into Season so I would have some benefits in Ages. This is partially my fault, I'll admit. Still, felt good to have more rings to work with per conflict/situation.

Now, my biggest issues with Ages that really killed my experience: in order to progress, there are a series of mini-games you have to play in succession to gain items to trade to progress. One of these mini-games is basically a Simon Says with only two button inputs and maaaaaaaan this is the worst fucking thing in the franchise. In Season, you only have to play this mini game once. In Ages, it makes you play the minigame twice BUT when I want to play for the second time, it wasn't clear that I had to have an item on hand in order to actually advance. So I had played the game too many times only to realize I wasn't actually progressing the plot. Decided to look up what was up and say that I was just playing for seeds and rings. Very frustrated to say the least at this point. Other mini-games I had to play to progress the plot: feed a bunch of lizards that stole you stuff, stop a mine cart from breaking an item you're trying to repair while enemies try to bump you off of a switch you have to stand on, surviving just having a bunch of bombs thrown at you, do the fixing mini game AGAIN for the Master Sword. Mini games are the weak point of both games, but Ages made you play more and it's worse for it.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with both games and this reinforces my desire to play through more Zelda games. Mini-games, harsh boss death penalties, Zelda and Ganon not being needed, and weirdness with link mechanics really pull you out of the experience. Still felt like Ages shined a bit brighter with it's smart dungeon puzzles and better music, making me like the game more DESPITE it's issues (that fucking Simon Says minigame!). Now, onto the next game. Wind Waker. This one is going to be a loooooong.

Start the Conversation

Impression/Review of Oracle of Seasons. Not bad Capcom. From January again.

Alright, just beat Oracle of Season. tl;dr: if you liked Link's Awakening, you'll probably like Oracle of Season. Would recommend.

Thought the game was fun and mostly enjoyed my time with it. The premise is kinda standard (okay, mostly standard) but seeing full on still pictures for scenes in color is a nice touch. The music is not as strong as it is in Link's Awakening and neither is the writing, which is a shame but understandable. I like the conceit of changing the seasons to get to new area or to help find secrets. Give the overworld freshness and helps exploration from getting too stale. Dungeons reminded a bit of Zelda 1 at times and seeing how the game was originally suppose to be a Zelda 1 remake, I can see why there were similarities (especially with a few of the dungeon bosses)

Two major pain points I had with the game was whenever you died to a dungeon boss (or sometimes mini-boss) and the final dungeon was a bit disappointing. The first point was because whenever you died, you'd get sent back to the beginning of the dungeon and getting back to the boss was always a chore, since the shortcut wasn't quick enough a lot of the time. The second because the final dungeon was just short. 8 rooms total, two of them have a fairy for you but in order to get out, you'd have to wait for floor tiles to pop up and fly at you and shatter. All of them. Everytime you entered the room. And the other rooms, you couldn't advance until you beat every enemy in the room otherwise it would loop you back to the first room again. So it feeds back into the first pain point of making it annoying to die to the boss since you have to beat all of those enemies over and over and over again. Another issue I had was the game did a bad job telegraphing certain things you could do (or had to do) in order to complete a challenge or a boss. (spoilers) One area required you to start in winter, and move to the next area, change the season to something warmer, and repeat until you finish with summer. But if Fall warmer than spring? Would that be the other way around? Or is fall and spring about the same temp? Kinda weird logic to me.

The Oracle games introduce a ring mechanic. Randomly throughout both games, there are ring you can collect, appraise (basically, find out what the ring is and does), and equip. You can equip only one ring at a time and at the beginning, can only carry one ring at a time. Later, you can upgrade you ring box to 3 rings carried or 5 rings carried. These rings also help Link in certain areas like give him more damage at the cost of taking more damage or helping him find patches of hidden dirt to plant seeds or make his spin slash charge faster or help you breath indefinitely underwater. I think it's a novel system and a good way to help curb some of the games randomness or difficulty but at a cost. However, you are occasionally given rings that don't really do anything. For example, if you kill 1000 enemies, you will be given a ring that says as much but doesn't impart and stat changes or benefits. It is like a cosmetic item without seeing any cosmetic changes (this game was on a the Gameboy Color afterall, so changes to the sprite would probably break how Link's sprite would look). It felt like a way to pad out the collect-a-thon since some rings can only be attained in one game or the other (similar to how Pokemon can only be collected in one version vs the other). However, you can easily transfer all your ring easily to the other title via transfer cable or a password/code.

Finally, the quests are not too memorable outside of one. Everything mostly just feels like ways to gate your progress until you achieve or gain something instead of motivating you to beating the game or helping people. And with the dialog/writing being pretty basic, there's no real attachment to the goings-on of the game outside of just enjoyment of the mechanics. There is one interesting quest where you can help a family take care of their child by making decisions like naming the child or helping the mother decide how to put the child to sleep at night. I don't know how it pays off, however. I imagine I would need to play Ages to see any benefit from that quest.

Overall, I enjoyed my time with Oracle of Seasons and look forward to Oracle of Ages to see how the two games tie together. Also, given the name, it would be interesting to see what Ages does with Time, given it's name and the franchise's reliance of time as a mechanic.

Start the Conversation

Impressions/review? of Majora's Mask 3DS. From January of this year. This is long and rambley. My sorrys.

Alright, just beat Majora's Mask again. But on 3DS(sorta).

tl;dr: I still think it's better than Ocarina of Time and if you wanted to go back and play an N64 game, Majora's Mask is the one. Also, despite my issues with the port, 3DS is the best version to play for someone new. Oldbies stay away and go back to the N64.

So, this was the first Zelda game I've every played back when the N64 was new and I was but a child. And I still hold it up in pretty high regard. The whole game is just dripping in mood and setting. Constantly having that moon over head, seeing it come closer with each second, having earthquakes increase as the days go by, talking to the townspeople stressing out about something outside of the norm, seeing the main town desolate on the third day, having that music change from whimsy, to urgent to dire and unsure. Love it. Whenever people talk about a "mature" Zelda game, I always think about this game first. And hearing the common complaint about how people had to stop playing the game cause it "stressed them out too much" is a testament to how they NAILED it!

Music is very important to a Zelda game and some of the music is reused from Ocarina of Time but there are good twists here and there to make the game stand out. And the tracks that are original to MM DO STAND OUT. There's one track that it uses often that strikes a eerie, somber tone. Like you're up in the air and falling/floating but you don't know if it's good if you're falling or not. You're just hoping your working towards something positive. So, if you like Ocarina's core music, you won't be TOO disappointed there.

Time is so important to this game. In Ocarina, it was a big part of it's theme, having you go back and forth between times to change one thing so you might have access to a different area or learning/gaining something in the future that helps you in the past. in Majora's Mask, time is a weight on your shoulders. With the clock at the bottom of your screen and a moon inching closer, you always feel that your back is against the wall. To this day, I haven't felt stress like that from a mechanic in a Zelda game quite like that. Also, having everything and everyone run on a looping schedule makes you a bit more invested in the goings-on of the world around you. You become more aware of the habits of the NPCs and can gleam a bit of info about their personalities from it. But, time can be a bit of a hassle too. Certain dungeons can take a while to complete. After you complete said dungeons, there are sometimes things to do in the area around the dungeon but you probably wouldn't have enough time to do it. OR, in order to get to a dungeon, you'd have to do several steps to gains certain items or knowledge in order to access the dungeon in the area but then wouldn't have enough time to do that. So, in both cases, it would mean having to go back to the beginning. But it usually isn't as bad as having to go through all the steps/actions in the first run through. Still would require re-beating a boss again or gathering arrows/faries/etc.

Combat, outside of bosses which are very cool and do a great job making you use the masks for those areas (unless it's the first boss on N64. That one is TOO easy), is okay. Not too much different from OoT. So if you liked it to this day, it should be fine. If you're new, it'll probably be too slow for you. If you're old and are just USED to how things are played today, it'll defientely feel dated. Functional but dated. Also, a common complaint about N64 Zelda is having to constantly go into menus to switch out items and with all of the mask usage, it's WORSE in Majora's Mask. The 3DS version helps a bit with this by giving you an extra input for another item but with so many masks to choose from, it's still a major issue. Also, there are probably way too many masks, since most masks are just used to finish a side quest for a heart piece and do nothing outside of that singular purpose. By that same token, some masks, outside of the transformation masks, are very useful. Bunny Hood for liiiiiiiife.

Characters and world are pretty core to the Zelda experience and Majora's Mask does the best with what it's working with. A town panic stricken and unsure whether to flee, or a royalty hyper focused and unable to find the root cause of a poisoned land, or a sudden onset winter causing a people to shelter in, or an ocean beset with mysterious disaster in the distance, or a land so dead ghosts haunt and little grows. It sets up great character moments. Reusing character models helps cast you in a world that's similar but different enough to put you on edge and with a constant threat looming overhead, you are most quick to empathize with the cast. It feels like the entire land is feeling the same weight as you, with deep regret motivating nearly all the characters. Usually, for one reason or another, they simply just cannot fulfill the task they set out for themselves and they know time is almost over for them. Link really does feel like a tool for good in this game, and no other game I've played yet. There are some "going through the motions" but when you do feel like you help people move on.... until you use the Song of Time and undo it all. For me, the act of resetting all the good only reinforced the desire to complete the main quest, of stopping the Skull Kid. For others, I can see this being a bit discouraging.

Majora's Mask 3D, the 3DS version, is not as solid of an upgrade as Ocarina of Time 3D. Changes to the save system are very welcome but also make the game a bit TOO easy. Once again, touchscreen gives you access to more inputs and also allows to you view the map of your immediate area. This means a bit less menu work. This is still Majora's Mask, however, and with the number of masks to equip, this is still going to be a major issues UNLESS they do a from the ground up remake. Or give the team more than a year. Trading is a bit better since you no longer have to equip an item to present it, it just pops up your inventory and you select what you need. Some minor tweaks to Link's forms can make or break the remaster for people, like Zora swimming being broken up into fast and slow underwater, with the fast REQUIRING you to use magic. Also, bosses have been reworked, now requiring you to beat 2 phases, the first to expose an added bloated eye weakness, the second bash in said weakness. The new weakness keeps with the design of Majora's Mask itself and I kinda liked the variation it added to the conflict. Once again, I can see it not being "true" to the original game, but with Majora's Mask being made in less than a year, the added phases feel better thought out. With the added option of controlling the camera on a second stick, I can easily recommend the 3DS version to new people who haven't played Majora's Mask before. To people have have logged in a bunch of hours already, it's a bit of a harder sell.

Overall, in the grand franchise that is Zelda (and for the ones I've played), Majora's Mask is pretty good so far. I would even argue it's better than Ocarina of time, since the bloat isn't in length but in items. The time constraint really helps to make this Zelda feel different from the other Zeldas and I would even say it's about the right amount of challenge in comparison to Ocarina of Time, which is probably a bit too easy in 2019 standards. Still, it is a game from the 90's and in the early years of 3D video games on consoles. So a brand new player would probably have issues with is major item management issues and it's archaic camera control. Of the Zelda games I've decided to go and play, this one still feels strong and it's mostly through it's setting, restraint, and characters. I would recommend anyone interested to give it a shot. It's a better time than Zelda 1 or 2, that's for sure

Start the Conversation

Impression of Link's Awakening DX. This one surprised me. Also also from last year but from August

Alright, finished Link's Awakening DX. I think this is my favorite 2-D Zelda game, having just played Zelda 1,2,and 3. The dialog is just SO GOOD. The music is great (for a gameboy color game) and really strikes the mood of whatever you're trying to do or wherever you are at the time. There's so much quirky charm to it. Also, unlike ALTTP, it isn't too long, so it doesn't wear out it's welcome as much. Usually, with a 3D Zelda game, I have a desire to stay in the world the game presents. I hadn't felt like that while playing the other 2-D Zeldas until this one. I actually hesitated to be it cause it was just so fun. So yeah, favorite 2-D Zelda (for now.)

Side note: does that whale have pants AND wings? Seriously laughing my ass off at that image. 10/10

Start the Conversation
  • 15 results
  • 1
  • 2