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Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Nintendo Entertainment System

Game Description:

You may have heard that Zelda II is the black sheep of the series, that it’s the worst. I tell you, those people are full of hot air. If there’s a Zelda that’s very fun to play, it’s this one. It’s certainly unlike the original and none of the subsequent games in the series follow its format too closely. It focuses more on sword fighting than actual puzzle solving. It tries to be an RPG but excels as an action game. It’s great and fun.

There are two segments to this game. One is the overworld map which plays much like your typical Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy overworld. You move around, go into towns, go into caves, or into dungeons. In the side-scrolling segment, though, it plays out like Super Mario Bros. or Ninja Gaiden. There’s an RPG element to it- when you defeat an enemy, you often gain some experience points. You have to be careful not to turn the game off when you’re near the next level, however, since the game doesn’t keep track of how many points you’ve accumulated. It’s worse in the Japanese version, where it won’t save your individual levels and will, instead, reset them all to the lowest level of your three stats; which are Attack, Magic (more like proficiency, since all it does is lower your MP consumption), and Health (more like defense as all it does is lower how much damage you take). The experience point system isn’t exactly the weakest part of the game, rather the implementation was weak.

The graphics for this game work. You can usually tell what everything is and everything is clear.

The sound for this game is still primitive, with a few sound effects and like five different tracks. It manages to use them well, though, and the overworld and labyrinth themes are catchy.

The story for this game is simple. There’s a sleeping Princess Zelda and the only to get her to wake up is to put all the orbs back into the palaces. Somehow, this allows you to enter the bad guy’s lair, slay him, and she gets to wake up. It’s pretty simple with very few plot twists.

I recommend this game to anyone who likes Metroid or Castlevania. Open-minded Zelda fans will also find something to love in this game. If you do not like platforming games or experience points makes your heat spin, I guess you should stay away.