Peculiar title that is both frustrating and innovative for the series
So this title came out in 1987 which is the follow-up to the Critically acclaimed “Legend of Zelda” title. Instead of following the winning formula from the first title Nintendo has decided to deviate from that path and go for a straight 2D approach. A very similar approach was taken with Super Mario Bros 2 – for the US anyway – where Nintendo pretty much re-skinned a title known as Doki Doki Panic with Mario characters because they thought the real Mario Bros 2 released in \ Japan was too difficult for US audiences.
So does this new formula work? There are aspects to love about this title, yet there are still issues with this title for it to be completely recommended.
You stare off in the temple where Zelda has been put into a deep sleep. Young Link must set off and lift the curse which has been placed on Princess Zelda.
Venturing outside of the temple will lead you into the world map. Stray from the path and monsters will appear which will lead you to a mini 2D stage where you battle monsters. The monsters can range in difficulty and you earn experience as you battle through these foes. Leveling up is quite key early on as the first temple can be quite tricky if you are under levelled.
Furthermore, this leads to 1 major issue with this title. It can be hard to determine where to go next due to so little hints. Towns you visit can help you determine your current objective, but that is not always the case.
As you find locations of temples and traverse them you will have to explore them in 2d by going left and right and up and down on elevators. This also leads to another complaint with this title since there is no map or compass so you will have to rely on memorization to get through these dungeons. There are items to be found which will help to traverse new areas in the world map and bosses to fight; although it is not absolutely required to defeat bosses right aways since as long as you find key items you can advance further in the title. Although, you will need to defeat all the bosses in order to complete the game.
As a Zelda fan one can appreciate the music and sound effects in the title as that is very well done. The overall sound is satisfactory for this title.
What we are left with is quite a mixed bag since due to the flaws mentioned this title can be quite “hard”. Although, if you are willing to persevere through all this the end product can be quite satisfying. Take it for what it is; at least there is an attempt at originality here.