As I approach my 30th year on this planet, the time I set aside for gaming has rapidly declined. Long gone are the days where I would spend hours fully completing games and uncovering every possible secret within the highly imaginative game worlds I grew to love over the years. Growing up, the Legend of Zelda titles were among some of my favorite, particularly the portable ones. The first and only system that I could call my own at the time was a kiwi Game Boy Color. I knew what the Zelda game series was, but I had never completed any of the games, mostly because I didn’t own any of them, but that all changed when I got Oracle of Seasons one fateful summer.
Seasons took Link and I to the land of Holodrum, which we explored every day that summer. We met a dancer in a red outfit by the name of Din and were told by the Maku Tree to find the 8 Essences of Nature. Link and I had many different experiences as we journeyed further into Holodrum, including riding in the pouch of a Kangaroo, finding new rings to equip that strengthened us and gave us new abilities, and even changing our environments at will with the Rod of Seasons. I loved this ability as it changed the landscapes significantly and opened new paths on the World Map.
Shortly after completing Seasons, I linked my save file with my brother’s copy of Oracle of Ages (password system and all) and completed the game fully. It was then that I moved onto playing Link’s Awakening DX (also my brother’s game), and completing it, loving every minute of the game.
As I was finishing up High School and heading into college I didn’t have a Game Boy Advance so I didn’t experience another portable Zelda game for awhile. Fast forward to a few years ago and I received A Link Between Worlds as a Christmas gift for my brother. It wasn’t until recently that I had begun playing it again seriously. Am I glad I did!
A Link Between Worlds reminds me of why I loved Legend of Zelda games on the go. The top-down view of Link as he explores is classic Zelda action at its best and as I go further through the game each dungeon I encounter is more intuitive than the last. The wall merging gameplay as a hieroglyphic version of Link is great and opens up so many new possibilities for puzzle-solving, some that I have to do a little more thinking than usual to complete. The graphics of A Link Between Worlds are also superb and some of the best I’ve ever seen on a portable Zelda title (not including the remakes of Ocarina and Majora!). The music and sound effects also do a great job of engrossing me into the game and into the lands of Hyrule and Lorule. As I continue to play A Link Between Worlds, I can honestly say that I haven’t been this excited to get through a game in a looong time. I can’t wait to get to the end and see all of what the game has to offer.
I only talk about a few of the portable Legend of Zelda titles in this post, but what is YOUR favorite portable Zelda game?? The main ones in the series I missed out on were The Minish Cap, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. Which one should I play next and why?
Or do you like the Console Zelda titles better? If so which one of those is your favorite?