The Legend of Zelda is a classic title the game appeared as on Nintendo’s first home console the NES and has appeared on every Nintendo console since and is the pinnacle of gaming brilliance made by the talented of Shigeru Miyamoto. So when 2 Zelda titles appear at the same time and are not made by Nintendo but their good friends Capcom. Skeptical? I certainly was but these 2 Gameboy Colour games proved to be 2 of the best 2D Zelda games ever. Oracle of Ages starts off the same as Seasons, Link (or whoever you call him) travels to some temple and is set out on a quest to save a certain land from danger. In ages you are set the task to save the Oracle of Ages from an evil witch and in order to do so you have to fins the 8 essences. From the moment you switch on the game you will smile at the familiar music that greets you, reminiscing of the times you played Link’s awakening and the music isn’t the only familiarity. The battle system is identical to Link’s Awakening and the look is also very similar although a little more detailed with a larger colour pallet used. Link’s awakening isn’t the only thing you’ll reminisce about; die-hard Zelda fans might also spot things from previous Zelda games such as the skeleton hand whom wants some paper who appeared in Majora’s Mask and Malon and Talon from Ocarina of Time. But this game isn’t simply bits of old Zelda titles rammed together (but lets face it that wouldn’t be such a bad idea) this game implements original ideas of its own in the form of time traveling, effecting things in the past will effect things in the future. A ruin in the future won’t be a ruin in the past and so you can enter an old cave or castle. The games is huge much bigger than Link’s awakening and Ages is in fact a little bigger than Seasons and the game is extremely hard, I spent 4 days struggling through the 3rd dungeon and there’s 8 of them! Comp
leting the 3rd dungeon for example is an extremely rewarding experience something which previous Zelda games always seem to be able to do by giving you a new weapon/item to fiddle with a brand new skills which the dungeon introduces you to. The puzzles are fiendishly tricky for example hit a switch to angle something so you can fire a seed at it bounce it off and hit a switch, sounds simple enough but try working out that you are supposed to do that in the first place. Oracle of Ages is a stand-alone Zelda Gameboy Colour title. You do not need Oracle of Seasons in order to play it but there is certain extras the game offers if you have the right kit. Although you don’t need seasons by owning it you can link the two games and by using a password mechanism you can open up the proper final level with a different ending, which is only accessible if you own both games. Secondly if you are one of the lucky souls who happen to own Nintendo’s latest piece of kit the Gameboy Advanced then other extras are avalible in the game. Now some of you might be asking what is the difference between Ages and Seasons? Well lets get one thing straight these are 2 different games, this is not like Pokémon Red and Blue with only minor differences these games have completely different, different dungeons, set in a completely separate worlds with different characters and enemies. The only times these games combine is when you link the two to receive the proper final level. So then now you will be scratching your brain on which one you should get (You should really get both they are both classics but not all of us have the cash) well Ages is more puzzle based than Seasons but only marginally and Seasons involves a bit more action, secondly Ages is slightly longer than Seasons but again only slightly. To be honest whichever one you choose you will not be disappointed. So Nintendo’s new found friendship in Capcom starts here with two of the greatest
and last Gameboy Colour titles to grace our small machine so get up fish out the £25 (or £50) in order to buy one (or both) of these pieces of magic. Dringo
The Zelda series just carries on going with this, the umpteenth adventure for our hero Link in the mythical land. In fact, there are not one, but two new additions to the Zelda family released simultaneously, The Oracle of Ages and The Oracle of Seasons, the completion of one aiding you in the other and enabling you to access areas which would otherwise be impossible to reach...However, it is the Oracle of Ages which is under review here as I am yet to play The Oracle of Seasons...but its only a matter of time I am sure. Zelda is easily the best role playing game available on the Gameboy at the moment, whichever version you play, right back the original Zelda game. For those who have never played a Zelda game before then it can be best described as being somewhat like the Pokemon games in its overall style but without being quite so damn annoying. You wander around solving puzzles in order to progress further into the game, some requiring items to pass a particular point, others moving objects etc. or the completion of an event...that kind of thing. You journey around the land, meeting different characters and engaging in plot enhancing conversations as well as being treated to some rather picturesque cut scenes which move the plot along as well. The basic premise behind the game is this: You play Link once again in an adventure where he travels over 400 years into the past as well as battling in the present. The evil Sorceress of Shadows, Veran, has harnesses the power of Neyru, The Oracle Of Ages, by possessing her body. She wants to control the present land of Labyrnna by travelling into the past and destroying all that can stand in her way in the future. Labrynna changes dramatically before your very eyes as her handiwork becomes immediately apparent and it is up to Link to find the Harp of Ages to travel into the past and recover the 8 Essences of time to defeat the evil Sorceress. This is a great game, combining the same gameplay an
d engrossing storylines which made the original 1987 release of Zelda the hugely popular hit that it was and remains today, with some glorious graphics, clever puzzles and generally wondeful ideas that will keep you engrossed for ages. I have to say that I am not a big fan of Gameboygames in general, but this one is simply superb. There is simply so much to do and the world they have created here is enormous so its a challenge that is going to keep you busy for some time. The puzzles are pitched at just the right level to get you thinking but not be so obscure that you never have a hope of solving them without resorting to a cheat site and fully utilise the time travel ideas. For example, plant a seed 400 years ago and find a tree in its place when you return to the present...that sort of thing. I like this game a lot. It is very cutesy at times which is to be expected from Nintendo products I suppose but nothing which is going to have you reaching for the barf bags too fast. You meet lots of different characters along the way, even getting to ride in a kangaroo's pouch and befriend a winged polar bear...amongst a variety of others. You will find that there is a lot of interaction between you and the other game characters and a fair number of cut scenes which move the action along - and these are all beautifully drawn I might add and really highlight the fantasy element. I also like the idea that when you complete either the Oracle of Ages, or the Oracle of Seasons, you are given a password which can be entered so that you keep the same character/items etc. when you start playing the next - and access some special parts that can only be accessed through this method. This of course is a clever marketing plot to get you to buy both games but if you were already intending to then its a useful addition. Overall then this is a great game and well worth shelling out your cash for. There is absolutely loads going on here, lots of sub-games and variet
y to keep your interest to the very end. The plot-heavy story is intriguing and combined with the cut-scenes helps hold your attention even more and pretty soon you'll probably find it as hard toput down as I did. A great game and a worthy addition to the ever growing Zelda family.