The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons/Ages (2001) Review

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The Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons and Ages are the seventh and eight games in the franchise, they were developed by Capcom for the Nintendo Gameboy Colour. These games are very unique entries to the series because they are both heavily connected and should be played one after the other in order of the players choice.

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In order to connect the games plots after finishing one game you will be given a code to enter into the other game to get the conclusive experience.

I have decided not to discuss many details of the linked versions of each game because while they have some plot differences and connections, It would be quite major spoilers and for the the most part the base game and dungeons are practically the same with an extended final boss.

If you would like to see all of the details of the linked games use the link below

https://www.zeldadungeon.net/wiki/Linked_Game

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In Oracle of Ages the Triforce sends Link to the land of Labrynna, here he meets Impa who asks him to move a boulder so that she can listen to the Nayru the Oracle of Ages sing, unaware of the mistake he has made Link helps Impa to find that she had been possessed by an Evil spirit called Veran, Once close enough Veran leaves Impa and possesses Nayru instead.

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With Veran now possessing Nayru, a plan to affect time and bring sorrow to the world is in motion, Link visits the Maku Tree who explains that by collecting the eight essences of time Link will be given enough power to defeat Veran pushing Link to travel through time to discover them and save the Oracle of Ages.

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You can find the essences of time by completing dungeons that are hidden across the map, these dungeons are very challenging and are packed with tricky puzzles, personally I would argue that these puzzles may be some of the most challenging in the franchise.

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New items in this game are seeds, there are many different seeds in the game you find, each of these allow Link to perform various abilities including lighting fires, attracting enemies towards him, awakening owl statues, running at fast speeds and teleporting across the map to different locations.

The only other new item that is important to the game experience is the Harp of Ages, you able to learn multiple songs in the game which allow Link to alter-time and travel freely between the past and present.

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During your adventure Link will come across three animals that need his help, A flying bear, A boxing kangaroo and Dodongo that can swim and climb waterfalls. After experimenting with these animals and testing their abilities you will later on have the opportunity to keep one of them as your main companion, this is done by finding or winning one of three flutes in the game. This is unique to both games and your animal companion will be transferred between the two games.

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There are many hidden rings in both of the games, by paying for them to be appraised you will unlock the rings ability, these can either upgrade of downgrade various aspects to Links character including but not limited too strength, defence, speed etc. These rings can be transferred between both of the games.

Oracle of Ages has one of my favourite soundtracks in the Legend of Zelda video game series, the music in this game is a lot of fun and really quite creative, it uses a lot of original tracks that suit the game perfectly but it also uses a lot of bit tunes of tracks from Ocarina of time which is one of favourite games ever.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages can easily be considered an almost perfect game, it has a great plot and a really excellent soundtrack but I feel its held back by how its never very clear where you need to be going and a lot of this is because of the in-game map, its not very clear where things are and it can be a pain teleporting across the map only to find its the wrong area I had a very similar issue with the Links Awakening DX  but apart from that I really like this game and I think its only fair that I give it a good rating of 9.8/10

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In Oracle of Seasons Link finds himself exploring the Land of Holodrum where he meets Din the Oracle of Seasons and Dances with her, during this time the evil Onox kidnaps the Oracle and the seasons of the Land become completely out of control leaving Link to discover the 8 essences of nature to restore balance to the world.

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Right off the bat the over-world map is a lot more interesting here than it was in ages, not only would I argue the encounters are better including the trade sequence but a new puzzle element has been added outside of dungeons in the form of seasons. In the game Link is able to find wooden stumps that he can stand on and use the rod of seasons to change the seasons in game which heavily affects the over-world map in different ways, I found this much more interesting than the time travel in Oracle of Ages.

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The dungeons in this game are more focused on combat so they are much tougher with enemy placements and have much more difficult boss fights. I prefer more puzzle based dungeons myself but they were a lot of fun here as well.

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The Animal Companions are also in Oracle of seasons and have the same uses as before, the game also uses rings that you can collect to enhance or downgrade Link throughout the game.

The game has a stellar soundtrack which is highly enjoyable to listen too and just like Ages it also uses bit tunes of tracks used in other Zelda games.

Oracle of Seasons is just as good as the Oracle of Ages although they are quite different, this one if more combat based and it was a lot of fun. It is a very difficult Zelda game and is a little unforgiving to its players with how difficult it can be at times but with good practise it can easily be beaten. If i’m being completely honest I seriously think I prefer this game even though it has less puzzles, it handled the characters a lot better than Ages and the majority of them had some importance to the game which made the world a lot more memorable and interesting. It is still very cryptic and the map sucks but that is to be expected considering that Ages had the same issues, overall It is only fair to give this the same score a tidy 9.8/10

I held off from playing these games for such a long time because of how they are connected, I was worried I would be bored playing two Zelda games in a row but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this wasn’t the case and they are very well designed and are great fun. It doesn’t matter which order you play the games in but I do recommend that you use the secret code in the second game you play so that you get the true ending. I wonder if they will ever try something so ambitious with this series again, I really hope so but only time will tell.

Thank you for reading my review of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons for The Gameboy Colour.

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The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening (Nintendo Gameboy/Nintendo Switch) Review

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The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening was released in 1993 for the Nintendo Gameboy, it was the first handheld game in the series and is by far the strangest. The game was re-released in 1998 for the Gameboy colour which is the version I am going to be focusing on in this review. I will be discussing the 2019 remake for the Nintendo Switch as well in order to see if it is better than the original.

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After the events of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link travels by boat to various islands to train his skills however during one of his voyages a storm destroys the boat and causes him to be washed up on Koholint Island.

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He is rescued by a young girl called Marin who takes him to her house, after Link recovers his sword a mysterious owl tells him that he must wake up the wind fish to go home, the wind fish is inside of a giant egg on top of a mountain and Link must recover eight instruments from dungeons to wake him up.

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Links awakening mostly follows a very similar pattern to the games before it as you will need to travel across Koholint Island solving puzzles, meeting new characters, discovering dungeons and defeating bosses, two new items are introduced in this game, one of them is rocs feather which allows Link to jump over small gaps and attack flying enemies and the other is the Ocarina which Link can learn to play music on to trigger events in the game such as teleportation, raising the dead and eventually opening the final dungeon.

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2D side scrolling sections return in this game but they are executed much better than they were in Zelda 2, these are short and sweet and are a lot of fun, they are also the best places to find enemies from the Super Mario series. Mario enemies are all over this game its really cool and fits the sillier nature of the title, when you play the game you will realise that it is quite silly and comedic, this a Zelda game that does not need to be taken seriously and that is something I would like to see more of in the future.

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There are a few things that I feel really hold back this game from being one of the better games in the series. The map is really confusing as nothing is easy to find, almost all of the buildings look the same and are labelled as shops, I really wanted to collect all of the photographer pictures but when I tried to find the the building before I took on the final boss I could not find it and eventually gave up.

I also think that a lot of secrets or dungeons are too cryptic and hard to figure out in this title, some things are more obvious than others but a lot of the time because the dungeons all look so similar you will find your self pulling out your hair trying to get through them.

I think all of these issues could have been fixed with some labels added to the map and I can only hope that the 2019 version of the game fixes this.

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Visually the game looks really good, for the gameboy’s limitations the developers pushed the system to put out  lots of colours and great animations.

I love this soundtrack, its really charming and fits the games setting really well, there are some classic Zelda tracks thrown in so you cant really go wrong, my favourite music is from Mabe village.

The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening is an odd game to say the least, its very charming and to a lot of people its one of the best in the series, I personally enjoy the game but I don’t think it doesn’t have its faults. The confusing map added a lot of stress to my play-through but apart from that this is a good title and I would like to see a sillier game in the series again.

Recently the game has been remade for the Nintendo Switch

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On September 20th 2019 a new HD remake of Links Awakening was released on the Nintendo Switch, the game came with a beautiful graphical upgrade and new and impressive renditions of the music, the new soundtrack is fantastic and is just as enjoyable as the originals soundtrack.

Here is the soundtrack if you would like the compare the two

Unfortunately due to the game only releasing in the last 24 hours I could only find the soundtrack as one video however the up-loader has added time marks to skip tracks.

This game is filled with bug fixes and small improvements to the original game but I am only going to focus on the changes that I feel will have the biggest impact on returning players.
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I love the new visuals, the game is extremely colourful and is a joy to look at, the designers took a very child friendly and almost toy inspired design for the game and it suits the silly nature of the adventure perfectly. the game is packed with wonderful visuals and smooth animations including a fully animated opening cut scene.

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Some other important changes are new ways to play some of the minigames which are now much more challenging in my opinion, a much easier to read map that allows the player to place markers, the option to choose where to land after using warp pads and key items being assigned to buttons meaning that players do not have to go the inventory all of the time.

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For me the worst part of the remake is its dungeon creator mode which replaces the photography in the game, players can use areas from dungeons they have finished to build new dungeons that they and their friends can play through. I generally do not enjoy creative game experiences like this so the loss of the photography which was my favourite part of the original game was a little upsetting for me.

Lack of photography or not it would be unfair to say that this is not the superior version of the game, it looks and sounds better and makes the experience a little less tedious than it used to be and that is exactly what you should expect from a remake, the developers put their hearts and souls into this and the outcome was a very good Zelda remaster.

Links Awakening DX – 8.4/10

Links Awakening 2019 – 9.3/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening

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Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com