Retro Review: The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past

I’ll just start off by saying that this game is one of my all-time favorites. Even though I had played the first two Zelda games (the first more than the second) quite a bit in the 80s, it was this one that really got me to love the series. This game took everything about the original and improved on it by leaps and bounds. It has the same overhead view as the original, but there is so much more to this game than the first one. I’m not a good writer but I love this game so if my review just sounds like a fan gushing over a game, don’t act surprised.

This has been mentioned many times by other people (Dan Ryckert being one of them), but I too was blown away the first time I walked out of Link’s house into the rain.

It was cool moment, in a game filled with them.

Playing through this game is always a joy (maybe not when the headache I have is on its third day but that’s not the game’s fault), and you don’t have to play it the same way every time. I always like to skip around dungeons in the Dark World so I can get upgrades earlier than intended.

And I can’t explain why, but for the last 25 years whenever I beat a boss and am about to collect the pendant/crystal I *have* to do a sword spin. Have to. I guess I just like the whirling animation that happens.

Graphics


I still love how this game looks, no it’s not the most graphically detailed game on the system. But the art style is very fitting and it just works. Of course we all know that for some reason Link appears to have pink hair. The actual reason simply being due to color palette limits. A lot of 16-bit era games that hold up today do so due to the art style used, this is one of them. I’d also put Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger (just to name a couple) in that category.

It simply still looks good, especially if you’re using a good CRT TV to play it on or have something like an XRGB Framemeister to upscale it (or an SNES Classic/emulator I guess.)

Plus you get this cool “3D” Triforce animation right from the second you turn the game on.

As well as in the ending.

Sound


The music in this game is really good, don’t argue with me on that one. It was the first game with the Kakkariko Village music, Zelda’s theme, and Ganon’s Theme as well as the fairy fountain/load screen music.

The sound effects are also pretty good, I’m with Dan Ryckert in thinking the “boss dying” sound effect is great. And I like how the different levels of swords have different sounds.

Controls


Perfect.
There’s really nothing bad to say about the controls.
They just work.

Gameplay


They took everything about the original Legend of Zelda and expanded and improved on it. The exploration is still there, with a lot of caves to explore. Plus basically an entire second world as well. The dungeons are much more varied than the original, where the only real differences between them were the color scheme and harder enemies.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
9.8 / 10 Reviewer
Super NintendoPlatform
1992Release
NintendoDeveloper
NintendoPublisher
Pros
  • Controls and plays perfectly
  • The graphics hold up really well
  • It has really good music and some great sound effects
  • It's a genuinely fun game to play.
Cons
I'll let you know.
Summary
This is an all-time classic, if you're at all a fan of the series or into retro gaming this is a must-play.
Graphics9.5
Sound9.5
Controls10
Gameplay10

The Author

snesfreak

I've been playing video games for as long as I can remember. Wait, what were we talking about?
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