Monday, February 26, 2007

BS Zelda (Bonus Game): "Weeks 2-4"

So I finished the other three hours of play for the Bonus Game of Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets and I am very impressed. I was not expecting such an effort to be put into making a new adventure that felt familiar but not too familiar. I used every trick from the SNES game and then some. I still encourage people to play this emulated game. You won't be disappointed.

Now, onto Ocarina of Time! I can't wait!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

BS Zelda (Bonus Game): "Week 1"

Week 1? Yup, I speaks da truth. This game comes in four one-hour installments.

See, BS The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets was a game only released in Japan and only via the Super Nintendo console peripheral called the Satellaview. 'BS', in fact, stands for Broadcast Satellaview. You downloaded games for the SNES (well, the Super Famicom in Japan) and played them. THIS particular game came in four installments and was played in REAL TIME! They even got actors to voice the movie-like scenes.

So anyways, people eventually got a hold on the ROM of the game and have been working night and day (quite literally from what I have read) to make this game playable. It is now about 90-95% done and people can play it now (for the most part) and really enjoy it. You only have one hour... so you have to be quick! More information can be found at the BS Zelda Homepage. It's actually REALLY interesting.

Last night I got a hand held gaming controller from Target for $10 and plugged it into my Mac and booted up the first week. Long story short (nobody likes a play-by-play) I got everything except the last piece of heart.

The game is interesting in that to help you speed up your game play, they only allow you access to one part of the world map. You can't even see the rest of the map as it is clouded over. Also to help speed up play, the game will occasionally send you faeries or cause enemies to blow up as if you used special powers.

Simultaneously, the overworld changes. At certain times there is fog or even rain. So what, you may ask? Well, in rain... BOMBS DON'T WORK! I guess that their fuses are doused. And certain areas (that you can see in the unclouded area of the maps are not accessible until certain times as well. One guy wouldn't even speak to my character (you don't play as Link in this game) until the last 10 minutes of the game!

I am SO excited to be playing this game as a side-quest of sorts... and would highly suggest it for anyone who might like something short and fun to play. ESPECIALLY if you are a fan of the SNES game.

BS Zelda Headquarters has all the files and links to the emulator on their site. And UBER-THANKS to the moderators there as well for their letting me link to their site. One of the guys there made the spiffy GIF at the top of this post as well.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Yowza Yowza Yowza!

Without using another wish and with a level 1 sword (still don't know where the damn power-up is) I beat (what I am suspecting to be) shadow Ganon! 18 hours and 20 minutes. Wow! That was a tough game!

Now, the review.

Placing the small GameBoy cartridge into my handheld, I became apprehensive at what I was about to experience... that's $5 speak for "What am I getting myself into?" I was worried that having gotten used to the graphics and gameplay that the SNES gave me that I would be poorly disappointed in this GameBoy sequel. Needless to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

I really enjoyed the storytelling of this game compared to other GameBoy games... and that's the first thing that comes to mind when rating this game. I really liked how it gave you a story and made it enjoyable. Cut scenes, movies, and pauses in movement really brought across a wonderful emotional story.

As for the graphics, I couldn't be happier. Game transitions (like Super Mario Land to Super Mario Land 2 where they tried to incorporate Super Mario Bros. 3 graphics) for the GameBoy usually do not succeed. However, I was amazed at how they really gave the game the FEEL of the SNES cart for the handheld.

As for the actual gameplay... it was difficult. I was able to get through with just one wish (see previous reports) but the whole rest of the game was really tough to decypher. Making something tough is one thing... not telling a player a vital thing (using two items to make a third item) is really bad.

But, for making such an enjoyable, but difficult game, I give The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening three Nixon Warios. I AM NOT A CROOK!!!

Now, I prepare for the highly lauded Ocarina of Time. Nuff said. I will be working on the BS Legend of Zelda Ancient Stone Tablets before that... so look for my next review to be on this 4 hour game.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Link's Awakening 15 hours 45 Minutes

Wow. This game is a decent challenge. The whole trading this still leaves a sour taste in my mouth as it all culminated to getting a magnifying glass.

Otherwise, the game is at a higher difficulty level than I would expect from a GameBoy game. I am in the eighth dungeon... and I am happy with the funny storyline and the interesting gameplay.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Link's Awakening: 6 Hours 15 Minutes

I have a theory that the Zelda games are like the inverse of the Star Trek movies in that every other one (every even one in the Trek movies and every odd one in the Zelda series) is stellar while the others are just 'eh'.

Right now, Link's Awakening isn't impressing me. It's very much like the third one... and while I actually enjoy the storyline (they had a movie scene with Link and the little girl watching the ocean together that was very cute) they seem to want to try new things with every other game.

Case in point, this game allows you to have the 'A' and 'B' buttons do different things... not just item and sword. You can do item and item too and they work together in different ways. They don't tell you this in the book nor in the game.

So imagine my problem when I had to use a wish.

: Heya. Um, in this game I can't seem to get over this big opening. One of the clues that the game gives me is to "Run and Fly", but I can't get across. I keep falling.

: So how do you run?

: With the Pegasus Boots.

: And how do you fly?

: ... by... running off a cliff?

: How do you jump over pits right now?

: It's a wish, Genie. Don't make me cram you back in that bottle physically!

: (sigh) Use the Pegasus boots and the Feather together.

: Aw.... SON OF A...!!!

Also, the addition of side-quests is interesting, but a bit unenjoyable. (Non-spoiler example) To open a gate you must get a key. But the guy with the key needs honeybread... to get the honey you must defeat a goblin who wants a flower. Then you find the flower and forget what the F*** you were doing in the first place! I just don't like it when games get too complicated with a "get this to get that" thing.

But I'm at the fourth dungeon and just got the flippers. So it's actually going pretty fast.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


So last night I finally faced off against Gannon for the first time (well, it IS "Link to the PAST"). And all I can say is that I WISH there were a Master Game set up in this cartridge because I would play it almost immediately (yes, even with this challenge going on). SPOILERS ABOUND AHEAD.

So after getting to the last door of Gannon's tower, I decided to go straight in. After getting my butt almost handed to me, I finally prevailed only to see Gannon's spirit leave his form and go elsewhere. A flute in the distance called to the bird which took me to the pyramid in the Dark World. This is where I saved and made my last two wishes.

: Ok Genie. Wakey Wakey! I am almost at the end, but wish to have a bit more of a 'completed inventory' than I do now.

: Ok. Lay it on me, mah main Jew ah Jewenstein.

: Ok. My second wish is to waitaminute... did you just call me "Jew ah Jewenstein"?

: .... sorry. Um... it sounded clever in the lamp.

: Second wish - To know where that 4th bottle is. Third wish is to know where the remaining 5 pieces of heart are.

: I shall tell you in verse - (ahem)

The bottle you seek is in the dark lands
Where the smithies would be, if you will,
The chest can't be opened, so take it to light
The silent man sits in the desert.

Go to GameFaqs, for there you will find
a list of the hearts.

: Wow... that didn't even rhyme.

: ... yeah, I'm not very good at poetry.

So after getting the bottle and one more piece of heart (and not wanting to spend too much time searching for the others) I go forth and fight Gannon. Emerging victorious (after three attempts) I smiled as the credits ran pleased that all was right in the world, and enjoying the music greatly.

For those of you in the know, my final stats were:
Total Games Played: 048 (1, 2, 3)
Game Play Time: 15 hours 30 minutes
Life Hearts: 19
Sword: 4
That I have never played this game before is a real tragedy as this is surely one of the best games I have ever played. Nintendo went back to a plan that works with A Link To The Past after the previous Zelda II game.

The graphics are truly reminiscent of what majesty the Super Nintendo system brought to the world. Crisp colors and clever graphics make for a great game. The animation is pleasant and never confusing.

The game world is well mapped out to give a challenge to both the novice and the seasoned gamer. There is just enough puzzle in the world to have a youngster make it through (more-so than the first and second titles) and the addition of the world map made it easier still. But don't think that knowing where things were made the difficulty of getting there any cake-walk. The difficulty still forces those grey matter cells to pump furiously as you try to determine how to proceed. A terrific challenge.

Then we get into the storyline which is very detailed for a game that is not really an RPG. The history is deep enough so you feel bad when things happen to the townsfolk, but distances its self enough so that you don't feel like you have to follow too much of a path (harkening back to the first Zelda game's non-linear play).

As endings go, this was a truly satisfying event for me. Usually, the titles just pop up and that's it. But the game drew you into the ending and resolved many things that were just floating about. Then, when the credits did roll, the music was haunting and pleasant. A truly enchanting experience.

So, for giving me so much for my time and making me wish it never ended, I give The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past five Disco Warios!

Now, I start the fourth game of the series, this time on hand-held! The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening came out in 1993 on the GameBoy Color to an audience ready for more fun. Not being satisfied with being repetitive, the gameplay changed slightly and more features were added. I am now on my way to play the fourth game in this incredible series.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Link to the Past: 13 Hours 15 Minutes

I got the 7th dungeon down, the princesses unlocked the magical barrier, I have 18 and 3/4 hearts, 3 bottles filled with red healing potion, silver arrows, a level 4 sword, red armour, and two wishes left...

...let's roll.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Link to the Past: 10 Hours

Sixth dungeon down... seventh one to go. I think I'm actually going through this game faster than the other two because this one (Link to the Past) gives you the locations of the dungeons. Had they not, then I think the game would easily have doubled in difficulty.

If I get down to the last part and still have two wishes left, I think I'll make a wish to know where the other heart containers are (so I can have a full length of hearts) or where the fourth empty jar is (I got the one from under the bridge and the one from the 'swami' in the town).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Link to the Past: 8 Hours 50 Minutes

Just two hours last night and I got so much accomplished!

I keep on trying to think of how young you would be to enjoy the game and find the secrets hidden within. To tell you the truth, it's actually pretty challenging to figure the tasks ahead and what to do. From playing the first game I can figure out where hidden things may be... but kids may have a tough time ahead of them. There's still so much to do in the game, but MAN does it get challenging.

Luckilly I have only used one wish (and even THAT I should have searched harder) and I am working my way into the sixth dungeon. One more up in the mountains and it's on to the last battle (I am assuming).

I cannot tell you all enough how much I like this game. Please, for the love of Link, if you have a Wii and points for the virtual console... BUY THIS GAME! You will not regret the 800 points.