Rank 'Em: The Legend of Zelda (#11 - 6)
***This is something I wrote over 3 years ago for a now-defunct personal blog. However, I think it's one of my better posts from that blog, so I thought I'd touch it up and share it.
I've been a huge Zelda fan since I was a child, and even though I've grown away from Nintendo in recent years, I'll always have a place in my heart for the Zelda series. So I went about creating a list of which Zelda games I like the best. Keep in mind that pretty much every Zelda game I've played has been excellent, which makes it hard to determine exactly why I like one game over another. Well, without further ado...
N/A - "Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure", "Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks", "Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword" - All three of these games are sitting on my shelf, waiting to be played. When I was younger, I couldn't have ever imagined that there would be an available Zelda game that I had never played. let alone 3. I'm not sure when I'll get to any of these, so that number may even jump to 4 after Link to the Past 2 releases.
#11 - "Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap" - Zelda games, particularly Zelda handheld games, are very similar in tone and style in my opinion. Minish Cap plays a lot like it's handheld predecessors, and doesn't introduce anything new. The game isn't memorable in any specific way, and the use of the "Minish Cap" to make Link tiny really isn't especially fun or rewarding. That isn't to say that it's not worth playing, because the exact opposite is true. It's a great Zelda game with great gameplay and is one of the better Game Boy Advance games available. However, strictly compared to its Zelda brethren, it just falls a little bit short.
#10 - "Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask" - The second N64 Zelda release failed to impress in several different ways. The 3 day time limit really didn't add or detract much from the game, it more just felt like a deterrent and extender for the game. The masks, other than the ones that changed your form, weren't overly impressive or fun. And only 4 dungeons in the entire game was a letdown. However, I also did take a lot of the fun out of Majora's Mask myself. It came out around the same time as I started using the internet. For some reason I decided to print out a full guide for the game from GameFAQs, and play strictly from the guide. I think it took a lot of fun out of the game, and Majora's Mask is definitely the one Zelda game I need to re-play. At this point I probably won't remember how to do anything, and maybe I'll find a lot more enjoyment from the game.
#9 - "Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages/Seasons" - The 2nd round of handheld Zelda games were released together, each costing $30, and used a password systems to link the two games together. Much like Minish Cap, they were both quality, lengthy Zelda adventures, but neither was extremely memorable. Also, playing 2 full length Zelda games right in a row resulted in a little bit of burnout.
#8 - "Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker" - The only "real" GameCube Zelda release, Wind Waker is one of the most controversial Zelda games among fans. When it released, there was a lot of complaining about the graphical style. Nowadays the game is a little bit more revered, but there are still some who don't care for the cel shaded, cartoonish art-style. Likewise, I've heard that some people thoroughly enjoy sailing across the world and exploring, and others found it the biggest time-waster in Zelda history. I'm a little bit torn about this game myself. There are certainly memorable moments, but the sailing can really take you out of the game. I also wasn't impressed with the implementation of the Wind Waker Wand, it felt very similar to the Ocarina.
#7 - "Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass" - The first Zelda DS offering was a long, quality adventure that also featured sailing, but thankfully not as much as Wind Waker. I personally enjoyed the touch screen mechanics and had no problems with them, but others found them a nuisance.
#6 - "Zelda II: The Adventures of Link" - If Wind Waker isn't the most controversial Zelda game amongst fans than Zelda II definitely is. Zelda II is a departure from the original Zelda in plenty of ways. First, it's a side-scroller during the action scenes. The aeriel view used in the first game was only used when traveling across the world in Zelda II. This Zelda also had an RPG flavor not really seen in previous or future iterations. Even the Nintendo Power list that inspired my own personal list had this game ranked dead last. However, I really enjoyed the game (although my nostalgia glasses may be interfering with me a bit). The game had classic dungeons, amazing sprites, and great bosses. The trip to get the hammer was an absolute death wish! The final dungeon, which is nearly impossible to get to, is just as impossible to complete. And remember the Thunderbird? He's one of my favorite video game characters of all time because I hated him so badly. Zelda II may not be my favorite Zelda game, but it's the most endearing to me. Adding to my endearment is the fact that I didn't own this game until years after it released. My cousins in California had it, so I would get to play it for about 1 week, twice a year when we would go to visit. Never long enough to actually beat the game. So years later when I finally bought the game for myself, being able to finish it was one of my greatest gaming memories.
So that just leaves my 5 favorite Zelda games left. I'll post them sometime next week. Until then, are there any other major Zelda fanboys out there? Feel free to tell me how wrong I am for posting Majora's Mask and Wind Waker so low on this list!