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The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages Review
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The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages Review

Review by CZewe
About a week ago I was looking through the latest issue of Nintendo Power when I saw two new Zelda games for the Game Boy Color. I had always love Zelda games so I decided to get one when I went to pre-order my Game Boy Advance later that day. So when I got to Electronics Boutique I decided to get Oracle of Seasons instead of Oracle of Ages, because Ages is supposed to have harder puzzles and revolve around brainwork rather than fighting. I drove home and eagerly turned on Game Boy Color and got started. Only about seven hours later did I stop because my batteries died. Before that happened I learned that the puzzles were very tough, even for me. It took me three whole days just to beat the second dungeon. Now that you know all of that pointless garbage, Ill tell you the stuff you want to know.

Graphics- 10 out of 10
Oracle of Ages uses the GBCs power very well. Everything is very colorful and well animated. Unlike most Game Boy games, Oracle of Ages goes into fairly too. But all in all, the graphics look very much like the ones in Links Awakening DX.

Sound- 10 out of 10
Like any good Zelda game, Oracle of Ages manages to have all of the classic Zelda tunes and some great new ones too. We all have grown to know and love the old Zelda melodies, so theres no need to tell you how great it is, but the new ones are just as good and I hope they use them in the next Zelda. Aside from the music, the sound effects are excellent too.

Play Control- 10 out of 10
In the play control department OOA is perfect just like in all of the other categories. You moving using the arrows on the D-pad, push Select to bring up the map, push Start to bring up your inventory screen, and push A or B to use your equipped weapons. Its Simple as that.

Game Design- 10 out of 10
Oracle of Ages is a completely new Zelda game in many ways. There are tons of new items, Zelda isnt involved at all (in fact hardly any of the old characters are except about 5), and it doesnt even take place in Hyrule. Despite that, Oracle of Ages manages to bet the second best Zelda out there. The only Zelda better is A Link to the Past for the Super NES.

Replay Value and Challenge- 10 out of 10
It may not be the best Zelda, but its definitely the hardest. Do you remember how I said it took me three days to beat the second dungeon? It took me seven days to beat the fifth. With brainbusting puzzles, juggernaut bosses, and a truckload of cool secrets, you wont be able to put this pocket-sized masterpiece down. I have yet to beat it but when I do Im sure Ill want to play it again and get all of the stuff I missed and make some different choices in the game too.

Overall- 10 out of 10
Overall, Oracle of Ages is a game nobody should be without. Its chock-full of secrets, side quests, cool new items, and zany new characters. If I ever beat it, Ill purchase Oracle of Seasons to see if it matches the quality of its partner pak. And just like all of the other Zelda games Oracle of Seasons got an E rating from ESRB, so all ages can play it.
Reviewer's Score: 10 / 10
Review by Emperor Ghaleon
  I've played most of the games in the Zelda series, with the exception of the N64 games, and there hasn't been a single one I didn't like. Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages is no exception. It was released along with another game, Legend of Zelda, Oracle of Seasons, and there's a link system between the two that I'm not clear on yet. Anyway, let's get on to the stuff I am clear on. There's plenty of time to find out about the gray areas.
Play/Control 10-10. If you've played Link's Awakening, then you should have little trouble with this game, as its controls are almost exactly the same, with only a small exception, and that is how you access the save system, but I'll get to that later. As in Link's Awakening, you can assign an item to either the A or B button, (I usually put the sword on the B button.) You know what the D-pad is for, it moves the character or cursor. Select will bring up a map, (which shows areas you've already visited and their names if you want to see the names. It also shows your current location. Start will bring up the menu screen where you can assign items to buttons. Pressing Select and Start together will access the save screen. In Link's Awakening, you pressed A B Select and Start all at once to save, but in this game it'll perform an automatic reset. The controls are all very easy to learn and once you learn it you shouldn't have any problems.
Audio 10-10. You'll recognize some tunes from Link's Awakening, but there are some new tunes, and they're pretty good. The Link's Awakening tunes have been slightly reformated but they're still memorable. The overworld theme stays its beautiful self, and that's a good thing. The SFX are nothing special, but they get the job done, and yes, you will hear some SFX from Link's Awakening.
Story 10-10. The best story I've seen in a Zelda game, and it's linked to the story of the other game that comes with Oracle of Ages, Oracle of Seasons. In Ages, Link one day finds himself in a forest, where he chases monsters away from Impa, the nursemaid to Princess Zelda. But Impa turns out to be possessed by Veran, Sorceress of Shadows, who plans to travel back in time using the powers of Nayru, Oracle of Ages, and bring on an Age of Shadows.
Fun Factor 10-10. This game features a Link System that will allow you to transfer items and abilities acquired in one game to the other. I just got these games today, so I'm not clear on the link system, but I intend to find out all I can about it.
Overall 10-10. Because these games just came out a few weeks ago they shouldn't be hard to find. I recommend getting them if you want a really involved storyline. You'll definitely be busy for a while!
Reviewer's Score: 10 / 10
Review by Jerec
  Nintendo always pride themselves on making the best games. One of their most popular franchises and by far the best is Zelda. For over a decade, Nintendo have made Zelda games for their systems. The NES had two, the SNES had one, the N64 had two and the GameBoy had one. Just as the GameBoy Advance was sweeping consumers off their feet with a broom, Nintendo had to make sure that the GameBoy Color went out with a bang.

Enter, Zelda: Oracle of Ages, counterpart to the other GBC Zelda game with the title Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. Originally, there were to be three Zelda games, but due to what I think is time and money constraints, only two were produced. Let's delve, shall we?

I like the stories Nintendo devise for their Zelda games. Lets see what they have for us this time (flicks through instruction book). Here it is; the evil Veran has taken over Impa and asked Link to move a special rock so she can get to Nayru (sounds familiar to Ocarina of Time fans). Once in, Veran takes Nayru to the past leaving Link to save the day. This is interesting. Link cannot go it alone though, that is why he will have a tree to help him. Links first objective is to go back in time and save the tree as a sprout so he can start on his quest.

So you can time travel
Just like in Ocarina of Time, Link must do some time travelling. In this game, Link will stay the same age and the world around him will just change. For Link to travel through time, he must play his instrument near a time portal. Later on, you won't have to find a time portal to travel through the fabric of time, which makes the whole idea a lot easier. The main town is called Lynna City and you will get to see it as a thriving city in the present time and you can go back in time to see how the town was when people were sent to work on the tower. The tower will provide the main chunk of the story, as you have to collect 8 special instruments to save the day. Things you do in the past will affect the future too, so the limits of what can be done in this game are almost endless.

These puzzles seem harder
As with some of the previous Zelda games, you will have to solve puzzles to progress through the land and dungeons. There are some simple puzzles like pushing a multicoloured block around the room so the right colour faces up on the hole. There are time-based puzzles, which involve you doing something like plant a seed in the past and return in the present time. Getting around the terrain can be difficult at times, so you will have to travel through time to get past. Some puzzles are incredibly difficult to solve and you'll be kicking yourself when you figure out how it is done. The simplest answer is usually the right one.

As with every Zelda game, there are dungeons, which provide the bulk of your gameplay. Inside the dungeons you will find many enemies which require killing. Not every enemy can be defeated by a simple slash of the sword; some need to be bombed. Some need to be bounced back by a shield then slashed. Each dungeon seems to follow a basic pattern. Puzzles in most rooms to get keys to unlock doors. There are always three special treasure chests, which contain the map, compass and the item for that dungeon. Each dungeon always contains two enemies, one is the mini boss which turns into a teleporter back to the start of the level and the end of the dungeon boss which lets you grab the instrument and be on your way.

I mentioned items
Every Zelda game has items. This game is no exception. You can get the sword and shield (upgrade them too), a musical instrument, the trusty deluxe shovel, a seed bag. You can also get items like Roc's feather that allows you to jump holes. Flippers' allowing you to swim and a power bracelet allowing you to lift rocks and pots. There are many items I haven't mentioned, but that's up to you to find and use them.

I am Frodo Baggins, Lord of the Rings. Whoops
You can collect a number of magic rings, which can do things to make the game different for each player. You take your ring to an appraiser to find out what it does. The full extent of the rings is unknown when you first start. Perhaps they gain some importance when you get further in the game?

Talk to the animals
Because the terrain is rough, you will need the help of three animal buddies. You will come across them and they will need your help. In exchange for helping them out of their sticky situation, they will return the favour and help you along in the game. Ricky a kangaroo with boxing gloves (yes, that's why they called it a marsupial?) can jump high. Dimitri the Dodongo can swim and Moosh the winged bear can hover. These animals are essential to the quest but many people have asked the question ''Where's Epona?'' My theory about the whereabouts of our favourite horse is that Link went through a portal to this land and couldn't take the horse with him.

There are a number of minigames you can take part in including target practice games and passing meat to Tokays (little island dwelling green skin guys). The minigames are fun enough to go back and replay, which says a lot considering it is a minigame.

If you have fingers, you should be able to control this game pretty well. You can assign items to the 'A' and 'B' buttons and you move around with the control pad. Pretty simplistic isn't it?

What a graphical treat
The GameBoy Color never looked so nice. Beautifully coloured scenes will be your life for the next few months. The sand on Crescent Island looks convincing, as does the water, rocks and grasses. Lava looks more like bubbling dirt though. The dungeons are artistically designed and it looks like Nintendo and Capcom went to a lot of trouble to make every enemy, every character and ever location look as good as the GameBoy Color is capable of. While this is the GBC, Link still looks fairly detailed and you can see a face in there along with his green attire.

Music to my ears
A lot of the music is really good. The intro music is eerily familiar of the other Zelda games. Each dungeon has a different track of music and most of them sound good. Some bits of music did get a little irritating after a while like Lynna City and Cresent Island. People say that the GameBoy Color can only make beeps for sound. This is true, but Nintendo knows how to turn those beeps into music.

Sound Effects
Every Zelda game has an infernal beeping whenever your health is low. To tell you the truth, the noise can get ever so irritating that it could cause you to make a fatal mistake rather than actually make you more careful. Other sound effects are pretty much the same as Links Awakening with sword swinging and slashing remaining the same. Dimitri makes a funny ''Chomp'' noise too when you get him to eat.

Lasting Appeal
This is where the game really outdoes itself. The two games can be linked together with passwords and secrets making you play both games to get the most out of everything. You can go back and play the minigames or even play the whole game again. You could find all the rings and heart pieces too. There are just so many things you can do in this game. It will take you a while to completely finish it. Good for a long car trip.

Nintendo have made this game a little more challenging than their previous games to provide veterans of the series with something to think about. I felt that it was aimed at a slightly older audience than the previous games with its harder puzzles and more matured plot. Anyone with a brain would enjoy playing this. People without a brain tend to stick with platformers.

A wonderful game which shows that the GameBoy Color is still capable of doing bigger and better things. It is amazing to see what the GameBoy Advance is capable of when it comes to Zelda.

Why does Jerec like this game?
Jerec thinks that this is one of the best games on the GameBoy Color because it tells a good story and provides a tough bunch of puzzles that make you remember what games are all about. Coupled with the best graphics and sound seen and heard on the GBC, it is a game for many Zelda fans to get excited about. I particularly loved the bosses and the tactics you must use to dispense with them. A masterpiece that should be cherished by all.
Reviewer's Score: 9 / 10

Review by Poogie
  To start this is by far the best game on the Game Boy Color.It is even better on the Game Boy Advance due to new secrets. If you played Link's Awakening for the GBC then you won't be disappointed. This game is even better when linked to Legend of Zelda:Oracle of Seasons.The password system is simply amazing. After you complete one game you get a password to go to the other game.

It begins with Link accepting a quest sent by the Triforce. Impa,Zelda's helper, is trapped by monsters when Link saves her.They meet Nayru and and then a witch,Veran, takes control of Nayru. With the innovative story and the chance to go through time.I was deeply involved in this game for hours.

The same battle system from LA.Very easy controls with the a and b buttons as weapons,select as the map, and start brings up the inventory. The weapons you get are incredible and you never thought could be a weapon like the seed shooter or the boomerang.

the graphics are the best I have ever seen on the GBC. You will never see better graphics on the GBC.PERIOD.

Some new music livens up the mood of places and some classic music from other Zelda's.Good music for the game The dungeon music is incredible and sets the mood for gameplay.

Replay Value:10/10
You'll never want to put it down. After you beat it you'll want to play it over and over. It is truly addicting.

Rent or Buy?
You'll definitely want to buy this game it is challenging and exciting. Don't rent it,it is a waste of $7.00. With that money you only need $23.00 more until you have the greatest game ever.

This is way more challenging than any of the other Legend of Zelda games. It has more puzzles than Legend of Zelda:Oracle of Seasons. While Seasons is more action based with harder enemies Ages is definitely more puzzle based and easier bosses. There are more secrets throughout the game that need time and patience to complete. Sometimes the puzzles can get frustrating especially at the end when you need to go from past to present and vice versa. If this is your first time playing you may struggle at times like I did at first. The final boss in Ages is difficult compared to different dungeon bosses. Just when you think its the ending it really isn't.

The beat game ever.PERIOD.
Reviewer's Score: 10 / 10
Review by s742617000027s1
  Although quite different from the incessantly popular N64 versions, this Zelda game truely has something special. Its superb gameplay coupled with its intense puzzles and action, or at least as much action as you can get on this type of format of a game, makes this Zelda game a true classic.

There was a lot of hype when this game was coming out. You know the ''ultimate zelda trilogy'' and such. Well as it turns out its not a trilogy, its two games, whatever you call that. Both are similar to the greatest extent and both are definetly worth a try. But be forewarned, this game does require thinking. Its not just some mindless ''punch the buttons as much as I can game'' like games such as Gauntlet Dark Legacy (which does have some strategy too it, but is just to much button-mashing for me), sorry about the segue there.

Although not argueably as good as its predecessor, Link's Awakening, this game, or games, has key ideas that make it stand out from the rest. But of course, as with Oracle of Seasons, it has its faults.

Both storylines are fairly bland. The basic ''person gets caught by evil woman/man, let's go fight her'' style. But kudos to this game for a much better developed plot than the Seasons game.

Here's the basics on the gameplay style for you newbies (otherwise skip this paragraph):

Basically, you are Link. A small elvish-like character with a green robe and sword. The basics of this game are pretty simple. You have a map of the land you are in which is a 16 by 16 sqaure grid. Each sqaure on the grid represents one screen in the actual game. So if you go to the edge of one screen its shifts one over, or up, etc. When you start out, you worm your way around the grid, meeting characters and learning about the plot. But you can only go so far before you have exhausted all available paths. What now?? There are many unexplored squares (colored gray as opposed to the terrian coloring of the the explored squares) to search, but there's something blocking me at each area. Well, you need to find the first dungeon. The dungeon is basically a small building with a tiny grid map. It can vary from 1-6 in number of floors. Basically, you defeat enemies and solve puzzles to get keys to get to new areas in the dungeon. Each area has a mini-boss, and a boss. Aquired through the dungeons are special items which are sometimes weapons. These new items will help you get across to the new areas. For example, sometimes where you want to go there are rocks in the way. In a dungeon you will find the item to pick it up with, thereby removing the obstruction. So that's the game. You walk around solving puzzles, sometimes by asking others to gain enterance to the dungeons. Complete all 8 dungeons and face the final boss. Of course this game is extremely creative in one aspect: the gift of time. You gain the ability to time travel, from past to present. So technically there are two different 16 by 16 maps to explore. If you cannot get to someplace, you may have to think, god forbid, and go to the place you want to be in the past, and then travel to the present. There are numerous such puzzles.

Gameplay (100/100)-Done perfectly

Controls (100/100)-Simple to understand (well theres only 4 buttons!).

Enemies (90/100)-Although plenty of them, some of them are highly annoying.

Creativity (100/100)-There are many creative aspects in this game, from the boss design, to the clever dungeon layouts. One thing especially is the linking-system. See below paragraph)

Fun Factor (80/100)-This is where it made its downfall. This is illustrated in some of the paragraphs below.

Replay Value (5 times MAX)-You won't want to play it more than that. Maybe if you leave it for about 5 months and go back. But its a long game anyway.

Overall (90/100)-A great and innovative game with its minor faults, but an overall well-rounded game to add to the bank.

LINKing System (hahaha....)-Great idea, but somewhat pointless. This didn't really bother me but it really is. Basically, when you complete the game, you get to buy the next one and continue the quest in the next game (works the other way too). In the next game it really isn't too different. One thing that doesn't make sense is starting out with nothing again. You health bar is back to its orignal minimum. Things like that. So when you complete this one, people give you passwords in this game. Then you can go back to the orignal game you played and give people there passwords. They give you new item upgrades and things like that. I've never tried it, but I believe you can ''return-link'', which is return to the other game again to get more upgrades. But whats the point really, you already completed the games, its not too much fun beating it while being invincible.

So...why didn't this ''perfect game'' get 10/10? Here's why: Sometimes, as I say for Seasons, this game occaisonally crosses the line from challenging and fun to insanity and annoyingness (or whatever you would say). You fight some really stupid bosses. One of which, Smog, really makes me angry. Its a puzzle to beat him, and its so annoying because there is too much to contend with.

What makes this game special? Its unique gameplay and style. Its unlike any other. And come'on, its Miyamoto for crying out loud!!!

Other: Cost ($20-$35)
Try also: Any other Zelda game, especially N64 ones,
and also of course, Seasons. Although
Seasons is much more battle-oriented.
Reviewer's Score: 9 / 10