The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past Review
Posted by Damien McFerran
A Link to a Classic
To put it simply, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is one of the finest RPGs in existence. Everything is perfect - the bold lines and subtle pastel-tones of the graphics, the triumphant rendition of the Zelda theme, the excellent yet simple combat system, the brilliantly conceived logic puzzles. Nintendo left nothing to chance here and crafted one of the greatest pieces of software to grace the SNES.
After tampering with the franchise with Zelda II: The Adventure of Link for the NES, Nintendo returned to the great adventurous gameplay that made the series famous; Link to the Past is a big game with lots to do and see. It's a great achievement in pretty much every way. You play as Link (or whatever you name him), and you must destroy Ganon who plans on taking over or destroying Hyrule — you start off with little to no skill and earn new abilities as you progress through the game. You'll get many items such as the bow, hammer, and various magical weapons.
Later in the game you'll travel to a different side of Hyrule, the dark side. It's almost identical in design but what sets it apart from the light world of Hyrule is the dark enemies and dungeons. The dungeons in Link to the Past are indeed brilliant. There are plenty of puzzles to put your mind against in these dungeons, some simple, some difficult, and some that will simply give you a headache. At the end of almost every dungeon is a boss, and most of them are gigantic beasts that are extremely challenging.
It's easy to overlook the most important things in Zelda, so you have to be sure to keep your eyes wide open at all times; throughout the land of Hyrule you'll discover new areas and meet new people — some will be helpful, some not, and some just plain weird. Link to the Past has a lot of personality and a good story as well.
Amazingly the game doesn't feel like a retro title, even when played today; that's the sign of a true classic. A welcome addition to the Virtual Console library.