The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition Review

The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition Review

Back in 2002 Nintendo ported the SNES classic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past to the Game Boy Advance alongside an extra game entitled The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. New to the franchise, it focused on cooperative multiplayer exclusively to the point of requiring players to play with at least one friend via the system's link cables to even play the game. The entry also appeared on the Nintendo GameCube as The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, a separate game entirely which featured greatly enhanced graphics but allowed people without friends locally to play the game by themselves. Both games had their own sets of issues since they required each player to have their own cable to link together. So when Nintendo announced a free (until May 2012) port of the GBA version with new extras for the Nintendo DSi Shop (also playable on the new Nintendo 3DS) that utilized the system's wireless connectivity, needless to say many fans were excited at the prospect of cable-free gameplay. And after playing it, we can say that Nintendo succeeded on this front.

For those who never played the original or the GameCube spin-off, it can be summed up in two words: multiplayer Zelda. It was designed specifically for multiplayer as each player takes control of a differently-colored link with up to four players playing at any given time. And depending on the number of players partaking in the stage it scales in size and scope accordingly. Being a competitive multiplayer game at heart, whoever obtains the most rupees at the end of the stage (made up of three levels including a boss level at the end) will come out on top. Because of this, participants need to decide when it's best to work together or when it's best to throw your opponent off a cliff or push them into an enemy to grab those extra rupees.

Needless to say, four-player matches are incredibly fun and exhilarating because of this mechanic and it really plays into the "just one more round" mentality. The fact that players can easily connect to each other wirelessly instead of connecting clumsy cables breaks down a lot of the barriers that negatively affected the acceptance of the original version.

Just this would have been a good enough upgrade for what's a free title, but Nintendo and developer Grezzo, who most people know as the developer of the The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D remake, went the extra mile by including two new stages that are unlockable after fulfilling certain conditions in the original stages. The first stage, Realm of Memories, which is unlocked after defeating the final boss Vatti once, transports players into levels modeled after Link to the Past, Link's Awakening and the original Legend of Zelda for the NES.


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