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Game Profile
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
GameCube
PUBLISHER:
Nintendo
DEVELOPER:
Nintendo
GENRE: Adventure
PLAYERS:   1-4
RELEASE DATE:
June 07, 2004
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
IN THE SERIES
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time 3D

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

More in this Series
 Written by Jeff Milligan  on September 10, 2003

First Impressions: Quadruple the Links, quadruple the fun!


Normally, when a new Zelda is announced for a console, so much hype and anticipation surround it that it almost becomes unbearable for gamers to wait for it's release. It's no big mystery why this happens, all you have to do is take a look at the proven track record Zelda games have made and the impact they've made in the world of gaming. When both The Ocarina of Time and The Wind Waker were announced, game players around the world were almost crying with anticipation towards their respective releases. Even when the remake of A Link to the Past was released for the Game Boy Advance recently, we were giddy with excitement. However, when E3 hit this year, Zelda fans were hit with something that was certainly unexpected. The announcement of 2 new Zelda games, both for the Nintendo GameCube, and the shock of gamers echoed afterwards. The difference being that this time around, most of the shock that came from the announcement wasn't a exactly a happy one.

As we reported earlier this year from E3, Nintendo made the announcement of 2 new Zelda games, The Legend of Zelda: Tetra's Trackers, and The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords. At the time, both titles seemed to be somewhat of a disappointment to us. Neither brought what we were expecting to see, which was a brand new Zelda adventure. Instead, we witnessed screens and videos of a Game Boy Advance game being played on the GameCube, and what seemed to be a re-hash of the most recent Zelda, The Wind Waker. However, we have to take what we can get and for the time being, The Four Swords will have to quench our desire for more Zelda.

Last December, Capcom was responsible for re-creating one of the best games in the Zelda series and bringing it to the Game Boy Advance. Along with the port of A Link to the Past, Capcom included something extra, something never before seen in the world of Zelda. That extra was the inclusion of The Four Swords, the first ever multi-player Zelda. The Four Swords allowed up to 4 players to connect together and co-operatively adventure through numerous dungeons. Although it was rather expensive to play fully (requiring 4 GBA's and 4 game cartridges), The Four Swords was overall a very nice inclusion. Now, Nintendo is bringing that same Four Swords to the GameCube, with an unsettling number of minimal changes.

As was brought out, The Four Swords is a multi-player co-op Zelda. With up to 4 players interacting at the same time, The Four Swords puts players in a world similar to that found in A Link to the Past. Players will have to interact with each other in various ways in order to solve difficult puzzles and defeat numerous enemies. Players will also need to keep a watch out for themselves, as collecting rupees is one of the main goals during gameplay. So far everything's pretty familiar right? Well, keep reading for a serious case of deja vu.

The Four Swords on the GameCube will be played almost identical to that of the Game Boy Advance version. Although the game is primarily shown on the television, some instances will be viewed on the GBA screen. What a minute, GBA? Nintendo has made it so The Four Swords GC will be played with GBA's connected to the GameCube with a link cable. So if you plan on playing the GC version of Four Swords, you STILL need to own a GBA. When players enter houses or caves, the game switches from the big screen to the players GBA screen. The action cannot continue until all players find their way back to the overworld, so don't think you can get a head start by being quick.

Another feature being borrowed from the original Game Boy Advance Four Swords is the graphics. When The Four Swords GC was announced, I was almost certain that it would feature Wind Waker- like graphics. Not so. The GameCube versions's graphics will be the same as was found on the GBA, and even further back, the Super Nintendo. A few changes have been added, such as enemies exploding into purple clouds of smoke when defeated a la Wind Waker, but for the most part it's nothing new.

Final Thoughts
Let's get something straight right away; I'm one of the biggest Zelda fans you can find. I've beaten the original Super Nintendo A Link to the Past more times than I can count, but I honestly cannot muster any anticipation for this title. When Capcom included The Four Swords along with their port of A Link to the Past, it was a great add-on, but trying to sell it as a full-blown version by itself seems to be folly, especially if Nintendo plans on marketing it for the standard $49.99. I pray that Nintendo has some untold details about the game that they haven't released just yet, because as the game stands now, I don't see it selling, despite having the name Zelda in the title. The Legend of Zelda: The Four Swords hits stores early next year, whether some changes are made or not.


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