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Which game will you play the most this month?

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Game Profile
Game Boy
GENRE: Adventure
May 14, 2001
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

Link's Crossbow Training

More in this Series
 Written by Derek Noad  on June 13, 2001

Review: To everything, turn, turn, turn; There is a season, turn, turn...

I've played all the real Zelda games (not that Zelda 2 rubbish) and this one ranks up there with the best. There's not much better than taking everyone's favorite heroic adventurer, Link, on the road in your Game Boy.

With all the graphical eye candy that we get accustomed to it's hard to be dazzled by the Game Boy Color. Nevertheless, Oracle of Seasons is visually impressive. The animation is very smooth and you'd be hard pressed to find any slowdown. Even the tiny characters have their own features like the Mario and Luigi look a-likes from Ocarina with Italian mustaches and such. All of the dungeon rooms and locales are filled with vibrant color and detail. In the GBC's final days, this really shows what the little machine can do. So, as far as the appearance goes, I have no complaints at all.

The sound is quality compared to the mind numbing crap usually found on Game Boy. The over world music is the classic song we have all come to love. Even each dungeon has a distinct eerie tune. The sound effects are nothing to get too excited about. Zelda veterans will remember the old "puzzle being solved sound" but the rest is scratches and beeps. The music may get repetitive after hours of play but you won't always have the volume down like other GB titles.

Gameplay is where Oracle of Seasons really shines. The weapons are great. The items are new and fun. The dungeons are challenging. There is so much that makes playing Seasons excellent. From oldies like bombs to new ones like the seed satchel or magnet gloves the equipment leaves little room for improvement. All of the different tools make each dungeon room an enigma to overcome. The coolest of all is the Rod of Seasons. Hop onto a tree stump and swing it for a totally new world. Lakes become frozen in winter; vines flourish in the summer and the fall causes leaves to fall over pits. There are so many puzzles that open up with the ingenious little staff.

Like the gameplay isn't reason enough to play it, the features are just icing on the cake. For one the slow text that has plagued Zelda games is now replaced with lightning speed scrolling for the impatient gamer or you can adjust it for you slow reading pleasure. Saving is better than Link's Awakening (the prequel) where you had to quit every time you saved instead of being able to save and continue. In addition you'll find a useful item for warping. There are at least 6 or 7 points you can speedily jump to that makes exploration much more tolerable. The map also shows all shops, spots to change seasons and other points of interest. Another handy feature is the rumored compatibility with GBA. You will be able to access a new area with Nintendo's future of handheld gaming. Don't forget the best feature the link system with Oracle of Ages which lets you take your progress to another entirely new adventure. From there you can jump back and forth to each game to find all the hidden secrets.

Replay is definitely not a problem here. If you can actually beat the game in a reasonable time there is much else to do. Seeing how each dungeon has some insane puzzles and bosses it will take hours just to reach the end. But wait, there's more. Link can partake in a long trading sequence to get a really helpful item (I won't ruin the surprise). There is also a cool item called a Gasha seed. Plant it like those beans from the N64 series and watch it grow into a tree that contains a random surprise. Each planting location yields its own gift making exploration of every square of the map more rewarding. Often times the gift is a ring that Link can equip for special skills. Such powers include projectile defense, becoming enemies, or other advantageous traits. There are 60 rings to find, which means more stuff to search for.

Bottom Line
This is quite possibly one of the best games for Game Boy Color. Any Zelda collection can't be full without it.

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