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The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
Came Boy Color
Zelda, from Capcom, with love.
Overall Rating:

Animefringe Reviews:
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages
By Ridwan Khan

Zeldais a name synonymous with Nintendo since the orginal Zelda game was released on the Nintendo. In fact, Nintendo's excellent American tech support line was born when the company worried American gamers might find the orginal too hard. Thus, it might seem odd that Nintendo would trust such an important license to Capcom. However, Capcom came through with flying colors. Orginally, it was planned that there would be several games in an interlocking series for the Gameboy. However, for the time being, Zelda: Oracle of Ages is compatible with it's sister title, Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. The games allow the player to use items and weapons collected in one game to be moved to another, and it would seem that this would be the star attraction. However, Ages stands very well by itself as a member of the Zelda family.

Anyone who has played Zelda: Link's Awakening will be at home in Oracle of Ages. Capcom used Awakening firmly as a base and so Ages falls well into the series. In the game, an Evil Empress plans to use the power of different queens to control time and destroy the Great Tree, so she can take over the world. To this end she takes of control of a singer, Nayruu, and travels to the past. Enter our hero, Link, who attempts to rescue Nayruu. It's nothing we haven't seen before, but it's not an important aspect of the game. The plot does get a little more interesting during the course of the game, particularly near the end.

Oracle of Ages is about dungeon crawling, just like previous Zelda installments. To this end, Ages has several interesting twists on the formula. Almost every dungeon has a sidescrolling section where Link looks like he has taken a page from Super Mario's book. Link also gets a new item or skill in every dungeon. Overall, though, Ages follows suit with the rest of the series; enter a dungeon, crawl around, find out that you need to go back, fight some enemies, solve a puzzle etc. Also following it's predecessors, Ages' puzzles can be wicked. For non puzzle fans, it can be an exercise in frustration. If you've played any other Zelda, you'll know what to expect.

Rings provide a new distraction in the game. They supposedly offer Link magical power. Instead, they are a waste of time, for the most part. You'll find yourself using the game's other magical item, seeds, far more. Another part of the game is the animal buddies. These critters help Link at vital points in the game. However, they're horribly under used. The animals could have been a very interesting addition to the game.

This installment of the series has several details that add to it, including shaped dungeons and several tie-ins to the rest of the series, like sounds, owls, and a cameo by the master of evil himself, Gannon. Most excitingly, as Ages is compatible with Seasons, rumors abound about it being compatible with two new Zelda games for the Gameboy and the Gamecube Zelda. These are still rumors, but they do have weight behind them. Overall, Zelda fans will adore this, Oracle of Ages, on it's own merits.

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