i’m so close to finishing the zelda series that i can almost taste it. 😉 one of the few that i had left was the legend of zelda: four swords adventures for gamecube. i’d played a couple of two-player runthroughs of the original four swords included with a link to the past on GBA, and although i hadn’t loved that mode, it wasn’t too painful to play through it since it was short.
the same can’t be said for four swords adventures, which i had to force myself to return to again and again in order to finish it. the game is fairly lengthy, with 3 stages times 8 levels = 24 stages, each taking about half an hour = more than 12 hours. unlike the original four swords on GBA, the gamecube version allows you to go it solo by giving you the ability to put your quartet in pre-defined configurations (e.g. all in a horizontal or vertical row) and to control one at a time. in general this works well, although there’s one point in particular where you’ll have to backtrack much more than if you were working with other people.
otherwise the game is very similar to the original and features similarly brainless “pick up key put in lock” mechanics, although it does expand the experience with villages and dungeons (both of which provide the more-memorable moments, but not enough to offset the rest of the game’s tedium). to be fair, the game does get better as it progresses and the dungeons get more interesting, but like the original the aspect that really kills any sense of progression is the format of having stages since you don’t build up your abilities as you play through the game: the same abilities are available throughout. this lack of progress, minimal story, and generic settings made the game feel more tedious than any other zelda game i’ve played, and it amazes me that anyone would think of it as anything better than the worst of the zelda titles, let alone place it among the best games of all time as some people (including nintendo power) have done.
i can’t imagine that playing with other people would add anything to the experience other than exponentially more tedium, and i’m just glad that i can finally cross this entry off my list. on the up-side, the newest zelda game, for the 3DS, has been pulling in rave reviews, so i’m really looking forward to getting to sit down with that in just a few more days now.
four the legend of zelda: four swords adventures links:
– entry at zelda.wikia.com
– somewhat entertaining look at possible connections between this game and twilight princess
– entry at wikipedia
– minimal info on zelda.com site