I bought Zelda on 1/11/2005.
I beat it on 1/12/2005.
I put in about 9 hours of play, I'll be generous, and say 10. This amount of time is okay, if I bought, say Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, or Astro Boy: Omega Factor. This amount of time is 100% unacceptable for first time through a Zelda game. Never in playing any Zelda game for the first time have I spent less than 20 hours on it. This disgusts me. Lord knows when I was a kid, it took me months to beat Zelda 1, and Link to the Past, I remember being stuck in Dark World dungeon 5. In Ocarina of Time, I was older and wiser, and I was legitamately stuck on the (of course) Water Palace for a couple weeks. Wind Waker, I never got stuck in, but I managed to take no more than one dungeon in one day. In Link's Awakening, I still haven't beaten the Face Palace without the select trick. The Oracle Games... each one took me at least two weeks to get through.
So somebody tell me why, this new Zelda game, which is on a technologically superior system than the majority of the Zelda games are shorter than just about every one of them? By all accounds, Zelda 1, and LttP, etc., are not hard games. But the first time you go though them, you won't beat it in a day or two. This game was the least challenging Zelda title, and left much to be desired.
Let me dwell on some aspects of this game.
1) The overworld is tiny. The put in some things that force you to go the long way around, but when you realize that they're just there to pad travel time, you start to se this overworld for what it is. No Zelda game has had an overworld this small. They claim that if you start looking for secrets, you'll find a lot. Yes, you will, but there's no exploration. New things just get revealed in places that you have already been to. That's just jacked. The secrets are lame. A tree has brambles in front of it, blocking a doorway. Gee, I can't figure out that the only sidequest in the game will remove those brambles. What am I, an idiot?
2) There are six dungeons. This has been a disturbing trend in Zelda games since Majora's Mask. Look, I'll break it down.
Zelda: 18 dungeons
Zelda 2: 7 dungeons
Zelda: LttP 12 dungeons
Zelda: LA: 8 dungeons
Zelda: OoT: 9 dungeons
Zelda: MM: 4 dungeons (really, wtf.)
Zelda: OoA: 8 dungeons
Zelda: OoS: 8 dungeons
Zelda: WW: 6 dungeons
Zelda: MC: 6 dungeons
I'm tired of this. Why is it that the Gameboy games have 8 dungeons, and some of them are quite challenging, and this one has six, and none of them are worth half a brain synapse? Are they challenging because you have to backtrack to find a keyhole or something? Wait, this one doesn't even do that. It barely even gives you more than one key at a time. You have no choices, no options. This is the epitome of station to station Zelda. Even Zelda 2, a side scrolling game, had more options in how you tackled the dungeons than this game, and that's kinda sickening.
3) The new items, for the most part, are worthless. The Cane of Pacci could have been really cool, but it suffers from Mega Man 3 Top Spin Syndrome. Sure, it's used a lot to flip over transformation points, but that's gimmick use, and not practical use. They could have very easily made you use the Power Bracelets to flip things over. And speaking of the Power Bracelets, they have made them as useles as they have ever been. You need them ti push two bookcases in the entire game. Next: Yay, I have a lantern that doesn't use magic power. That's nice, but how about the Fire Rod that was axed from the game, huh? The only thing that even has a remote use is the Gust Jar, and it's ineffective against most enemies itself, making you have to suck up a pot to spit at them. You can't even get the Mirror Shield until AFTER you beat the game. HELLO?
4) One side quest. Kinstones. Just about everybody in the world has one or two right halves of a kinstone, and you have about 90 or so left halves, and you must combine the correct left to the correct right to unlock a secret, which can be a heart piece/upgrade (good), money (passable), secret seashells (meh), or, the ever brilliant ANOTHER KINSTONE (absolutely dumb). This wouldn't be so annoying if people always wanted to fuse with you. But sometimes, you'll see someone, and not have the matching piece, leave, come back with it, and they don't want to fuse anymore. It's just really annoying. And to make it more frustrating, there are some people who give you specific rewards, but most people will give you a random unlocked secret, making it very hard to track down who will give you what. Since who is asking for the kinstones is random, and their rewards random, it gets very, very difficult to make all 80+ kinstone fusions.
So with this rant, you might think I don't like this game. The funny thing is, I love it. I'm just really, really annoyed that there isn't more of it. It's a graphical and musical powerhouse, and the ideas... there could have been so much more.
Final score: 8.4/10
Not a review, but a rant. But that's why you're here, to read my rants. ^_^