This review is for the Wii U Virtual Console release.
The Legend of Zelda is a well known icon in the video game industry, a legend if you will. It's no surprise when the newest announcment of a Zelda game causes a riot of joy throughout the legions of fans and it's no surprise when Nintendo re-releases one of the older games for play on a new console. The Wii U's Virtual Console service has been graced with The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System and has corrected one of the wrongs with the console. Does this Legend still ring true today? Or does it fail to hold up?
In the Legend of Zelda, you play as a young Link on a journey to save Hyrule from the evil Ganon. To do that, you need to collect the eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom Princess Zelda has scattered throughout the land. Each piece is located within a dungeon and is guarded by a boss monster. There isn't much to the story seeing as it's an NES game and the visuals fall under the same spell. Wandering Hyrule is still as fun as it ever was, however. You wander around an open world looking for the entrances to the dungeons while slaying monsters in your path. There are many secrets to be found around the world of Hyrule and it's fun to hunt them down. Inside the dungeons, you are tasked with getting from room to room and this task gets more complicated the farther into the story you get and the monsters get tougher and tougher as you progress. The game is still very difficult and the gameplay holds up rather well given it's age.
Not everything has aged so well with the Legend of Zelda. As mentioned, there isn't much story to be experienced but that's understandable. Also the visuals don't hold up well, even compared to some other NES games. The game also suffers from a lack of direction and, while that was totally valid back in the day thanks to games being short, it kinds of hurts the chances of any newer gamers being welcomed into the franchise using this game. Another thing holding it back from welcoming any new players is the difficulty, this game can get extremely difficult and there is no mercy to be found here. This re-release was totally for the Zelda faithful.
That's not to say the game isn't still fun to play. The gameplay itself aged very well and the new save state feature that comes with the Wii U Virtual Console helps negate some of the difficulty making the game easier to enjoy. The music is also still very catchy and the world of Hyrule is eerily enjoyable to explore. The many secrets of Hyrule also get a mix-up with the Second Quest you unlock by finishing the game for an even greater challenge. Fans of Zelda will still want to pick this up, not to mention that if you own the Wii version of the game and have your Nintendo Club account linked you can pick it up for a single dollar. So, while it hasn't aged as well as you'd hope, it's still very much worth playing.
- Open world to explore
- Satisying to overcome the challenges
- Eight duneons to explore
- Bosses are fun to fight
- Combat is thrilling
- Music is catchy
- Save states help with the difficulty
- Visuals didn't age as well as later games in the series
- Difficulty might throw people off
- Lack of direction
- Game is confusing overall
- Strictly for the Zelda fan
Total = 3 outta 5 stars