Review: Sword Art Online II, Episode 10: Death Chaser
My favorite Legend of Zelda game is Link’s Awakening on the original Game Boy. It was the first game that I got for the Game Boy and I was still in elementary school. I used to play it all the time, but I haven’t played it since. Forgive me if my memory is a little off…
Long before Link became a waker of wind, he first had to wake himself up. Link shipwrecks on an island by the name of Peppermint… or Belly button lint… or something. As all kids do in this situation, he grabs weapons and explosives on his quest to wake up a giant fish.
Along the way he runs into many baddies. One of these enemies is a blob cactus thing that zaps you if you touch it (which makes sense because a real cactus is PRICKLY). Other enemies do mean things to you like eat your shield or break your heart.
But it isn’t all fun and games. Link has a dog walking job that can’t be interrupted by “adventures” or “missions”. Luckily one of his clients is crazy and thinks a vicious chain chomp named Bow Wow is actually a dog. Bow Wow is incredibly useful in assisting Link, unlike most of the dogs Link probably walks.
This game taught me a lot at my young age as well. I learned that you can’t jump without bird feathers; I promptly captured a blue jay in my front yard to fix that situation. I also learned that kids shouldn’t play with explosives unless they are searching for secret passages. Finally, this game taught me that people will try to steal credit for things they had no part in. I mean, Zelda wasn’t even in this game yet it is a Legend about her?
I’m sure that it has been made very clear why I like this game so much.
(P. S. Yes, this is done tongue-in-cheek.)
David Austin Black
My favorite Zelda game has to be Twilight Princess. Before you all start yelling, legitimate reasons for my choice. First, it was much darker than other Zelda games were, and I appreciated that. The noir-esque color-palate appealed to me in a way that I didn’t entirely expect, but it wasn’t oppressive. It provided a different, more mature Zelda experience. Now, I wasn’t a huge fan of playing as a doggie, and as is such I always rushed through to complete the doggie missions (yes, I know it is a wolf but I call it a doggie). Even so, the doggie drawback doesn’t detract much from the game as a whole.
The game was also quite a bit longer than any other Zelda game before. It took me a fairly long amount of time to finish, so I was able to savor its storytelling to the fullest. I loved Zant and the Shadow Beasts; they were both such awesome enemies. The Ganondorf had to break into the spotlight again, but thankfully only for the end of the game. I kind of wish Zant had been the main villian and not simply a pawn, but again, like the doggie thing, it didn’t affect my experience too much. Oh, and Midna. I was so happy to finally get someone directing me who was not a fairy.
Finally, the main reason I love Twilight Princess may very well be nostalgia. I remember that I received Twilight Princess as a Christmas present in 2006. When I was playing through the Snowpeak Ruins dungeon, I had been outside earlier playing in the snow. The snow still covered the ground outside the window from the room where I was playing it, so that gave me a special kind of experience that I haven’t had with another Zelda game (and the snowboarding was pretty fun as well ;-D).
Zelda is a unique series in that it’s highly perfected and topped off with nostalgia. For that reason, most everyone’s favorite Zelda game is usually the one that was released (and popular) around the time they were old enough to hold a controller in their hands.
For me, that game was the much-lauded classic Ocarina of Time.
I was hanging out at my cousins’ house watching them play video games when they popped this little gem into the cartridge slot on their N64. The first thing my eager young eyes beheld was a vast, pixelated field of greenery and a young man on a horse. Then came a series of images—a forest of small, mystical beings, a castle filled with happy residents and a powerful princess, a temple of stained glass echoing with ancient choir, a volcanic mountain, a peaceful lake and fishing pond, and a ranch where playing a magical melody attracted the nearby horses. I recall holding my breath at times, mesmerized by the fantastical world within this game and the soothing, powerful music and sound effects that accompanied them.
Most of all, though, I remember being fascinated by the young hero in green. He never said a word, but he seemed incredibly brave and adventurous, and he was always helping to defend the weak and save the innocent. Watching him transform from a boy into a young adult with the use of a magical sword was something I’d never encountered in a video game (or story) before. Link—as I came to find out he was called—attracted me, not just physically, but also because I admired him as a character. I remember, as a young girl, conscientiously striving to be more like him.
Needless to say, having only watched about thirty minutes of the game at my cousins’ house, I set my mind to purchase and play it for myself. The next day, I asked my dad to drive me to a little hole-in-the-wall gaming store (it’s not there anymore), and I purchased Ocarina of Time without batting an eye.
This game has been a catalyst for growth in my life. I began playing it when I was about eleven years old, but didn’t beat it until I was around seventeen. I spent a large portion of my life growing with this game, exploring it, adventuring it, learning all its secrets, challenging myself to think about the messages at its heart… Outside of the Bible itself, I’d say Ocarina of Time has been perhaps the largest literary influence on my life and character development.
So, in short, Ocarina of Time is my favorite—and, in my opinion, the best—Zelda game. The day a future title tops it will be an unforgettable day, indeed.
If someone asked me which Zelda game was my favourite I would normally just rant on about how they are all good in different ways. However, taking all the different elements of the games into account, I have decided that my favourite game from the Legend of Zelda series would have to be either Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess.
Ocarina of Time was my childhood. This was the first video game I ever played and it is one which I will play again and again without getting fed up with it which is probably what makes it one of my favourites. The songs are catchy and I often find myself singing them while I go about my day, the characters are all very unique and I love how they each have a personality and some sort of back story. I was probably about 5 years old when I first played that game so the thought of losing a friend was heartbreaking to me at the time. When Link left the Kokiri Forest for the first time ad Saria said goodbye to him I had to reassure myself multiple times that Link and the Kokiri would still be friends. Later on when he goes back to the forest and his old friends do not recognize him I admit that it broke my heart. I loved the themes of light vs dark in the game as well and I think the fight against Dark Link is a brilliant way to show one defeating what you could consider your personal demon. I also adored the theme of being courageous and doing whatever it takes to beat the odds in this game. As an introvert who didn’t have a lot of friends as a kid I really admired that Link could defeat the evil creatures in the game to save a kingdom he had never even seen before, it let me know that maybe there are still some good people out there in this world and sometimes even when you’re alone you can have the strength to do amazing things. The temples are fun and often they cause you to use your brain to find a solution to a problem or even to figure out where to go next in the quest and the graphics of the game leave something to be desired nowadays but I still love the nostalgic feel it has. This game is like a piece of my childhood with an epic soundtrack to me and it will always be one of the best Zelda games in my opinion.
Twilight Princess isn’t a game which people think of as one of their favourite Zelda games a lot from what I’ve read and I honestly cannot comprehend why that is. When this game first came out I was only about 8 or 9 years old but I still find myself playing that game every now and then even now. I loved everything about this game from the music score to the way that you could spend hours playing the same pointless mini-game before you finally got that perfect score. This game has a somewhat darker feel to it with the world being shrouded in twilight and the people becoming almost like spirits in said twilight. The companion in this game, Midna, can definitely get on your nerves from time to time like any good companion of Link’s does but there are times when I found my heart breaking for her as well. When Midna first befriends you she is a total jerk and is just using you to get what she wants but later in the game her character changes and as you discover her back story you can’t help but feel sorry for her. This game has two themes which really stood out to me, sacrifice, and the theme of light vs dark which seems to be in almost all Zelda games. I think this game took the theme of light vs dark further than most by having the twilight aspect which I view as a halfway between the two. In the in-between of Light and Dark nothing is really alive, only twisted creatures. Link, being a symbol of light, cannot enter this area without changing into a twisted animalistic version of himself, or in this case, a wolf. I think this was a very interesting idea because to me it shows that you cannot live in-between the two without eventually leaning to one of the other. The other theme I love in this game is sacrifice. I loved the way they showed this theme even more than I love maple syrup (and yes, that is a lot). There are several points in the game where characters are almost killed, lose their memory, or are possessed. In each of these instances one of the other characters, often someone much weaker, who cannot possibly take the same blow as well will step out and take the first characters place. There is even one pint at the end of the game where Zelda, the princess of Hyrule, sacrifices her life for Midna even after Midna was a jerk and betrayed everyone. I did not expect that to happen in the game because it was so totally selfless but I must admit that it showed not only sacrifice but also how someone will be changed by someone else’s sacrifice. In the end Midna learned to be selfless and bid Link farewell forever, smashing the portal which she could use to travel from her land to Hyrule rather than endangering anyone again. I also adored the actual gameplay aspects of this game and loved the different tools you used in the game to defeat your enemies though I wish certain items had been used more. Overall this was a brilliant game and it will always be one of my favourites even if it was a little strange at times (yes I’m talking about the strange stores like Malo Mart and Agitha’s ability to sense when you didn’t give her an insect).
Which Zelda game is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
In this next installment of My Favorite Level, Michael Mendis discusses "Halo," the iconic level from Halo: Combat Evolved!
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