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Game Boy Advance / Review / The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
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Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: Available Now
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Graphics: 4.0
Sound:4.0
Control: 4.0
4.0
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Review by: Bro Buzz
Posted: 01/10/05 [view screens]

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap goes where no game has gone before--to the formative stages of the Zelda series. And Nintendo and Zelda creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, aren't just trying to pull a rabbit out of their hat&they're showing us where the hat (the hero's "Minish" cap) came from in the first place.

The Little Big Boy

Here's the first Zelda game designed from scratch for the Game Boy Advance. You wouldn't think that Nintendo would do more than add new territory, monsters, dungeon puzzles, and weapons and gear, but this time they've created a new race of characters, the Minish. These little elven folk it turns out have actually been living in Hyrule for years, but they're so small that they can hardly be seen. In his quest to rescue the kidnapped Princess Zelda, the green-clad "kid" must shrink down to Minish proportions to accomplish some of his tasks. This of course means that everyday objects expand to gargantuan proportions. For instance, acorns are the size of boulders and puddles become lakes. One of the impressive visual and gameplay achievements of this game is that it manages to make moving around a character on the Game Boy Advance who appears slightly larger than the period at the end of this sentence fun.

A Fight to the Minish

It likely comes as no surprise to Zelda vets that to succeed in this adventure you're going to have to jump back and forth between two worlds, this time large and extremely small. Minish Cap otherwise looks, sounds, and plays like any of the 8-bit classics. The visuals are generally pristine Zelda style, supplemented nicely by some massive boss creatures and imaginative, oversized depictions of everyday objects in the diminutive "Minish" world. The sounds feature some grand, epic-like riffs that mostly fall back on familiar sounding and still excessively looping Zelda music. The gameplay harkens back to the good old days of dungeon exploration and fighting monsters that attack in repeating patterns. You also encounter more than a fair share of Zelda puzzles--you know, those confidence-busters that look simple, defy logic, and cause your brain to implode?

To Cap It Off

The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is a great addition to the series. Going backwards instead of forwards in the timeline was a masterstroke  it's totally satisfying for fans and does nothing but stoke the fires for the forward-looking, new GameCube tale coming in 2005. If this is how The Legend of Zelda handles the origin of just one article of the hero's clothing, one can hardly wait to experience the revelations to come about the rest of his outfit. You've got to tip your cap to Nintendo. --


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