Now The Legend of Zelda series is one which is truly close to me and I’ve played through nearly every single game in the series (well maybe apart from one). For those not in the know The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages was a game released on the Game Boy Colour alongside The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons where both games could link together to add bonus content. The game used passwords to do this and it was brilliantly done by Nintendo and Capcom. Nintendo recently released both The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons side by side on the Nintendo eStore. Both games have the original password features so if you buy both you can continue your story from one to another, though more about this feature later in the review.
The story of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages is a brilliant one and it shows that even older games were brilliantly written. Oracle of Ages starts with Link being called by the triforce and travelling to it. As he arrives he is transported to the world of Labrynna which is in need of a legendary hero. Link awakens in the middle of nowhere – unsure of where he is. Impa finds Link and noticed he has the ‘Mark of the Hero’ on his hand and guides him to Naryu’s house to help him, though shortly after Veran appears and takes over Naryu’s body. Veran uses Naryu’s power to travel through time and cause havoc on the land of Labrynna. It is up to the legendary hero Link to gather the Essences of Time to restore peace and Naryu.
The gameplay in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages focuses heavily on puzzles over action, where its partner (Oracle of Seasons) focuses more on the action side over puzzles. If you’ve played a game in The Legend of Zelda series before you will know the typical formula; travel throughout the land in search of a dungeon, progress through the dungeon, find a nifty new item, defeat the boss with nifty new item and then continue this process. Well this is exactly what takes place within The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages – after starting the game you will have to head to different dungeons to collect the Essences of Time, which in turn will restore peace to Labrynna.
Travelling on-land is very easy. Simply use the D-Pad/Analog stick to move Left, Right, Up or Down and use the B and A button to use assigned items. As you progress through the game you will be able to go to Past and Present Labrynna in order to solve puzzles focussing around time, which is done exceptionally well.
Combat? Combat is pretty simple but that doesn’t mean it is not enjoyable! Your sword is assigned to A or B and simply hitting that button will use your sword. As you progress through the game you will gather items such as bow and arrows or boomerangs; they give you greater variety in killing bosses. As you get through the game some bosses will be weak to particular weapons but take no damage from bow and arrow.
Dungeons are a key aspect to The Legend of Zelda series. Progressing through dungeons is an enjoyable experience. Some people may find the puzzles rather difficult, though all puzzles can be solved using one of the items in your inventory. Each dungeon includes a mini boss and a final boss which will have to be defeated on the way to collecting the Essence of Time.
Linking the Oracles
As mentioned both Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons can connect together to create a bigger story. After completing either one of the games you will be provided with a password. This password can be entered into the game you haven’t played so that you can continue your adventure. Linking the games gives a variety of new features… for example; certain items will transfer over, you will be able to meet more characters, you will have a new boss to defeat and you will also meet some characters from the previous game you played! Both games can be enjoyed without linking – though you do truly get the best experience with these games by linking them together.
This section isn’t going to be focussing on how good the graphics look, but instead how the game style is. The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages is a top down Legend of Zelda game and for a game which would now seem dated, has gorgeous backgrounds and environments. Of course they do not stand in comparison to next generation games, though for its time the game was a brilliantly crafted game.
If you’ve played any game in The Legend of Zelda series you will know how each game has a stunning and beautifully written soundtrack; The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages is no exception! Every tune is written so well that you will remember it for all of your journey through Labrynna. It’s not only the over-world theme that you will love but also the boss themes. Heck, even the simple ‘chest opening’ sounds are excellent. In short the soundtrack is beautifully written and adds to the tone of the game as is standard to every game in The Legend of Zelda series.
Positives and Negatives
+ Great top-down adventure
+ Brilliant soundtrack
+ A story which will have you exploring the vast world of Labrynna to its fullest
– Has a few frustrating and extremely hard-to-solve puzzles (such as a pointless dancing mini game)
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages has been around for just over 10 years now and is still a fantastic game in the Legend of Zelda series. It has a great storyline, some fantastic puzzles (even if some are over the top frustrating) and a beautiful soundtrack. What more could you ask for from a game? If you’re a fan of The Legend of Zelda series… why haven’t you played this game yet? If you’ve never played a game though in the series to date, Oracle of Ages is a great starting point to such a great series.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.