We’re back for the second review on the Oracle series games! This time we’re taking a look at The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons. The game goes alongside Oracle of Ages to enjoy a longer story when both games are linked. The game was recently released on the Nintendo eStore, and is a great time for any new players to give it a try!
So let’s delve a bit deeper into Oracle of Seasons…
Oracle of Seasons is similar to that of Ages. Link is called by the Triforce but this time to the land of Holodrum – a land ravaged by General Onox. Onox kidnaps the Oracle of Seasons, Din, and imprisons her in crystal. As a result the Temple of Seasons falls into the earth, and Holodrum’s seasons become hectic and out of sync.
As Link journeys around Holodrum he learns he must collect the Essences of Nature to save Din, in his journey he finds the Rod of Seasons which helps him to control the seasons. The Rod of Seasons is a key aspect to the story as it will be involved in accessing areas and completing puzzles.
The story for Oracle of Seasons was enjoyable and I enjoyed the change of seasons over the change of time. As you journey through Holodrum you will appreciate the ability to be able to change the seasons to cut through certain routes, but also solve puzzles to gain new upgrades and items.
The gameplay in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons focuses heavily on action over puzzles, where its partner (Oracle of Ages) focuses more on the puzzle side over action. 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 Seasons – after starting the game you will have to head to different dungeons to collect the Essences of Nature, which in turn will restore peace to Holodrum.
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 experience all of the seasons of Holodrum, in order to solve puzzles focussing around the environments. These puzzles are carried out 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. Each dungeon includes a mini boss and a final boss which will have to be defeated on the way to collecting the Essence of Nature.
As mentioned Seasons is focused mainly on action. This means puzzles are slightly easier and less common within Seasons, though enemies will be more common to progress through dungeons. Action is fairly simple but is one of the reasons I love Seasons, I prefer the fighting and action in the Legend of Zelda series.
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.
Oracle of Seasons is a top down Legend of Zelda game, and as much as I love the 3D Zelda’s… have a spot in my heart for the top down games. Seasons is beautifully created with thought put into each areas, with each being crafted to suit all of the seasons. The games look great on the Nintendo 3DS screen and don’t look blurry or low quality what so ever.
Oracle of Seasons has a brilliant soundtrack which is fresh for the series, yet takes old tunes and re-uses them effectively. Throughout your journey in Holodrum you will hear various tunes, ranging from boss to over-world themes. These games aren’t as heavily focussed on music as other games in the series (such as Ocarina of Time – which focussed heavily on music), but still has a beautiful soundtrack.
Positives and Negatives
+ Looks gorgeous on the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL
+ Beautifully written soundtrack
+ Great use of puzzle solving via seasons and also heavily focussed on action
– Has a frustrating dance mini game which can ruin your experience
Oracle of Seasons has just passed 10 years since release, and is still holding up as a brilliant Zelda game today. Seasons has a brilliant story which can link to Oracle of Ages, fantastic puzzles and great bosses. How does it hold up against other games in the Legend of Zelda series? It is an excellent addition to the series and a one-of-a-kind with its link feature. If you’re new to the Legend of Zelda series Oracle of Seasons is a great starting point, though if you are a fan already you can be sure you are playing another superb Zelda game. If you’ve already played the games before there isn’t anything new, just simply a re-release for you to play on your Nintendo 3DS. Personally the price is worth picking this up for a second play through… and also to have it on my Nintendo 3DS!
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.