Welp, it’s time to go back to handhelds again after Link’s Awakening from last year. But you’re seeing the title, I’m reviewing not one, but two Zelda games today, but there are reasons why as I’ll explain in this review. So, since these games are kind of pricey physically, it’s time to go back on my 3DS and the Virtual Console.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, developed by Flagship (a subsidiary of Capcom) and published by Nintendo and were released in 2001 worldwide, and I mean both games were released in all region’s date at the same time. So you’re probably wondering if this is like Pokémon in a way? Well, the games have different plots to an extent but I’ll explain.
Both games begin with Link going into Hyrule Castle, where Link is sent to different places depending on which game you play. In Seasons, Link is sent to Holodrum, where he meets the Oracle of Seasons, Din. After dancing with Link, she gets kidnapped by the General of Darkness, Onox. Onox manages to mess with the seasons, meaning the season will change at random, which will cause mayhem for the people of Holodrum. Impa, an attendant of Din, tells Link to find the Maku Tree in Horon Village for instructions. On the way, Link finds a sword because it ain’t Zelda without one. He finds the Maku Tree, who asks Link to find the eight Essences of Nature to make a seed which will unlock the Castle of Onox so Link can defeat him and rescue Din.
Now on to Oracle of Ages, where Link is sent to a forest in the land of Labrynna. Link then tends to a woman’s distress, who turns out to be Impa. They walk around the forest until they find a young woman named Nayru, who is the Oracle of Ages, and is a singer. This time though, Impa was possessed by a shadow, which leaves her body and possesses Nayru and runs, this shadow is Veran, Sorceress of Shadows. However, this also results in the time flow being disrupted. Impa gives Link a sword and now has collect the eight Essences of Time to defeat Veran.
So when you take these plots into consideration, they’re near enough the same but with different plot points and dungeons for each game. Though there is something unique to these games. So you beat one game, and you get a password from that beaten game, then you go to the next game and use that password there, where the story will change a bit. Then there’s the fact that by doing this, some characters will give you passwords to give to other characters in the previous game you played, you give them the password and they’ll give you special items or upgrades, they’ll be in the form of passwords and you can use the passwords in the current game you’re playing to transfer the items. And one password will link the game together to get the true ending. But if you have the Game Link Cable and two Game Boy Color consoles, you could do that too.
Did you know? This wasn’t going to be just two games, but three. The third game was to be called “The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Courage”, and would be released much later. However, there were problems when trying to link three games so it was scrapped, leaving just two games, making my job easier.
Now for the gameplay…well, it’s Link’s Awakening DX, the gameplay is the same, how you handle inventory is the same, some of the music is the same, some of the flaws I saw from Link’s Awakening DX are the same, just about everything is the same minus a few different items depending on which game you play, as well as some items that upgrade if you play the other game. And you have an animal partner if you can pick up a flute, there are different flutes and each will give you a different animal companion, though if you get one flute, you don’t get other animal companions except for the one you can get. The animal companions will help you get to different areas that Link can’t normally access; you use the flute to call them when you find these difficult-to-progress areas.
In terms of Seasons, you’ll get a special item known as The Rod of Seasons, where you can use its power to change the seasons to your needs by standing on a tree stump, you can choose from Spring, Summer, Autumn (not Fall, I’m British) and Winter. Though you won’t get all of them at once as you got to progress through the game to get each of the seasons one by one. With different seasons means different ways of accessing areas. For example, you may not be able to swim through water, but change the area to Winter and the water will turn to ice and you’ll be able to walk through it and access a new area.
In terms of Ages, you’ll get a special item known as The Harp of Ages, where you can use its power to time travel. You can find three songs to play that gives you time manipulating abilities. And some of you may find this similar to Majora’s Mask but with less stress…well, it IS less stressful.
So…everything I thought about Link’s Awakening is the same here, with Seasons more action-oriented and Ages being more puzzle-orientated. But to me, it doesn’t matter in the long run since it feels like expansions of Link’s Awakening except both are at full price. Heck, there were supposed to be six Zelda games on the Game Boy Color, yeah, don’t put ALL your eggs in one basket, especially since this is the Game Boy Color.
Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages are decent, but I just got bored with the experience, mostly because I get the feeling that I’ve played it before, yeah, going back to Link’s Awakening DX. But considering the Game Boy Color didn’t have a lot of notable games that weren’t first-party, they are the best quality games for the system. But if you just came from Link’s Awakening DX, you’re not going to find anything entirely game-changing here, but if you’re a fan of Zelda, I recommend it. I will give praise to the linking feature, though because the stories are near enough similar, it doesn’t feel fulfilling enough to have an enjoyable experience, so keep that in mind.
You can get it on the Game Boy Color and the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.
Next week, we conclude the Second Month of Zelda with The Wind Waker, a game I’ve played before and enjoyed it, but going back to it now, do I find it enjoyable now after playing the previous games?