The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons Published by: Nintendo Developed by: Capcom For: Game Boy Color ESRB Rating: E for Mild Violence, Comic Mischief
It was a big surprise when Nintendo announced that the next two Zelda games on the Game Boy were to be developed by Capcom. There was much speculation as to whether the company that earned its fame with Street Fighter and Resident Evil would be able to pull off an action-RPG classic, especially since Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto was not helming the project. Luckily, Capcom hit its stride under the close supervision of Nintendo itself. The two Oracle games, Oracle of Ages, and Oracle of Seasons, were both very innovative, mainly because they introduced a larger, more personable world than earlier Game Boy Zelda games. In fact, with larger worlds than even Link?s Awakening, and bigger dungeons, the Oracle games were much harder as well, providing a challenge for even seasoned Zelda vets. Oracle of Seasons was much more action oriented than it?s sister game, Oracle of Ages, which dealt more with puzzles. Each game had a specific theme, too, as evidenced by the titles. Oracle of Seasons dealt more with the changing seasons, and gave Link a magic wand that enabled him to alter seasons to his liking. For example, an impassable lake might not be impassable if you change the season to winter so that the lake freezes over. Oracle of Ages dealt more closely with time, much like Majora?s Mask on the N64. There were actually two worlds in Ages: the first was the present, but the second was the past. This enabled a pretty unique set up. Things that occurred in the past affected the present, and so you had to journey back to before the traumatic events happened to stop an evil sorceress. Both games could be linked for a grand finale with three, count ?em, three boss battles, one after the other. But I?m getting ahead of myself.
Zelda games have always had outstanding storylines. This is no different with Oracle of Seasons. Link is transported to a mysterious land where he lands at a gypsy camp. An athletic woman is dancing, entertaining the families of the gypsies, when suddenly, a great whirlwind snatches her up, leaving the camp in shambles. A hurt man tells you that she was, in fact, the Oracle of Seasons, who controlled all of the seasons. Her name is Din. If you know all your Zelda lore, you will know that Din is one of the three goddesses that helped make the world. The seasons start spinning out of control, much to your dismay. Oh well. Time to save yet another world One thing stands in your path: an evil General, who was the one who captured Din. Well, darn. But this story gets more complicated yet. You must collect eight jewels that help control the seasons, as well as the ?essences? of the seasons themselves. When you achieve this, you will confront the General. Then, if you take the time to complete Oracle of Ages, the you will confront the evil sorceress Vaati, then two witch sisters that you might have confronted in Ocarina of Time, and finally Ganon, the evil mainstay of the Zelda series. Again, I am getting ahead of myself. Just know that Capcom has made two games with intertwining stories that are surprisingly deep and will be quite rewarding if you take the time to complete both games.
Bright and vibrant for a Game Boy Color game, these graphics will seem a little dated when compared to, say, A Link to the Past on the Game Boy Advance. However, excellent animation, multiple enemies on screen, large, intricate environments, and delicately designed bosses all round up one of the best looking Game Boy Color games ever made.
Of course, the game play is the highlight of this game, as it is with every other Zelda game. Huge, complicated dungeons, brain stumping puzzles, and a strange ring collecting sub game all add up to some great game play. Unfortunately, some of the dungeons involve turntables, which rotate depending on which direction you enter them from. This leads to some extremely confusing and roundabout areas, which, I must say, are not fun, and will turn away those that aren?t good at the Zelda games.
Pretty good for a Game Boy Color game. The sound is just below that of a CDs sound, and the excellent music adds quite a lot of environment to the game.
Good, considering the system. The main buttons you use are A and B, which you assign to one of the two when you press Start. The D-Pad moves Link around, and, well?it?s not too difficult?in fact, it?s really intuitive.
Here's where the game falters, as with most Zelda games. The game deals heavily with sorcerers, witches, and magic, and involves a great evil to vanquish. There is no bad language, or usage of the Lord's Name in vain, so rest assured that this game will not involve Christianity in it. That is perhaps it's greatest strength and it?s greatest weakness. On the one hand, there is no worrying about whether or not this game argues Christianity, yet there is no saying the Christ is real. I, personally, sold the game because of it?s darkness. It is extremely dark, just as Majora's Mask is. At a value price, it is at least worth checking out, and it won't bust your wallet when you sell it.