GameCube
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Publisher/Developer: Nintendo ESRB Rating: Everyone for Mild Fantasy Violence

Number of Players: 1-4 Simultaneously (each player requires his/her own Game Boy Advance) Available For: Nintendo Gamecube

Story

A long time ago, an evil wind wizard named Vaati threatened all of Hyrule. But a brave hero dared to stand against him, armed with the mystical ?Four Sword?, Link was made into four fighters, and had overcame Vaati, sealing him away in a distant realm. Some two thousand years later, the princess Zelda has summoned Link to the castle. Upon their meeting, you learn that the seal that has held Vaati is failing. As Zelda and the maidens who hold the seal in place seek to strengthen the seal, a dark figure emerges. A figure that uncannily resembles Link, then takes Zelda and the maidens to another realm. Link, being a man of action quickly pursues. Upon arriving in the other realm, it seems to be the place that Vaati was banished to. Link finds the Four Sword, and learns that it is what maintains the seal on Vaati. Unfortunately, in order to save Zelda, he must take this sword, and break the seal, releasing evil back into Hyrule. Upon taking the sword, Link splits into four, Vaati locks up Zelda and the maidens in Hyrule, and your adventure begins.

Gameplay - 10/10

Four Swords Adventure, like its kin, is an adventure game packed full with monster killing and puzzles. Unlike its kin, Four Swords offers multiplayer. In order to play multiplayer, you and your comrades will all need Game Boy Advances and connectivity cables. You may think this is ludicrous, but there?s no way the game could work otherwise. You see, much like A Link To The Past, the game takes place in lots of small, connected grid spaces. Upon entering a cave or house on the big screen, the gameplay will shift to the Game Boy Advance screen - if you?re playing alone, a simulated screen will be displayed on the TV ? and you continue adventuring there. Due to the competitive nature of the game, having an individual screen will allow you to secretly acquire points and items. Unlike all other Zelda games, there is no overworld map to wander, instead you choose missions from a selection screen, similar to Super Mario World. In order to complete a level, you?ll have to power up the Four Swords by collecting a grand total of 2?000 Force Gems, figuring out lots of puzzles, defeating a boss character, and removing an evil seal with your powered up sword. Most puzzles will require the combined strengths of the four Links, such as huge boulders that need to be pushed, simultaneous button pressing, and color matching fights. In addition to your sword, you can collect other useful items, such as the boomerang, or a lamp. But, there are no menus to select items from, you can now only carry one item at a time. So deciding who carries what is an important factor. Fortunately, the controls are simple, so you need not worry about them getting in the way of the mayhem. And mayhem it?ll be. Few games have been this refreshing in recent times.

Graphics - 7/10

If anything can make a Nintendo game subject to controversy, it?s creating a game that doesn?t push the boundaries of graphical realism. In order for The Four Swords to not have a major jump in graphics when jumping from the big screen to the little screen, Nintendo has taken the game back to it?s bitmap-based roots. At first, the graphics will remind you of the SuperNES? A Link To The Past, but after further exploration you will find that the graphics flow very smoothly, and the graphical effects used (such as explosions) are nice. Just as important though, the graphics definitely work and fit.

Sound - 9/10

The Four Swords is by all means Zelda in the sound department. The music is great, and the sound effects matching. Sadly, the soundtrack isn?t quite all it could be, and doesn?t match up to the amazing songs of Ocarina of Time.

Longevity - 9/10

The single player quest is supposed to take around 20 hours to beat. Add to that several minigames, a battle mode, and, oh yes, multiplayer. This is a game you won?t tire of quickly.

Appropriateness

- Violence - 8/10

In the Four Swords, you dispatch of a great deal of monsters and evil guards, but just like in the glory days of the Super NES, when you kill an enemy, they bounce back and disappear with a poof. Pretty tame really.

- Language - 10/10

None.

- Adult Content ? 10/10

None.

- Moral/Ethical Issues - 9/10

This is a simple save-the-world, stop the bad guy kind of game. The multiplayer is usually about cooperating, but it is also competitive if you want to be, allowing some competition over items and power-ups.

- Occult - 8/10

As with most Zelda games there are several magical references, but nothing occultic, merely fairy tale in nature. Here your arch-nemesis is a wind wizard, and you will encounter a few mages or witches. The only ?magic? Link ever has access to is, the legendary sword, fairies that revive him when fallen, and ?Moon Pearls?. Only the most concerned of players need to worry about this game.

Overall - 90/100

Zelda: Four Swords Adventure is a surprisingly fresh experience, in spite of the fact that it?s very similar to the Super NES game, A Link To The Past. The graphics won?t wow you, but the gameplay is great. And on the whole, it?s a rather tame game. Moreover, if you?ve got friends with GBAs, I would certainly recommend this.

About the Author

Kendrik

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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