Pin It
Favorite

Game Review 

by Marty Demarest


A few nights ago, sleepless, I decided to settle down by tree light and lose myself in a video game. Current favorites Amped 2 and Manhunt beckoned. But instead, out of curiosity, I chose The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition, which is being bundled with new GameCubes. Given that the GameCube now costs $100, and the games included in the set -- Legend of Zelda, Zelda 2, Ocarina of Time, and Majora's Mask -- would have totaled more than $200 if bought new, the disc was already worth the money.


But the original Legend of Zelda was released in 1987, so I was curious to see how it stood up. Immediately, I was struck by the simplicity of the graphics. These aren't even good by cell phone standards. But they conveyed the story and setting of the games without distracting me. There was the squat elfin hero, Link, poking his sword at giant hopping spiders and nefarious burrowing tubes. But as I continued to play, guiding Link from screen to screen, paving my way across a magic kingdom, I remembered why Zelda had been so great when it was released. What sustained it then, as now, is its originality. Nobody had ever set out on a console system to tell an epic, mythical story. But using basic images and pared-down text, The Legend of Zelda does just that. Of course, in this era of 60-hour games, Zelda is a quick diversion. But back when Bush I was taking office, it signified months of spare time. Knowing the secrets to solving a puzzle meant you had playground cachet. Suddenly, there was a vast world to explore on our television sets; none of us had played anything like it. It was a video game to take as seriously as art.


Of course, Zelda looks dated now (although the sequels get progressively better). And I have to question Nintendo's usage of the 'start' button (it's historically accurate but irritating). But playing through most of the game reminded me of how long it's been since something new happened in video games. It made me long for the time when we bought games because they surprised and challenged us, not because they gave us more of what we already had. I hope that, like other great pop-cultural fantasias (The Lord of the Rings films, the Harry Potter books), Zelda will persevere. After wasting the early hours of the morning, I know that it's lasted this long.





Publication date: 12/25/03

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • In Their Best Interest
  • In Their Best Interest

    Why many neglected kids don't have legal representation for critical decisions that could dictate their future
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • 'Right Side of History'
  • 'Right Side of History'

    The Washington Supreme Court rules against Arlene's Flowers; plus, two dogs call it a day
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • Frozen Out
  • Frozen Out

    In the middle of a chaotic winter, the city of Spokane ousted its veteran street director, but won't give an explanation to the city council
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • Manufacturing Fear
  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • The Price of Freedom
  • The Price of Freedom

    Poor people — some innocent — will languish behind bars before they're convicted. Time inside can cost them jobs, homes and children
    • Sep 9, 2015

Comments


Comments are closed.

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Ric Gendron: Salish Stories

Ric Gendron: Salish Stories @ Spokane Art School

Mondays-Fridays, 5-9 p.m. Continues through March 31

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

    Why we're filling the streets to protest Trump's inhumane, dangerous policies
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Obscene Gestures

    Spokane political party leaders hope to harness post-election passion into civil discourse. But so far, there's only been more strife
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


Comment


do something


Readers also liked…

  • Shake Down
  • Shake Down

    When an earthquake rocks Western WA, what will happen in the Inland Northwest?
    • Jul 22, 2015
  • The Price of Freedom
  • The Price of Freedom

    Poor people — some innocent — will languish behind bars before they're convicted. Time inside can cost them jobs, homes and children
    • Sep 9, 2015
  • Power Player
  • Power Player

    Behind Ben Stuckart’s rise as city council president, his latest challenger and what comes next
    • Oct 22, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation