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

  • Odds And Ends
  • Odds And Ends

    Idaho lawmakers are pulled in lots of directions; plus, SPD weighs a "culture audit"
    • Mar 25, 2015
  • Four Days A Week
  • Four Days A Week

    Idaho schools that dropped one day a week from their schedule are saving a little money — but at what cost?
    • Mar 25, 2015
  • A County Ombudsman?
  • A County Ombudsman?

    Weighing the costs and benefits of oversight at the Spokane County Sheriff's Office
    • Mar 25, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
2015 NCAA Division 1 Woman's Regionals

2015 NCAA Division 1 Woman's Regionals @ Spokane Arena

Mon., March 30

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

  • Why Idaho kids don't go to college

    And what that means for the Gem State
    • Mar 4, 2015
  • New Blood

    Candidates are launching bids for Spokane City Council and could bring big changes to city government
    • Mar 18, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


Comment


marijuana


Publisher's Note


long reads


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation