Pin It

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

  • Running Dry
  • Running Dry

    How Wild Waters slid from the top water park in the Inland Northwest to an abandoned ruin
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • Elson Floyd's Final Year
  • Elson Floyd's Final Year

    WSU president leaves behind a strong vision for the school's future
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • You Got Frenched!
  • You Got Frenched!

    Al French scuttles Todd Mielke's bid for county CEO; plus, a shoplifting death in Coeur d'Alene
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Costuming & Cosplay on a Budget

Costuming & Cosplay on a Budget @ Spokane Valley Library

Wed., July 1, 5-8 p.m.

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

  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment




Publisher's Note


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation