Pin It

Game Review 

by Marty Demarest

Unlike Sony or Microsoft, Nintendo has been with the video game industry since it started. It's true that games have changed drastically since then, but even the most "ground-breaking" gameplay on the Playstation 2 and Xbox still owes a big debt to Nintendo's restless creative spirit.

Back in the old days of gaming, the old Atari 2600 ruled home entertainment as a joystick-based system. But Nintendo patented a little cross-shaped piece of plastic that fit perfectly under a player's thumb, and the ubiquitous D-Pad -- now found on almost every controller on every system -- was born. The same is true with shoulder triggers. And who remembers playing a truly 3D game -- with solid graphics and free movement -- before Mario 64 arrived? Even a failed Nintendo experiment -- the Virtua Boy, which was an unwieldy set of goggles that allowed for headache-inducing 3D gaming -- led to advancements in how 3D graphics could be programmed.

Now Nintendo is testing some new technology with one of the company's flagship franchises. Four Sword Adventures (rated 'E') should satisfy anyone who played the original, with its skewed overhead perspective and sword-swinging, block-pushing play. The graphics are resoundingly old-school, with a few GameCube touches for special effects, and it's refreshing to realize that new, high-resolution graphics really add nothing to a bad game, while low-tech images don't matter when the gameplay is good.

The real reason for Four Sword Adventures' simplistic look, however, becomes apparent the first time you play it multiplayer. In that scenario -- which is the way the game is most fun -- each player needs to connect a GameBoy Advance unit to the GameCube. Each player controls at least one of four Link characters onscreen. Working together to solve puzzles, players are nonetheless free to compete with each other for power-ups and treasure, entering mini-levels where the gameplay jumps to the GameBoy Advance screen. The use of the small, individual monitors makes this Zelda remarkably different. For some players, the party-style gameplay might undermine Zelda's role-playing aspect. But the setup still has the feel of true innovation. It's worth investigating if only because Nintendo's little experiments have a way of changing the way we play games.

Publication date: 06/17/04

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Age of Zaycon
  • Age of Zaycon

    Spokane Valley's Zaycon Fresh found a way to make millions selling meat — and now it's trying to make a lot more
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Hazy Days of Summer
  • Hazy Days of Summer

    Smoke blankets the region; plus, Patty Murray on the proposed Iran deal
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Brick by Brick
  • Brick by Brick

    Development continues in downtown Spokane; here are some construction projects that could change the city's urban core
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu

Sandemonium @ Sandpoint Library

Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.-5 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

  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment




Publisher's Note


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation