The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures
The connectivity between Gamecube and GBA hasn’t really been used up until now. Final Fantasy Chronicles already gave you a taste of what could be done, and also Pokémon Colosseum had some use for it but wasn’t really used in-depth. Next to that, there were a couple of games where you would need both the GC and GBA-version to be able to unlock some useless extra’s. After a long wait, Nintendo now comes with The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. Is this thé game that will make you get that connectivity-cable ? I for one say “yes”.
The storyline here differs somewhat from the other Zelda games, although you’ll get to meet the same main characters. Usually, the evil wizard Vaati would kidnap beautiful, young girls, but would be stopped by a hero who split into four when drawing his sword. He enprisoned Vaati and locked the entrance with his sword: the Four Sword.
That place is since then called the Sanctuary of the Four Sword, and 6 virgins and prinses Zelda worship it. One day they are taken by a shadow into the dark. You play the role of Link, a friend of prinses Zelda, and immediately jump into the shadow after the 6 virgins and Zelda to save them. For that you’ll use the power of the Four Sword.
Also the way you get through the game is different from any previous ones. Where you used to roam freely through a big world, you now go through seven levels which each consist out of three parts. These seperately already are pretty big and you can already spend about 30 minutes on the first part, if not longer.
Since the connectivity is central in this game I’ll start with explaining it. When walking around in the world, you have to check your tv, when you enter a house, the action passes to your GBA screen.
When playing by yourself this doesn’t have much use so on your own you could just aswell play with the controller and when entering a cave or building, a seperate screen will pop up, showing what would normally appear on the GBA.
The most important part of the connectivity is the multiplayer. The fact that the action goes to the GBA when entering somewhere can cause quite some tension. When all (or some) players go in and walk behind each other, they of course can see the other players on their screen, but if one stays outside, it will happen all too often that he’ll get red of anger when hearing the sounds of Force Gems.
When all players have gotten a certain amount of these gems, you get the possibility to shoot rockets with your sword. Despite the fact that working together is a necessity to end a level, at the end there’s a ranking given to each player.
What has always been one of the most important points in all TLoZ-games is the puzzles. In Four Swords Adventures these are even more present since the working together with the four Links makes for a lot of puzzle pleasure. You’ll have to push away a big stone with the four of you, push four buttons at the same time, etc etc etc…
Of course the typical weapons like bow and arrow, boomerang and bombs are back again to help you in your fight against evil and the solving of puzzles. In singleplayer you’ll control all 4 heroes at the same time, and you can use different formations like cross, long, wide and block. When playing with several gamers, each will have to take care of the control of 1 or 2 Links, depending on how many players are present.
The graphics are clearly below average although this game wouldn’t be playable with a third person view due to the lack of overview. You have a top-down view and the graphics are just a teenie weenie little better than those of the GBA, and I’m telling the truth here. To compensate, Nintendo has added fun and spectacular effects, but that didn’t keep me from thinking that they didn’t do their best to give us the best they can. Throughout the game you’ll hear the same tunes as before, even Link still moarns the same way. There’s nothing really wrong with that but don’t expect mighty orchestra’s in the background.
If you’re a true TLoZ-fan, it’s evident that you’ll get this game, especially if you have friends with a GBA and a connectivity cable. If you want to start with the series however, I would suggest buying TLoZ: The Wind Waker or wait for the next part. This game may give you a bad idea of the series because of the lousy graphics.