Link’s excellent adventure, or not

Zelda II is like a lightning rod for controversy over its respective series. Any debate of the quality of any given Zelda game almost inevitably degenerates into a debate over whether or not the second game was any damn good, or not.

“Well, Twilight Princess may be long and drawn out, but at least it doesn’t suck like Zelda II.”

You take that back right now or I’ll punch your mom.

Yes, the game has many detractors, and quite a few raving fans who will defend its honor to the death. But which is Bob Mackey? A lover, or a fighter? I guess you will have to read his Virtual Console write-up to find out.

Science tells me you have a fifty percent chance of disagreeing with this article.

25 thoughts on “Link’s excellent adventure, or not

  1. Wow. Harsh. Currently pushing my fanboyish rage deep down inside.

    On a positive note: god bless VGM.

  2. I can’t really defend the game from any of the valid criticisms raised in Bob Mackey’s write up. That said, I recently fired up Zelda I to play through and couldn’t force myself to do it. Then I tried Zelda II and plowed on through.

    Also, it is always worth pointing out that when they growed Link up for this game, they forgot to growed up his sword.

  3. I’m kind of indifferent to Zelda II. Now Ocarina of Time…that’s the low point of the non-CDi incarnations in my opinion.

  4. I don’t think I would dispute any of his negative points about the game, I just think he overemphasizes how bad they are. Not everyone will find it fun today, but it is still a fun game.

  5. Oh, c’mon, Zelda 2 was awesome. In fact, I played it way much more than the first (which I only finished once). I liked the towns and the people and the exploration factor was much more interesting. Best Zelda game. Ever. (The only one I have truly enjoyed besides Ocarina of Time, and even OOT seems boring now with the large Tomb Raider like dungeons and stuff, in fact, Tomb Raider is a much better game now that I think about it).

  6. Hah, ouch! Gonna have to disagree with da h8az on this one – in my opinion, Zelda II is one of the most underrated games of all time.

    While I just couldn’t seem to bring myself to trudge through Twilight Princess and its inane tutorial snorefests around every corner (someday, Wii, someday), the pre-64 Zelda games allow me to fire that sucker up, jump right in and be hacking away at moblins and bombing dodongos to my heart’s content within the first few screens.

    Besides – Zelda II (like its predecessor) is a genuinely challenging game. Heck, remember those infernal blue wizards and knights and centaur dudes in the original game? They took some serious tactics, reflexes and skill to kill and avoid taking damage from, but it was entirely within a player’s ability to do so.
    In my opinion, that’s no different in Zelda II. Quick wits and timing combined with intelligent usage of spells can overcome pretty much any obstacle in this game. And it’s fun!

    To each their own however!

  7. I think the challenge of the game is a bit overhyped, at least until you get to the Great Palace and the learning curve goes completely vertical. At very least, the game designers were merciful enough not to let enemies respawn in the palaces. My big complaint is that most of the special items you find serve the exclusive purpose of getting you to the next dungeon.

  8. But that Metroidvania article was only somewhat more favorable towards Zelda II. Not much of a counterpoint.

  9. Have you ever stopped, stepped back for a moment and wondered, “Do I get bent out of shape about other people’s opinions regarding things that ultimately make little difference? Should I maybe fixate less on the same narrow array of topics, over and over again?”

    Just askin’.

  10. Good point.

    I guess this is a sore spot for me since we never did get another Zelda II-type game, which to me, makes a lot of difference. Matters of the unresolved do that sort of thing to me. (There’s something else kind of like that going on with me right now, so it isn’t a Zelda-II specific thing.)

  11. Nah, there were several Zelda II-style NES games: Faxanadu, Battle of Olympus, Moon Crystal. Or do you mean in the Zelda series itself? Because Ocarina is pretty much Zelda II in 3D, minus the leveling mechanics.

  12. I’m talking 2d style within the Zelda series with the same kind of combat system and leveling + RPG mechanics, only a little more evolved. (Ocarina’s combat mechanics just weren’t the same, for reasons 3d related and otherwise.)

  13. That would mean that somewhere there is someone willing to defend Legend of Kage, and frankly I don’t know if I would be able to sleep at night if that were true.

  14. Oh dear M.Nicolai, the I’m your worst nightmare (but to be fair, I love almost any old style arcade plataformer, plus I’m what some people might call an “Atari fatty”).

  15. P,

    When you say Ocarina is Zelda II in 3D, you mean they both have stupid fetch quests for townspeople I don’t like?

    According to my count, of the twenty responses (and including myself), we’ve got four people for the review, seven against it, four who’re agin’ the review, five who fall into the “wtf” category, and other people writing more than once. So, it turns out 4/11, or 36.3636% agree and 63.6364% disagree. Assuming Parish is right (and he gives us no reason to doubt it) there’s exactly a fifty percent chance any reader of the review will disagree (so, it’s like a coin flip). The likelihood that the votes would come in just as they have (4 for 11 against) is 16.1%. The likelihood that at least 7/11 folks wouldn’t be ZeldaII haters is 27.4%. Now, weigh that against the chance that you’ll receive one of those 250 exp bags for defeating your next Moblin.

  16. You know, it’s funny. I remember loving this game way way back when it came out. So I bought it on the VC, and JESUS FUCK THE CHRIST THE GAME IS TERRIBLE. The game is far too difficult, hit detection seems shoddy at best, and yes, losing all your lives means BACK TO SQUARE FUCKING ONE. That’s 5 bucks wasted.

  17. I think Zelda II is a lot more enjoyable if you make a beeline to the desert town to learn the downward thrust, not worrying about leveling or unnecessary item hunts until then. It makes things significantly easier. (Personally, though, I found the whole Death Mountain sojourn the most annoying part of the game and the most conducive to Return of Ganons. And all that pain for a piddly hammer? Seriously, wtf?)

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