Hype-r-Link

Discussion in 'GBA - Console and Game Discussions, Help and Tips' started by xist, Dec 6, 2011.

Dec 6, 2011

Hype-r-Link by xist at 1:00 PM (688 Views / 0 Likes) 6 replies

  1. xist
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    Member xist ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ

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    A little while ago I was fishing for recommendations for some GBA games that haven’t aged badly, and also retain a gaming imperative amidst the gaming libraries of today; there has to be some reason to play a game on the GBA rather than a souped up upgrade elsewhere. One important element that I wanted to avoid was the “Rose Tinted Spec’s of Nostalgia” effect….i’m as guilty of it as anyone but unfortunately this doesn’t transfer from one person’s childhood memories to another.

    I’d played Chain of Memories because it offered a unique experience…no other game since has really cloned the mechanic and whilst I wasn’t blown away by it (I felt the random card gathering mechanic was a tad….random…and ruined the relative difficulty management) I enjoyed the game and finished both Sora’s and Riku’s stories (…and on that matter Riku’s felt fairer because that randomness was removed). On the other hand I found Golden Sun tedious to the extreme (the bit on the boat was ok)…no real story, poor characters, and a gimmick that got old fast (Psynergy). Poor storytelling and characterisation are cardinal sins in any kind of adventure and if the 8Bit and pre-8Bit systems could manage it then Golden Sun should have been able to. At least reviews seemed to back up my feelings…whilst It looked nice it was a plodding experience and I finished the game with no intention of playing The Lost Age.

    Now here is the contention…I haven’t really played much in the way of Nintendo franchises or games having never been exposed to them in my formative years. Thus, having enjoyed Phantom Hourglass, and knowing Zelda is a classic I played LoZ The Minish Cap and again enjoyed it. Quirky characters (Ezra, Vaati, the Villagers and the Minish) who whilst lacking dialogue conveyed some sense of personality, varying dungeon environments with environmental puzzles that differed somewhat, and a sense of progression….Link felt that he was getting more powerful as he went through the game. Naturally having enjoyed MC I felt why not give the classic Zelda a go since it had a GBA port…..bring out the big guns of A Link To The Past. So many people love it it’d be stupid to never play the game. Now i know that it's not strictly a GBA game but i'd read on message boards that MC was far inferior to LTTP so i figured why not...

    So I played…and I don’t get the adoration. In today’s environment ALTTP is a somewhat mediocre game, inferior to MC in many respects and certainly not the greatest adventure that’s ever graced the world. I don’t have that childhood bias that can colour playthroughs and recollections of games of yore (although I’ll fight anyone to the death who insults The Secret of Monkey Island!) and so to me LTTP was a chore to play.

    Initially I must admit I thought It was much worse than it was….the first three dungeons are essentially identical, and it’s only when the dark world is revealed does the game expand it’s horizons. I found myself initially tiring of what effectively was fetch questing, with rinse repeat actions getting me through the same old dungeons. When the game progressed beyond that first batch of collections It got better, but the real clincher for many who love the game seems to be that sense of awe in the whole new world and the relation between dark, light and Link-bunnies. In today’s gaming world we’ve all experienced this sensation over and over in many different forms, be it Castlevania, Final Fantasy….etc (I’m under no illusion that today the wonder of leaving Midgar would be far less impressive) The marvel of a dark world doesn’t wash any more…our tastes and experiences are jaded given the wealth of games we’ve now played.

    Stripping that back from LTTP I was left with something that didn’t have much story, didn’t have much characterisation, relied on the same things in EVERY dungeon (which contrary to me initial impressions weren’t that different size wise to MC) and whose soundtrack was bad in many places. It looked nice, and obviously I had no issue with finishing it, but it wasn’t the be all and end all of adventures. Which brings me to back nostalgia…I remember playing Ys The Vanished Omens on the Master System and feeling the sense of oppression in the game, sadness when people die, and heart pounding cardiac failure on expeditions into the mines. Would the game hold up as well today? Probably not, but to me it’s a classic Master System game. Same goes for Wonderboy III The Dragons Trap. I understand the love of games from childhood but to think that they don’t get worse as we experience more, and that they remain essential is misguided….sometimes a system might have games which DEFINED it, but that doesn’t mean they’re essential plays.

    Would I have enjoyed It more if there was less hype? Probably, as I wouldn’t have been expecting the experience of a lifetime. But equally I’d never have echoed the sentiments of those who grew up with it. Simply put, for someone playing LTTP today it’s not going to be a gaming moment you’ll cherish forever….it’ll be moderately fun.

    And just as all hope was lost for me finding something to really love I started up Mother 3….whilst I’ve not played to much (just getting to the end of Chapter 3 I’d say) that this one seems to re-affirm my hopes. It’s got oodles of charm and does something which remains different even in today’s environment. Perhaps it’s because there was far less hype for this one but even without the fan love it garners, Mother 3 stands out today despite our over-exposure to gaming gimmicks whereas LTTP doesn’t.

    …..

    Ok…flame shield prepped…
     
  2. Helpful Corn

    Member Helpful Corn GBAtemp Regular

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    All Zeldas are over rated same as many other popular franchises, it's the fanboy effect. Dragons trap is the shit, here are a few GBA greats that don't get recommended too often:

    Medal Of Honor: Infiltrator
    Ninja Cop (Ninja 5-0)
    Both Klonoa games
     
  3. Schlupi

    Member Schlupi Gbatemp's Official Earthbound Maniac™

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    MOTHER 3 is Godly. Don't give up, make sure to play it through to the end... If you have a heart you'll love it. ;)
     
  4. xist
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    Member xist ΚΑΤΑ ΤΟΝ ΔΑΙΜΟΝΑ ΕΑΥΤΟΥ

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    I finished Mother 3 last month. It was an amazing experience all the way up to the end, where it forgot it was a portable game. Apart from the immensely drawn out final bit (which was ok but still slightly irritiating) it was a fantastic game, full of character, innovation and fun.

    How does Earthbound compare? I'd read differing opinions and gathered it was a little more tedious. Does it hold up today or has it dated a bit? I'm guessing it's nowhere near as great as Mother 3.
     
  5. Schlupi

    Member Schlupi Gbatemp's Official Earthbound Maniac™

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    To be completely honest, Earthbound feels dated and bland compared to MOTHER 3. The battle system, overworld, and interactions are more sluggish when comparing to MOTHER 3 for sure.

    However... The charm, love, feel, and quirkiness are all present and make the game shine regardless. Its like comparing Final Fantasy IV on SNES to the DS remake, you know what I mean?

    I say you try to play Earthbound, and even try MOTHER on GBA with the translation patch. They're both great games if you have a little more patience with older RPGs.
     
  6. Coto

    Member Coto GBAtemp Addict

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    I haven't finished earthbound because of coding. But I did with Mother 3, and the game was one of those you won't forget ever. Ness in earthbound seems to be a hero-like young man, but the game itself has "the 60's north-american feeling" I really love...

    Maybe I'll finish it this year, btw I just finished Kirby's Dreamland 1 (GB) on extra mode... And all I can say is: Old games come from a different era.
     
  7. Schlupi

    Member Schlupi Gbatemp's Official Earthbound Maniac™

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    Yeah, that's how it is. That's why Earthbound is slower; it's not a fault with the game is it's just the way things worked on SNES. Rarely could we all out skip text and fly through battles (like walking away when people are talking to you in Chrono Trigger lol). It takes a certain mindset to play through older games.
     

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