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The Legend of Zelda review
by ItsAHobby

This game, to this day is still fun and interesting to play. Of course many things are dated and the game does ZERO hand holding, which has its pros and cons. There are many things that are hidden in ways that makes you go "what in the frick man (you can't swear, this is a family friendly game)", such as bombing one SPECIFIC ROCK IN A MOUNTAIN. WHAT.
The game's difficulty is okay tho, with the exception that you cannot throw swords if you don't have max health, and once you come back to life you restart with 3 hearts always. That's not a huge problem later on as you have potions (if you figured out how to get them) and fairy fountains.
Nowadays, so that you don't waste 9 hours trying to understand where to go next, I recommend a guide. I played without one and finished temple 4 before I even found the second one. Not exactly fun wandering everywhere trying to figure out what the hell you're supposed to do.
Also this game is GRINDY, and the old man thinks speaking in cryptic language is fun. Unfortunately trying to kill the old man only results in you being set on fire by his fireballs. Bummer.

This game was very innovative when it was released, with an open world, save system and a story (kinda, very cliche even for its time but hey, 1 is more than 0).

You play as Zelda trying to save some girl or something from NEON pig man. Like everyone who wears neon and kidnaps princesses, Ganon (pigman) is very evil. You count with the (not) helpful duo of old man and old woman, and their primary job is to piss you off. In that, I think Nintendo nailed it.
There are many tools that you get, and they're very fun to use. Some bosses are very difficult until you realize that bombs = the shit.

Overall, rating out of 100:
Story: 10
You've got the setting and the basic progression, it's okay.

Gameplay: 40
Solid and fun, has a save system so you don't have to finish it in one run.

Graphics: 10
It looks good, there are many other games that look better on NES but considering the size of this one, it's good.

Sound/Music: 80
Okay, the OSTs on this game are absolutely timeless.

This leaves Legend of Zelda with a secret 140 out of 400! Bonus points for no "Hey, listen!", minus points for old man wasting my time instead.

Other reviews2

This game is a rarity of the 8-bit era, in that it sources its depth from content, rather than difficulty. In a time when games were designed to keep you playing the same levels over and over to pad out playtime, Zelda goes against the grain. Between overworld exploration and varied dungeon gameplay, there's plenty to find and enjoy in this game to keep you playing for hours. I used a guide online during my playthrough, just due to time limitations. This did not dampen my experience at all, as the dungeon gameplay was fun enough to stand alone without as much exploration. Being able to save rather than playing the whole game in one sitting is a huge leg up on other contemporaries that helps this game feel like a more complete adventure rather than a collection of levels.