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200 Best Video Games of All Time - Bubble Bobble

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ตอบกลับ #15 เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 18, 2019, 02:51:12 PM
200 Best Video Games of All Time  - Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island



In North America, Yoshi's Island is known as "Super Mario World 2", presenting it as a sequel to the legendary SNES launch game. While perhaps thought necessary from a marketing standpoint, it does an injustice to how unique this title is, as it iterates Mario tropes (and characters) in incredibly creative ways.

In truth, Yoshi's Island is a prequel. The hero, of course, is Yoshi (defined as a whole species of differently colored, but otherwise identical dinosaurs), tasked with escorting a diaper-clad Baby Mario away from danger. Yoshi is better prepared for direct conflict than the Mario Bros., able to eat almost any enemy and produce an egg, which can then be thrown as a weapon. The damage system is also unique, as getting hit will send Baby Mario floating off in a bubble, causing him to cry hysterically. As long as you can retrieve him before a timer runs out, then you can continue on. The offensive, defensive, and maneuvering abilities – Yoshi controls with less inertia than Mario, plus he can spin his legs in mid-leap to gain some extra air – makes for a game that plays much differently than a typical Mario experience.

The levels are full of clever gimmicks, keeping the game fresh throughout all 54 stages. The fan favorite is "Touch Fuzzy Get Dizzy", where fluffy little clouds will send Yoshi on a hallucinogenic trip, causing the world and music to twist and bend around him. Like Super Mario World, the levels are fairly open ended, and with the removal of the timer, they give you the ability to play around to your heart's content.

While Yoshi's Island is just as solidly designed as any of Nintendo's other greats, it's most fondly remembered for its fantastic visuals. Drawn to emulate a living coloring book, even simple backgrounds come to life with animated scribbles, with the color palette coming together to create what is probably the most gorgeous looking 2D game ever created. Yoshi is also animated with incredible amounts of character. The creatures,
friend and foe, include Shyguys (borrowed from Super Mario Bros. 2), watermelon-eating monkeys (you can eat the watermelons and spit seeds back, too), and obese puffins (you can steal the chicks and use them as weapons). Almost everything, including the scenery, wears a happy smile, and you nearly feel bad for viciously gulping and digesting them. The unique mechanics and technologically impressive visuals – bolstered by the Super FX2 chip – make Yoshi's Island feel like a Treasure game, but with the personality, polish, and
ingenuity of Nintendo's best output.

The Wario games are where Nintendo goes when they want to do something weird and experimental. Born as a spin-off from Super Mario Land 2, the fourth Wario Land, released for the GBA, is the best of the lot. Rather than focusing on strict platforming, each level is a relatively open-ended hunt for the goal; once you reach  that goal, you need to head backwards and escape before the level collapses. Your "powers" come from assorted injuries, like getting flattened to squeeze through tight spaces. The landscapes are varied and surreal, and the soundtrack is just as bizarre, often accompanied with warbling vocals. While not as tightly designed as Nintendo's greats, it's a good alternative for those tired of their usual fare.

TOP 10 VIDEO GAMES OF ALL TIME
200 BEST VIDEO GAMES OF ALL TIME
BEST ANDROID GAMES
45 BEST ANDROID GAMES
10 CREEPY VIDEO GAME URBAN LEGENDS
10 TECHNOLOGIES INSPIRED BY VIDEO GAMES
HIDDEN THINGS IN VIDEO GAMES
10 VIDEO GAME EASTER EGGS THAT TOOK YEARS TO FIND



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ตอบกลับ #16 เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 18, 2019, 02:51:42 PM
200 Best Video Games of All Time  - Rogue Legacy



The indie revolution in the early 2010s brought about a number of Metroidvanias and Roguelikes, so it makes perfect sense to mash them together. The result is Cellar Door's Rogue Legacy, which takes the basic action and exploration of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, and combines it with a randomization element that changes both your player character and the layout of the castle.

You play as a family of warriors hell-bent on making it to the end of Castle Hamson in order to uncover its mysteries. There are four areas to conquer, each with a boss, before the door is unlocked that leads to the final encounter. The first member of the family, at level 0, will probably meet their maker relatively quickly. However, your fortune and your equipment are bestowed upon the next generation of heroes, allowing you to forge new gear and build up the skill tree, which in turn strengthens the heroes, offers new abilities, and unlocks extra character classes.

With each new generation, you can pick from three heroes, each with different randomly generated abilities. Some of them are useful (like dwarfism, to fit into small spots), while others are silly (like being a hypochondriac, where the numerical damage reported after each blow is wildly exaggerated). Any bosses you've killed stay dead, too, so you don't need to replay whole sections of the castle over and over. It's true that the game is built around grinding, as only the most skilled players will be able to beat the game at the lowest levels. Yet you'll also need to play smartly to understand the tricks of the castle, the types of enemies, and the boss patterns.

You will, of course, die, and die a lot – that's the point of any Roguelike. Each run into the castle is usually pretty quick, though, even if you explore every corner. Also, unless you have a really poor  run and fail to accumulate much gold, it's never wasted, since you can always power yourself up, even a little. The constantly refreshing nature of both the castle layout and the player character gives you unique challenges each time, with some builds better solely for exploring and raking in cash, while others are better suited to heavy combat. There is some level of customization based on the runes you equip, which manage both special abilities and health/magic regeneration, allowing you to adjust your playing style with each run. It creates an addictive feedback loop that makes it hard to put down. Plus, while you can technically beat the game, you can replay the castle at higher difficulty levels and keep your stats, ensuring a constant amount of new challenges. -Kurt Kalata

Derek Yu's Spelunky is essentially the originator of the Rogueplatformer hybrid. Originally released as freeware, a subsequent paid re-release gives it an overhaul and adds many more levels. Unlike Rogue Legacy, which randomly patches together pre-built rooms into one big castle, Spelunky's cavernous levels are entirely procedurally generated, filling them with monsters, traps, and all manner of deadly things, as well as shops and damsels-(and dudes)- in-distress. It's incredibly easy to get killed, making your quest for treasure ever-threatening, though seeing just far you can get before the game outwits you is, as always, part of the appeal. -KK



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ตอบกลับ #17 เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 18, 2019, 02:52:06 PM
200 Best Video Games of All Time  - Super Meat Boy


Super Meat Boy is the reason why, for better or worse, the "masocore" genre of gruelingly difficult games is so popular nowadays. It turned out to be a massive success story for Team Meat, and was worthy enough to be chronicled in Indie Game: The Movie. The setup here is that Meat Boy's partner, Bandage Girl, is kidnapped by the vile Dr. Fetus. This leads to more than 100 levels of pure platforming goodness, where all you need to do to
survive is run, jump, and wall jump.

It starts out fair at first. Before long, though, the tricks and enemies grow especially vile, like living missiles which split into six, or murderous Meat Boy clones. There's a gargantuan amount of content up front, as each normal level also has a tougher dark side variant unlocked if you beat the normal one under the par time. There are also warp zones leading off into hidden levels, where you can unlock characters from other indie games, each of which play akin to the games they're from while still adhering to this game's physics.

The controls, meanwhile, take a little while to get used to. This is due to the speed Meat Boy moves at, and the distance he can jump. You need to be able to move precisely in order to slide between all of the death-dealing obstacles. Each stage is subtly designed to accommodate your movements while simultaneously challenging you.
While later levels are brutal, very little of it ever feels truly unfair. Death occurs in just a blink and you're immediately back in action, and after beating a level, you get to see how many tries it took, with all your past attempts playing out simultaneously. It’s a cool feature that never gets old. For visuals, the characters may look cute, but the environments are quite scary in later stages, with buzz saws and fire everywhere. The music is also absolutely topgrade, thanks to Danny Baranowsky (though the Sony PS4/Vita ports have a totally different, and
not quite as good soundtrack.)

The design is occasionally juvenile, such as the point where you need to race a rival made out of feces, but if you can get over its origins as a Newgrounds Flash game, you'll find the mechanics and bonuses overshadow the silliness. The style is nowhere near as gruesome as Ed McMillen's later hit, The Binding of Isaac, though it did run into controversy with PETA objecting to a character being made entirely of bloody meat. They ran a parody known as Super Tofu Boy, who later made it into Super Meat Boy as a hidden character, though only in the PC version. This is the preferable release, due to a level editor and the ability to play user-created levels.

See Also:
1001 Spikes seems like your dime-a-dozen NES throwback at first glance, but playing it reveals an addicting test of thought and reflexes that is better for unashamedly reveling in its retro roots. Adventurer Aban Hawkins, who bears an unsubtle resemblance to a certain action film protagonist, braves the many perils of the Ukampa ruins and "only" gets 1001 lives to survive it. Crumbling platforms and arrow-spitting statues abound, and Aban will die
many times before beating any given level. Each death leaves the player feeling like it's beatable, though. With more levels than you would expect, several game modes, and oodles of playable characters from other titles, 1001 Spikes has a lot more to offer players than just the promise of repeated death.




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ตอบกลับ #18 เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 18, 2019, 02:52:25 PM
200 Best Video Games of All Time  - Super Mario Bros. 3



In the context of NES platformers, Super Mario Bros. 3 decimates its competition. Even compared
to other games in the series, it's a gigantic step upward from the frustrating Japanese Super Mario
Bros. 2, and the diversionary (through still excellent) American sequel. Compared to the original game, the screen scrolls in all directions, allowing for more open and less confining stages, including tense levels where the screen automatically scrolls. The map allows alternative routes to the end of each world, with challenging castles at the mid-way points, and airship stages that culminate in fights against one of Bowser's seven children. Put simply, it’s far more expansive than almost any other similar game on the 8-bit platform.

Even divorced from context, though, Super Mario Bros. 3 excels because of its level design. The stages are relatively short, but each is memorably and skillfully designed. The eight Worlds all have distinct themes – deserts, oceans, and clouds, with the most unique being one where everything, enemies and bricks, is oversized. There are charming details, like the bushes in the first World map, which appear to dance along with the theme music. The individual levels are filled with foes and items that pop up only a few times, like the menacing sun in the sand stages, or Kuribo's Shoe, a curious one-time item that lets Mario hop around unharmed on spikes. The Raccoon tail is the first (and best) power-up that allows Mario to fly, while several others abilities – the Frog, Tanooki and Hammer Bros. suits – are uncommon, but offer cool abilities. It's the rare game where almost every part of it feels special.

It's also the last time where a Super Mario Bros. game is legitimately challenging. Each subsequent game relegates the truly difficult levels to either optional secret areas or post-game challenges. Here, the final stages (save for the slightly disappointing final battle) are fairly difficult. The hands that randomly grab Mario as he crosses over the lava bridge in World 8, forcing him into a particularly challenging level, remain one of the most harrowing moments of the game. It's a reminder of an era when Nintendo could make titles that were both charming and demanding.

The SNES remake on Super Mario All Stars is decent, with a nice visual overhaul, and the save system is most definitely welcome, but the physics are slightly off. The same can be said for the GBA remake, which, in a boneheaded move, features extra levels only accessible via eReader cards, many of which are impossible to find nowadays. The NES original is still the best. -Kurt Kalata

Many message board battles have been fought as to which of the classic Mario titles are superior. While we have an ever-so-slight preference for Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World is still an absolutely fantastic game, especially for being an SNES launch title. To begin with, the levels are much larger and full of secrets, including exits that lead to hidden stages. This puts the focus a little more on exploration than straight up platforming. It also introduces the dinosaur Yoshi, who will happily gobble almost anything. While the game isn’t very difficult overall, if you manage to find the secret Special World, you’ll come across some of the most devious challenges seen in a platformer, at least until the Super Mario World ROM hacking scene took off with the advent of emulation. -KK

TOP 10 VIDEO GAMES OF ALL TIME
BEST ANDROID GAMES
45 BEST ANDROID GAMES
10 CREEPY VIDEO GAME URBAN LEGENDS
10 TECHNOLOGIES INSPIRED BY VIDEO GAMES
HIDDEN THINGS IN VIDEO GAMES
10 VIDEO GAME EASTER EGGS THAT TOOK YEARS TO FIND



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ตอบกลับ #19 เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 18, 2019, 02:52:40 PM
200 Best Video Games of All Time  - Shadow of the Colossus


A good boss battle can be quite memorable, but a bad one can sour the entire game. Shadow of the Colossus foregoes regular enemies altogether, and consists almost entirely of 16 unique and amazing boss battles.

The player controls Wander, a boy who has journeyed to "The Forbidden Lands" to retrieve the soul of Momo, a girl who was sacrificed for having a cursed fate. He meets a mysterious being, known as Dormin, who tells Wander that he can resurrect Momo if the 16 Colossi that inhabit the plains are slain. Wander isn't a strong, muscle-bound beefcake who laughs at the concept of stamina, though — he’s actually a rather average looking guy. His run is wild and unrefined, he gets both visibly and audibly tired after running, and he grunts while pulling himself up a ledge. Wander isn't alone in his quest, though, and is accompanied by his mare, Agro.

The aptly named Colossi tower over Wander, who barely reaches the ankles on most of them. In order to fell these monsters, Wander must use the light from his magic sword to expose their weak points, usually on their head and back. These are, of course, quite far from Wander's reach, but he’s remarkably nimble and has incredible grip, allowing him to scale the Colossi via patches of fur, grass, or any protruding ridges from their stone-like bodies.

Thankfully, the game has some great collision detection, and movement has a real weightiness to it that simply feels right. Director Fumito Ueda wanted the action to have more "chance and spontaneity" than his previous game, Ico. This allows for situations where Wander is standing atop Agro in full sprint as they chase after a Colossus before it takes flight. Wander then jumps off Agro, desperately grabbing onto one of the beasts' dorsal fins, and slaying the Colossus mid-flight. That's not a scripted event either, just one of many possible ways to fell the creatures. Defeating these beats should be a moment of triumph, however, the music then becomes melancholic. The monster’s eyes grow dull, and it collapses much like a puppet with its strings cut. Tentacles then spawn from the fatal wound and violently enter Wander's body. The scene causes an unsettling feeling to develop, as if slaying Colossi is somehow wrong.

Ueda has commented that he didn't want to make something disposable, and he succeeded here. Sadly, his follow-up, The Last Guardian, suffered many development problems resulting in huge delays. As disappointing as that may be, it’s understandable, as creating a masterpiece like this is a colossal task. -Spencer Johnson

Before Shadow of the Colossus, there was Ico. Designed and directed by Ueda, he has confirmed that it’s a prequel to SotC. Like SotC, Ico is a really special, albeit less polished experience. The game involves two heroes, Ico and Yorda, and their attempt to escape a castle by solving puzzles, with some platforming and minor combat elements peppered throughout, Ico and Yorda need to rely upon each other’s skills to escape, but they’re still kids, with limitations on what they can do. Thus, the game exudes an aura of innocence, as if it doesn't realize the charm and wonder it contains. As with Shadow of the Colossus, Ico leaves more questions than answers, but remains satisfying. That's what is so intriguing about Ueda's games, and one of the many reasons they are lauded. -SJ




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ตอบกลับ #20 เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 18, 2019, 02:53:00 PM
200 Best Video Games of All Time  - Terranigma


Terranigma stars a mischievous boy, named Ark by default, who one day breaks open a forbidden door and discovers a strange creature in a magic box. This freezes all inhabitants of his village deep inside the earth, except for him and the elder, who tells him to conquer five towers to free his friends. Each tower has the side effect of reviving one continent on the planet surface, and when the deed is done, Ark is sent above ground to bring back civilization to the world. This mythical task is framed in typical action-RPG terms – Ark frees the souls of living beings by defeating monsters, then proceeds to the next part of the world by interacting with the newborn plants, animals, and finally humans.

Ark is an extraordinarily mobile hero, able to freely dash around, jump, block enemy attacks, and perform a number of special moves for more damage. The dungeons, with their puzzles and obstacles, take all of these abilities into account, making the challenges feel more natural than the contrived “this was designed for exactly that item” dungeons in Zelda games[/url].

Terranigma is really all about its themes, though. Modeled after creation myths – it is the most literal application of the Monomyth according to Campbell in a video game – the story doesn’t hold up so much when viewed as one coherent plot, but works better as an assortment of unreliably strung together episodes, tales, and philosophic musings on life, progress, death, and reincarnation.

Accordingly, Terranigma occurs on a mythically warped timeline. Even the intro starts with a compelling image of the number 13 added to a clock’s face. Characters can be reborn as infants and grow up while others never age, and the entire development of human civilization takes place in a single hero’s lifetime. Ark can stroll around in futuristic Neo Tokyo but then return to a Europe that’s stuck in the middle ages – though not entirely. Some cities can be lead to advancement and turned into sprawling metropolises by performing certain tasks, mirroring the game’s themes of growth and development.

Musically, there are few soundtracks that complement a game’s themes so exquisitely as in Terranigma. Two major tracks stand as centerpieces, signifying home and discovery, and are reprised throughout before merging together to spell triumph, then decay, and finally rebirth. Despite being the crowning achievement in Quintet’s SNES output, and one of the best action RPGs ever made, Terranigma is often overlooked due to a lack of a North American release – the only English release was in Europe. -Sam Derboo

Even though there are no explicit ties between Quintet’s Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, and Terranigma, they’re often considered a trilogy, as they’re all concerned with the ruin and rebuilding of entire civilizations. Illusion of Gaia may have the weakest gameplay among them, with filler dungeons and three transformations of the main character that don’t add much to the game, but its personal story makes it stand apart. Like all of Quintet’s games, it has its goofy moments, but the main thread is astonishingly serious, even touching on hard topics like slavery. Soul Blazer is also worth a try, though it feels more archaic than its successors – the back- andforth to the towns after freeing souls is tedious, and the hero’s inability to walk diagonally makes it seem stiff. -SD




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ตอบกลับ #21 เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 18, 2019, 02:53:20 PM
200 Best Video Games of All Time  - The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask


The Zelda series has fallen into an uneven alternation between titles that are just gradually expanded retreads of the same core concept – A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess – and interesting experimental adventures. Majora’s Mask may look a lot like Ocarina of Time for using the same engine and some of the same assets, but under the hood, it’s one of the wild ones. By the numbers, the game seemed like a disappointment – You only get to play as child Link? Only four dungeons in a Zelda game? Majora’s Mask stretches out in a different way, though, namely over three days. More precisely, the three final days of the dying world Termina (it’s never really explained how exactly Link ended up here), which end with the creepy moon crashing down to the earth.

Similar to Bill Murray’s Phil Connor in the classic movie Groundhog Day, Link has to relive these three days again and again, while learning to solve the problems of more and more people in the shortest time possible. While most of Link’s achievements are erased when he turns back time, he does keep a special kind of memento. In their everyday life, the citizens of Termina wear many different masks, in the literal sense. The key to making actual progress is obtaining these masks and putting them to use. Some give Link special abilities, like the rabbit ears that make him run faster, others just enable him to pass as someone else in specific situations.

Three of the masks stand out from the rest – these allow the young hero to turn into a Deku, Goron, or Zora, respectively, along with all the abilities associated with these races. The Deku Scrub can shoot projectiles from his nose and glide with a pair of big leaves; as a Goron, link can turn into a boulder and roll around the land; finally, the Zora is a natural swimmer. The masks are the most obvious concessions to the typical Zelda formula of assembling items and abilities to gain access to more areas, but every time he puts on one of them, Link cries out in a bone-chilling scream. A Nintendo employee reportedly explained it this way: “It's very simple! The boundless sorrow surrounding each mask comes rushing inside the wearer when they put it on, so the urge to scream is quite understandable, really.”

That truly explains what Majora’s Mask is really all about – getting to know the sorrows and worries of the people you meet, and empathizing as their world crumbles around them. There is a main antagonist to fight, but he’s really just a misunderstood kid (a Skull Kid, no less) under the influence of the titular mask. -Sam Derboo

There are many Zelda alternatives, but they rarely play with the rules like Majora’s Mask. One exception is Hack ‘n’ Slash by Double Fine. The title might sound boring, but that’s just because it’s a silly pun. Designer Brandon Dillon based it on his experiences hacking the ROM of the original The Legend of Zelda, and so the heroine’s “sword” is actually a USB device she can plug into enemies and objects to manipulate their variables. Need to pull a block, but the game only knows pushing? Just set the number of tiles per push to “-1”! You discover secret platforms by wearing a hat that reveals their hit boxes, and even have to rewrite the game’s functions. It might be too complex for those just looking for another Zelda-style game, but mucking around is still rewarding. -SD




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ตอบกลับ #22 เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 18, 2019, 02:53:39 PM
200 Best Video Games of All Time  - The Guardian Legend



The Guardian Legend is one of the coolest games on the NES. While looking at screenshots could make you dismiss Compile's 1988 adventure game as a Legend of Zelda rip off, it's much more ambitious than a cheap imitator, and it definitely stands on its own.

When starting the game, you’re greeted with a fast overhead shooter area similar to Compile's previous NES game, Zanac. These shooter stages move impressively fast at times, and the titular Guardian, Miria, fights through several of them throughout the game. Miria herself isn't human, but rather a heavily armed android that can transform into an equally heavily armed spaceship.

The opening level ends with Miria landing on the planet Naju, an artificial world that transforms and corrupts all life it passes by, set into motion by an unnamed alien race long ago for reasons unknown. Miria is sent from Earth to unravel the secrets of Naju and destroy it, dealing with various warring alien tribes along the planet's surface. This part of the game is where the Legend of Zelda comparisons are appropriate. Miria explores the surface of Naju one screen at a time, picking up items from enemies and finding many secret areas and hidden items, along with the entrances to corridors leading to the planet's core. Whenever an entrance is found, she transforms into a space fighter and the game becomes a fast shooter again. Interestingly, most of the weapons Miria finds in the maze work the same way in the shooting stages, and are just as useful.

The setup is interesting in that it justifies two very different genres coming together into a single game. Once a direct route to the planet's core is found, Miria transforms to get there ASAP. It's also slightly more convoluted than most NES adventure games, with its setting having a closer resemblance to 70s pulp sci-fi than it does to its contemporary NES titles (the 2014 Bungie FPS Destiny has an almost identical premise and similar inspiration behind it). You can tell that Compile cared about establishing a decent (by Famicom manual standards) setting for the game to take place in.

This attention to detail in the game's production, along with the large world, makes for a game that has long outlived many other similar titles. It gives the player a lot of freedom to explore, and many of the game's extra items are optional. For shoot-em-up fans, there’s even a secret code to just play through the shooter levels. This makes it feel like a sequel to Zanac, even though this game was actually a spin-off of the already existing and very simple MSX shooter Guardic. -Chris Rasa

There are plenty of games that have borrowed from The Legend of Zelda. Another great one that lets you experience the adventure from two different perspectives is Sunsoft’s Blaster Master. This really holds up because of its great controls and extremely catchy soundtrack. Most importantly, though, it's a side- scrolling game similar to Metroid, where you roll around in a fast tank and blast tons of enemies. You can get out of the tank whenever you want to explore more, and entering rooms without your vehicle lets you enter overhead sections. These play like a simple take on Zelda's dungeons, but with much larger sprites. The game's graphics are repetitive but nicely detailed, with just enough unique areas in each region of the game to keep the visuals from getting old. -CR




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ตอบกลับ #23 เมื่อ: สิงหาคม 18, 2019, 02:53:55 PM
200 Best Video Games of All Time  - The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening


Much of the Game Boy library ran parallel to the early days of the NES, offering exclusive sequels to 8- or 16-bit games that were not only portable but, offered their own unique experiences. Their efforts were usually great, but didn't match up to their console big brothers – almost no one would pick Super Mario Land 2 over Super Mario World. That is, except for one case – The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. Descended from A Link to the Past for the SNES, long held as the best of the 2D series, we have a devout preference for the portabletitle, in spite of its lesser technology.

For starters, Link’s Awakening is just really weird and silly. The entire game takes place with Link shipwrecked on the island of Koholint, far away from Hyrule, and with only barely a mention of the titular Zelda. The goal is to find eight instruments to awaken the Wind Fish, which is the only way Link can return home. Link comes across a number of strange people during his journey, including a village full of animal people, a weird old man who gives hints through telephone booths, and a number of tie-ins with the Super Mario series, including piranha flowers and goombas. There's a certain goofiness to everything, before elements of the series were codified (and then reused  constantly) in Ocarina of Time and beyond. There's also a solid reason behind its surrealness, which leads to one of the most affecting endings of the entire Zelda series.

The portable platform also works its favor, with larger character and weapon sprites that make movement and combat smoother than it was in A Link to the Past. It returns to the old flip screen scrolling of the original NES game, with each one having distinct enemies and layouts. It's also a little more guided – in both the NES and SNES Zelda games, most of the overworld was explorable from the get-go, with the exception of a few areas requiring special items. Link's Awakening's overworld is structured more like Metroid, where you can only advance after obtaining certain items, and can revisit old territories to find extra goodies. It also has a unique item, the Roc’s Feather, which lets Link leap through the air, which is retroactively special compared to every successive Zelda game, which had a strange allergy to jump buttons. Yes, the visuals aren't pretty – the GBC DX version is a nice improvement and adds an extra dungeon, but still looks gaudy – and the interface requires constant switching in and out of menus to equip items. For pure action, writing, world and level design, though, Link's Awakening is the best of the 2D Zelda games. -Kurt Kalata

Even though we spent the entire article discussing why Link's Awakening is the best 2D Zelda, it's undeniable that A Link to the Past is pretty great, too. It has one of the best introductions in RPG gaming, from the harps and spinning Triforce logo of the introduction, to Link's venture out in the rain and rescue of Princess Zelda in the first dungeon, to the first steps out into the  overworld with the SNES's digital orchestra booming the classic Zelda theme. Some 20 years later, Nintendo released A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS, a direct sequel that features 3D graphics, but the same light/dark overworlds. It feels like a retread in some ways, but it's still quite good, and adds a cool ability where you can turn into a painting and slink along walls. -KK





 

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