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Platform: GameBoy Advance

Genre: Role-playing Game

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Capcom / Nintendo

ESRB: E (Everyone)

Released: January 2005

 

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The Legend of Zelda:

The Minish Cap

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

Pros:

- More classic Legend of Zelda action

- Lots of stuff to do

- Easy to play away a few hours

 

 

Cons:

- Too much flipping to the menus

 

Related Links:

Review: Legend of Zelda II (GBA)

Review: Legend of Zelda - A Link to the Past (GBA)

Review: Legend of Zelda - Four Swords Adventures (GC)

 

"...Zelda fans won’t be disappointed."

 

I’m continually amazed that the Legend of Zelda series – as a whole – hasn’t broken any new ground in story telling yet still remains playable and fun no matter what medium it exists on.  Really, it’s been the same thing since 1987 – save the Princess, save the mythical land of Hyrule, shoot arrows, drop bombs, go into the “Fairy Bottling” business, fray the nerves of nearby friendlies with Link’s constant Ocarina practice, and so on.  To change things up Capcom has given Link the power to shrink to near microscopic size – actually hinges the story and a lot of the gameplay on this ability – and makes it work.

 

the minish cap review       the minish cap

 

The story behind the Minish Cap opens with child Link sent to the castle to deliver a sword.  Soon after, a new bad guy named Vaati appears and once again Link is put in charge of banishing the evil that threatens all of Hyrule.

 

To aid him along the way and offer some direction is Link’s talking hat, whose origins are somewhat mysterious until later in the game.  Acquiring the hat is Link’s ticket to tiny-ville and the chance to converse with members of the Picori folk (basically smaller Smurfs) whose main purpose is to manufacture kinstones, break them in half, hide one piece, then wait for someone (i.e. you) to match kinstones with them.  Once stones are matched up something “good” or “lucky” happens, such as a beanstalk sprouting up to the clouds or a treasure chest appearing somewhere on the map.  Matching kinstones is entirely optional though.  I can think of only one occasion where matching kinstones is required.

 

Link compiles the usual accoutrements of items along the way.  The boomerang, a bow, lantern, bombs, etc.  The only really new items are the gust jar, which can suck up just about anything, and the Roc wings, which pave the way for jumping puzzles.  Link can have two items equipped at any one time: one to button A, one to button B.  The right shoulder button is permanently assigned to make Link roll and the left shoulder button initiates kinstone sessions.  This setup necessitates quite a bit of pausing to switch items, it doesn’t feel distracting from the overall experience.

 

the minish cap      the minish cap

 

The wizards at Capcom have crammed the Minish Cap full of stuff to do.  Hidden items, trainers, dungeons, Picori collectives are all over the place.  In fact, when I was stymied on the final boss I spent a few hours just poking around and discovered a lot of stuff I had 

overlooked or completely missed, including a few trainers that provide the knowledge for a few combo moves, like using the Roc cap to jump then smashing down with the sword.  It’ll take a long time for even experienced players to find every possible item and learn every move.

 

The visual style is not much different than the GBA/GC hybrid Four Sword Adventures.  Or Oracle of Seasons (on the GBA Color) or Link to the Past.  It’s a very comfortable fit for the GameBoy Advance and the animation manages to be very detailed.

 

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is another great addition to the franchise and GBA owners and Zelda fans won’t be disappointed.

 

- Omni

(February 6, 2005)

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