It's always tough to quantify how much of a cultural impact things have when you're looking back at them several years (or decades) later. No one can really put into words what it felt like to be alive when a piece of art that was iconic first came out.
For a lot of gamers (including myself), Zelda A Link To The Past is one of those iconic pieces of art. Widely regarded as one of the best games of all time, A Link ToThe Past is part of a whole library of stellar Zelda games that routinely blew gamers' minds when they were released.
A Link To The Past was released in 1992 on the SNES, and was a prequel to the two Zelda games that came before it on the NES. As an action-adventure game and just a video game in general, it deserves the highest praise. With a stunning story, fantastic gameplay, amazing graphics and a great soundtrack, it is an absolute must-play. In fact, if you haven't played A Link To The Past yet, do yourself a favor and get this game.
In a marked change from other games in the series, A Link To The Past did away with the side-scrolling style that had been a staple of the series and chose to show the action from the top-down perspective. While the core of the gameplay remains familiar – you go into various dungeons and explore the world around them – this game introduced the light/dark world mechanic that has since been utilized in several different games such as Ocarina of Time.
The story begins with our hero Link trying to free Princess Zelda from Castle Hyrule. Once Link successfully frees and escapes with the princess, we are shown that Agahnim, an evil wizard, is trying to unseal the dark world to shroud this world in darkness. The story then features Link's adventure through the different realms to gather powerful relics that will allow him to beat Agahnim.This light/dark world dynamic is central to the gameplay since Link must travel back and forth between these alternate worlds through a magic mirror.
A Link To The Past also introduced several more gameplay mechanics that have since become integral to the Zelda franchise. The Hookshot and the Master Sword, for example, make their first appearances in this game. Also making its debut is the new magic system, Zoras and Kakariko Village. The game also reveals a lot of important lore, such as the creation of the Triforce, the pantheon and the corruption of worlds. This game also laid out the pacing – find items, cut to important plot event – that many games after it followed.
The difficulty level, as per usual, is low to moderate. There's some additional combat mechanics to master, such as blocking, that make things a little more intricate. The game also hides its secrets really well, so that part requires some creative thinking. Overall though, A Link To The Past is a fairly easily beatable game. You'll die a few times, but the healing items and fairies that help you out make things much easier. There's still a lot of puzzle solving to perform, but it's laid out much better than the previous games.
game has fantastic graphics, especially when you consider the game is now 25 years old. Interestingly, due to the smooth pixel-art style, it is still great to look at and play. There's not a lot of detail in the environment, but it all fits together nicely.
The soundtrack, as per Zelda standards is amazing. A Link To The Past gave the franchise some of its most iconic melodies and themes.
If you've played A Link To The Past before, you already know how great it is. But you might have forgotten how good this game really is. For those of you reading who haven't played this game, play it. It is one of the most revered video-games for a reason, and the graphics, gameplay, and music still hold up.