This is the first GBA game on the site which I finished on something other than the Pocket. Not sure why I went with the Switch version. D-pad controls definitely would have been better, but this game isn’t anywhere near hard enough for that to matter
Maybe I live in a bubble but this game seems underrated?? It’s perfectly casual friendly, there are tons of secrets to find, the game play is awesome, the world is exactly the right size, and this era of “wind waker style” artwork was awesome.
Speaking of casual-friendly, it might be a little too casual friendly. After I finished, I found myself wishing there was a second quest or ‘hard mode’ like in other Zelda games.
I was able to finish this one without looking anything up, and as a result, never fully pinned down how the Kinstone system worked. This is a really good thing, because the mystery of it kept me doing every Kinstone fusion I could find. I was never sure what the reward would be- I still don’t know how to predict whether you’ll get a small treasure (like rupees) or a big treasure (like another bottle). That made the system really fun.
SO. MANY. SECRETS. Not just from Kinstones; the overworld is absolutely covered in stuff to find.
The equippable items available in this one are some of the best in any Zelda game. The lantern is back and works identical to the NES original. Roc’s Cape is here, but not Roc’s Feather. And most items remain useful for the entire game, including up to the final boss, so you’re never carrying around something that feels like it was just for 1 dungeon.
Interestingly, this game makes reference to SO many other Zelda games (Farore, Nayru, and best girl Din are even here!) but no reference at all to the Master Sword. I guess they were really trying to make the Four Sword thing happen.
Overall, I’d recommend this game to anybody. There is no focus at all on hardcore level design or brutally difficult boss fights, just pure fun.