NES Open Tournament Golf / The Legend of Zelda
Nintendo has released a couple of treats this week for what it’s calling the “8-bit Summer”. This week sees the release of NES Open Tournament Golf as well as some game called The Legend of Zelda. Check the break afterwards to see if they’re worth your time and hard earned cash after the break.
NES Open Tournament Golf
Original Release Date: September 1991
I’ll be honest with you: golf games of yesteryear are not my thing; power meters and parabolas aren’t the best at simulating the feeling you get on the green. Despite this, NES Open Tournament Golf does a pretty good job of giving you a sense of middle ground between golf and a video game. It features some lovely graphics, great sound, and familiar Nintendo characters that we’ve all come to love.
The funny thing about NES Open Tournament Golf is that somebody managed to get a small semblance of a plot in my golf game. Through a mixture of stroke play and tournaments in the game, you’re expected to win a million dollars, I mean, it’s not much but it gives you some sort of goal as you’re playing rather than just go for the lowest score.
As I mentioned the graphics are real nice. Backgrounds pop and characters have real fluid motion as the swing on the links. Sound featured has some good sound effects (the thwack of a well timed hit is ever so satisfying), but my one gripe with them is they are a touch on the tinny side, and it’s not just the speakers on the 3DS, it seemed to be a gripe to many when the game was released.
Honestly, this is another one of those pick up and play titles that so many gamers these days are absolutely adamant against, and on a portable system no less. If you enjoy golf and need something to play while you wait, I could think of few other things better than knocking out a couple holes in NES Open Tournament Golf.
4 / 5
The Legend of Zelda
Original Release Date: August 22, 1987
We all know and love the Zelda series. It has produced some of the highest quality titles ever, and to some the series has the best game ever released, but does the one that started it all live up to this pedigree put forth by the series?
Frankly put, yes. This title changed a lot in the world of gaming. It was one of the the first to implement a saving feature on the cartridge and definitely isn’t meant to be played through in one sitting (believe me; I tried and failed miserably). This is it, the one that started many of us on adventure games, and got us all hooked into the land of Hyrule.
I warn you: this game is a test. Although fantastic by NES standards, it will have you grasping at straws many times and explonding in fury as to what or where you need to go next, which may help or hinder your enjoyment of the game depending on the type of gamer you are. The great thing is that this game is anything but linear: it is quite possible to skip a labyrinth altogether and finishing another ahead of it.
The game loads you up with new items along the way until you feel like a pack mule power house, and you are more than willing to use your newfound powers to access some of the many secrets on the overworld (it’s a secret to everybody). You’ll be finding heart containers hidden rupees, and even a dungeon or two using your newly acquired abilities, and let’s not forget that once you finish the game there’s another, even harder quest for you to run through.
The music is earworm central by the way: If I were to say overworld theme, many of you readers will be able to hum it the whole way through. To be fair though the songs selection in this game is quite limited though, and the main theme although a classic in itself can be grating after you’ve heard it loop for the thousandth time around. Sound effects are crisp and pleasing to the ear.
Controls are deadpan simple: your D-pad moves you in 4 directions, the A button is your sword and B button will always be a secondary item of your choosing. These are the types of controls that anyone can pick up and know exactly what to do, which is something I honestly lament in today’s modern gaming world.
Fair warning: this game is the definition of Nintendo hard. You won’t know where to go, and you will often die. As you get deeper into the game, enemies will swarm you in higher numbers and in smaller corridors. Don’t let it throw you off though, this game is the game that forever changed the gaming landscape that we all know and love today. Adventure games, RPGs, actually most genres we know today has been influenced by this gem in some way, shape, or form. Simply put, no retro game collection is worth its salt without a copy of The Legend of Zelda in it.