So, how do you make a sequel to a classic like the first ever Zelda game? At the time, most game sequels on the NES, such as Mario and Megaman we’re basically the same games, with enough changes, improvements to the graphics and new power-ups to warrant a new game. Zelda 2: Link’s Adventure however is an almost completely different game than its predecessor.
Chronologically, the game takes place shortly after the first game. Zelda has been put into a deep sleep, and Link has to find pieces of the Triforce (again) to reverse the spell. Though Ganon doesn’t return in this game, it is implied that he is resurrected if Link dies.
The best way to describe this game would be a combination of an RPG and a side scroller. The overworld map uses an overhead view, like in the first game. It looks alright for an NES game, but it’s nothing special as far as visuals go. You encounter black silhouettes on the map to fight enemies, similar to random encounters in other RPGs, except you can see what you’re running into. Once you touch them, the game turns into a side scroller, as well as when you enter towns. To get back to the overworld map however, you need to walk to the side of the screen until you leave. The scenery and enemies you encounter depend on where you encountered them on the overworld and you never know how many enemies, or what kinds you’ll face until you hit one.
The combat is quite a bit different this time around. As I’ve mentioned, it’s a side scroller. Instead of collecting heart pieces in this game, you level up and improve your health and magic by killing enemies for experience points. You have to do a lot of this, otherwise the dungeons become very difficult, very fast. The combat is more complicated as well. You’ll find several enemies who can block, and attack from better range than you can, so you’ll have to master a combination of ducking and jumping strikes as well as blocking if you want to keep yourself alive. Nothing wrong with a challenge, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Besides this, the formula is standard. Go to dungeon, get a fancy new toy, kill the boss, repeat.
Another new addition this game made was towns to visit, and more NPC’s to talk to. Many of them were useless characters. (One of them just straight up tells you he’s an Error. LOLOLOLOLOLOL)
The most useful of whom being the woman you encounter in each town who sucks your cock...I mean, heals your life and magic...in her house...behind closed doors...where you don’t actually SEE her heal you...I mean, sucks your cock.
All and all, it may be a good game, but I think it’s only an OKAY Zelda game. It’s the oddball, no doubt about it, but there were much better side scrollers on the NES and I don’t really think the experience gaining helped the series. It just felt like something frustrating to do that delayed you from the rest of the game, not to mention some of the encounters are too sporadic to be consistently helpful. Though every now and then, I wonder what Zelda games would be like today if they stuck with this formula, instead of putting the standard the first game set on steroids with a Link to the past.