Final Impressions


I've finished The Minish Cap, and while slightly disappointed about the games length, I have to say it's an excellent game and worth an entry into the Legend of Zelda franchise.

Like all recent Zelda games, it tries new things, and it works. The Minish Cap, if you don't know by now, gives you the ability to shrink you when you're near certain objects. The tiny Link is faced with new challenges: puddles that you could walk across are now too deep for you to traverse, doorways are blocked and small pathetic enemies are now bosses for dungeons. The game even manages to mix the shrinking into the dungeons and boss battles, in which some have you switching back and forth in order to access new areas and complete objectives.

Sadly, there's only 5 main dungeons in the game plus the final dungeon before the boss. All of them are quite well designed, fun to traverse and have the Zelda 'feel' right to the bone. The only thing I can say against them is that the first 4 were a bit too easy. I didn't die at all in the game until I reached the 5th dungeon, which was in fact a fresh take on the concept. See, the first half of that dungeon has more of a platformer feel, which has you getting from one point to another. After about halfway through, when you reach about the second highest level of the dungeon, it switches to the traditional puzzle-style dungeons.

There's some cool new items in the game. I've previously mentioned the Gust Jar, which lets you suck in enemies and spit them back out. There's a cool new Remote Bomb, which basically lets you detonate a bomb whenever you want using the A button. The Cane of Pacci lets you flip things, which uncovers 'shrink' objects, and also enchants holes that lets you jump to higher ground.

The Four Sword also makes a come back (the game's a prequel to The Four Swords I believe), but instead of being split into four versions indefinitely, there's special spots which you can use to charge up your sword and 'split' you into multiple versions based on how many elements you picked up. It's put to good use in the level design.

The graphics are also quite nice and well animated. In fact, as soon as I was done I plugged in A Link to the Past, and while running on virtually the same hardware, things look far better in The Minish Cap (especially Link himself). When you're shrunk everything around you begins to feel humongous! It's great!

The only real gripe I had with the game was the Kinstones. See, Kinstones are little broken stones that you collect, and you can fuse them with random people which tends to open up new areas and secrets. However, if you go to the 6th and final dungeon, a lot of the people you can fuse with just disappear. This really annoys me, as the great thing about the Zelda games tends to be the ability that after you completed it, you still could go back in the same save file and just pick up the bits and pieces you left along the way.