Starting on September 28, anyone with a Nintendo 3DS or DSi and an Internet connection will be able to download The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition for free. The original was as fun to play as it was difficult to manage – requiring each player to have not only a Game Boy Advance and a copy of the game, but a link cable to hook the Game Boys together. Technology has caught up with Four Swords, and not only will this version allow for more convenient play wirelessly between the 3DS and DSi, but it will feature a number of new levels based on classic Zelda areas.
What do you have to look forward to? Below are five things yelled out during our time with the game in a single dungeon, giving you an insight as to what to expect when you play the cooperative adventure.
“Throw me on the freaking graham cracker before the bats get me!”
...one player yelled while standing next to a ledge. One of the four Links (split up by the Four Sword) was already on the moving platform, and one other had already been tossed to the next area. Four Swords is more of a cooperative puzzler/platformer than a typical Zelda game, and relying on your allies to help you get to new locations is important – and that sometimes means being thrown. Once you have the ability to throw your allies it immediately adds the ability to grief, too, which is something we found ourselves doing every chance we got.
Four Swords also puts a spotlight on the items of the Zelda universe. Some, like bombs, have appeared in almost every game since the first. Others, like the magnet, are new to Four Swords’ hectic co-op; it can be used to either pull or push Links toward each other, and after being thrown onto the graham cracker (which was actually a moving platform that looked strikingly like a graham cracker), there were still two Links that needed to get where they needed to go. After some discussion as to how to make it work, we figured it out:
“No, you need to you the magnet on me, and then I can use it on him, and then he can use it on him.”
Our puzzle-solving skills were on point. We figured it all out, but our plan still required the last player to take everyone from one place to another using the magnet while walking on a thin platform. He grabbed everyone like he was supposed to, but, well...
“And if you pick us up – or you can just kill us all. Good work.”
But we eventually made it past the platform. We fought some new enemies, played through more areas, and enjoyed the crap out of all of it. Eventually we found awesome boots that let us charge forward, which we used mostly to try to knock each other off of ledges. While we were working together, we were still competing to get the most Rupees, so, obviously, occasional Linkicide ensued. A few rooms later we found a cracked wall that proved impervious to our furious flurry of charges (believe us – we tried for a few minutes, despite being told on several occasions that we couldn’t). Eventually one of the players seemed tired of watching us bounce off the wall.
“We need a bomb, does anyone have one?” he asked. “I’m sorry, did you miss the room where we all got awesome boots?”
...another player replied, continuing to bounce off the walls. Eventually he buckled and went back to get the bomb. We then came to a boss at the end of the level that required us to work together to knock him into a wall of ice. The combat worked perfectly despite not being the focus, and the four-player co-op shined during this battle.
We laughed, and had fun, and eventually beat the level. Once it was over we started sharing stories and recapping our favorite quotes from the experience, getting the most of the cooperative interactions. But even after we finished the game, one quote still stood out:
“So, this is seriously free?”
The answer is yes, and it’s due out September 28.
Sep 21, 2011