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The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition

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Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition

Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition

Image © Nintendo
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition is a Nintendo 3DS/DSi re-imagining the original Four Swords game that was made available for the Game Boy Advance in 2002. Sadly, the game was difficult to acquire and play, and even hardcore Zelda enthusiasts had to do without.

Nintendo has given Four Swords new life with Four Swords Anniversary Edition.. Anniversary Edition supports single player and multiplayer action through exploration and puzzle-solving. It's fun, and best of all, it's free to download.

Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Multiplayer Action/RPG
ESRB Rating: E10+
Compatible With: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo DSi XL

THE BASICS: Four Score

The original The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords was a locally-connected multiplayer game that wouldn't even function without two to four players at the helm, and each of those players had to tote along a Game Boy Advance and his or her own copy of the game. Needless to say, not many people got around to playing Four Swords, even after Nintendo released a single-player version of the game (called Four Swords Adventures) for the GameCube in 2004.

With Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition, one to four players can play the original Four Swords (with some cool additions) using the Nintendo 3DS, the DSi, or a mix of both. It's easy, it's fun, and it's free to download.

In Four Swords Anniversary, you (and possibly up to four friends) explore several levels as one of four Links. Though Link is normally a one-of-a-kind hero, he's forced to take up the "Four Sword" and divide himself into quarters in order to rescue Princess Zelda from an evil wind sorcerer named Vaati.

In order to reach Vaati's flying palace, you (and your pals) must find keys in a great forest, an ice palace, and in the boiling caverns of Death Mountain.

In fact, most of the staples that hold the Zelda series together exist in Four Swords Anniversary Edition: Rock-throwing, bush-whacking, enemy-slaying, key-finding, and puzzle-solving. The difference is, all these riddles and enemy battles have been retooled to be solved with two or more players.

THE GOOD

It's Free to Download on the Nintendo DSi Shop or 3DS eShop Until February 2012 -- Hooray!

It's a Great Way for Friends to Pass the Time -- Gather up a handful of your 3DS/DSi-owning friends, and spend an afternoon with Four Swords Anniversary Edition. You'll cooperate, you'll compete, you'll curse at each other, and you'll have a blast.

Good Graphics -- The graphics for the primary Four Swords Anniversary Edition recall Link's Game Boy Advance adventures, such as The Minish Cap. They're clean, crisp, colorful, and the sprite-based artwork will take you way back.

A Link to the Past -- Once you complete the main story for Four Swords Anniversary Edition, you'll have the option to play new levels in the "Realm of Memories." The Realm utilizes the graphical styles of old Zelda games, including the original Legend of Zelda, for the NES, A Link to the Past for the SNES, and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for the Game Boy.

THE BAD

The Single-Player Game is Flat -- It's nice that Nintendo included a way for one player to work his or her way through Four Swords Anniversary Edition (the second player is controlled by the game's computer), but only Zelda completionists will want to bother with the single-player experience. Anniversary Edition is a boring game to play through alone.

No Online Multiplayer -- The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition would be a real blast with online multiplayer support. Alas...

CONCLUSION: Link Up

You can't really go wrong with Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition. It's cool, it's free, and it's Zelda. The single-player game leaves something to be desired, but as a "party" game, it's a blast. Link up, grab your weapons, and go forth. Princess Zelda is counting on you. All four of you.
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