The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons Review
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons Review
The other half of an epic Zelda adventure, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons gives players – if they choose to play a linked game – a lengthier adventure. As I have reviewed The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages first, this review will focus on not only my experience with the core Oracle of Seasons game, but also on the additional content one can experience when linking both games together.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons takes place in another world outside of Hyrule. This time, Link visits the world of Holodrum where he meets the goddess known as Din. Within moments of meeting one another, the sky turns black and Onox – the General of Darkness and main baddie of Oracle of Seasons – kidnaps Din and throws the land of Holodrum into disarray. With the seasons acting erratically, Link must partner with the Maku Tree to find the Eight Essences of Nature to return Holodrum to normal, and to confront Onox.
As you can see, both of the Oracle games have similar stories, albeit with different settings, characters, and a different primary gameplay mechanic. In Oracle of Ages, you had to travel between the past and present to save Labrynna, but in Oracle of Seasons, you must become a master of season manipulation to save Holodrum. Of course, like every Zelda game, Oracle of Seasons also has a large overworld to explore. The overworld connects everything in the world together, including the towns and dungeons; however, with the Rod of Seasons, you can change the season – when standing on special tree stumps – which happens to affect the landscape of the overworld. For example, when changing the season from fall to winter, snow may pile up in particular area, opening up a new path to explore. Using the Rod of Seasons to manipulate the seasons is essential for exploring and overcoming many of Holodrum’s obstacles.
Oracle of Seasons also has an underworld to explore called Subrosia. Subrosia is home to a mysterious race of fire-resistant citizens known as Subrosians. Subrosia can be accessed by finding hidden portals and happens to play a huge role in Oracle of Seasons. Located within Subrosia is the Temple of Seasons, a temple that was once located above ground in Holodrum. The Temple of Seasons is home to the four Season Spirits and must be visited multiple times to unlock the full potential of the Rod of Seasons.
Aside from the Rod of Seasons, the rest of Oracle of Seasons has gameplay similar to every other Zelda game, which isn’t a bad thing. There are eight challenging dungeons and bosses to tackle, series staples such as bombs and swords to master, as well as some new, creative items. One of standout items are the magnetic gloves, which gives Link magnetic powers that can help him cross chasms and move metal objects, both of which can be useful when solving puzzles. Lastly, while puzzles still play a role in Oracle of Seasons, the game focuses more on straight forward encounters when compared to Oracle of Ages.
As promised, I’m also reviewing the ability to link both games together. This idea is brilliantly executed, starting with an added heart container – giving you a total of 4 HP at the beginning – in your linked adventure. This isn’t the only change either, as characters from Labrynna appear in Holodrum, rings from Oracle of Ages can be transferred to Oracle of Seasons, and of course, the extended ending. After defeating Onox, players are treated to the true ending of the Oracle games, which includes two additional boss fights. Lastly, players can also experience new quests that require bringing codes – or secrets as the game calls them – to characters in the opposite game to unlock new item upgrades and more.
Visually, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is identical to Oracle of Ages. While both games feature detailed sprites and an awesome art design, these Game Boy Color games don’t seem to push the handheld to its limit.
One area where Oracle of Seasons doesn’t quite measure up to Oracle of Ages is in its soundtrack. Don’t get me wrong, the soundtrack is great, but it lacks the variety of compelling tracks that made the dungeons of Oracle of Ages fun to explore.
4.5/5 D-Pads: If you enjoyed The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons is recommended to complete the epic adventure. Oracle of Seasons tends to be easier than Oracle of Ages, and happens to be shorter by a few hours, but is a complete Zelda experience from beginning to end. Both games can be purchased on the Nintendo eShop, which happens to make linking and switching between games a breeze.