Swords and a shooter

So I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was going on a lot of first dates, and last week I listed a handful of old games that I would really like to be able to say that I had played. I’m happy to say that first dates have progressed to second dates, and that there’s a special someone that might be worth going exclusive with for a while, but we’ll come back to that in a minute.

A Link to the PastOne of the games I listed last week was the SNES installment in the Legend of Zelda series, A Link to the Past. Along with Ocarina of Time for the N64, A Link to the Past is often listed as among the best of the wonderful Zelda series, with Ocarina seemingly a slightly better overall experience, but credit given to A Link to the Past for creating the formula that has structured nearly every Zelda game since—IGN states that A Link to the Past “is the only true Zelda, and [designer] Miyamoto and team simply keep remaking it, over and over.”

However, I haven’t done much more than dip my toe into A Link to the Past, largely because I haven’t decided how I want to play it yet. The game is available both as a Game Boy Advance (GBA) cartridge selling new on Amazon for $19.99, and as a download on the Wii Virtual Console for 800 points ($8). Both versions are a more-or-less unaltered port of the original SNES game, so there’s not much to help me decide there. The GBA cartridge includes a second game Four Swords Adventure, which has received fairly good reviews, but which I don’t really have much intention of playing. I’d really like the portability of the GBA version, but it’s taking me a while to reconcile myself to shelling out more than twice the price of the Virtual Console download.

I may have to remind myself that it’s a price paid for convenience, and that portable gaming is not universally cheaper than the more powerful stay-at-home version. When the original Game Boy was released, I was shocked that this tiny, black-and-white LCD system cost nearly as much ($90, as I recall) as a full-powered, full-color NES (which could be had for about $100). When the PlayStation Portable was released, it was actually more expensive at $245 than the PlayStation 2, which was $180 at the time.

And, at least for me, I think it’ll be worth it. I’ll download Ocarina of Time for the Virtual Console, since that’s the only way it’s currently available, and pay a little bit extra for A Link to the Past. Because, after all, I’m only playing A Link to the Past on the side, when I can steal a few minutes here and there. My home gaming time is increasingly spoken for by the gorgeous, engrossing Heavy Rain.

But that’s another column.

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GoldenEYe 007

Death in the bathroom. Awesome.

By the way, is anyone else really excited about the pending re-release/update of GoldenEye 007 for the Wii? I largely yawned over the PS2 GoldenEye “sequel” a few years ago, but I’m genuinely eager to get my hands on the original again, and all the better for the Daniel Craig voice-overs.

I don’t think I’ll shell out for the bundle with the “gold Wii Classic Controller Pro,” but is it a sign of approaching middle age that I’m not upset that I can’t choose between the $50 update and a $10 port of the Piece Brosnan original on the Virtual Console?

Gavin Craig is co-editor of The Idler. You can follow him on Twitter at @craiggav.

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