The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap Review

The Minish Cap's release was highly significant in many ways: it was the first fully fledged Zelda game for the GBA (A Link to the Past was a remake, and the Four Swords was fun but not exactly a whole game in it's own right), and it was also the last 2D Zelda. But most significant of all, is that The Minish Cap, developed by Capcom, was also an outstanding game.

Owing it's stylistic origins to the Wind Waker, The Minish Cap has Link set off on a quest to defeat the evil sorcerer, Vaati. Along his journey, Link has to explore the usual Zelda-themed areas - lakes, fields, mountains and so on - but the twist this time is that you are able to shrink down to a very small size (thanks to Elzo, the Minish Cap) and explore all kinds of areas you would normally be unable to.

The world of The Minish Cap is very well designed. All the usual Zelda elements are present: dungeons, a main town, secrets, side quests, and so on. The world is stuffed with things to do outside of the main quest. The Kinstone fusion system introduced in the Minish Cap is an amusing diversion, but a lot of the fun comes from exploring the world, both as normal and tiny size. Hyrule is stashed with little hidden entrances that Link must shrink down to in order to explore, and you soon realise that the world is filled with secret picori hideouts. The game also remains faithful to its predecessors, with the usual collecting of bottles, heart pieces, rupees and so on.

Stylistically, The Minish Cap is outstanding. The graphics are incredibly well detailed and vibrant, the animations are plentyful and lush, and overall the Wind Waker style is captured perfectly on the handheld format. The music is some of the best I have ever heard from a Gameboy Advance, with so many tunes that are catchy, emotive, and just plain epic. These elements combine to produce a fantastically atmospheric game.

Generally, The Minish Cap's gameplay is great fun and the dungeons are desgined brilliantly, but there are a few problems with the game. Like some other Zelda games, The Minish Cap suffers from a lack of difficulty, particularly in the boss fights. The main game also feels too short, with there only being four main elements to collect, though thankfully the game's lifespan is boosted by the wealth of side quests on offer. But despite it's shortcomings, The Minish Cap is simply an extremely fun game and definately one of the better games in the Zelda series.

Rating: 9/10