Review: Zelda Minish Cap (GBA)

I just completed The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap for Game Boy Advance. It was a delight. What’s more, it still amazes me that developers (Capcom, in this case) can create such compelling experiences for a system so short on capabilties like the GBA. That should tell you something about what makes a great game.

For those who played Wind Waker, you’ll feel right at home with the overall presentation of Minish Cap. That said, there are several new play mechanics and goodies for your action/adventure-loving self.

The basic premise of the game is that Zelda has been turned into stone, and it’s up to you to save her along with the Kingdom from the evil Vatti. Simple enough.

What’s so great about Minish Cap, though, is the ability to miniaturize in size with the help of a magical cap, which doubles the areas of exploration in the game. The mini-sized worlds perfectly integrate with their bigger counter parts, and it’s fun to discover a new location that you you’ll be able to revisit later in different form. Fusing collectible coins (called “Kingstones”) with local villagers to unlock new areas is also a good time. There are over 100 hundred “Kingstones” to fuse, so it adds for some nice side-mission action.

Both the graphics and audio are top notch here. Some levels look a little pixelated, but the effect never hurts the look of the game. You’ll even find yourself smiling when seeing certain levels, like when walking down a path covered by Maple leaves. To cap it off, the music is catchy, nostalgic, and completes the presentation rather well.

All things considered, Zelda: Minish Cap is an easy four stars out of four for me, and one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played since Resident Evil 4 on GameCube.

Review originally published on May 11th, 2005, the first one Blake ever wrote. To this day, Minish Cap remains his favorite Zelda game of all time, even though he lacked the requisite experience to fully express himself the first time.