I loved Legend of Zelda growing up. It was hard not to. Everyone I knew played it, even people who I was positive never touched the NES. It’s a fun game built around exploration, combat and discovery. Most of the Zeldas followed roughly the same gameplay set up as the original. Link sets off to explore the overworld in order to accomplish tasks. These tasks could be gathering items, gaining spells, defeating monsters, and so much more. It felt special to me. It really did.
So when a game like Shipwreck came out, I jumped on the opportunity to review it. How could I not? The developers behind the game are huge Legend of Zelda fans. And it shows in the game.
But before I go on, Brushfire Games is trying to get Shipwreck put up on Steam. It’s up for considering on Steam Greenlight. You can click here for more information and to vote on it. It’ll only take a couple minutes of your time to do so!
But without any further adieu…
Gameplay: 8 out of 10
The game plays is simple, which works to this game’s favor. It is easy to pick up and get started. The hero moves around with the direction keys. And there are various items that the hero picks up along the way. To use the item, hit enter to go into the inventory and then equip the item to the X or C button.
Items tend to mirror its counterpart in Legend of Zelda. The lantern lights up the darkness directly around the hero. And if that’s not enough, there are places that can be temporarily lit up in order to shed light on a darkened room. There’s the obligatory bow and arrow in order to kill enemies at a distance. Apples are dropped by enemies to heal the hero rather than hearts. Each dungeon has a map, not to mention keys that are needed to open doors.
The battles are simple, depending on the speed of the player. Like, if there’s an enemy shooting a projectile, the player can either try to block it with the hero’s shield or dodge. Either just requires the player to be fast enough to do something. Outside of that, the player needs to be able to hit the enemy and kill it before it kills the hero. Unfortunately, this is where the game hits a slight snag. Almost every enemy out there can be killed in exactly two shots. It seems odd that a bat needs the same amount of damage done to it as a larger enemy.
The game is broken down into two areas. Overworld and dungeon. All the enemies are in dungeons, so everything is safe in the overworld. All the player has to do is explore and find the next place. There’s no overworld map to help guide the player, which isn’t too much of a problem since the world is fairly small. But it could become cumbersome as having a map of the overworld is standard for most games. Having an optional direction arrow might have helped as well.
Story: 5 out of 10
As with Legend of Zelda and Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, the story was just an excuse to go out and explore the world. Not much emphasis was placed on it. The hero wakes up on the beach after being shipwrecked with a mysterious voice saying she will never leave the island. So the hero gets up and explores. She ends up at a town where she’s told what she has to do in order to escape.
There’s no huge twists or complexities to the story. But since the focus on this sort of game seems to be more on gameplay, the story will be simple.
Graphics and Sound: 9 out of 10
The graphics and soundtrack are a perfect homage to a bygone era of video games. Look at the preview for trailer for yourself.
It has all the charm of the 8-bit generation with a soundtrack to match. What else needs to be said about it? When playing it, one can’t help but be reminded of all the great Legend of Zelda games from the older generations.
Replayability: 5 out of 10
If this game has any real flaw, it would be replayability. Once you have the gameplay down and experience the story, there’s no real drive to play the game again. Unfortunately, there’s no mysteries waiting to be uncovered… like hidden dungeons or unlockable weapons. Or at least I haven’t found it yet.
It’s fun enough to merit a playthrough or three, but unlike past Zeldas, it is doubtful anyone would play this game dozens of times.
Total Score: 27 out of 40
This game is a loving tribute to the Legend of Zelda franchise and Brushfire Games first foray into the world of video game development. For anyone who is a Zelda fan, Shipwreck is a must-play game. I mean that. Go to Xbox Live and get it immediately. You’ll never find a better tribute to the classic games like this one.
The gamers who are Zelda fans would probably criticize that low score I gave for the story. And probably rightly so. The story in Shipwreck is as loving a tribute to the Zelda series as the graphics and soundtrack. I gave it a low score because, with the complexity of storytelling in present games, I suspect gamers will expect more out of RPGs than what Shipwreck has. But I concede I could be wrong.
This game deserves to be on Steam so many other can have a chance to play it. So please, go to Steam Greenlight and vote for it. And be sure to look for it on Xbox Live. It costs $2.99. Believe me, it’s a bargain. I would have paid $10 for it to have a chance to play it!