Blimey. A couple of hours in and I’m astounded at the difference. The Legend of Zelda was impressive, considering the hardware it was created for and the context in which it was designed. A Link to the Past, meanwhile, is unmitigated genius.
I shouldn’t be saying stuff like this, so near to the start. But in every regard A Link to the Past is a huge leap. The story, delivered via short, well written cutscenes, is immediately engaging; the combat is vastly improved; already the dungeons are both far more approachable and interesting; the animation is superb; the world is huge and packed with detail; there’s what appears to be side missions, NPC-stuffed villages and fun diversions…
Basically put, to fully enjoy The Legend of Zelda I had to make a number of concessions to when it was made. I don’t need to do this for A Link to the Past. It has all the trappings of a modern game. If it came out tomorrow, it would be lauded. It’s fantastic and I can’t wait to play more.
I dunno, maybe I’m just over excited after spending so long navigating the quirks of a dusty relic, but holy crap A Link to the Past makes one hell of a first impression.