The Nintendo GameCube saw the release of three original Legend of Zelda titles, more than any other system to date. The first title was The Wind Waker and, although the GameCube’s install-base was modest, Link’s quest upon the Great Sea received an abundance of attention. With the upcoming HD re-release on the Wii U, The Wind Waker will yet again get the spotlight.
The last original Zelda title released for the GameCube was Twilight Princess which saw tremendous sales figures with its almost-simultaneously released port on the Wii. Between The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess came the overlooked Four Swords Adventures, which—more than any other Zelda game—deserves a re-release on the Wii U.
Four Swords Adventures was released as a part of the Zelda series’ Four Swords trilogy. The trilogy began with Four Swords on the Game Boy Advance, which was developed by the Flagship division of Capcom and released with a port of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System classic, A Link to the Past.
Due to the necessity to link multiple Game Boy Advances together to play Four Swords, it was not easily playable until its 2011 release on the Nintendo 3DS as a special Zelda 25th Anniversary Edition download. Another installment from Capcom in the Four Swords series was The Minish Cap on the Game Boy Advance which also became available on the Nintendo 3DS through the Ambassador’s program.
Whether as a part of the Four Swords trilogy; as part of the original GameCube Zelda titles, or even just as a part of the Zelda series, Four Swords Adventures has always been overlooked and that needs to end now. All of its peers around it have received attention beyond their initial release and Four Swords Adventures deserves that treatment.
People may have ignored Four Swords Adventures due to it being a 2D game released on a 3D console, but that is to miss the excellent experience that it provides. The GameCube Four Swords installment is the only of the three Four Swords titles developed by Nintendo, buts its structure—alike to the original Four Swords—is not exactly what we know as Zelda.
Four Swords Adventures forgoes the open world for selectable levels based around collecting force gems. While it may be different, the level design and gameplay experience is on par with Nintendo’s best.
The Wii U provides the perfect opportunity for Nintendo to give the underrated and underappreciated Four Swords Adventures the attention it deserves. The Wii U is the perfect console to remake, re-release, and reinvigorate the forgotten classic.
The Gamepad of the Wii U is the fully realized version of the GameCube and Game Boy Advance connectivity that Nintendo tried to accomplish a decade ago. They first tried the concept with the Tingle Tuner in The Wind Waker and we must assume that the Tingle Tuner will be adapted to the Gamepad in the Wii U release.
In Four Swords Adventures the Gamepad can also replace the role of the Game Boy Advance, where the players controlled Link’s actions in houses and caves through watching the Game Boy Advance screen. It is too perfect of an opportunity for Nintendo to overlook.
Whether through multiple Gamepads, Wii remotes or pro controllers, the potential for multiplayer on the Wii U is also much more viable. In the GameCube version each additional player needed a Game Boy Advance and a connecting cable, but the Wii U can make the multiplayer accessible, just as the 3DS made multiplayer in the original Four Swords readily playable.
Four Swords Adventures undersold on the GameCube because consumers were hesitant to pay for a full-game release when what they were getting didn’t look like a full-game experience. Although the game truly is worth the price, the Wii U allows for the easier and cheaper distribution method of downloading through the eShop.
As a GameCube title Four Swords Adventures could appear on the Wii U eShop, but instead of just a basic port it would be perfect for Nintendo to also retailor the game for the Wii U. With a cheaper price and better-realized controls thanks to the Gamepad, the Wii U is the perfect opportunity to give Four Swords Adventures all of the attention it deserves.
Instead of remaking the games that everybody remembers, perhaps Nintendo needs to re-release what everyone has forgotten. Four Swords Adventures is a truly excellent and thoroughly enjoyable Zelda title. Its time that the world realized that.