Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
released on Jan 14, 1987
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is the second major installment in The Legend of Zelda series and the direct sequel to the first game. Like its predecessor, it features dungeons that must be located in the overworld and searched for an item that will prove useful. However, the game presents many very important gameplay changes compared to the previous one, affecting especially the movements and the combat. Moving around the world map involves encounters with enemies that take place on a side-scrolling playfield rather than the top-down perspective for which the series became known.
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While I applaud Zelda II for trying out a totally new gameplay style, it didn't feel nearly as fun to me. I feel like the later Zelda games did what this was trying to do (as far as the "adventuring" part is concerned) a lot better, and with better action as well.
I had a lot of fun with this one. Sure, the game can be a bit punishing on game over, and the grind to level up is real, but honestly I was enjoying myself playing this more often than I wasn't. I enjoyed the sidescrolling platforming and I also enjoyed the RPG elements thrown in. The secrets also were somewhat obtuse but not as bad as the first game imo. Still a guide game, there's no way you are gonna comfortably clear this blind. This is definitely the black sheep in the series given the fact that no zelda game like it was ever made since, but I think people are a bit overly harsh on it.