Mixed or average reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. A great adventure. It's this combination of unique elements that creates and action-RPG experience unlike any other, and it still holds up well today. [Dec 2004, p.100]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Sep 6, 2012
    I like The Legend of Zelda games, but not this one. The gameplay is too different from the other games of the franchise, just like western Super Mario Bros. 2. Also, it's difficulty is extremely high even for it's time, making it rather a frustrating than a fun experience. I recommend almost every Zelda game except this one. Full Review »
  2. Jul 7, 2014
    Okay, I want to get this out of the way first. No, its not like any other Zelda Game (As of yet). But that doesn't mean it is necessarily bad. Plus, this was the second game, its not like the series had an established formula yet. Also, when Ocarina of Time came out, it was like no other Zelda Game at the time. No one criticized it for that. Okay, that's out of the way. Another complaint is that "It's too hard!" Well, yes, I have never beaten it, but a game being hard doesn't mean it is bad! Dark Souls and Mario Two/The Lost Levels were hard and still are! They were never criticized for that! I honestly don't see what's so bad about this game. It isn't the best Zelda Game by any means, but it isn't bad. Full Review »
  3. May 15, 2014
    There's no denying that Zelda 2 is quite a bit different from the other games. But I've never understood why that is a bad thing. I think it's refreshing when a series tries new and interesting things. And honestly, of the two NES Zelda games, this one is my favorite. Both games are rather primitive, and haven't aged particularly well, but I think Zelda 2 has more staying power.

    First of all, while the original established the formula that most of the other games follow, most of them do it much better, making the original obsolete. Zelda 2, on the other hand, is completely unique, and because there's nothing else quite like it in the series, it's worth returning to. Secondly, while both games are hard, I personally found Zelda 2 to be the less frustrating game. While I did die a lot in Zelda 2, I always managed to keep moving forward, the difficulty curve was fair (for the most part), and it didn't get frustrating until towards the end. With the original, on the other hand, it got very frustrating very fast. It always put more enemies into a room then you could possibly hope to avoid unscathed, and I would end up dying in the same exact place over and over and over. Zelda 2, while hard, still felt fair in a way that the original (and much of the NES library) did not.

    It's not a timeless classic like A Link to the Past or Ocarina of Time, and while it did add important developments to the series, it ultimately wasn't as important as the first one. But I think it's held up decently well, and while it's not a great game, it's one that I think is worth checking out.
    Full Review »