I loved the look of 3D dot game heroes and the overall tone of it was light and funny, but I seem to remember playing this game before hmm o yea it was back in 1987. There were only 5 things different from 3D dot game heroes and Legend of Zelda. 1. The enimies 2. The reason for the hero to be on his or her quest and the big story items found after beating a boss 3. The world you lived in 4. The music and 5. the graphics. If there is a sequal I really really hope it is not a clone of Zelda 2.
Gameplay wise, I guess the game is a successful homage to Zelda 1... But in the end, it's not terribly satisfying... and it leaves something to be desired as far as balance and coherence... it seems kind of thrown together with the goal of being close to Zelda rather than making a good game of its own. The graphics are fun, everything is pixelly but with 3D effects, like when anything dies it explodes in a shower of little cubes. Also the magic spells are named after 3D shading effects and cause some interesting visual changes. The thing that turns me off the most about this game though is the sense of humor. It tries to include references and parodies to a thousand different games, and in the end it sounds like it was written by internet forum nerds. For example, after acquiring a certain item the guy who gives you the item says the Dr. Light speech from Mega Man... in the context of a Zelda / RPG type game it doesn't even make sense to make a Mega Man reference. It's just not necessary. Beyond that, nearly every line of text spoken by a character is a corny joke or reference. The script desperately needs to be trimmed down to make it feel more like a complete game and less like a random pile of in-jokes and references to 1995. Overall it feels like an in-joke that went too far, like a Flash game that somehow got enough funding to render in 3D and make it to retail.
I really like this game, or at least I really want to like this game. It does take me back to the days of having my SNES and playing Zelda for hours on end. They did a good job of modernizing it and even take that modernization into the storyline, with several interesting plotlines, character interactions, and easter eggs throughout the game that refer to the change from 2D to 3D.
However, they need to fix the lockup problem. I have not been able to complete this game because it locks up consistently in the last dungeon. I am now at the point where I will send the game back and wait to see if there is an update, then give it another shot.
If you loved the original Zelda, and don't mind having to reset your system and do some quests over again on a fairly regular basis, this is a great game for you. Unfortunately I don't have the time to deal with the technical problems.