‘Link’s Awakening’

Link’s Awakening, is yet another remake of a Zelda game, since Nintendo isn’t in the business of producing anything original. Originally released on the Game Boy, sometime in the 90’s, it was one of the first Zelda games ever, meaning that it is in turn, one of the most influential.

The remake of this game came out last year, and I got it for Christmas. The Legend of Zelda franchise is my favorite game franchise of all time, so I was excited to play this for the first time. But, I can firmly say that after playing it for just a few hours, this is a forgettable entry in the Zelda series.

Link’s Awakening should be a fun game, and for the most part it is, but it never really captivated me like other Zelda titles have. For starters, it’s a lot more linear, up to the point where once you leave every dungeon a talking owl just tells you where the next one is. It’s still up to you to find out where they are and how to get there, and that’s my main problem with this game.

There is absolutely no sense of direction. After every dungeon, it’s implied that you need to go back to areas you couldn’t before with whatever item you got, but the map is so big, it’s hard to figure out where you are supposed to go. Also, there’s a bunch of forced side quests in between that make you travel across the map several times over for no real reason. This gets confusing very quickly, and even though it takes the mystery out of it, I would just look up a guide.

One thing this game has going for it is its looks. It has a toy style of artwork that makes everyone in the game look like, well, a toy. The top down perspective of the game makes you feel like you are in a plastic diorama moving characters around.

However, while the art style is awesome, Link can only move in 8 directions, making movement very analog. The problem with this is that every single time Link turns, there is no animation for him changing directions, and it looks so forced. The fact that you have to deal with this throughout the entire game is such a bother.

The game plays well enough, like most top down Zelda games. The sword swinging animation is satisfying enough, and once you get Roc’s feather, which lets you jump and battle in 3D, the combat really shines. But like most things in the game, it has an underlying flaw. 

To use almost any item in the game that is not the sword or the dash boots, you have to select it to one of two item spots. This was understandable in the original game, because the Gameboy had a lot less buttons than the Switch does, but now that we have so many buttons, why should we be limited to using two items at a time? I wasted a lot of time switching items in the menu because of this.

So yeah, those are my thoughts on Link’s Awakening. Did I like it? Yeah, it was fun enough, but I have a hard time recommending it to anyone who is not a diehard Zelda fan or a 12-year-old. I mean that seriously, my little brother loved this game. It was one of the only Switch games he’s ever beaten before me.

My final rating for this game is 7/10.

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