Review: The Legend of Zelda – A Link Between Worlds
The Legend of Zelda has been one of my favorite franchises since it was released in 1987. After watching the series evolve over the years, and watching Link hit the skies, the high seas, and even into the past, Nintendo has slowly evolved the series into an almost linear adventure game. There is nothing wrong with the direction of the recent games, but none have ever really revisited, nor captured the open ended feeling of adventure as the original. Until now, anyway.
A Link Between Worlds has fantastically molded the sense of adventure, the narrative, and the mind melting puzzles of all of their past efforts, all while finding an original identity. Quite the task considering it is a “sequel” to A Link To The Past. Part of this is due to it’s new mechanics. It wouldn’t be a Zelda game without addressing the neophile in all of us.
The story is a familiar tale, especially if you’ve played A Link To The Past, but with some new players. The evil Yuga is terrorizing Hyrule and snatching up seven sages in an attempt to bring Ganon back so they can rule the world. It’s up to Link to get the three pendents, remove the master sword, swipe at some cuccos, help some random helpless NPCs, and save both Hyrule and Lorule. Lorule? Yeah, Lorule is the alternate land that, if it were an evil twin, would sport a goatee or a mustache or something, basically.
Having to think in 2D… in a 3D space will provide you with some of the most brain twisting puzzles
Let’s talk about this bastard mechanic. It is a fantastic addition to this beloved franchise, and it will be the bane of your existence in Hyrule. Having to think in 2D… in a 3D space will provide you with some of the most brain twisting puzzles in recent memory. You never really get used to it, but you’ll eventually question how you ever lived without it. It’s a bit “Paper Mario”-esque, but utilized in a more brilliant way.
Then there’s the new weapon system that I’m not entirely fond of. On one hand, it really promotes exploration and adventure at the players discretion by giving them most of the tools they’ll need at the beginning of the game (well, for those that can afford it) and it actually punishes players by taking their toys away if they fall in battle. On the other hand, if you’re crafty enough, you can cheat the system by saving often and, if you die, you can just quit the game and restart from your last checkpoint without consequence. On top of that, rupees aren’t hard to find, and you’ll often have more money then you’ll ever need. You can eventually purchase your weapons so you can remove the annoyance of doing the quit/save dance or re-renting the items if you are honorable and accept your fate.
So, is it any fun?
This game was a blast! I highly recommend this to anyone that adores adventure games, head scratching puzzles, and the original Legend of Zelda and A Link To The Past. The story is light and familiar, but ultimately engaging. If you have 3DS, this is a must have. Hands down.