Remasters and remakes make up a significant portion of today’s video game releases, so many that the idea of a new one really shouldn’t be all that exciting to anyone. Yet, many of us still get excited, don’t we? All it takes is the right game, and in my case, that game is absolutely The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening!
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is the second Zelda game I’ve played, and it ranks at #3 on my list of all time favorites in the series (right behind Majora’s Mask and A Link to the Past). To say that I was excited to see it announced as a remake for the Switch is something of an understatement. See, as much as I absolutely adore this game, it never once occurred to me that Nintendo would ever revisit it. Why would they?
The Game Boy and Nintendo DS Zelda games don’t get anywhere near the same amount of praise and discussion that their console counterparts get. As far as any normal large corporation would be concerned, that would equate to basically zero interest. Here it is all the same though, so I suppose that means Nintendo isn’t quite as out of touch with its fans as its competition is.
Anyway, it’s just incredible to see the game like this, isn’t it? Nintendo has once again created an aesthetic that makes everything look almost like real materials, yet still has a cartoonish charm to it. In this game’s case though, the new art style doubles as an effective modernization of the original Game Boy game’s simplistic style. When I look at Link, the enemies, or even the island scenery in this game I can clearly picture their origins. It’s almost as though this is how the original game’s creators pictured it in their heads all those years ago.
Seriously, everything shown in that trailer is instantly recognizable to me. I know exactly where those tiles are on the game’s map and where those enemies are found. This wouldn’t be possible if this remake wasn’t heavily invoking the original.
I’m also extremely curious about the dungeon creator mechanic they’ve introduced. At the moment, it just looks like only the player can run the dungeons they build, and that’s fine. What if there’s more to it though? What if our created dungeons can be shared among friends? Wouldn’t that be something? Wouldn’t that be a feature that would sell the game all by itself? I think so, but for me it’s just an awesome-sounding bonus.
During my years as a gamer, I’ve probably beaten The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening at least a dozen times. I know the game backwards, forwards and any other which way one can imagine. Alas, that’s precisely why I haven’t been able to pick it up again over the last 5 years or so; the magic’s all gone. With this updated version on the Switch though, perhaps I can finally enjoy Koholint Island to it’s fullest again Just gotta wait a few more weeks!
What do you think of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening? Do you have fond memories of the original Game Boy game too, or will this be your first time exploring the island?
Lede image from Nintendo eShop