The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has finally made it to Switch, and it’s just about everything a old Zelda fan like myself could want! They’ve kept just about everything that made the game what it was, while also seamlessly weaving-in a few modern conveniences and features. It’s actually kind of strange to play: I feel completely at home here, yet it’s undeniably a brand new experience. And you know what? I wouldn’t want it any other way.
The biggest difference between this game and the original The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has to be the art style. The former was, of course, limited by the technology of the day. Everything was blocky, low-res, and only able to portray its characters in a rudimentary way. This modern version, on the other hand, is a marvel to behold. The island of Koholint has the look of a child’s play set come to life, complete with life-like plastic monsters and people! Nintendo could have gone for a highly detailed kind of look, but this suits the game so much better! It’s a sweet and heartwarming thing to look at rather than just another real-ish video game world. It even has the bonus effect of channeling the old GameBoy art style too. So yeah, it’s a win all around.
The music has been remixed into something softer and more subtle in tone, which in my opinion serves to highlight the island’s overall dreamy atmosphere. It almost feels like it fades in and out as you play, further heightening the effect. As for gameplay, sword and shield have their own dedicated buttons now, meaning fewer trips into the menu. It works great, but has the side-effect of making the game a bit easier for older players. They seem to have accounted for this with the harder, “Hero” difficulty setting though. Other than that, this is the same game we all remember and is just as excellent as always. (Newer players might find it a bit too simple for their tastes though; this is old-school Zelda in the truest sense).
Put all of this together with the newly improved Crane Game, Fishing Pond and brand-new Dungeon Maker mode, and you’ve got a game that is totally Nintendo in all the right ways. If you’re a Zelda fan or even just thinking of giving The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening a try, then you owe yourself to do it. This really is a wonderful experience!
What do you think of Link’s Awakening? Would you like to see more games in this style?
Lede image from Nintendo eShop