Review – ZELDA: A LINK BETWEEN WORLDS

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The 3DS is shaping up to be a sort of unsung flagship for Nintendo’s dejected hardcore gamer audience.  While the Wii U’s launch was barely noteworthy, the 3DS has been having a steady incline of games and gamers.  The RPGs as well as long standing traditional Nintendo franchise games have either become dual launch titles for the Wii U and 3DS or are simply 3DS exclusive.  With any Nintendo flagship, the Zelda IP is alive and kicking with the 3DS Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

Old school Zelda fans will note the SNES style gameplay
Old school Zelda fans will note the SNES style gameplay

This 3DS version of the Legend of Zelda is a very interesting re-telling of the old Super Nintendo launch (Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past [1991]).  Although it is the same game, it isn’t quite exactly the same game.  It is hard to explain.

The similarities are stark and vibrant, right down to the quest line of “collect 3 objects, then collect seven, then collect seven more, and then the big boss fight for the end of the game”.  What is different is that the story and how the characters go about the tale has changed quite a bit and has been updated to make it a more modern Legend of Zelda and put it in line with current Wii and WiiU versions.

Also, the new ability they introduced allows you to sort of explore the 2D world of walls and ledges, which the developers use in very clever ways, as Zelda devs always do, for puzzle solving.

Don't mind me, just being a crud drawing of myself...
Don’t mind me, just being a crude drawing of myself…

I only had two major issues with the Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.  The first issue is that the game is very linear.  The small map size and the short dungeons gave the game a feel of being on a straight track without much room for exploration or story deviation.  In the original SNES version, the map is massive and takes a very long time.  The SNES game feels epic because the scale of the game is so big.

My other issue seems to be contradictory to the first, but the game is too similar to the original SNES version.  There is a lot of old style game play, but there isn’t enough new mechanics to make it something very special.

This has been Nintendo’s theme these past few years.  If you have intellectual properties that work and people pay money for, change as little as you can and reproduce them into the ground.

Nostalgia comes with a price... and maybe throw in a couple explosives along the way
Nostalgia comes with a price… and maybe throw in a couple explosives along the way

Now don’t get me wrong.  I had a great time playing A Link Between Worlds.  What is there works and it is fun… but for me, the story was a little too predictable.  The in game items and puzzles felt over done.  Instead of having an interesting experience, I was sort of left with Legend of Zelda: Deja Vu.

So if you have a 3DS, I would suggest to pick up this title.  If you’ve never played Legend of Zelda on the old 90’s Super Nintendo, I would highly suggest it playing this version.  Even if you had played the SNES Zelda game, this is such a nostalgia trip, it quite delightful.

-N00basaurus

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