With The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening, Nintendo have once again made us all feel like little kids playing on our game boys.
The best part of this game, other than how it makes you feel of course, is that it’s a remake that has actually been done right.
They’ve successfully removed the tedious parts of the first incarnation (only due to limitations of the Gameboy) and made them simply brilliant.
There’s no more changing your two-item inventory hundreds of times per dungeon, no more frame-by-frame screening and we’re also rid of that 8-bit grey and green screen.
The game is a full-on remake to the original right down to the flowers on the floor and where the enemies spawn, so if you played this back in the day, it shouldn’t take you too long to remember what you’re doing.
Or, if like me you have a brain like a fish, then it might take a little longer to adjust.
My fondest memories of this game are playing on the 98 re-releases and, as I was a tad young to play the 93 original, it was the first Zelda I played.
I fell in love with the series from that moment, so when I knew about this game, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
This is an absolute master class on how to take a classic game and make it modern without hurting the original game, so long term fans and new fans can all fall in love with this story once again.
The gameplay is fluent and responsive due to the fact the Switch has more than two buttons, with only a very small number of nitpicky things bugging us, but we will get to those later!
The graphics are charming and beautiful at the same time, and Link looks as good as ever, as do the numerous enemies you’ll face.
This is personally one of my favourite art style for games as I feel it helps them age very well.
One big win for this game is the overworld soundtrack – one thing Zelda games have never lacked is a stunning soundtrack.
Where most stories in the Zelda series take place in the kingdom of Hyrule, this game sees Link stranded on the island of Koholint and is tasked with waking up the mysterious wind fish if he wishes to go home.
This entry into the series does differ from series staples such as no Triforce and No Zelda, but it does add some side-scrolling parts in dungeons as well as goombas and piranha plants.
As it’s a remake, they have to make the heart total from 14 to 20, so that means you now have to find another 24 pieces of heart to find around the island, so get hunting high and low for them.
When there’s a lot happening on the screen you can experience a frame rate drop, which although was slightly annoying, did not dampen my enthusiasm for the game one bit.
Purely for nostalgia reasons I find this game much more enjoyable on the handheld version with the Switch, but don’t get me wrong, it’s very nice on a big screen too!