Review by FX64
"The Legend Lives On"
Over the past recent years the Zelda formula has become too predictable. We all know the drill: you go into a dungeon, find a new item, use the item to kill the boss and go off to the next dungeon in a linear order. However Zelda: A Link Between Worlds isn't confined to this tradition. The game tries to go by a different approach: letting you choose any dungeon in no particular order. A Link Between Worlds is also a sequel to the critically acclaimed SNES classic: A Link to The Past. However is it on par with its predecessor?
The plot takes place hundreds of years after A Link to The Past. The new incarnation of Link serves as an apprentice to a master black smith. One day, while delivering a sword to the Hylian captain, a dark wizard by the name of Yuga appears. Yuga's plan is to capture all seven sage descendents, and turn them into paintings. However his main goal is to use the seven sages to resurrect the evil Ganon. It's now up to Link to warn Princess Zelda of the upcoming danger, and prevent the revival of Ganon. Now this is just the beginning story, later on story you'll reach a parallel world called Lorule. This is where the true story begins to unfold, and the ending came with a big surprise as well. Overall the plot isn't original however it's still fairly good.
A Link Between Worlds goes back to the traditional 2-D Zelda formula and what a glories return it is. The game is very easy to control, the circle pad is used to move Link, the D-pad moves the camera, L button is used for the Pegasus boots, R button for your shield, A button for actions such as lifting rocks/talking, B to use your sword, X and Y are mapped for your items. Like I said before the game brings one new element: complete non-linearity. The biggest change is that you no longer get items from dungeons, now all your items can be rented from a store. You need to rent items in order to complete a specific dungeon, and because renting costs Rupees (Money) it is important that you save up some cash to rent these items. The good news is that renting is cheap, however later on you'll gain the choice of buying your rented items. Buying your items is highly recommended, because the items that you own can be upgraded, rented items cannot be enhanced. Of course you don't need to buy them if you choice not to. However if you die in battle all your rented items automatically return to Ravio's store, it's a high risk, high reward scenario. This renting system may seem minor, however it changes the way you tackle dungeons and allows the player so much more freedom. The level design is very well done, and I guarantee that there will be parts that completely stump you, the game isn't too hard, however the puzzles will really make you think. Also the game runs at a smooth 60 frames per second, even while the 3D is on. There is virtually almost zero lag.
Like all Zelda games the music is fantastic. Most themes in the game are re-orchestrated renditions of A Link to The Past, however that doesn't mean the game doesn't have any original music of it's own. In fact the game introduces memorable new tunes like: Hilda's theme, Yuga's theme, and Lorule castle. Alongside the new tunes we have amazing renditions of the classic Hyrule Field theme, and Dark World theme. The music in the game is just outstanding.
For the 3DS, A Link Between Worlds looks stunning. The classic art style is a great call back to the old SNES days. The 3D models look great, the world is colorful, and the game stays to true to it's word: it looks like a sequel to A Link to The Past.
Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a fantastic game. The game stays true to the classic 2-D formula while blending new gameplay elements that make it feel fresh. While the DS Zelda games were ruined with gimmicky controls, A Link Between Worlds is a glories return to the traditional Zelda gameplay with no gimmicks. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is the best portable Zelda game ever made. It might even be better than A Link to The Past. This is a must play for any Zelda fan, it's great for long time veterans, but also a great entry for Zelda newcomers. It's also one of the few games that I preferred to play in 3D rather than 2D. Overall A Link Between Worlds is a near masterpiece and continues Zelda legacy.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 12/09/13, Updated 03/23/15
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (US, 11/22/13)
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