Review by Oregongamer
"The Legend of Zelda: A Gimmick Between Worlds"
I've played a few Zelda games, including the original, Ocarina of Time, Link's Awakening, and of course A Link to the Past. I've never beaten any of these on my own save file, I always got stuck but enjoyed getting up to a certain point then getting frustrated and quitting.
This current iteration on the 3DS is in my opinion the perfect game to bring on a long plane flight or bus ride. You can finish the whole game pretty quick. I am still not sure how long it took me because Zelda games don't seem to tell you how much time you played - you know your time invested by the number of hearts you have.
ALBW is a beautiful game, however it seems Nintendo has given up on making 3D worthwhile. With a system that can give you a headache just by tilting the console a tiny bit, its not worth it to play with the 3D on. All the 3D does is make things seem wider. Beyond that the artistic style goes from top down traditional Zelda style to sudden 2D to 3D wall-moving tricks.
Basically the sound is pleasant to listen to. It's all rehashing of old Zelda music and I guess that's OK. They don't really try anything new. Practically every sound is the same as A Link to the Past.
Gimmicky: If you're stuck, merge into the wall and move around, you WILL find the key. You WILL find that lost Maimai, and you WILL get to the boss. As many have complained the game gives you all the items to rent and later buy from the very start of the game. This means that because you can visit any dungeon at any time, the difficulty level is more or less the same. This is hands down the easiest game I've ever played - and I'm the type of guy who plays every first run through on Easy or Normal mode.
My biggest gripe is the merging between worlds. The first time I saw the animation I thought it was beautiful, the 100th time I was about ready to clamp my 3DS shut and take a break. The game is wholly focused on the merging with walls gimmick and all your tools are used in the most obvious of ways that you can barely call it puzzle solving.
It has a story, but it seems so rushed and poorly thought out that I can't find the motivation for any of the characters - least of all Link. The silent protagonist can be a good thing if used right. Take Chrono Trigger for example. But in Zelda, Link has lost his heroic feel. I blame this on the fact you get all the major items automatically.
This is where ALBW shines. I would play this game again simply because I now know where everything is. I know how to do everything, get everything, and beat every super easy boss. So if I am ever on a 12 hour flight to China, I can check off a good 3-4 hours running my 3DS down to zero battery. But if I am at home...I doubt I'd ever pick it up again. It was a fun game, but has some serious flaws that prevented it from being great.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 01/28/14
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (US, 11/22/13)
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