Review by Omni Mage
"Are you -awake- out there? Then click the -link-!"
Breakdown » This game is no disappointment to Zelda fans, as it carries the tradition on strongly. However, it does stray from the usual storyline, but in my opinion, it's a nice change. Essentially, you were sailing and ended up being dealt a bad hand by fate, as a ferocious storm was brewing. The storm ended up wrecking your small boat, and you were washed ashore a small island you were unfamiliar with. One of the islanders spots you and returns you to her and her father's home where they explain your situation. From there, your adventure begins~
Graphics « 9 » For a GameBoy game during its era, and even compared to some of the GameBoy Advance games, Zelda: Link's Awakening has some awesome graphics, hands down. The terrain alters in different areas, as do the enemies, thus not letting one become bored with overused sprites. Whether you're in a dungeon, or on the overworld, the graphics won't let you down. The enemy sprites, along with those of Link have many differing motions and positions, as well as reactions, which is always a plus.
Control and Gameplay « 10 » As with most GameBoy games, this game has an easy learning curve, and is extremely simple to get the hang of. The Directional Pad is used to move Link around and navigate the Start menu. A and B are both assigned to items and weaponry to use in combat and in puzzles. The Select button brings up the World Map, allowing you to locate things with ease, along with your current position. As stated prior, the Start button brings up a menu which allows you to see how many of the 8 Instruments you have obtained thus far and allows you to switch between items in your inventory. Pressing the four buttons at once allows one to save their progress so it can be resumed at a later date. When using different items, experiment a bit to see which combinations fit your playing abilities best.
Sound / Music « 10 » Of all the categories in Link's Awakening, this is my personal favorite. From the beginning theme all the way to the credit music, the music is simply spectacular. This is but one of many great successes by Koji Kondo's composing abilities. Each area you enter has a different theme, so locating yourself simply by sound is something plausible.
The sound affects are nearly as great as the music in this game. Each item has a different sound effect assigned to it, as well as enemy attacks. The sounds range from a hollow clank from hitting your sword against a wall, to an explosion when a bomb explodes.
Difficulty « Moderate » For a rookie to this these types of games, Link's Awakening is quite easy to play right from the get go without trouble. However, an experienced Zelda player may find it too easy and will probably zoom through this game extremely quickly, not missing a thing. I had little trouble adjusting to the game when I first began, so I doubt many of you shall either.
None of the game's puzzles are so hard you'll wish to give up, but some do require a bit of thinking power. However, only a small portion of this game relies on thinking strategy. The rest relies on combat strategy. . .
Replay Value « High » After beating this game once, you'll probably want to go through the game a second time with higher goals, such as a quicker finish time or less game overs. Personally, I enjoy just playing through the game for the nostalgia affect it has on me. In conclusion, this game is definitely worth at least a second play through, most likely more than that.
Buy or Rent? » That decision rests totally in your playing abilities and preferences. However, I can make suggestions. If you blaze through games at warp speed or simply give up easily or grow bored at an accelerated pace, then give the game a rent first, because this game is short compared to today's standards.
If you're a die hard Zelda fan, or simply enjoy playing a great action / adventure / RPG game, then buy this game without regress. It fetches a pretty penny, but you'll find no better GameBoy game than this to spend it on. . .
With a great collage of sound, graphics, gameplay, and fun factor, this game deserves nothing short of a high 9, though not high enough to grab a ten. Whether you like games of this genre or not, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is at least worth one playing. Not only is the regular game fun, but there are a few side quests and mini games to try your luck at.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 05/06/02, Updated 05/06/02
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