Review by Crocomire
"What will be the fate of Link, Marin, and Koholint?"
Link ends up shipwrecked on an unknown island after a huge storm at sea caused his ship to get destroyed. He awakes before the eyes of a mysterious girl named Marin who tells him this is Koholint Island. Link soon learns that in order to escape this island and return to Hyrule, he must wake the Wind Fish, who sleeps inside a giant egg on top of the mountain. Problem is, if he does awake the Wind Fish, it could well end the life of all who live on Koholint. Is this just a dream or is it real ?
After the success of Link's Awakening on the original Game Boy, Nintendo decided to make an update for the Game Boy Color, with extras and of course, full color graphics. I'm glad they did because you can see the action a lot clearer than the Game Boy version. There quite a few differences, such as an added photograph quest where, if you complete certain scenes in certain locations, the camera man will take a photo of Link and store it in the photo album. You can then access it and use the Game Boy Printer to print them out. There is also a whole new dungeon where at the end, you can choose a different mail a red one which enhances your strength, and a blue which enhances you defence.
The game plays very much like A Link to the Past on the Super NES, but in this game, you can choose what items you want to assign to both the A and B buttons. Enemies new and old appear in the game and there are a number of characters from the Super Mario Bros. games which is a nice bonus feature. As with the past Zelda's, you travel through the land and complete dungeons. There are once again 8 main dungeons to conquer, all with a different instrument as the reward at the end. You must use the 8 instruments to wake the Wind Fish.
Evil creatures that are known as Nightmares are attacking Koholint Island. They want to rule this land and are stopping Link from waking the Wind Fish. Should he wake him, the island will disappear and so will the Nightmares. Link has no choice though. He needs to return to Hyrule
Many famous items return like the fire rod and boomerang, but also a host of new ones like the roc's feather which allows Link to jump. You can return to the sea with the flippers and there's also a great fishing game you can play. Cast your rod and hook the fish, then tap A as fast as you can to reel it in! It's a great little mini-game.
As far as difficulty and length goes, you don't need to worry. Link's Awakening DX is a very difficult game, especially in later dungeons and the bosses are sure to give you grief. Just as you'd expect from a Legend of Zelda game and it'll take you hours to beat.
The ability to assign whatever two items you want to A and B is great and gives you many options to choose from. This just adds to the simplicity of the whole game. You won't get confused for what each button does even if there are only a few buttons the little Game Boy Color. Start opens your items menu and Select opens the Koholint Island map to show your location. Simple controls are just what you need to play huge adventures like this.
Definitely some of the Game Boy Color's best. Seeing everything in full color than black and white is more beautiful and the action doesn't blur like on the original Game Boy. The Oracle games were created after this game but they seem to use the same graphics engine as this one, and seeing as the Oracles had gorgeous graphics, you have to commend this game's too.
No irritating tunes to drive you crazy, just great music as you've come to expect from The Legend of Zelda. Even coming from the Game Boy Color's tiny speaker, everything sounds great, with tunes matching every situation and location, and some you just won't be able to stop humming too. The classic Zelda theme is in there too, just keep old timers happy.
Although this is a Game Boy Color update, this is still Link's first handheld adventure, and it's contender for the best Zelda game ever. You might not think it but this game really is extraordinary. It's got everything you want from an adventure game huge dungeons, massive bosses, loads of items and weapons, a massive trading quest, tons of characters to interact with, great music, length, and difficulty. But probably one of the best pieces of the game is the magnificent story. The story alone is why many gamers class Link's Awakening as the best Zelda.
Is this all just a dream? If Link wakes the Wind Fish, will everyone else die? If the only way Link can return home is to wake him, he'll soon find out if it's true. Not only that, but the mysterious girl Marin falls for Link. They spend a lot of time together but Link needs to go home. What is he going to do?
Only you can decide Link, Marin, and the whole of Koholint's fate in this handheld gaming classic.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/28/05
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