Review by Gamecuber Delux
I am stunned.
This is the first 10 I have ever given. Nintendo earned it.
I haven't felt compelled to write a game review in years, and this one will be shorter than usual. But I had to write this.
Before Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was released, I felt very skeptical. I wanted a new Zelda, not some world we visited decades ago. As the initial trailers came out, I was unnerved that the world looked exactly the same(with a graphical update, obviously). To be onest, I was also bothered that is was done in a top down view, considering the power that the 3DS has. I though we would get something more similar to the console titles.
I wasn't even going to consider buying it. But then IGN released a gameplay video of the Tower of Hera, and I saw again that Nintendo knew how to use 3d to add to the gameplay and not just to add some depth to the visuals. I decided the game was worth a shot. This was the best decision I have ever made!
The puzzles, the locations, the music, the new item system, the graphics... all absolutely engrossing. But you expect that from Zelda. These things are what earn Zelda games consistent high scores. What really made this game shine for me is how well it rewards you.
I have never felt more rewarded for my exploration of a game world. Which is a huuuuge "Shame on you" to many game developers. Some games have thousands of things to find, but the reward for finding them is some stupid achievement that ups your gamerscore, or the item itself is a silly potion or extra life. Other games have enormous worlds, but little incentive to go looking through them. Elder Scrolls games come to mind here. (90% of the caves/dungeons that aren't tied to a quest have absolutely nothing worth a darn in them.)
But here we have an overworld on a HANDHELD system that outclasses everything I've ever played. When I first met the Mother Maiamai, I said to myself, "There is no way I'm fetching all of your lost children for you." A few dungeons later, I had managed to round up 10 of them just by coming across them in the world. I went back to her. She doesn't just give you the usual tokens. You'll be blown away when you learn what she can do for you. Then there's pieces of heart, the classic Pegasus Boots, fairy fountains, master ore for your sword... the list goes on.
I ended up spending several hours just finding hidden goodies in the overworlds. It was the best part of a great game for me. I am excited to replay it without all of that tension you have when doing a first playthrough.
My final thoughts: I am stunned by this game. Nintendo drops us in a world we've been to before, and manages to innovate more than ever before. Ten out of ten.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (US, 11/22/13)
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