Review by KaitengiriXIII

Reviewed: 01/14/14

Strange and lovable.

As a long running fan of the franchise, with it being my all time favorite game series, as well as someone who had to borrow a 3DS just to play Ocarina of Time 3D, when the Limited Edition XL Bundle, suffice it to say, not getting it was absolutely out of the question. But this review isn't centered towards that amazing Triforce I see every time I should manage to set this game down for one moment. Instead, I'm here about telling you why I believe this to be the definitive game of the console.

If you have played the original The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, then you will already be familiar with the classic Zelda map, wherein locations are distinct, and follow a general pattern. If you are new to this world map, I have great news for you: It leaves nothing to be desired. And I'm starting off the aspects of this game by its presentation; Whether or not this game is new to you, it's new to you, because the presentation is absolutely GORGEOUS. Unlike a lot of games even on console, I don't see any of those bothersome pixels that will float around, namely around characters, and there's certainly nothing WRONG with them. And also, unlike ANY other game I have played on the system, I cannot tell you the last time I played with the 3D effect turned off. The depth it has in the game looks flawless (save for hardware flaws, and the somewhat testy display on the system itself, but that's nothing wrong with the game) and EASILY beats out Pokemon, Fire Emblem, and other games in terms of usage of the 3D effect. In fact, it can even be helpful, such as the puzzle in the midgame, and the mine featured in the trailer, wherein you need fall from platform to platform to reach the bottom. If I had to find a flaw with the game's presentation, I'd REALLY have to nitpick, however, it's not impossible. The camera will often zoom in somewhat on Link, which is a good thing. However, when it zooms out, Link's features get hard to actually see.

Now, I could just tell you that it's a Legend of Zelda, "nuff said" and move on to the gameplay, however, that's not nearly enough said. I'm a musician myself, this is kind of a sweet spot for me, as I will be the first to admit. As well as being a musician, I am also a huge fan of Zelda games, and this game did NOT fail to bring back the old music from the SNES original, as well as do them WAY more than just justice. It was a little saddening to not hear the old Hyrule Castle theme, but all is not lost: As I mentioned before, I'm a musician, so I pretty constantly have theory, modes, keys, time signatures, and drama drilled into my head Ad Nauseam. Something that gave me a nice relief was the "That's neat" moment when Skyward Sword flipped Zelda's Lullaby on its head - literally. The entire thing was brilliant, and now they've done it for the theme of Link to the Past's Hyrule Castle, and if you watched the trailers religiously like yours truly, you certainly know the theme by now. Oh, and Ocarina of Time is my number one - hearing the Seven Sages music in a remake of A Link to the Past made me so happy, although I had to double take to make sure I heard it right.

Zelda games never have too intricate of a plot with twists and turns at every angle, and I didn't expect that here. Likewise I didn't get it. In standard Zelda fashion, what I DID get was actually a very considerable moral conflict. For example, let me put you into a hypothetical situation:

You are in a family of four, and let's say that you are the head honcho so to speak. Another person is present, and they are the head honcho of their family. But there's a twist: Both families are starving, and you only have enough food to feed your family.

Now, to reveal how this applies to the plot would be MASSIVE endgame spoilers, and I don't believe in doing that in a review. But it really makes you think, and is one of only a handful of games to make me think of depth in REAL life. It's in very good company: With Final Fantasy VI, Metal Gear Solid, and games of the like in its ranks. I may be alone in this belief, but I'm not going to neglect sticking to it.

But it just wouldn't quite be a Zelda game if we were not picking up sword and shield, and what items we may have, and having our way with the enemies that should dare combat us. If there's a negative way to phrase this game's gameplay, I'm curious to hear it, and even more so to implore its legitimacy. There is SO much to talk about as far as the gameplay goes.

Earlier on in the game, you are introduced to an ambiguous character named Ravio, a strange homeless man with a purple bunny hood, robe, he likes purple. Upon first confrontation he asks you to stay in your home, and shortly later he will start renting out items to you. This is where the majority of your rupees will be poured into: Renting, and later buying these items what are mandatory for your quest. "Why bother even fully purchasing them?" Well, there's a problem, if you die, he takes back what's his, Even should you be deep into a dungeon.

Communism, ho!

This gives a LOT more consequence to dying. In other Zelda games, you die, so what? Some games didn't even keep score. But now, if you manage to find the game difficult, you'll be scavenging trying to hunt down all those hearts and pray that the RNG is on your side.

And in previous Zelda games, you got an item halfway into a dungeon, and then...........I don't know, you like................*burp* maybe used it for the other half? Or something? Sometimes not really...........

See a common complaint is THAT you can have all but one item nearly immediately. And that way too much is then available at once. This is however, WAY too moot of a point to address with a proper response. Instead, I'll passively tackle it with what is awesome about this system.

As mentioned, in other Zelda games, you would get an item halfway into a dungeon, and then you only have HALF (roughly) the dungeon to use the item. And, for the time, there isn't inherently anything WRONG with that, but why use a good system, when you could instead use one that is great? This allows you to tackle the dungeon using the item the WHOLE time. Some dungeons will not even be accessible, much less able to be beaten, until you get the item required. And this is brilliant pacing, as you are never left unprepared. You can't fight a boss without the aid of the items required to defeat them despite items being "temporary." And this makes getting to dungeons more intuitive as a byproduct because in Twilight Princess, for my most notorious example, you'd kinda be sitting there:

"I don't know what to do! This Goron keeps rolling at me and all I can do is sit here and take it and never get past!" Until you talk to EVERY AI to find out you had to get some really heavy boots. That makes sense, instead of snapping your ankles, your entire body is more heavy. Wait...............

Instead, you have clear definition to what you need to access each dungeon, and you can focus more on the QUEST to the dungeon as a result. I likey.

I love this franchise, but I have no problem being a skeptic, except every time I even bother, Nintendo puts my skepticism to rest immediately.

This is referring to the ability I would have called "silly" at this time last month. The ability to turn into a painting. I thought it was just kinda there, and frankly, I thought that painting Link looked sort of ugly. Does that make me Yuga? But it was used greatly, especially in

The main sidequest of the game is to collect Maiamais - little bloblike creatures with shells on their back and manage to be adorable. You have to collect one hundred of them to upgrade all your items as well as get a bonus with the sword.

Unfortunately that is about it as far as sidequests go, and getting all 20 heart pieces is at an all time easy.

Oh, and when you Streetpass, you can fight other people's Dark Link. And get stuff for it. That's cool.

And then there's the Treacherous Tower! Where you can simply FIGHT! This is greatly appreciated in a game where you'll be solving puzzles a LOT, as well as upgrades the two items that Mother Maiamai does not.

Hero Mode is almost the same, except with 4x damage, and hearts. Also, a certain two bonuses at the mid and endgame.

This game is a big culmination of everything I like in video games, as well is somewhat short, which I like too.

Not only is this a strong enough sequel (yes, it's a sequel, just not directly), it's a FANTASTIC game in its own right. If you are a fan of Nintendo games then you need this. I was nothing short of amazed by this piece of art.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Product Release: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Zelda 3DS XL Pack) (US, 11/22/13)

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