Review by Ofisil

Reviewed: 09/14/09

Portable Legend

The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is an Action\Adventure\RPG developed by Nintendo. Zelda is one of Nintendo’s most popular games, so after the almost legendary games in the NES and SNES, it was just a matter of time before a game for the Game Boy was released. Link’s awakening is a classic Zelda game that brings nothing new too the scene, instead it takes all the things that made the Zelda series and combines them in a surprisingly good game.

Story: 7/10
Presentation: 5/10

I won’t lie to you, the Zelda games never had a very good, at least the old-school games of the series. That was not a problem since the Zelda series are more gameplay driven. Link’s Awakening like the rest of the bunch has once again a simple plot that won’t change your life.

You, the hero that has saved Hyrule, have been traveling around the world in order to get more powerful and wise. After a long trip you start sailing back to Hyrule but in the way a storm destroys your ship and you end up in a strange island with a girl near you that looks too much like Zelda. The game from there on don’t give you much info about the plot, so you just wander around finding items, unveiling secret areas and killing bosses in dungeons. Only after the first half of the game will the plot start to evolve and I must say that I liked it despite its simplicity but the way it is presented to you blows things up a bit.

Gameplay: 8/10
Replay Value: 6/10

Why change something that is already good? The gameplay of Zelda, especially Link In The Past is great so why ruin it? Link’s Awakening is great without something new and innovative about it. It is still a game of exploration and puzzle solving. Link, our hero must search the vast overworld of Koholint for clues about his next objective and also find many items that will help him go on. When outside, I must admit that the game can become a bit boring. Killing enemies doesn’t need anything more than swinging your sword at them and the searching involves the use of your items and most of all a LOT of running around experimenting something that becomes very tiring. A great example are the fetch quests where a NPC gives you a mushroom that you can now give to someone in exchange for a stick, something that you must trade it with a ball or something and then use that somewhere to get an important key!

Where Link’s awakening as any other Zelda game truly shines is when you reach a dungeon. Link’s awakening has 8 dungeons but I wish they where actually 80!!! In dungeons you find the most important items of the game and it is where you must use your head in order to move on. The dungeons range from the simple find the key, open the door and kill the boss ones to very complex towers with more difficult puzzles, more dangerous foes and a lot of traps. It is very entertaining trying to find you way through these carefully designed labyrinths, find the secret paths available, find the special item and kill the boss and no mistake boss fights are part of the use-your-head style of Zelda, it’s not just use your sword to slay the dragon. The game is a bit small, (for a Zelda game), but it is very good and entertaining despite its small flaws.

Graphics: 10/10
Design: 9/10

The starts with a fascinating intro screen with Link striving to survive from a terrible storm that destroys the ship he sails on and that is a great promise of things to come. The graphics of Link’s Awakening are fabulous, nearly as great as the SNES game and that for a Game Boy title means a lot. Koholint, like Hyrule, is quite a place, full of diverse landscapes ranging from forests and villages to mountain tops and ancient ruins. The only flaw here is that “we’ve been here before!”… nothing really has changed from the SNES. The rest of the game has very good design with nice little mobs, great bosses and very detailed dungeons.

Sound: 8/10
Music: 8.5/10

Once again Legend Of Zelda shows what good game music is all about. There are a lot, (about 45 I think), music tracks all well composed and with a nice variety, with tunes ranging from the typical “epic” overworld themes and calm village ones to more mysterious and evil stuff like boss and dungeon music. The sound effects are very good too and not only have good quality but are the exact sounds that the SNES game uses.

-Great dungeons with puzzles and boss fights
-Explore a vast world full of secrets
-Great graphics
-Very good music

-The item-fetch quests
-Nothing new
-The overall story presentation could be a bit better.

Also Play:

The Legend Of Zelda (NES)
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past (SNES)
The Legend Of Zelda: The Ocarina Of Time (N64)

Overall: 7.7/10

Along with the SNES Zelda game I consider Link’s Awakening the epitome of the old-school Zelda game’s. It has all the good stuff a Zelda fun would want, exploration, puzzles and great boss fights. Of course it is needless to say that people that don’t like Zelda games won’t like this also… for the rest, HAVE FUN!!!

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (US, 08/31/93)

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