Review by Legend 14

"An adventure that no Zelda fan should miss!"

Let me start off by saying that the Zelda series is a gem and a wonderful addition to gaming. And this game is a nice tribute to the series. Created by master of video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, this is the forth installment in the series (and later to be redone for the Gameboy Color), and it presents our hero, Link, with an enchanting and rather interesting quest. The game opens in the middle of the sea, where a bustling storm sets out to destroy the ship that our hero and his crew are voyaging aboard. The ocean puts Link onto an island called Koholint, where he sets out on a journey to find out if he is dreaming, or if what he is truly seeing is reality.

And our journey begins...
As Link wanders around Koholint, he discovers many parts to his story. Why he was washed up onto the island, who the people on the island are, and the plight of the island intertwining his journey to find out how to get off the island. The story gets bigger and bigger as Link travels around, and he discovers small stories and plights of different people as he meets them. This is what makes the story so golden. The Zelda series' stories are usually very one dimensional; Link has to save the world from an evil entity in many of them. However, in this Zelda, Link questions reality, and tries to uncover truth in why he is on the mysterious island. The story is much more complex that the other Zelda installments, and is just one reason to love this game. Story: 10/10

Today, we joust!
The Zelda series has been known for its fantastic gameplay, and this installment is no exception. It is fun through and through for a whole number of reasons. The quantity of dungeons is enormous, and each one is packed with things to do. Secrets hidden in walls, chests that hold sacred treasures that make the game even more fun, etc., this game has some of the best dungeons available in any Zelda game.

The fun factor doesn't end at the dungeons, or course. What's a Zelda game without a multitude of exciting quests in the open areas of the overworld? Games in certain shops around Koholint are amusing. Digging with your trusty shovel may reveal hidden secret items for your collection. Floating down rough waters with your raft while you reach out for the nearest item that comes afloat. Zelda: Link's Awakening really comes packed with entertaining things to do. Gameplay: 10/10

Did'ya see that?!
As with all the aerial-camera angled Zelda games, the graphics are great. Although they're not slap you in the face (the only exception may be A Link to the Past, SNES)type graphics see in the 3D Zelda games on the Nintendo 64, they are still fairly detailed. The dungeons are very nicely designed, some with many floors that carry their own intrigue. The creatures that lurk in these dungeons, as well as outside, are fairly good, but it would have been nice to see that totality of the game's creatures, as well as environments, in color (and that's where the DX version comes in). Nevertheless, the games looks good inside out, and they certainly don't take away from the game's greatness. Graphics: 8/10

Sounds great
As with gameplay, the Zelda series has always sounded good. The music in this particular chapter is great (Although not as good as A Link to the Past's), even though the Gameboy's sound card is lackluster. The tunes are memorable (we all know the main theme);there are hardly any gripes in this category.

But the sound effects are different. When link gets hit, he makes a wimpy yell that sounds bad. The enemies don't make much noise, and the sound of Link's sword clashing against enemies and objects is only fair. The bosses cries as they get hit and die are good, but they do get annoying if your on a slashing-spree. Sound effects aside, the music is great, and keeps the classic tunes of Zelda intact. You will hardly ever have to mute it. Sound: 8/10

When all is said and done...
When you finish this fantastic adventure, is it worth replaying? Absolutely. Although it might all depend on your taste, this title should keep many coming back for more. The number of secrets in this game are many. Getting all the pieces of heart and secret seashells will take an average gamer many weeks to do. Simply replaying the game from cover to cover might not appeal to everyone, but the number of things to do outside of the main quest keeps the replay on this game on par with other games in the series (in other words: high). Replay: 10/10

''Should I make the commitment?''
Buy this game! This is one of the great Zelda games (which says a whole lot) in the series, with a great story that should keep you busy for months! Get it now!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 09/30/02, Updated 09/30/02

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