Review by Baradur

"The Title That Got Me into Video Games!"

For my tenth review, I'm going to do my first video game, the title that got me interested in video games, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for the Gameboy. Although this may not be the best Zelda game of all time (That title goes to A Link to the Past), it's still an unbelievable game. I got this game for Christmas nearly ten years ago, and it's still one of my favorites. I shall tell you why...

Gameplay: Classic Zelda style gameplay. Link's Awakening uses the unique overhead camera view found in all the old Zelda games. I could find nothing bad about this camera angle, as it let me see where all the enemies were on the screen at once. The control was flawless as well. Use the control pad to move, the A and B buttons worked the weapons, Select brought up the map, and Start brought up the inventory. All the buttons operated smoothly, and they were very easy to remember (Come on, its not THAT hard to memorize the locations of five buttons).

Challenge 10/10: This game may look small, but it has a LOT of challenge in it. The dungeons start out pretty easy, but by the time you get to the last few levels, you'll find yourself pausing the game frequently, trying to figure this stuff out. Luckily, like all Zelda games, this is challenging in a fun way, not a frustrating way. What I mean by ''frustratingly hard'' is that the game is so incredibly difficult and cheap, that you'll be using all of your effort not to crush it with a swivel chair leg and throw its remains into an incinerator. No, Link's Awakening isn't like that.

Story 10/10: This story is different from the previous Zelda games. In fact, this story really has nothing to do with Princess Zelda at all! Which is good. It would be very repetitive if all the Zelda games were about the rescue of Zelda. This story actually takes place after A Link to the Past, when Link leaves Hyrule for his own reasons. It all starts with Link on his boat in the ocean in the middle of a storm. A bolt of lightning comes down, and destroys Link's vessel. Link drifts along unconscious, on the remains of his old ship, when he eventually washes up on Koholint Island. When Link comes to he immediately sets off to find his sword which is strewn somewhere on the beach where he washed up. After finding his weapon, Link meets up with a crazy talking owl who basically says that at the top of the highest mountain on Koholint, there is this huge egg. In the egg is the Wind Fish, and that the whole island of Koholint doesn't really exist. He says that the island is just part of a dream that the Wind Fish is having, and if it wakes up, the whole island will disappear. The monsters on the island know this, and they will do everything in their power to make sure that the Wind fish never wakes up. But the only way for Link to get off the island is to wake the Wind Fish. So, Link goes out to do this, and to prevent spoiling the ending of the game, that's all I'm going to say about it. It's a good story, and it will keep you thinking about it for a while.

Graphics 10/10: The best the Gameboy could offer at the time, these graphics are quite impressive for an early Gameboy game. It's obvious that the character designs were modeled after A Link to the Past characters. The explosions in this game were well done, as well as the level bosses.

Sound 10/10: The sound capabilities of the Gameboy were stretched to their limits in this game. The music was great, and I believe had a remix of the classic Zelda theme. Each of Link's weapons had their own sound, and so did the dungeon bosses whenever they got hurt. Very nice.

Playtime/Replayability 10/10: This game is addictive! You'll want to play from start to finish without stopping. Even after you beat the game, there are still a bunch of side-quests that you should try out, like the seashell hunt, similar to the Gold Skulltula hunting game in Ocarina of Time.

Rent or Buy? BUY! This is one of the best Zelda games of all time! If you have a Gameboy Color or Advance, which most people probably do, then get the DX version, its in color, and has a new dungeon. But if you want to play the original, then don't get DX, get this.

This is an incredible game in an incredible series, and is certainly worth some of your attention. That's all I have to say!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/17/03, Updated 03/17/03

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