"Is this game supposed to be good??? Cause it isn't."

Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

When I was given this game not too long ago, I remembered that I stumbled across some reviews for several Zelda games, including this game, that gave the games very high ratings. Ocarina of Time has been labeled one of the best games of all time. Majora’s Mask got extremely high reviews as well. I haven’t played those two (but after playing the gameboy titles, I doubt I will) A Link to the Past, which I also had the displeasure of playing, has gotten excellent reviews as well. So needless to say, I was expecting a good game. What I got was mediocrity. While it is better than A Link to the Past, it still fails in the end. Read the full review to one of the gameboys most overrated games, ever.

Graphics 8/10:

I suppose that for the time, the graphics were good, if not great. Seeing as how this was made for the original gameboy, you cannot expect a lot in the first place. But still, the graphics are good, and characters are quite visible, and animated nicely. Objects such as houses look nice. The water looks great for a gameboy game. Environments have good detail. Hey, no complaints here.

Sound/ Music: 9.5/10
If there is one redeeming quality that this game possesses, it is definitely sound/music. The tracks are great and they get stuck in your head for awhile. I found myself humming the Zelda main-theme in my head and aloud several times. And the in-game music is pretty darn good. Overall, excellent sound/music, and a perfect example of what sound the original Gameboy can produce. If you wanted to show off what kind of tunes you could get from a Gameboy, this title (or Pokemon) would have been the most suitable choice.

Gameplay: 5/10
Average. Horribly Average. The exploring is diverting IF you are bored but far from memorable. Fighting characters is extremely simple, just hit them with your sword (by either just attacking regularly or charging it to produce a heavier hit). So then what’s the big problem you may say. To put it simply, it just isn’t that fun. The game feels bland, like its missing substance. It’s a run of the mill adventure, if you will. The interaction with in-game characters is alright. Sure there are some cool things that you can do, like use your shield or push objects, but that doesn’t help. It would have been nice to have some more swords, or if Link could run or something. There isn’t anything about this game that makes you want to come back to it. Simple, but pretty boring if you ask me.

Replayablity: 6/10
It’s a long quest. Not much more to say. And if you’re a Zelda fan, chances are you’ll play this sucker a few more times. But since the gameplay is so average and has no redeeming qualities, you really wouldn’t want to replay this game in the first place. So if you liked the game, the replay score would ultimately be higher. If, like myself, you didn’t like the game, then the score would probably be the same or lower.

Fun Factor: 4/10
The game isn’t really that fun at all. The only real time I remember having fun were the boss battles and finding the sword for the first time. The rest was all a drag. It felt like a chore to play, and I found myself putting this game down with no difficulty whatsoever.

In fact, you know when you play a really good game, that it’s hard to put down? You just don’t want to put it down because you’re having so much fun. Not Zelda. Not this game. It was really easy to put down. And that doesn’t make me happy. So I figured, it would get better, and I stuck with the game for awhile. But it just felt incomplete. And most importantly, it wasn’t that really fun. You don’t get any thrills like you do when you play other adventure games. The only way this game would be fun is if you either had to play this game or have a root canal. And, if you’re immune to pain, maybe you should even go for the root canal. But seriously speaking, Link’s Awakening= Little to No fun.

Rent or Buy:
Well it would be pretty impossible to rent this title since rental chains such as Blockbuster do not carry Gameboy games anymore. But I suppose you may be able to borrow it from a friend. Do that first. If you like it, then hey, that’s great. But if you don’t, you’ll be glad that you listened to me. Good thing I didn’t have to pay for this game when I got it. But the game shouldn’t be worth that much money in the first place. So if you’re feeling daring, go ahead and buy it. It’s average fun, and it might save you if you are unbearably bored.

So in conclusion, if you’re a Zelda fan, then I suppose you might like this game, since it’s your sort of thing. But I can’t imagine why anyone would REALLY want to play this game. In the end, Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is just a failed attempt. A pity indeed, because this game had a good story and great music, and the graphics were good too. But when it came to the gameplay, the most important part of ANY game, Zelda is just not up to standards.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Originally Posted: 01/06/04

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