Review by EPoetker

"Better than Link to the Past, and that's quite an accomplishment!"

Zelda, how do I love thee, let me count the ways...nah...I go crazy around 4000. What is it that makes these games so endearing?(besides the obvious: graphics, sound, play control, etc.) Is there something about the elf in the green suit that speaks to all of us? Who knows...who cares...I was never very good at psychology anyway. But I do, obviously, love this game. And I can count at least 3 reasons, first being...

Graphics: Possibly some of the best seen on the Gameboy. Detail is sacrificed for animation, but we never cared about staring at those tiny details on our eye-straining Gameboy LCD screens anyway. The intro is AWESOME, I could barely believe that the Gameboy was capable of doing those kind of animations(albeit only for a little while.) Normal ''gameplay'' graphics are what they should be: clear and sharp enough to distinguish to the player what kind of terrain he's walking on without the benefit of color. All bosses are WELL-done. The only ones that even compare would be those on Final Fantasy Adventure, but the amount of extra animation on Zelda's keep it at the top. Link himself has just about all the personality you can animate on 8-bit monochrome. He attacks, he flips, he charges...I could watch that little dude all day. While listening to the classic Zelda...

MUSIC: They altered the classicoverworld theme(like they did in Zelda 2 NES) but this time it's actually easy to listen to, and almost as good as the first! But since Gameboy is NOT the best platform to put out an example of your musical prowess, no matter how good the song is, it just gets annoying after a while(noticed this most often with the Guardian Acorn and Piece of Power theme.) But you should definitely listen to a few tracks before sliding the volume level down, as some of the themes might actually stick in your head(where you can orchestrate them as you please without the tinny 8-bit timbre.)Otherwise, stick to the...

GAMEPLAY as your reason for playing this title over and over and...I can't believe how much fun this game was! With four fewer buttons to work with, it managed to give you MORE gameplay options, MORE ways to use your items, and MORE cool moves to perform than you could in Link to the Past! And, considering how good THAT game was on a 16-bit platform, this was probably the single greatest accomplishment in Zelda history! The challenge is perfect: you'll have to actually THINK to get through the dungeons, as both the puzzles and the enemies require you to use ALL the skills at your disposal to get through! Just the sheer variety of puzzles, traps, and enemies make this game a worthy replay (as if getting the two secret weapons, all the secret seashells, and all the Heart pieces wasn't enough.)If you have a Gameboy or(better)Game Boy Color, BUY THIS GAME! Especially if you have a GBC, because the color version of Link's Awakening has a camera store(print out the pictures on the Game Boy Printer) and a secret Color Dungeon! And if you're an emulation buff...this game should already be in your emulator directory with about 5 different save states at your favorite points in the game! Nothing more must be said, other than GET IT!

Nintendo Logic: Aside from the simple things, like the fact that the Wind Fish ISN'T A FISH,(a sarcastic thanks to all those icthyologists) and Link never sees what's at the bottom of those pits he falls into, the most notable bit of Nintendo logic is that the SHOPKEEPER is armed with an instant death spell that he indiscriminately uses on thieves. Not to mention that one woman owns a dog(who looks suspiciously like a Chain Chomp) which chews up ANY enemy which crosses his path. Hmmm...and they're sending a Hylian kid who just washed up on their island off to fight the big evil, with only a shield to start out with? The shopkeeper and the dog could just waltz around to all the dungeons and clear them out easily! It's definitely gotta be more fun than hawking items which only elves buy or being tied to a post all day!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/03/00, Updated 03/03/00

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