Review by LuigiRulesYou

"One of my most memorable gaming experiences with the old grey cinderblock thing..."


It's tough to judge a game that's this old. With what I'm expecting on so many levels, something so archaic doesn't seem capable of holding itself up, even though it totes the Zelda name. However, even though it is severely overlooked (I feel), Zelda VI: Link's Awakening, is a great adventure...I'd go as far to say one of the best games to experience.

Well...I usually can't say much in this category. Personally, I've never quite cared about how a game looks, considering it's a very subjective factor. However, considering how much detail EVERTHING in this game is in, I have to give it a perfect effing score.

The look of the game is magical. It's incredible that they are able to make such a game so beautiful with such technology. Everything in the world is animated very well. The environments and inhabitants of Koholint are very active looking. If this game had color, I'd say the world they created was very colorful. I am blown away by how it looks.

It's near impossible to expect anything better out of a handheld game's 2/3 inch speaker. Though I have to admit that the sound quality was equivalent to throwing instruments at a wall, I'd definitely say that these instruments sounded really good as they exploded. The music to the game is beautifully orchestrated, and I can only complain of the factors they couldn't help. The quality sucks. Same goes for the sound effects...but they are quite I can't say much.

Oh yes, the grand factor in which I love to indulge in. I must say right off the bat: this game (I feel) is an experience that you will never forget. All of it is the same Zelda flair set on a mysterious island.

Exploration is highly rewarded, actually...the game forces you to be a creative, wandering wayfaring mastermind. As with all Zelda games you better get working to finding ways to find those heart peaces and (unique to this game) seashells. The world and underworlds you will explore is very well designed, everything flowing together quite successfully. There may be some oddball transitions (where'd that desert come from?), but most of the time, you are treated to a glorious layout of obstacles and suprises.

Hint Section: GET SEASHELLS! You WILL know what I mean...

The underworld levels are equally impressive. Sprawling arenas of the witty and skillful await your attempts. The puzzles are enormous, many of them incorporating the ENTIRE level into it's design. Many of them are profound, as are the clues that lead to them. I hope you are patient and observant, for there are many patterns to fill and enemies to defeat.

Speaking of enemies, let's talk about the difficulty, usually the high-point in every Zelda game. As per usual, the difficulty of the bosses and their respective dungeons increases as you continue forward into the game. Underworld 1 is generally a cakewalk. Underworld 8 is a monster manifested into a living building out to kill you. Enemies themselves are all somewhat unique. While some have the average patterns of attack (run screaming at you with whatever weapons they have) many take some strategy or utilizing different weapons to kill efficiently. Later in the game, the enemies are mixed together with others, as well other inanimate obstacles dead set to stop you from reaching the boss. You may be dropped in situations where there are many bow-wielding Stalfos on the other side of a schizm while you are pressed to hunker down while extremely durable Gibdos bum-rush you. As for the bosses, they are greatly challenging that first time through, figuring out how they fight. Though you might recognize some boss patterns from previous games, I dub them all COOL.

A new idea was implemented into Zelda: Link's Awakening. Even with the extreme lack of buttons for the Cinderblock Gameboy, they really touched up the game with this, adding lots of variation. You can assign a weapon/tool to BOTH buttons A and B. With such a concept, you can wield any combination of items to maximize Link's versatility. If you don't need your sword (overall well-rounded weapon), you can stick to a shield and bow/arrows to fight off enemies at long range. Need to maximize mobility for escape? Equip Roc's Feather and a pair of Pegasus Boots to run and jump around your opposition. None of these weapons (well...maybe except the Fire Rod/Master Sword) was designed to work solely alone. Experiment with the inventory and see what works.

The Zelda series isn't quite known for its depth in sense of content. Usually, there is just a skeleton story set to keep the rest of the cool crap in place. However, they deviate a little from the normal path this time. The people are quite interesting. The game really allows you to get to know and remember the townspeople out and about. There are many chances to deviate from the main story and give/get a hand from the many inhabitants of this mysterious island. The plot is also quite cool, integrated exceptionally well into the story. As you explore, you will always recieve your grand suprises.

This game is a shining example of how video games should be. With exceptional stats in all areas, I am breathless in my amazement of this game. There is nothing more than I can say.

Holy crap, boys and girls, buy it now! Chances are, you can get a GBA. If you're poor, load up on a GB Brick or GBC, which are quite cheap these days. I've seen this game itself running at $10 at game stores, perhaps a little more if they have a box/manual set as well. I definitely suggest this game to all. It's an all-cultural winner with brilliant stats.
BUY (duh)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/24/04

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