Review by tectactoe
"An Instant Classic. Easily One Of The Best Portable Game Of All-Time."
Over the years, we've seen many game from the Zelda series, and for the most part, they've all been exceptionally great games. The original Nintendo versions of the game were big hits for their time, so the developers thought, "why not bring this game to the hand helds?" and so it was - The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. It was a hit - a legend among games. People simply loved it, and that was that. Years later, this great classic was revamped and rehashed for the Game Boy color, once again an instant classic. With it's new title for the GBC, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX grew in popularity and became one of the biggest must-have games in history. I'm here to tell you that it completely deserves the high stature it's received, in full.
Link's Awakening, although part of the Zelda series, strays from many of the conformities of the other games of it's kind. There are some tweaks and differences, but they sure pull them off excellently. Change isn't always good, but in this case, it turned out to be just fine, and actually quite refreshing from the guidelines of the rest of the series.
So what's the story of this game all about? zomg, Save the princess? Ehh.. not quite. In Link's Awakening, Link finds himself on an island - but what is the island for real? Well, it's all a part of a dream. The dream of a huge sea creature, called the Wind Fish. He is dreaming and the island and the people on it are all being terrorized by evil monsters, demons, and bosses. It's up to Link to find the Wind Fish and wake him from his seemingly eternal slumber and stop the torturing of the people on the Koholint Island! Go, Link!
Links Awakening uses a similar mapping scheme to the original Legend of Zelda on NES. Each screen is essentially part of a large grid, and when Link travels across on side of the screen, it moves over to the next part of the grid. You can press select to see that the entire island is actually a 16 x 16 grid. Exciting, right?
Rather than having a button used for Link's sword and another button for a "special item" and such, you may assign the A and B buttons to whatever the hell you want. This leaves it open for you to make the controls comfortable for yourself - how you see fit. The drawback of this is that you'll often find yourself stopping and having to pause to switch your buttons around because you'll often be needing to use an array of items throughout your travels in the overworld and it's dungeons.
In other Zelda titles, Link usually finds and acquires the Master Sword as a main part of the storyline... well, not in Link's Awakening. You don't even need the Master Sword, and it is completely up to you to find it on your own. Throughout the overworld of Koholint Island, there are 25 scattered and complete hidden seashells. You may have to use a shovel and dig for them, or you may have to win contests or even defeat certain enemies. But one thing is for certain - if you want that Master Sword, you'll need to find 20 of these 25 bad boys in order to get it. Get searching, Link!
Link's Awakening consists of eight dungeons you must travel to and through, as well as a giant egg in which you'll travel to last. Sounds easy, but getting each of the dungeons open is usually a task in itself, as well as simply arriving to the next dungeon. You'll be killing enemies, trading items, and learning new songs on your ocarina as you venture through the vast plains of Koholint Island. Each of the eight dungeons has a mini-boss, a big boss, and a musical instrument you'll receive after this big bosses defeat, the only exception being the eighth dungeon which has multiple mini-bosses. After you get each of the eight instruments, you walk up to that one giant egg and play them - it opens! Inside is the final boss of the game.
This game has all of the classic items you'd expect to find in most other Zelda games. The hookshot, bombs, mirror shield, boomerang, Pegasus boots, bow and arrows, flippers, bombs, etc. A few new items include the feather which allows Link to jump small gaps, the magic powder which lights torches and burns enemies, the shovel which allows you to search for hidden items underground, and the magic rod which is basically a flamethrower. Also, the power bracelet is the item which allows Link to lift heavy objects, much the same as the power gloves in A Link To The Past for SNES.
The difference between Link's Awakening (GB) and Link's Awakening DX (GBC) is of course, the color, but aside from that, the best new addition is a secret dungeon - the color dungeon. It is not necessary to complete the game, but if you make it through the color dungeon, you can pick between two different tunics, rather than the ratty green one Link always wears. The blue tunic cuts damage done to Link in half, and the red tunic doubles the damage that Link deals out. How cool is that?
As you're fighting through enemies in dungeons, searching for keys and maps, you'll realize that this game is simply amazing, and you'll see that this game is both the same and completely different from any other Zelda game in the series, and that is what makes it so great. If you want to have hours of endless fun, you must own this game. Trust me, you won't be sorry.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 04/13/07
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