Review by Ice Water
"Not exactly what I was expecting..."
One year, I got a whole bunch of Xmas cash to spend on stuff that I didn't get on Xmas day. Since I had about 50 bucks worth of Walmart Gift Card cash, the whole family headed over to ye olde Walmart to get a ton of stuff. Seeing how I never played the original Gameboy version of Links Awakening, and the fact that I was on a Zelda kick after playing Majoria's Mask for the last 6 hours, I picked this up for about 29.95. I popped this bad boy into my Super Gameboy at home and started my quest of getting out of a coma...in color.
After playing it for a while, I was starting to get a bit bored. It wasn't exactly as I was thinking it would be. In the past when Link to the Past was the game I was playing, I saw the original version of this in Walmart and thought it looked almost like LttP. I wanted it from that day on, but then we moved and they stopped making it for the normal Gameboy. Then this moment came for the remade version for the Gameboy Color, with backwards compatibility (hey, I was poor! I was using my original Gameboy up until the release of the Gameboy Advance!) that really got me to get this. After the amount of play I did, Links Awakening didn't really thrill me as much as I thought it would.
The story takes place (according to Nintendo's 'Zelda Timeline') right after Link gets the raft in Zelda II. Apparently, Links boat skills are really bad and he gets wound up into a hurricane-like storm...quite possibly a hurricane. His boat gets thrashed, and he is knocked out quite severely. He thinks he's awake when he hears a girl that sounds like Princess Zelda telling him to wake up (yet another RPG that starts up with people getting out of bed :P). The girl gives Link his directions to his stuff he lost on the beach, and your adventure begins.
The story starts out really slow. Heck, its so slow, I haven't even played this a second time yet! The game is basically almost like the first Zelda where you had to figure out where to go next by yourself with very little info on where to go. The owl pretty much instructs you so you won't find yourself too lost, but its the small things that get to you, like trying to find a key somewhere that isn't very obvious to get where the owl was telling you to go.
HOLY CRAP MAN! These things look ALMOST like the SNES version! The graphics were amazing at the time of the original's release, and with the extra colors that the Gameboy Color puts in (yes, I do have one. I got it at the time of the Gameboy Advance's release. See the 'I'm poor' comment above), they look even more colorful than the normal two shades of grey the original Gameboy supported. The colors eventually lead up to being ported over to Oracle of Seasons/Ages when they were released a few years later. With these colorful, SNES mimicing graphics, I'd say the remake was a success at being upgraded.
This is probably what got to me the most in this game. Since I was so used to having to use my SNES controller, or even my N64's controller to play my Zelda games, the knockback to the Gameboy kind of threw me. Fortunately, the 'A' button isn't a pernament sword button like in the first Zelda game, but it's interchangeable like the 'B' button as well. This leads up to some interesting combos like having the Sword on one button and the Shield on another. The problem with this was that you'd have to HOLD down the 'B' or 'A' button to keep the shield up while you needed defense, and had to press the other to swing the sword. From what I was used to in LttP was that the shield was ALWAYS up! If they had put that LITTLE DETAIL into this, then the controls wouldn't be so bad after all...
With the minor flaw of the Shield, I'd say the rest of it wasn't so bad. You could create some interesting combo's with two different weapons, but to say them here would be a big spoiler in the game.
Music and stuff
The music sounds exactly like it should: the original Zelda overworld theme. Its' the theme you will definitely hear the most as you wander around the world searching for your next dungeon. I don't remember much of the dungeon music though...
The sounds were all ok. You could hear a little 'bounce' noise when you jumped, the little 'dust' noise when you started to build up to run, and the 'swish' of your sword when you swung it. If you are driving in a car though, you'd better get some headphones to be able to hear any of this though...
What? There is VERY LITTLE in this game! The only reason you'd want to go through again is to beat it again after you forget the dungeon music, or want to find out where everything was that you missed. There is no extra endings, however there are a lot of extras in this remake...
Extras? What the heck?
Yes...extras. In the process of trying to pass this off as a new game, Nintendo threw in some more stuff to entertain you! Some of these are: the Photo Shop, the Extra Dungeon for the Gameboy Color only, the ability to die fast (oh wait...that was already there), color, and i think that's it. These extras may keep you going a while, especially trying to get all of the pictures, or beating the game flawlessly...
Probably. If you are a total Zelda nutcase, then go for it. If you see it for 5 bucks, definitely go for it. If some bum on the street just gives it to you, definitely check it first, then take it. It's worth playing through at least once, but is indeed one of the hardest in the whole Zelda series.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 03/02/03, Updated 03/02/03
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