The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Review

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is probably the cutest adventure game you can play on Nintendo Switch. The remake successfully recreates the magic of the original game and wastes no time to bring back memories. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was, and still is, an unforgettable journey. Now let’s dive deep into what makes Link’s Awakening so special and unforgettable.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Review

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening first came out in 1993 on Gameboy and became a massive hit on launch. Despite the 26 years that passed since its release, Link’s Awakening is still one of the best Zelda games. And it is now looking better than ever with a brand new remake for Nintendo Switch. The company behind the remake, Grezzo, is familiar with remasters and remakes as they’ve also remastered Ocarina of Time 3D and Majora’s Mask 3D. It is clear that Nintendo makes sure that Link’s Awakening is in safe hand with Grezzo.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening stood true to its roots as the storyline and overall progress are identical with the original release. After a great storm that Link struggles to deal with we open our eyes in Koholint Island, where the whole game will take place. The island is separated into many different regions and full of versatile enemies. As we drag along the island’s coast, a little girl named Marin wakes us up and starts our newest journey. 8 different instruments that scattered around the island in dungeons are key to our way out of the island. As simple as it sounds, the story is fun enough the create the magic of Link’s Awakening. Nintendo easily reminds us of how fun the games can be even when they are pretty simple.

Don’t get me wrong when I say simply though, Link’s Awakening has some pretty complex design mechanics that made it an instant classic when it first came out. Puzzles, key items and sometimes the words of a little boy might give you the biggest tip. So it is pretty much important to listen carefully if you don’t want to spend your time circling around the same area for hours.

The isometric aspect of Link’s Awakening

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is one of the Zelda titles that play around the isometric camera angle. The last isometric game I played was Ys Origin. And just like Ys Origin, Link’s Awakening relies heavily on map awareness. It is crucial to keep track of where you went and what you did to maximize your gameplay experience and find more collectibles. The overall progress you can have on the map is dependent on the player. The more powers you unlock, the more dungeons you can reach. The more keys you collect, the more past areas you can unlock. Kind of like Metroidvania design, but not exactly. There is also a brief loading screen every time you enter a home. This is understandable for entering dungeons but having to wait for loading screens every time you enter a house in the village breaks the overall flow. Isometric angle could’ve been easily benefited in this case with transparent rooftops.

The landscape of Koholint Island is dominated by dungeons. To overcome these dungeons, the player has to complete a chain of puzzles. Just like any other puzzle-solving title, Link’s Awakening makes the player rely on trial and error. Dungeons are true to the original game, but it wouldn’t hurt the title if there were some minor changes. Dungeons also include some bosses that are telegraphed good enough to make the player understand what to do. Plus the game does not punish the player hard after failed attempts.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening’s graphics

Probably the biggest pro for Link’s Awakening is graphics. The graphics are true to the original but really cute and alive at the same time. The plastic-looking environment elements like grasses, flowers, and trees create a beautiful dynamic that looks colourful and shiny. Character designs are one of the best parts too, especially Link’s design. It might be my favourite Link model after Wind Waker. But the graphics come with a head bugging problem, the frame drops. It is a big head-scratcher for me to see frame drops in a title like this after having no problem with the Doom Switch port. Even though they are very little, it might upset you from time to time.

I also want to touch on the brand new feature called the Dungeon Creator. After you complete the ? of the game, you unlock the Dungeon Creator where you can create your own complex dungeons. It’s a big plus as it lets you share your dungeons with other players. You can also play the dungeons from other players. It wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, but it is a great addition nonetheless.

Critic Consensus

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a title that every Nintendo Switch user should add to their library. With its fun gameplay, cute graphics and true to itself recreation, Link’s Awakening is definitely a must-own. After 26 years, Nintendo still proves us how simple games can be great classics.

Murat Oktay

Video games have been my passion for as long as I can remember. I have been writing and managing in the game industry for more than 30 years. I've been playing Diablo 2 nonstop since it first came out.

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