eShop Game Review: Link's Awakening DX
In a move that is both appropriate for the eventual release of the next portable Zelda adventure, Ocarina of Time 3D, and for Nintendo to dig into the franchise's 25th anniversary, the Game Boy Color remake of the original masterpiece is here on the 3DS eShop.
The idea of Link exploring a non-Hyrule land here hasn't been the first time. But even when you compare it to something like Majora's Mask, the island our hero crashed onto is still something entirely weird and different for the series. It's the setting for the usual go-to-several-dungeons-and-collect-artifacts-to-reach-the-conclusion Zelda game; but since when Link ever come across Super Mario cameos, dog-foot-loving alligators, houses where you talk to a stranger who tells you hints, and the most badass shopkeeper of all time?
Koholint island certainly makes the expository ending all too unsurprising just in the characters you come across, but Link's Awakening is also great for having gameplay perks that seperate it from other Zelda entries. Adding the feather item that allows Link to jump paved the way for fun 2D sections that make the game never go stale, and it's also great how non-linear the dungeons here are when compared even to the recent games.
Sadly, the only thing that prevents Link's Awakening from being truly timeless is the limitations that the Game Boy/GBC had for its release. The item management can get annoying when you have to continually switch between weapons, and the map is far too small and indecipherable for some of the clues on where to go. But it really says something that even with those limitations, I've had an absolute blast going back to the original best Zelda portable game before the remake of the best console entry comes out.
And even after I do go through Ocarina of Time 3D, I'll still likely go back to this old school gem.Review written originally for Psychobuttons.com A new video game website, straight from the BEast Coast!