Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Review

Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Price: AU$59.95
Rated: G
I know this is a late review but I'm no longer setting deadlines for these reviews since I love to have fun and I do have a habit of having multiple games on my plate at the same time. Anyway... here's a review I drafted back in December.

Every time Nintendo releases a Zelda game, we all shout out with glee... but when we found out about the structure of A Link Between Worlds, some weren't happy... even I was a little suspicious of how it would turn out. So... does ALBW try something new to success or tarnish the franchise like the 2 DS touchscreen only games? By now you've already made the choice(mainly because it was release months ago), but here's my review regardless.

The story takes place generations after the events of the SNES classic Legend Of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Link(or Knil on my Hero mode file... not very original) is the apprentice of Hyrule's blacksmith and is charged with delivering a sword to the Hyrule guards captain. You go to the sanctuary to hand it over but a mage named Yuga is there and turns the sanctuary keeper Seres into a painting. Later he does it to Zelda and yadda, yadda, yadda... BEGIN YOUR QUEST TO SAVE HYRULE!

The gameplay has been transplanted from the SNES classic so retro gaming veterans(like yours truly) will be familiar and newbies won't have too big of a learning curve to overcome. The games does explain things well if you are really green around the controller so that's nice too... though back in my day(may I remind you I'm 28), you got left with no clue and only 2 buttons. It's a top down view that really works well with the 3DS' selling gimmick and actually helps in various dungeons you'll explore during the game. One thing that bugs me is the fact that the D-Pad is only used to survey the area by moving the camera... why not movement? Maybe it's A Link to the Past's fault? Even the bosses are push overs.

Yeah, nostalgia is this games big draw for older gamers. The world of A Link Between Worlds is a 90% reproduction of A Link to the Past. The new things in this game mainly revolve around the dungeons, which are all different to ALttP and it's also anything but linear like most of the Zelda games. Yep, most of the dungeons can be tackled in any order you feel thanks to Ravio's store... in your house... that he set up without your permission... he's a jerk!

Speaking of Ravio, thanks to him the linearity of the game has been thrown for a loop thanks to the ability to rent the major items used in the dungeons. For a small fee, you can rent the items you need to go through dungeon... but if you die, you'll lose all the rented items and have to rent them again... like I said, Ravio's a jerk! You can purchase the items from Ravio... but man does it cost a lot! Thank heavens rupees are plentiful and easy to harvest, plus you can hold 9999 rupees from the get go! Yeah, lots of money to use if you're not doing so well and need to rent over... and over... and over again!

So the whole two worlds thing? Yeah... the Dark World of ALttP has been renamed Lorule and partially redesigned so the game doesn't completely feel like they were originally remaking ALttP and changed their minds half way through development before the announcement. Pretty much Hyrule hosts the dungeons to get the Master Sword and Lorule is where you quest to rescue the seven sages... just like ALttP. Ok ok,enough ragging on the similarities to the SNES classic.

Each dungeon revolves around the use of a specific item like the games in the past... but thanks to Ravio the extortionist, you can get the items from him and take them in any order you feel. These dungeons also have a great habit of making 2DS owners jealous of 3DS owners because like Super Mario 3D Land, the 3D actually is useful in some of the dungeons and make so much pop! As for the difficulty and length... the dungeons aren't too difficult to clear and take about 15 to 20 minutes to beat(at least for me) and I think that may be because after all, it's a portable game.

Being a Zelda games, you'd expect great visuals and music right? Yep! The visuals are very nice to look at and it's nice to see ALttP's world in 3D. As for music... holy shit! The music is some of the best in the series and the reworked classics sound better then ever. If you have hearing problems or playing on a 2DS with it's mono speaker, you have my sympathy.

There is plenty to do in the game other then beat dungeons and going bankrupt with the help of Ravio. There are dozens of heart pieces to hunt down to max out your health, mini games to beat and Maiamai kids to find. The Maiamai's are a thing I have to talk about... remember the Skulltulla's from Ocarina of Time? Yeah, they're like them and collecting them does allow you to get improved versions of your items but whether you want to is up to you... it didn't make much difference for me but the completionist in me was awakened and had to get them all and there is a benefit to collecting all 100 of them... a near full screen sword spin!

Not enough for ya? Need more things to do in the game? Well there is the challenge tower in Lorule that has 3 difficulty levels and the hardest is around 50 rooms and you need to do it twice for an upgraded lantern and bug net... it turns the bug net in to weapons! Still not enough? If your up for a different type of challenge and are short on rupees because of Ravio's overly inflated prices, there are Streetpass Dark Links to fight. The old man in Kakariko Village will set up a Streetpass version of you to fight others and you can get random player's Dark Links around the world with varying difficulties and they can be fun to do and there are even achievements to complete through these fights if you're into that. Personally I hardly bothered playing against Dark Links because I was never short on cash and my internet is terrible ADSL+2 at 4mbps.

What can I say about this game that everyone else hasn't said... I got nothing! This is the best new Zelda I've played in years. Yeah I like Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess, but Wind Waker was the best and before ALBW, I wasn't having as much fun as I did back in 2002. A Link Between Worlds is a lot of fun! Is it worth owning? Umm... do you need to breathe? You should ask if it has lastability, and yes it does! Hero mode is designed for veterans with a really hard difficulty that makes Link as durable as a wafer. The problem is that you'll need to finish the game first to unlock it and even though Link is as fragile as rice paper, it still isn't too difficult since you already beat the game once.

Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a must own 3DS game that is oozing with nostalgia for retro gamers and it's not too difficult for newcomers. It's fun, it's great looking and I love it! This may be the best 3DS game to date and is definitely high up on my favourite Zelda's list, maybe even my number 2 after Wind Waker. Go buy this game, buy a 3DS(or 2DS if you're a cheapskate) and enjoy a game that isn't a FPS. I love this game!

Score 5/5

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