The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Review
Link returns in a direct sequel to one of the best Zelda games ever made. Is his return triumphant? Read Kidzworld's 3DS game review right here to find out.
A Classic Revisited
Nostalgia inducing while also the most innovative Zelda in years. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is another instant classic from Nintendo.
Being a sequel to one of Super Nintendo's most loved video games, A Link To The Past, Nintendo could have taken the easy way out when revisiting the classic Hyrule from the SNES era. But they didn't, instead giving fans the best Zelda game since the well remembered Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time.
Like A Link To The Past (ALTTP), this latest quest of Links consists of exploring and completing the dungeons of Hyrule and it's dark under world, this time called Lorule. Your tasked with stopping a character named Yuga from bringing Ganondorf back into existence. The world map is near identical to what was seen 25 odd years ago but with a fresh coat of paint. The dungeons, while found in the same areas as ALTTP have all got a revamp on the inside, with completely new environments to get lost in, seeing as this is an "alternate" Hyrule from what was seen in ALTTP..
Mixing Up The Formula
The big hook and most advertised feature is Link's new ability to transform himself into a painting on a wall, which allows him to navigate areas that at first seemed inaccessible. Link can wrap himself around walls, sneak through cracks and more. All of Link's tricks are needed when tackling the games many puzzles, some of which are the most challenging I've had to solve in a while. Maybe it's because I recently played through Zelda: The Wind Waker again, which is admittedly not the most difficult. Regardless, numerous times I was stuck scratching my head, aimlessly running around until the solution finally donned on me.
The puzzles are not hard to solve because of poor design though. On the contrary, the puzzles for the most part are brilliant and A Link Between Worlds does a fantastic job of pointing out the separate pieces of the puzzle, it just then leaves it up to you to figure out how all those pieces fit together. And what a feeling of accomplishment it is as you start to unravel the interconnected dungeons and make your way through the worlds. This game does not hold your hand, so expect to put your brain to good use. The upper world and first few dungeons ease you into things, but once you hit the lower world of Lorule, you're all on your own.
Besides the Link's new ability to transform into a painting, A Link Between World's is packing two more innovations which both represent the biggest changes to the Zelda formula in years. Firstly, you can now rent items, pretty much right from the get-go. You don't tackle a dungeon to be rewarded with a predictable item. Instead a shop keeper sets up shop at Links place and your able to rent items with your saved up rupees.
Boomerang, Hook-shot, Bombs and more, you can have access to them right away. The catch is that when you die, you lose those items and you'll have to return back to the shopkeeper and rent new stuff. While this may sound like it would be frustrating, it actually adds a ton of weight to death. Death really means something again in a Zelda game and you'll cherish your hearts like you never have as dying and losing the items you need while right in the middle of a dungeon or battling one of the awesome bosses adds a level of risk/reward that's truly exciting.
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Trailer
The second biggest change to the formula comes in the openness of the world. After completing the first few dungeons in the upper world. You're set free to explore and complete the remaining dungeons in any order you like. And since you can rent all your items so early, stopping to solve a puzzle on the over-world along the way is now possible too.
The freedom to explore an interconnect word how I please in A link Between worlds is unmatched by any of the great entries of the series to date, including Skyward Sword and sets a bold new vision of what could become the norm in Zelda games.
If I have any criticism of Nintendo's latest Zelda effort is that I found the locking on to enemies to be a bit finicky, the targeting not quite perfect. But it never interfered with my enjoyment of the game or caused any cheap deaths.
An even greater gift for the holidays than Super Mario 3D World, The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a brilliant and satisfying sequel to one of the greatest games ever made, making it worth every minute of your time. It's another juggernaut to add to the insanely strong 3DS game library. If you still have time, put this game on your christmas lists.
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Available now on Nintendo 3DS and 2DS for $39.99
Have Your Say!
Looking for a challenging and deep adventure? Are you a Zelda fan? Let me know in the comments below!