The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

The aim of the game is to get instruments to wake the Wind Fish

In the latest instalment of the entertainment industry re-selling my childhood to me it was time for me to cough up some money to play Link’s Awakening on the bigger screen and with a really unique and beautiful art style.

My history with Link’s Awakening started in the late 90’s, I had just been given a Gameboy Colour for Christmas and ended up picking up Link’s Awakening DX shortly after.

I remember loving that version of the game due to it being a Zelda title I could take with me, as well as loving the music (Mysterious Woods’ bass line!) and the fact that other Nintendo characters would pop up in it.

E3 2019’s Saving Grace

I imagine this is what my dog saw whenever I got out the tin of dog food to feed him

This year when Nintendo Direct dropped I was looking forward to learning more about the Animal Crossing game for Switch that had been teased as part of Isabel’s inclusion in Smash Bros Ultimate.

So it came as a massive disappointment that I’d have to wait longer for the title to come out in March 2020 as while I’m against crunch periods (being a developer myself I can relate) it seems like bad project management overall.

But there was one thing that partially softened the blow which was being able to play Link’s Awakening in September and with a new art style that while divisive in the community, to me, was unique and beautiful.

Taking me back

The fishing mini-game was one of my favourites as a kid

On the initial boot of the game the epic shipwreck intro movie took me right back to being a kid and wondering why Link had ended up on the ship as this was before Wind Waker came out and I’d only ever seen him on land.

And then I heard the first couple of bars in the opening to the Mabe Village theme and I realised I needed to play the game all weekend to absorb as much of the world as I could before the week started and I had to adult.

So I sunk my teeth into the game, remembering things like the trading sequence almost by sheer muscle memory and enjoying the new visuals.

If there’s one thing that didn’t live up to my nostalgia it was probably the game’s rendition of the Mysterious Woods theme.

A while ago I had stumbled upon a cover of the song by Steven Morris that probably skewed this for me but I did remember it being a bit more bass heavy than the version in the Switch version.

Haters Gonna Hate

Some people were very critical of how ‘blocky’ the game was

One of the things that worried me before I started playing the game is some of the negative press the game was getting about how it was ‘too faithful’ a remake and that the game didn’t do enough to bring the mechanics up to date.

Luckily I never really saw this, there was the issue of a bit of lag that I saw a couple of times when many enemies spawned in but that wasn’t frequent enough to make it annoying.

Was it worth it all?

The turtle rock mini-boss shows some of the gameboy mechanics that while faithfully reproduced look a little weird now we’re not dealing with sprites

Yes, if you’re a fan of 2D Zelda games it’s probably going to be your favourite game you play all year.

If you’re used to the more modern, open-world Zelda games then you may struggle with this game, but it’s worth remembering that when the game was created that it was made for a small computer with a very limited amount of memory and processing power.

I’m very happy with my purchase and the weekend I spent playing the game from start to finish.

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Currently building reciprocal.dev. Interested in building shared understanding, Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.

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Colin Wren

Colin Wren

Currently building reciprocal.dev. Interested in building shared understanding, Automated Testing, Dev practises, Metal, Chiptune. All views my own.

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