Title: Link’s Awakening
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Action, Adventure
Release Date: September 20, 2019
How we got the game: We preordered the game from Amazon
My first time playing Link’s Awakening was ages ago on my Gameboy Color. I didn’t get very far at all, perhaps only to the second dungeon. To see it remastered for the Nintendo Switch was exciting, and I was looking forward to giving the game a real try.
The gameplay is fairly straightforward for Link’s Awakening. As Link, you explore the land by moving with the analog stick, the 3D plane allowing you to move in diagonals and circles as opposed to the horizontal and vertical linear paths of the original version. Your sword and shield, when you retrieve them, are each given a Joy-Con button, while other items can be assigned by X and Y by the player.
Link waddles around the world and it’s just so cute! As he waddles around though, he needs to get into these specific dungeons so that he can collect instruments. The dungeons are hidden around the map and you usually have to solve someone else’s problem or a puzzle of some sort to get into the dungeons themselves.
The dungeons have their own themes, generally centered around the area they are located in, a key item, or a certain type of boss. Each of the dungeons’ rooms has a purpose, whether it’s to defeat all enemies or solve a puzzle in order to progress towards the boss room and, beyond that, the room that holds the instrument. It’s actually a fairly typical Legend of Zelda game, while notably being one of the few that does not have Zelda in it.
I honestly didn’t realize the game didn’t have Zelda in it at first. Somehow, that went over my head. As Kris said, the gameplay is typical of your average Legend of Zelda game. You explore the world, enter dungeons, and once you get through those dungeons and collect all you need, you get to fight the big boss. There are items you collect along the way, of course, to aid you on your quest such as bombs and, of course, the master sword.
This remake of Link’s Awakening also has a special mode with Dampe the grave keeper. Throughout your journey, you can collect chambers that can be used to create your own dungeons. It seems to be a watered-down version of Super Mario Maker but with Legend of Zelda dungeons.
It’s not as exciting as it sounds. You need to find pieces of the dungeons from the game throughout the world and then you can rearrange them to make your own dungeon. It’s not too bad though I would love to see a Zelda Maker at some point.
This game has been rightly praised for its graphics. They’re adorable! The land and character models all resemble clay-like dolls, and the cartoony style works. While I’m not sure if I would enjoy a longer Legend of Zelda game in this art style, I can fully appreciate it for Link’s Awakening.
The graphics are colorful and cute, I agree. I enjoy watching Link wander around also see the Goombas and Piranha Plants as well.
You can never go wrong with the music from a Legend of Zelda game, particularly one that revolves around finding instruments. The music is charming, with the tempo just right in every area.
My favorite song? Whenever Marin sings. Her voice is charming and it fits her character so well. All the music is great. I wouldn’t expect any less from a Zelda game though.
The story of Link’s Awakening begins with Link miraculously surviving a lightning bolt while out at sea. He washes ashore Koholint Island, where a young woman named Marin finds him and helps heal him until he wakes up. Link is told that he cannot leave the island until the island’s guardian the Wind Fish awakens, so Link sets off on a quest to obtain all of the instruments in order to wake the Wind Fish.
Link, along the way, meets some pretty interesting characters. Some that will help him and some that will hinder his quest. However, he has the one goal in mind – to get off the island. Why? Where was he headed before? Who knows.
Link’s Awakening is fairly linear and one of the shorter Legend of Zelda games. With that said, this game packs so much charm in it that I’d be surprised if it’s not a game that one picks up again for nostalgia purposes.
This is definitely something I’d play again if I ever got the itch. It’s a gem and I’m glad Nintendo remade it giving it time in the spotlight once again.
Link’s Awakening gets…
4 out of 5 lives.