When a title of The Legend of Zelda appears, the other adventure games sit and learn. Even when it comes to a classic delivery. However, Zelda: Link’s Awakening He has received a truly exceptional deal on Switch: Nintendo and Grezzo have reimagined and breathed new life to Koholint Island with exquisite taste, captivating the player from the first minute to become the hero and protagonist of a dream adventure.
So, and masterfully, the new Link’s Awakening maintains with grace and devotion all the charm of that game that captivated a whole generation in Game Boy. With the same effort of a fan dazzled by nostalgia. Pampering every little detail yes, but also being aware of the weaknesses of then to transform their own strengths.
With that ahead, it is worth considering a consideration regarding Link’s Awakening: The first Zelda for laptops is one of the pillars on which the saga itself is based, but – in turn – a really unusual delivery. The themes and concepts of the other titles are parked to give way to a very special adventure.
Moreover, despite her title, Princess Zelda herself shines by her absence.
From the beginning, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening radiates those sensations that only the classics can wake up and that today are still being a source of inspiration between indies and large-caliber projects. Although, we are not going to deny it, nobody feels so unmistakable and almost patentable Zelda style how to the Hero of Hyrule.
A hero that, by the way, premieres aspect matching with the island and that serves as a gala outfit for a double purpose: to be that expected reunion with those who left us the hard ones in AA batteries and the enormous challenge of becoming the definitive starting point to address the saga. Triumphing – by the way – in both cases.
Welcome to Koholint, a mysterious island with amazing views
They say you shouldn't judge a game by its cover, and we are aware that gameplays have not done justice to the game experience on more than one occasion. However, but it is impossible not to give up on The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening: his redesign is love from the first game. A real feast for the eyes in which everything that appears on the screen has been prepared with a handmade dedication.
The visual style to which he resorts Link’s Awakening Switch has been created for the occasion, balancing the classic and the modern, but also borrowing all the experience accumulated by Nintendo when creating worlds that transcend the screen – as we recently saw in Yoshi’s Crafted World– and end up crystallizing in a distinctive and almost palpable visual identity.
Double merit if we take into account that both Grezzo – those who debut in Switch – and Nintendo itself have had to face the challenge of staying true to the modest Game Boy finishes while giving each piece of the island new life and details unique.
As a result, every second of the game turns into an exquisite diorama composed of bucolic landscapes, paradisiacal beaches and twisted dungeons in which it is a pleasure to get lost. Even when we are still, we will be rewarded with a fully orchestrated version of the soundtrack that will meet the expectations of the fans of the main saga.
On the other hand, our hero is involved in a mission. One that will be a great pleasure to solve.
Completely unarmed, Link opens his eyes. His last memory is to have succumbed to a storm in the open sea. Away from the kingdom of Hyrule. Now, the brave hero with pointed ears rests on a bed next to two silhouettes. The one who attends him is Marin, a young woman with a harmonious voice, while his father, Talin, examines the Hyliano shield they found next to his body on the beach.
With what is on, his shield and much courage, Link starts with the purpose of leaving Koholint, crossing his landscapes, facing enemies, helping its inhabitants and entering his dungeons until he finds a way to wake up the Fish of the Wind, the mysterious deity that presides over the island and controls its future.
Luckily for Link, Grezzo and Nintendo have not only worried about creating a beautiful and mysterious environment, but also They have completely updated the gaming experience.
The art of alternating between small details and big changes
He Link’s Awakening 1993 is a timeless classic and one of the key links facing the Zelda saga. But, of course, it is not perfect: the Game Boy title and its Deluxe version are also children of his time in many aspects and the limitations of those laptops with only two main buttons took their toll on the experience. Starting, because we spent much more time opening and closing its system of menus and inventories than giving slashes. This time our enemies will not be so lucky.
Grezzo has deservedly earned his reputation by moving in an impolute way – with interesting updates – the 3DS desktop classics as Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask or the recent remake Luigi’s Mansion, but Shibuya's team has been crowned by reinterpreting the Game Boy experience to the possibilities of Nintendo Switch and, incidentally, give a much more grateful welcome to all new players.
The gameplay is fluid like silk and simple to understand, tremendously intuitive, remaining absolutely faithful to the style of the classic Zeldas that we all have internalized while giving greater prominence to the liveliness of our actions.
On the other hand, the first thing that veterans will notice is that now the camera will follow Link while crossing Koholint from end to end, the static view system in the dungeons being relegated for design reasons.
There is an insignificant price to pay. Although at all times the resolution is set to the maximum that Switch can offer (1080p in dock and 720p in laptop), when moving between two very contrasted areas in terms of content, the frame rate experiences a one-second downturn.
A detail that fails to stain the impeccable appearance as a whole and that you can check with the study conducted from the Bit Analyst channel.
But where the change is most grateful is in its interface, complete intuitive and with a key addition: not having to alternate between elementary objects such as the force bracelet, the shield or the sword itself. In other words, the feeling of having to move the inventory to lift a simple stone or cross an obstacle is over: equip the two that you want to use the truly essential you will have at the touch of a button.
Taking advantage of this, new objects, artifacts and collectibles have been included. At Link’s Awakening You were originally rewarded with an improved sword when you took 20 conch shells to the conch house. The funny thing is that there were 26 scattered around the island. In the Switch version there are at least 50 shells distributed and you are rewarded upon reaching certain amounts.
What's more, one of these incentives is a brand new conch locator which takes advantage of the HD vibration of the Joy Cons and the pro control and that we can even activate or deactivate on the fly.
And in a matter of mini-games we will also be well served, the hook and traditional fishing add new prizes and sharpen their game mechanics much better, and the peculiar rafting experience offers two activities that make it much more complete and interesting.
It might seem that Link’s Awakening It is designed for those who did not have the opportunity to play the original, but this version of Nintendo Switch is not limited to offering nostalgia to veterans: there are enough novelties and new collectibles scattered around the island so that everyone, even those They know the route and the original memory solutions, get lost going here and there, standing out among the new ideas a hero mode available from the beginning that doubles the damage received and reduces the number of hearts found to zero.
Of course, to balance things it is worth confirming that the dungeon of the color of the Deluxe version will not be missing in this edition so exquisitely maintained.
In spite of everything, the star novelty of Link’s Awakening does not finish shining with the same intensity as the rest of the attractions of the new Koholint.
Forget the Game Boy Printer: it's time to design your own dungeons
At a certain point in history we will meet an old friend on the island. Or at least someone who was not in the Game Boy versions. He not too cheerful Dampé has been installed where before the photographic studio was (the reel crisis, perhaps) to add a claim that triggers even more the replayability of Link’s Awakening: A dungeon editor
The idea itself does not have too many complications. We will have a starting point, a final enemy and a room where the boss's key is located. From there we can design with relative freedom the plan of a dungeon by introducing the instances that we have visited during the main adventure and, once all the rooms are properly connected, dare to solve our own dungeons sword in hand.
It would be a mistake to catalog this mode added as a Zelda Maker or an analogue of Mario's level editor since we do not have control of what is included (enemies, traps, objects, etc.) within each room. In fact, neither can we publish our creations online, although it has opted for a curious solution to share and receive dungeons: use the Amiibo chips as a communication system.
The dungeon editor is a great addition that, without becoming a disappointment, could have been even better simply by enabling more options when exchanging or publishing dungeons. However, it is undeniable that, As an extra, it gives even more value to other content that is absolutely unpolluted
While time generously treats the saga of The Legend of Zelda, it is also fair to discover before the impeccable work of Nintendo and Grezzo when it comes to masterfully breathe new life and identity to Link’s Awakening, turning the classic Game Boy, with its flaws, into a must. A timeless jewel made with exquisite taste.
And we do not only refer to its artistic section, which is boccato di cardinale, but the way in which the GranN has recovered this special piece of its legacy to make it a must for fans of Zelda and an inescapable release for Nintendo Switch owners.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening It is an unbeatable gateway to a cult saga. But this remake has its sights set on something even more ambitious: Nintendo has left its soul and heart to turn a unique adventure, created by dreamers, passionate and nonconformist, into your new Zelda favorite. And it has everything you need to get it.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
|Developer||Nintendo / Grezzo|
|Launching||September 20, 2019|
- Its artistic section is exquisite, balancing the new and the classic with a handmade touch
- Its redesigned gameplay makes the set shine more strongly
- Extras, news and surprises that seek to surprise those who know the versions of Game Boy by the hand
- An insurmountable starting point to address the Zelda saga
- We want all the classic Zeldas to have the same treatment!
- The dungeon exchange system is through the Amiibo, not online