E3 2019: Hands-on with The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
When Nintendo announced that Link’s Awakening was getting a remake and it was coming later this year, people were split, some fell into the camp of yes, others were waiting, and some decided to reject it right away. Having now played it, I can confirm the later was a foolish stance to take, as the game is amazing.
The demo for E3 did not waste any time, as it let me start the game, as you would normally, waking up in a bed, after being washed ashore on Koholint Island, Link is given his first objective, retrieving his sword. However, before he can depart, he is presented with his shield, that also washed up with him and was how people knew his name, with shield in hand though, it is time to explore. The little village of Mabe, was just as I remembered it, with plenty of things to discover, and yes, the chain chomp was still there and just as rambunctious as ever. Of course, the thing that needed to happen, before I could explore anywhere, other than the village, was to locate the sword, which was on the beach, so down I went.
The first thing that I noticed is that the transition from the village to the beach was done really well, in the original game, there was very little distinction of what was village and what was the beach, with the limited resources of the Game Boy. Here the change was done gradually, and the end result is that the landscape changes with each screen change, in small ways that all combine to be almost invisible. In fact, it wasn’t until I went back into town that I realised just how subtle the changes were, because of that, I began to pay more attention to the world and all the little parts.
Of course, getting the sword required some light puzzle solving, pushing the spikey creatures out of the way with it, but once it was in my hand, enemies and grass were firmly in my sights. Those who were concerned that Breath of the Wild would impact this classic Zelda title, need not worry, as cutting grass does give you back rupees or hearts, at random at least. With some rupees in my pocket, I was back in town and the ventured north into the mysterious woods, where I began to explore in earnest. After zigging and zagging throughout the woods, I came across a smelly mushroom and then when I left the woods, found the witches hut who gave me magic.
With the addition of magic to my screen, I took a moment to look at the icons on the screen, of course, there were the customary hearts, indicating my health, then below it was the green magic bar. Off to the right were two action buttons and that was it, the upside is that your sword is now affixed to the B button, which means you don’t have to keep swapping between the menu and game, when you need to get another item, the same is also applied to the shield, as it is now on its own button and while I did not get enough items to see how much time this will save, there is no doubt in my mind that it will. But with some magic power bestowed upon me, I left the hut and then realised something, I was lost.
Because it has been so long since I had played the game, I had no idea what to do next, so I headed back into the woods and proceeded to take down whatever enemies that I could. But as much as I could, the knowledge of what to do next simply eluded me, so I had to call my time, as there were more games to play. What I do know is that the game seems to be at least a 1 to 1 remake of the original game, now they are adding the dungeon builder, but there is no word on what else might change in the game, if there will be new dungeons and puzzles, or new characters to meet.