OVERALL SCORE: 9/10
By far one of the most memorable and innovative additions to the Zelda franchise, Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a must-have for veterans of this iconic series and newcomers alike. Immersing players in a multitude of innovative experiences throughout the game play while still maintaining the Zelda series nostalgic integrity, this game is a diamond among gems. A Link between Worlds pays respect to its original Zelda fan base with the unique incorporation of Legend of Zelda: a Link to the Past references throughout the various layers of the game. Yet it also challenges and aspires towards exploring undiscovered territories, with new innovative changes that to an extent, revolutionize and revitalize the Zelda franchise, finally bringing this favorite series into the 21st century.
A Link between Worlds overcomes and addresses with its new changes many of the notorious shortcomings from previous Zelda games that left gamers with a sense of disappointment from unfulfilled expectations. It is the prime example of how a series successfully integrates and develops new ideas to stay relevant, whilst still maintaining its roots. Overall, Legend of Zelda a Link between Worlds is the perfect balance of old and new that will continue to satisfy gamers for years to come.
As a veteran Zelda gamer, the graphics in A Link between Worlds are completely satisfying. Sticking with the Meta style usually seen from past Zelda games, players can draw on a sense of familiarity and comfort that helps create balance with all of the new changes incorporated in the game. That being said, Nintendo took full advantage of the fact that A Link between Worlds is the first original game (not a remake) in the Zelda series to run on the Nintendo 3DS, and brilliantly executes the use of the 3D depth to enhance puzzles and challenge players to adapt their perception and methods of thinking.
Ironically though, with the debut of a Link between Worlds on the 3DS, Nintendo also introduced the 2d aspect within the game, allowing Link toggle between 2D and 3D to advance throughout the story. Whether this was a tribute to the original graphics from the first Zelda games released to treat players is unknown, but definitely not unwelcomed. I personally found the 2D aspect endearing as well as challenging as it proved to add a layer of complexity in navigating dungeons.
The storyline is by far my favorite aspect of the game. I loved how Nintendo incorporated A Link to the Past into A Link between Worlds. Originally, when I had heard about the release, my numerous Zelda loving friends and I were terrified that A Link between Worlds was simply going to be another remake. We were hoping for a new adventure to dive into with our favorite characters, not one that we had already experienced with a new upgraded title. Still, hoping for the best, I got the game.
A Link between Worlds far exceeded my expectations. The game uses the same world as A Link to the Past and included new dungeons and bosses. It treats the storyline of a link to the Past as a legend, to where a Link between Worlds exists in the future. From there, the game is a completely original creation, with plot twists being thrown at you left right and center. Engaging and unarguably interesting, the Link between Worlds storyline will suck you into the worlds of Hyrul and Lorule and hold you captive until the very end.
A Link between Worlds is by far one of the most innovative Zelda games ever published. Having bragging rights to claim that players have almost complete freedom of directing their adventure, A Link between Worlds with the introduction of Ravio’s shop allows players to rent their items from the get-go, allowing one to choose where to explore first. Of course, this comes with consequences. Players who rent items lose them upon death in a dungeon, further adding to the complexity of the game and stressing the importance of puzzle solving skills. Furthermore, A Link between Worlds incorporates new global side-quests that span across the entire story line. Optional, but with the completion of these quests that require full dedication to the sweeping of each location, worthwhile rewards are bestowed upon the players. Personally, I love side quests, and would wish that Nintendo would incorporate more. The completion of the main story is always fun, but the option of side quests allows me to continue enjoying the game and its world with more freedom and personalization. I doubt that I am alone.
Overall, I would rate the difficulty of the game 7/10. There’s a nice balance of action and puzzle challenges that doesn’t leave you mentally exhausted but rather energized, refreshed, and alive. While playing, I never felt like Nintendo was babying me or attempting to help me out which was nice. The puzzles were challenging but not overly difficult. Understandably, as the game demographic is dedicated to a wide range of players. There is the option though for all you hardcore Zelda gamers, where after you defeat the game, you are given the option to replay it on “hero mode” which resets the story onto a more difficult level. I would highly recommend this to anyone hoping for a more meaningful challenge.
Overall Game Play
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed A Link between Worlds and highly recommend it.. If you own a 3DS, A Link between Worlds is a must have. Definitely worth the $40, it’s almost impossible to find any shortcomings for this game. If you’re looking for a game that will sweep you off your feet, captivate you, and leave you feeling utterly accomplished and fulfilled, then this is the game for you. Perfect for any demographic and age group. This game gets a 9/10 from me, and I would argue that it is by far one of the best games released by Nintendo this year.