Zelda: Link's Awakening on Nintendo Switch is a remake of the original game on the GameBoy. I didn't have the privilege back then to play it, so this is a new experience for me and a new adventure in the Zelda series. Additionally, I have never beaten a 2D Zelda game - which this is a remake from. Now, coming from that background I do have to say that the graphics and music in this game are amazing. The toy/clay look of the graphics makes this game feel fun, and the music brings you back to the old Zelda games. Just listen to the title screen music:
If you have ever played a Zelda game other than Breath of the Wild you know what to expect here, for the most part. However, Link's Awakening definitely has its own charm and has some different items and enemies. First, I want to show you some of the graphics and what the world looks like in this game:
As you can see, the graphical style is very unique and has a certain charm to it. Also, you might notice the Chain Chomp (a Mario character) in this game. Like many Zelda games, this one has you collect keys to dungeons, and then collect special items from those dungeons to progress in the game. Link's Awakening, however, has many unique items to collect that I haven't seen before. The first intriguing item I encountered was a feather; I soon discovered that it allows you to do a forward tumble-jump. You see it best in this mini boss battle from the 1st dungeon:
The dungeons are very interesting and have some really inventive puzzles when you get further along. Here is a look into the first dungeon and some of the dungeon characteristics:
Sometimes the way the dungeons are designed makes it confusing to know where you are and what to look for; luckily, there are owl statues that offer hints if needed. Once you get the hang of a couple dungeons it can become easier, since you have a better idea what you are looking for. Here is a video example of a room in a dungeon - this room is easier, since it doesn't have a puzzle, but still allows you to learn something about the game. In this particular dungeon room the lesson is that sometimes when you defeat all the enemies you get a reward.
One of the weirdest things about this Zelda game is the introduction of 2D side scrolling areas and enemies from the Mario series. These areas are accessed by taking stairs, located in various places, which take you underground. This is a really interesting part of the game and kind of threw me off the first time I encountered it.
Finally, after you navigate through each dungeon you will face a final boss. This is typical of all Zelda games and is something I find fun. Each boss has to be beaten in a certain way, and it might take you a bit to figure out exactly what needs to be done. Some of the bosses feel rewarding when you figure out how to beat them, especially when it gets tough to do so. Other bosses are easy but provide a learning experience for enemies you might encounter down the road.
Overall, I am really happy with this game and find it very charming. The graphics make this game really feel new, even though it is a GameBoy remake. I can't say enough about the music and how it brings me back to the old Zelda games. Even when you're just walking around the map all the wonderful old Zelda music is such a treat. I think this game sets itself apart from the others with all the different items and their uses. It really feels like the designers put some extra thought into the gameplay. I also find it weird but oddly fun to have Mario characters sprinkled throughout the game. I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys 2D Zelda games, or who enjoys the old style of Zelda gameplay. Even someone who just wants to experience this for the first time, like myself, or is new to the world of Zelda would enjoy this game. I would highly recommend this game, as it is incredibly well designed, and would make a great addition to any library.
Can be found on Gamestop here
Rating: 5/5 stars
+ Dungeon Design
+ Item creativity
--- Short game
Family approved:+ Age 7 and up