The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

A Link Between Worlds uses sentimental memories, and combines them with modern gameplay mechanics, for a cerebral experience.

By Grayshadow, Posted 01 Dec 2013

It’s been 21 years since The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, but Link’s return to Hyrule as he never left. The entire lore has been refined in this 3DS sequel, and those who experience the original Link to the Past will immediately recognize the terrain. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a nostalgic experience for those who played A Link to the Past. It not only remains loyal to Zelda’s past accomplishments but builds it’s own glorious adventure using unique mechanics, it is an outstanding adventure. 

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Nintendo, Review, Link to the Past, 3DS

The memories from Link to the Past are everywhere, from the bright green grass littered with rupee filled bushes to the layers of brown colored rocks waiting to be picked up and thrown. While it may look the same significant changes to the gameplay have been altered and the graphics pleasantly updated. But most importantly A Link Between Worlds sets new standard for all upcoming Zelda titles. 

You’re no longer restricted to follow a specific path. Instead the bombs, boomerangs, the hookshot, bows, and other items Link required in order to progress throughout his adventure can be rented, courtesy of a purple rabbit hat named Ravio. Previously Link had to find these items in a specific order in order to complete each dungeon and progress. This may seem like a small change, but this freedom liberates you from a set path. Renting this items cost 50 rupees, but you can eventually purchase them for 1000 rupees. You can set out, with the tools required, and explore whatever you want. 

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Nintendo, Review, Link to the Past, 3DS

Sometimes you’ll end up in an area that requires a specific item that you failed to acquired. Instead of having to wait to get it at a pre-determined location or backtrack fast-travel, in the form of flying brooms, mitigates the need for walking excessively. 

The top-down perspective from the SNES era translates well into 3D. When turned on it had an impressionist look, staring between retro and modern day visuals at the same time. While it doesn’t offer the same impressive depth-of-field as Star Fox 64 3DS or Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, it’s nevertheless appealing to see A Link to the Past’s world in 3D.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Nintendo, Review, Link to the Past, 3DS

3D and 2D play a large role in this adventure because Link is caught between the 2D and 3D world. The main antagonist, Yuga, seeks to revive Ganondorf by trapping the descendants of the seven sages from A Link to the Past’s as portraits. Link must now use this power to stop Yuga and save Hyrule. 

With the press of a button Link morphs himself into a 2D painting and attaches himself to a wall, allowing him to move left or right across the surface like an living portrait. It offers a new perspective on the world, especial since Link must travel from Hyrule and it’s dungeons in both dimensions. As a painting Link can slip through cracks in the wall and walk across chasms that would be impossible in the 3D realm. Surprisingly this ability doesn’t get repetitive as new applications are constantly being introduced that require this power. Traveling throughout Hyrule as a paining has become the icon for A Link Between Worlds: just as the Ocarina from Ocarina of Time or Wind Waker’s Baton were symbols to those Zelda titles. While the developers have included many references to the A Link to the Past, A Link Between World quickly molds it’s new identity with the 2D transformation.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Nintendo, Review, Link to the Past, 3DS

After three dungeons Hyrule’s dark twin opens, called Lorule. This alternate universe is teeming with secrets waiting for the curious explorer to uncover them all. Small rewards, such as rupees, are hidden with the more valued treasures. Collectable shellfish and pieces of heart remain hidden from the hero of Hyrule and must be uncovered. Ten dungeons are spread across the map of Lorule, some are easily accessed and others are hidden. Like Hyrule’s dungeons you can tackle any of Lorule’s areas in any order you wish.

A Link Between Worlds is a long title, and requires a lot of time to complete. Combat is quick and requires careful precision in order to come out victorious, especially during the boss battles that are living puzzles. Puzzles are constructed in fast, and fluid, areas. Slowly unlocking all the doors and peeling away at the inaccessible areas is rewarding, especially during frustrating brain teasers. I was stumped a few times throughout the game, but figuring out the answer always ended in satisfaction.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Nintendo, Review, Link to the Past, 3DS

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds recaptures the spark that gave the early Zelda titles their vigor. By using sentimental memories and combining them with modern gameplay mechanics for a cerebral experience. Mind boggling puzzles, entertaining combat, and two large worlds to explore ensure that you’ll have a lot to finish when you start Link’s journey. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is the new standard that all upcoming Zelda titles will be compared to and a worthy return of this version of Link.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): 3DS
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): Nintendo EAD Group No. 3, Monolith Soft
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2013-11-22

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