Title: Legend of Zelda: a Link between Worlds
Consoles Available: Nintendo 3DS
Number of Players: 1
ESRB : E for everyone
Rating: 4 out of 5, would have been perfect if it would have been a bit lengthier at this price point
Link returns to Hyrule of yore in this direct sequel to ’92 classic and in this blogger’s humble opinion, best in the series, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A sequel two decades in the making has a lot of what we love about the first installment familiar map, enemies, dungeons, weapons and the over-arching theme of duality, symmetry and the balance of good and evil. This time, our hero in emerald is set with the task to find the seven sages, the descendants of the sages in Link to the Past, and the two missing pieces of the triforce. The seven sages were imprisoned in paintings by the evil wizard Yuga. Link must travel to Lorule, traverse treacherous dungeons to find them. Unlike Hyrule, Lorule is not prosperous having lost there own triforce a while ago.
Your would be partner is a secretive merchant of the land of Lorule named Ravio,who wont help you in dungeons but will lend you his weaponry that he sells…out of your house, because he doesn’t have a house right now…..yeah. This is where Link Between worlds stands out from the rest of the LOZ series, since you have your shady merchant friend crashing on your couch, you have no need to complete dungeons in a certain order. All weapons are available to you, so you conquer each dungeon in which ever order you like, giving the game a more open world feel that we haven’t seen since the series debut in 86 on the NES. This is a good selling point of the game, it caters to the casual/pick up and go gamers that the 3ds seems to cater to most of the time.
The game does the 2.5 thing very well, highly polished and stylized 3D polygons and backgrounds played exclusively on on a top down 2D plane further drives the point that you are in fact playing a retro style game. The 3D effects are done very well adding the element of isometric optical illusions to the puzzles, also demonstrating the differences in elevation throughout the overworld and dungeons as well. Where the 3D really shines through is the boss battles making the bosses larger than life, seemingly spilling out of the 3DS.
The game play is what to be expected of a top down dungeon crawler. Tight controls, awesome and varied weapons, enemies that are neither to chumps or extremely overpowered(with the exception of the centaurs on Death Mountain). A:Link Between Worlds makes excellent use of the touch screen, allowing you to put pin on both overworld maps, excellent for marking fairy caves and those heart containers that you can’t get just yet. You can also use the touch screen for a quick item switch, good for when you’re in the heat of battle and need to pull out those trusty bombs, or when you come across a fairy or bee in the wild and you need your net.
As far as replay value you have it here, even though the main quest is a bit short you can collect a slurry of extra goodies to power up link and his weapons. In addition, upon completing the story you unlock hero mode, a sort of hard difficulty setting for the game.
Short story length aside, I recommend Legend of Zelda a Link Between Worlds to anyone with a 3DS, one of the few games that you should get the System for in my opinion.