Reviewing remade games is becoming a theme lately – especially on this blog. Today’s exhibit is none other than The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, a port of the classic Game Boy game to the Switch but with a new coat of paint and a new lease on life.
Originally coming out back in the Link to the Past era, Link’s Awakening mirrors that SNES game in many ways in its original incarnation yet its remake stands more firmly on the grounds of modern Zelda titles than it does its classic inspiration.
Of course, you’re probably wondering whether or not it is worth picking up and what makes it so good. After all, a remade game is one thing, but, if you’ve never played it, isn’t it more important that the game stands on its own, remake or not? That’s what we’re going to delve into today as we discuss Link’s Awakening, a classic Zelda title that, oddly, is more modern than you might think.
One thing you always have to worry about (especially when it comes to remade Nintendo games) is that you might get a classic title in terms of mechanics and a modern title in terms of aesthetics. There is often nothing wrong with this but, given how much evolution has occurred in the Zelda series since Link’s Awakening’s release, we would have to think that some updates are in order. And they are here. Not to dive deep into things that won’t matter for most Zelda fans (or gamers, for that matter) just realize that you’re not going to be playing a nearly twenty old game if you decide to pick up Link’s Awakening. Everything is finely tuned for the modern gamer and falls right in line with the Zelda games most of us know and love. Because, let’s face it, the people that originally experienced this game on the original Game Boy are growing fewer as each year passes. That’s why it is so critically important that Link’s Awakening stands on its own rather than resting on nostalgia to carry it.
Even so, some might argue that is all that Link’s Awakening needs as it is considered a somewhat perfect game by those that have played it. While this point is debatable, there is little doubt that the game is one of the best in the series and certainly one of the best installments ever in the portable realm. Its nearly faultless port of the SNES style of game over to the Game Boy remains as a testament to Nintendo’s programming prowess even now.
A must-play game for fans of the series, we can easily recommend Link’s Awakening to others as well. There is an immediately accessible charm there and, not to mention, the substantially compelling gameplay and engrossing if shallow story. We recommend Link’s Awakening for gamers that need to get their Hyrule high but we also think it is absolutely wonderful for anyone else that owns a Switch. If you haven’t experienced this timeless classic, now is your chance to do that.
Kehl Bayern is our staff video game news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, he is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.