If you haven’t caught the video game re-release fever, here’s why you should give The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake a chance.
Coming to the Switch and beautiful as ever, the Link’s Awakening remake will prove to be a treat for gamers both experiencing the title for the first time, and those revisiting Koholint Island once more.
If you’re on the fence about purchasing the Legend of Zelda remake, rest assured that Nintendo has yet to release a remake in the series that wasn’t worth playing. From Ocarina of Time 3D to Wind Waker HD, the re-releases/remakes of the Zelda games have always been top-notch.
What sets the Link’s Awakening remake aside from the rest of the recent Zelda titles? Other than it being the first top-down Zelda since 2013’s The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for the 3DS, it is also a quality one. The original title has stood the test of time, and the coming remake is sure to satiate that certain Zelda craving that we all have.
The best features of the Awakening remake go far beyond the remastering of the original title. On top of all of the quality dungeons and overworld layouts of the original, the remake brings in some new features bound to excite all Zelda fans.
Make your own dungeon
The best staple of any Zelda game is that of the expertly designed dungeons. Whether we’re crawling through the Great Deku Tree or navigating the inner depths of Death Mountain, nearly all Zelda dungeons have been masterclasses in dungeon design.
Even if you’ve been impressed with the dungeons in past Zelda games, you may have wondered, “maybe I could make a better dungeon myself?”
If you’re up to the task, the Link’s Awakening remake will give you the opportunity to prove your gumption. Other than a couple of requirements (such as keys, a boss, ect.), you’re given free rein over how your dungeon works.
This feels a bit Mario Maker, but with the awesome elements of the Zelda series tied in. The only downside here is that you can only save dungeons on an amiibo, making sharing your best creations with friends a little difficult. At that, it’s perhaps one of the most unique new features in the coming release, but the treats don’t end there.
Switching up the graphics
To say that the Zelda remake is one of the most beautiful in the series is an understatement. While Breath of the Wild did bring the Zelda series into the massive open-world concept, the Link’s Awakening remake will bring the series forward with true, HD graphics.
Breath of the Wild was beautiful, but its art style allotted for some graphical shortcuts. The expansive views and intense physics allowed BotW to only render a certain quality of assets, and while that worked for the Switch’s first Zelda title, the Link’s Awakening remake is the first game in the entire series to really feel like a true blue 720p title.
In any game, water textures are usually the best tests of graphic quality. In Awakening for the Switch, the water looks unbelievably real. The wind blowing through the trees, the characters walking in the overworld, and the monsters roaming the land all add realism to the colorful world of the Link’s Awakening remake. The game mixes a cartoony style with the spirit of an epic AAA game, and the end results are a that of a really pretty presentation.
These woods be dangerous
Link’s Awakening was a mildly challenging game, but in terms of the difficulty we’ve become accustomed to from the series, it pales in comparison. Thankfully, that’s all changed. Not only is the remake harder than the original, it also adds in some really handy quality of life improvements sure to make your adventure in Koholint all the more fun.
Boss fights have been reworked so as to add a bit more of a challenge, giving even seasoned Zelda fans a run for their money. Also, players can access a Hero Mode, wherein the grass/pots/enemies do not drop healing items, foes do twice the damage, and the only means of healing are heart pieces, fairy caves, or Crazy Tracy’s potions.
The developers of Awakening decided to do away with some of the less than desirable features of the original, mostly because of what the Switch is able to handle over the Game Boy. Thanks to the Switch’s shoulder buttons, the game will allow you to access much more than the standard two items on the Game Boy’s limited button configuration. The overworld no longer loads block by block, allowing for an overall more seamless exploration of Koholint Island.
Autosaving is a standard staple in most modern games, and the Link’s Awakening remake is no exception to that standard. That, along with the fact that dungeon room puzzles no longer reset upon leaving them, make this Zelda title not only better than the original, but potentially one of the best top-down Zeldas of all time.
The Link’s Awakening remake releases for the Nintendo Switch on September 20, 2019.