The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is set 6 generations after 1994’s hit, A Link to the Past, sharing more than just a witty play-on-words in the subtitle with its former. This game is a love letter dedicated to fans of classic Zelda – A Link to the Past in particular. Many aspects of A Link to the Past have been recycled for this new game, including the world map and some of the music, which has been remixed and is now fully-orchestrated. However, don’t be fooled into thinking this game won’t provide a captivating experience. Nintendo has combined the best of classic Zelda with many new features to embed itself firmly into the hearts of fans and newcomers alike.
Main protagonist, Link, is here to save princess Zelda and banish evil once again. This time, he must save Hyrule as well as Lorule, a destroyed kingdom in an alternate world filled with fearsome monsters. Link has gained the ability to turn himself into a drawing on any flat surface, allowing him to move along walls to reach new areas. This provides depth to many of the puzzles and also enables Link to traverse between the two worlds by entering fissure portals placed around the map.
Most of the Legend of Zelda games have a formulaic way of progressing through the adventure. You find an item that allows Link to enter a specific dungeon, and then find another item that allows Link to unlock the next relevant dungeon and this process is rinsed and repeated until the end. Nintendo have switched things up this time by introducing a merchant, Ravio who allows players to rent all items straight away, enabling them to choose the order in which dungeons are completed. This is a step in the right direction for the series, as the freedom and limitless exploration is what this gives life to the adventure.
Those wanting a challenging game may be disappointed. The dungeons are quite easy to complete and enemies generally don’t provide much of a challenge. The only exception to this is the battle arena, which pits the player against up to 50 levels of monster slaying fun. Even then, the arena is only difficult towards the end.
The game comes with a few mini-games and side-quests to tackle for when you want to take a break from the main plot. Mini-games range from the previously mentioned battle arena to a baseball-like game called ‘Octoball Derby’, while side-quests include the usual heart piece and empty bottle quests. The most interesting quest is the Maiamai sidequest. Link must find 100 baby Maiamais which have gone missing. For every 10 that you return to their mother, you get an item upgrade, and a pretty cute orchestral tune plays in the background.
This is a familiar game for fans, and is certainly not going to stray dangerously far from the Zelda formula. However, with its fun puzzles, catchy music, bright colours, colourful characters and entertaining story combined, this is already a guaranteed classic.