3DS, 2DS; £39.99

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds review

4.00

The world of Hyrule is as compelling as ever in this sequel to one of the best games of all time

When asked what my favourite movie is, I always hesitate. There are so many greats. But when asked the same of videogames, I’ve never wavered in answering The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. So when a sequel-come-remake-come-hybrid-come-follow-up was rumoured for my stand-out favourite, I felt a combination of pure childlike elation, and a shred of fear that the original might not be done justice.

I need not have worried; The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is everything I hoped it would be, and more. As a follow-up to the 1991 fan favourite, the new addition for the 3DS had to bring out the big guns (or Master Swords, if you will). You’ll feel a well-balanced mix of nostalgia for the original scenery and beautiful musical score, and an insatiable curiosity for the whole heap of new things to discover. 

The world of Hyrule feels the same – but it’s certainly not regurgitated content. The dungeons are new, with secrets waiting to be discovered at every corner, plus it’s littered with new characters and games. There’s also a very significant change  to Link’s skillset; the ability to merge into walls, which provides many of the game’s new challenges (but doesn’t make the Hookshot entirely redundant).

Link is shown next to his wall-bound drawing doppleganger.

Armed with important questions such as “Will an entire brood of chickens still attack if I anger one?”, you’ll begin with Link waking up in his home – which is later used by a cheeky merchant called Ravio who will rent Link the items he needs along the way – with the option to  buy them at a hefty price. At first this felt like cheating, as players won’t have to search and be awarded with items. But when you first lose all of his precious lives, you realised that the rented items are returned and you have to fork out for them again - so Link’s death comes at a price.

All items are also restored via an energy bar, so you won’t be running out of bombs for example. In practice it means you can mix up battles by switching between weapons (especially for Street Pass battles) – and you won’t necessarily know what to use where. This all plays into the more open world of Hyrule, and particularly in the dark world of Lorule, as you can target any of the dungeons in any order. The hint glasses are available from the fortune teller to help guide you in your next step if you get stuck.

Link uses the sword beam attack on a marauding Stalfos.

As Zelda is a franchise many adults grew up with, Nintendo’s challenge is to please both a seasoned market while also appealing to a younger generation of players. One downside of this, is that some of the dungeons simply aren’t testing enough. While some parts will leave you wandering around thinking about your next clever move, sometimes you’ll find yourself in and out in no time – defeating the boss on the first attempt. An option to increase the difficulty level might have been appreciated.

A Link to the Past’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, reportedly said he didn’t like the preliminary plans for A Link Between Worlds. It’s a good thing he placed pressure on the developers, as what’s been created is truly wonderful instalment in the Zelda series. Link is quick, responsive, and every bit the hero you’d want him to be. The game uses layering to its advantage, with the 3DS adding depth, and it’s utterly addictive.

On behalf of those who can’t stop themselves playing for hours on end, here’s a word of advice for creators: you might want to consider an option for adults to turn off the recurring message: “You’ve been playing for a while. Why not take a break?” A Nintendon’t if ever I saw one.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...

    Ashdown Group: C# Developer - (C#, VB.Net, SQL, Git, TDD)

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Developer (C#, VB & ASP.Net, SQL Server, TSQL) - Pe...

    Recruitment Genius: Java Developer

    £26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity for an ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Urgent - Cheshire - £25p/h

    £20 - £25 per hour: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a hu...

    Day In a Page

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea