If you've seen the trailers for A Link Between Worlds, you've noticed Link has the power to merge into walls and roam around as a painting. This nifty ability allows for more complex puzzles and helps to find those tricky pieces of heart you see dangling impossibly out of reach. It also give you the power to slip between dimensions. If you look hard enough, you'll find lots of fun little Easter eggs on the walls in the houses, from Majora's Mask to skull kids painting. You can even merge into the walls and "try on" these different looks. It's not necessary to gameplay, but I thought it was cool to see how much detail was put into a game that, at first glance, looks like a simple throwback game.
You'll notice early in the game that something is not quite right in Hyrule. The kingdom is in danger of being overtaken by Ganon once again, but this time it takes a being named Yuga to summon him with the power of the sages. It is up to Link to travel to Lorule, the darker and more treacherous underworld of Hyrule. There you will help Princess Hilda stop Yuga and put Ganon back in his place. Link travels between the two worlds by slipping through cracks in reality. You can find these everywhere throughout the land, but some places can only be accessed by finding a crack in the opposite world and slipping through to the other side. Each time you travel between the worlds, you are treated to a trippy cutscene that distorts Links perception for a moment.
A Link Between Worlds utilizes the play coin feature of the 3DS, allowing you to put on hint glasses and look around for hint ghosts that share juicy little tidbits on how to proceed with an obstacle. The game also takes advantage of the Street Pass function by allowing you to fight Shadow Links of the people you meet in real life. It's a really fun way to assert your obvious prowess for battle and earn a few rupees along the way.
Unlike past Legend of Zelda games, you don't have to worry about finding each weapon, as a friendly weirdo name Ravio has set up shop in your home and you can rent weapons for 50-100 rupees. Later in the game you have the option to buy, which is convenient because if you happen to fall in battle, Ravio will take all rented weapons back and you will have to go rerent them. You will also meet a strange creature called a Maiamai, who seemed to have lost all one hundred of her babies. She will upgrade your weapons when you find enough of her offspring.
The fun doesn't stop once you've beat the game, you'll have the chance to try your hand at trying to beat the game in Hero Mode where the enemies deal quadruple damage and every piece of heart is vital to survival. See if you have what it takes to truly be the Hero of Time! The replayability factor here is endless and the controls in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds are tight and responsive making the experience even that more enjoyable.
Overall, Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds offers a wonderful and nostalgic experience which is fun for everyone. This means that the game is enjoyable from the seasoned gamer to the first timer who has never picked up a controller. The only downside evident in the game was that the bosses aren't as tough as past games in the franchise and the gameplay is so addictive that it won't take long to beat, although Hero Mode does add another level of difficulty to an already challenging game. What better way to spark (or rekindle) the love of gaming in someone than with a game that brings everything great about old school Nintendo and mixes it with all the newfangled tech the 3DS has to offer?
Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is now available for Nintendo 3DS and 2DS for the MSRP of $39.99. A Link Between Worlds is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB and contains fantasy violence. For more information on the game, check out The official Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds website.
- Single Player
- New Hero Mode
- New Abilities
Developer & Publisher: Nintendo
Available for Nintendo 2DS & Nintendo 3DS (reviewed)
Release Date: November 22, 2013
- Colorful graphics
- Hauntingly great music
- Hero Mode adds more replayability
- Fun and addicting gameplay
- Bosses are too easy
- Main campaign can seem short