The Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening is as Fun as it is Faithful to the Original
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening will be faithful to the original while also showcasing to new fans how great the Game Boy version was.
When Nintendo first revealed that they were remaking The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, I couldn’t have been more excited. Well, maybe that isn’t true since we got confirmation of a sequel to one of the greatest games ever made and Banjo is finally making his way to smash. Nonetheless, I was extremely happy to see that one of the weirder Zelda titles was making its way back to the gaming ecosystem. After a 15 minute hands-on demo at E3, I am happy to say that the remake is fun, adorable, and faithful to the original title.
During our quick 15-minute play session, we were able to jump in from the start of the game at Marin’s house after Link had just been washed up onto the shores of Koholint Island. From the start, I did notice one change. Rather then the typical plain shield from the original game, it has been upgraded with the iconic Hylian shield found in many other Zelda titles. It was a change I expected since we saw it in previous trailers of the game, but I was unsure on if it would be an upgrade later in the game. However, since there are only two shields in the original game, the shield you get at the start as well as the mirror shield found later on, it makes sense you get the Hylian shield first because the mirror shield is needed to bypass obstacles in the later portions of the game
We then set out on our 15-minute adventure and b-lined it to the shores of Koholint Island to get our sword back. I couldn’t help it but the nostalgia got to me just a bit. It was great to see a 2019 rendition of that classic beach filled with octoroks and sea urchins (I had no idea that is what the pointy things on the beach were actually called in the game.) From what I can tell, the remake of Link’s Awakening is trying to stay as true as it can be to the original while also updating and polishing it for a 2019 release.
If you have ever played A Link Between Worlds, you can expect about the same depth in combat. I mean, why fix what isn’t broken? Link can be moved in 8 different directions just like the 3DS title and attack in all 8 of those directions. It is a top-down Zelda game through and through. If you haven’t had any issues with the gameplay of all of the other top-down Zeldas then I am sure this one will be fitting as well. Slashing enemies and defending yourself with the new and improved Hylian shield was a breeze and a whole lot of fun.
Maybe it is just the nostalgia getting to me, but I couldn’t help leaving the demo even more excited than I previously was. I mean, I knew what to expect from the remake. I knew everything will get an adorable overhaul. However, I found myself internally smiling from cheek to cheek when I got my hands on it (I didn’t want to look like a weirdo so I kept it in). Maybe it is just that I know that many people, both young and old, will get to finally play this wonderful game with what might be the most interesting Zelda narrative and experience Koholint Island for the first time. Or it could be that I was just so excited that a Zelda game was releasing this year. All I know for sure was that when I had the controller at Nintendo’s booth and was playing the game, I was having a damn good time.
Nintendo’s polished and cute remake of one of the best and often overlooked game’s in the entire Zelda series is looking like it will capture the nostalgia of fans of the original, while also showcasing the game to many newcomers who never got around to it. Since the success and popularity of Breath of the Wild, the Zelda series is back in the eyes of the gaming mainstream and has the opportunity to showcase this story to a much wider audience. While I do not think that the remake will do anything mindblowing or change up that classic Zelda formula at all, I am sure that fans both new an old will have a blast when this game launches.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is set to release for Nintendo Switch on September 20.