Zelda: Link’s Awakening Preview

Bringing the old-school to the current generation

I was so excited to get my hands on an advance copy of Link’s Awakening to review. Zelda is one of my favourite gaming franchises and, as someone who didn’t get to play the game on GameBoy as a kid, this is the best gift I could get from Nintendo.

While we’ve got a full review in the works, I wanted to get my first impressions out there for folks who might be just as excited as me to have a “new” Zelda game to play.

 Link’s Awakening is a bright and festive remake of a GameBoy classic, with side-by-side comparisons of many screens being very similar in layout, albeit with a fresh and festive new style of graphics. The first thing that struck me was the adorable feel of the world’s textures and shapes. These are very much in the plastic-y, chunky style of Lego or Playmobil toys; cute. With the tilt shifted blur effect around the edges, it feels very much like a world in miniature, which is novel and genuinely charming. 

“As someone who didn’t get to play the game on GameBoy as a kid, this is the best gift from Nintendo.”

For folks who have played a lot of recent Zelda games, you may find this game simplistic and old-school. But to me, that’s absolutely the point. It’s a great entry game for youngsters who are new to the franchise, making it a great way for parents who want to share the joys of Koholint Island with their kids.

Don’t think that it’s super easy though; the dungeons and puzzles still present a reasonable challenge! Additionally, the game has included an exciting Chamber Dungeon feature, which allows you to build your own custom dungeons based on ones you’ve already traversed.

The game’s performance is clean and fast on the Switch, and it somehow balances a nostalgic, handheld experience with fresh graphics and features in a great retelling of a classic story.

More to come later on in our full review, but in the meantime, I highly recommend pre-ordering this game. Link’s Awakening is a bright and festive remake of an absolute GameBoy classic, and it’s going to be essential to any Zelda lover’s library.

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