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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (213)

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Blaster Master Zero II 3.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Li... 5/5
Golf Story 4/5
Tetris 99 3.5/5
Red Dead Redemption 4/5
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes... 4.5/5
Mega Man 11 4/5
Octopath Traveler 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Sp... 3.5/5
Bloodstained: Curse of ... 4/5
Everybody's Golf 3.5/5
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe 4.5/5
Super Mario Galaxy 2 4.5/5
Castlevania: Portrait o... 4/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Final Fantasy X / X-2 H... 4.5/5
Kirby's Dream Course 3.5/5
SteamWorld Dig 4/5
Super Mario Odyssey 5/5
Star Fox 2 3/5
Metroid: Samus Returns 4/5
Dragon Quest VI: Realms... 4/5
Super Mario RPG: Legend... 4.5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Br... 5/5

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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening   Game Boy / Color 

Zelda's First Handheld Game is Superb    5/5 stars

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was Nintendo's first attempt at a handheld Zelda game and it's amazing even to this day.

Link's Awakening debuted for the original Game Boy in 1993. Then, it was re-released on Game Boy Color which upgraded it to a color version of the game with an added dungeon in 1998. That game's name is Link's Awakening DX. If you own a 3DS, you can the virtual console release of the DX game pretty cheap which is the easiest way to play this game.

Link's Awakening follows the same formula that the first Legend of Zelda on NES and the SNES A Link to the Past had. It's a top down dungeon crawler where you can obtain items and there's a bunch of puzzles to solve. This particular game focuses a little more on the puzzle solving than the action. This is probably due to the Game Boy's limited capabilities of the time.

The story for Link's Awakening is unique compared to other entries in the series and it's something I really enjoyed. This isn't your typical Zelda where you have to save the Princess from Ganon and save the world. There is no triforce to get or anything like that. In this game Link starts out on a boat and encounters a storm. The ship is wrecked and when he wakes up he finds himself on an odd island. The game is about trying to get off the island. You soon learn that the only to way to accomplish this is by waking the wind fish. In order to do that you need all the instruments which are locked away in dungeons. What's great about this story telling is that this game takes a little bit more of a humorous approach when you talk to villagers and the like. Not only that, but an owl follows you around throughout your adventures and as the story unfolds you being to wonder if you should actually be doing what you're doing. The humor and added mystery to the story really sets it apart from other Zelda games.

For being a Game Boy game, the game play is smooth and easy to control. In this game you can apply any two items to the A and B buttons at any time. The sword is not locked to one of the buttons. This is necessary because at times you need to equip two separate accessories in order to get past an obstacle. For example, if you need to get past a large hole, you'll need to equip both the Pegasus Boots and Roc's feather in order to jump it. While at times this can be annoying because you have to get into the menu to change your items often, this allowed some of the puzzles to be more complex. This was also the first top down Zelda game to implement jumping which is done with Roc's feather. There are even a few underground passage ways that go into a 2D side scrolling mode which at first might be odd but it's not done much and it still works well.

What is probably the biggest drawback for players of this game is actually the puzzles. If you don't know what to do next in order to get past an obstacle it can be frustrating. But, the satisfaction of figuring it out is that much better when you do which is what I like about this game so much. There's a side story in this game where you trade an item for another with several characters throughout the world map. It all starts when you get a Yoshi doll in one of the game shops in town. What's important to know is that you have to do several of these item trades in order to progress some story elements which allow you to access a couple dungeons. If you're not willing to roam around and talk to everybody when you don't know what to do next this can frustrate you to no end. Also, there's a dungeon later in the game in a tower which you have to knock down floors which can get complicated as well. That's what I love about this game too. If you do get stuck you can go to one of the many telephone booths throughout the world where you can talk to Ulrina. He will give you a hint as to what to do next but it's not always straight forward so beware of that.

If you like exploring, this game gives you plenty of reasons to do it. Not only are there pieces of heart to obtain, but there are seashells too. You will find a seashell mansion eventually and if you get enough seashells you can get an upgrade. Not only that, but there are flippers you can get as an item in one of the dungeons which lets you swim and dive in the water. There's a shovel you can purchase in a shop which lets you dig up the ground. The typical items in Zelda games like bombs and arrows are in this game too. There are tons of ways to experiment and try to find hidden secrets.

There is one element in this game that truly annoys me. After you defeat any enemy there's a chance it may drop an acorn or a triforce. By picking it up you can get a temporary boost in offense or defense. This can be quite helpful. But, every single time you pick up one of these items you have to read the description of what it does. And, since this is a Game Boy game not much text is shown at any given moment so you have to scroll through it. Sometimes it gets to me to the point where if I see it I don't even bother picking it up.

This game isn't over long. Assuming you don't get stuck for extended periods of time you can finish this game in 15-20 hours and if you're replaying it and know the game well you can 100% the thing in maybe 12 hours. The graphics are solid for a Game Boy game. I loved the music and storytelling and the game play and puzzle solving is top notch as well. This is one of the best games out there if you don't mind having to take extra time figuring out how to solve a puzzle every now and then. This is one of my most favorite video games out there.

5/5

 

 


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