The Legend of Zelda - Link's Awakening - Review

Zeldasages.com review by Versac
For more information on how Zeldasages reviews games see the ZS Q&A

Traveling across the stretching sea a violent storm breaks loose. Our hero Link is tossed and turned in ship trying to stay alive. A violent wave engulfs him causing him to wash ashore upon a strange island by the name of Koholint. Stranded, Links seeks to awaken the sleeping Wind Fish to help restore him on his way, but is this world undiscovered territory, or a simple illusion?

Story
The story of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is simple upon first glance, but continues to be fleshed out as you progress. The player will continue to come to certain places, and they will change slightly between visits, as long as the player has done something since last visit. This gives the game a dynamic feel, and makes the all-new cast of characters feel more personal. The story takes a drastic turn in a instant that was rated second in Nintendo Power’s ‘Top Five Zelda Plot Moments’, which put it above all save the acquiring of the Master Sword itself in A Link to the Past (this game’s prequel). The game ends with Link being forced to decide between his freedom and the lives of the many, giving this game a 10/10.

Gameplay
The style of item use in Link’s Awakening is unique save for its reincarnation in the Oracle of Seasons/Ages games. Instead of having a sword, shield, and another item, the user is force to choose between two items to use at a time. This was a evolution mainly for the shield, and this deviation from the ‘always on’ of the past was continued. Overall, the game has a full eight (nine for DX players) dungeons and a final boss besides, with many, many side quests. While not nearly as timeless as A Link to the Past in America, it is held as an equal in Japan, and they may be right. Despite this, the opinions of the American majority rule, and it gets a 9.5/10.

Sound
Most of this game’s music was rather forgettable, and it repeated most ambient music with a few exceptions. The major equalizer for this is the Ballad of the Wind Fish. It is one of the most memorable songs in Zelda history, and it even made an appearance in Majora’s Mask. It was an impressive show of the Gameboy’s capabilities when Link approaches the Wind Fish’s egg and plays the Ballad on his ocarina (that’s right, this is the first game with one) while being accompanied by the eight Instruments of the Sirens. The sound effects were surprisingly good, and were arguably the best until Ocarina of Time. This game deserves a 10/10.

Graphics
This game had rather mundane graphics until the release until release of the DX version. The DX version’s graphics were reused for the later Oracle games more than three years later. It could be easily mistaken for a game for the Gameboy Advance. Averaged together the graphics get a 9/10.

Overall
Link’s Awakening was a wholly underappreciated game in America. It received much less hype than its predecessor, A Link to the Past. It maintained over 100 months on the top 10 best selling Gameboy games, and had a remake less than four years after its launch. The scores say, and facts prove, that Link’s Awakening is a must-have for a true Zelda fan.


*Scores weighed differently, total 100%*


My Account

Link's Awakening

Screenshots
Music
Codes and Secrets
Walkthrough
Final Battle Movie
Review