“The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” Review

By Amay Singh

For most gamers out there, there is one video game that stands apart from the rest. It could be the game that got them interested in video games or it could be the first video game they ever played. For Andrew Hardy, “Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” was that game, even though the game was released in 1993, five years before he was born. 

He first played the game in 2003 and fell in love with it immediately. “I remember the original game being so difficult. It had puzzles and tricky fights, and it was so much fun,” Hardy said. 

Gameplay photo of the 1993 version of “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.”

It has been almost 16 years since he played “Link’s Awakening” for the first time, and the news of the remake of the game left  him ecstatic. “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” is a remake of a game by the same name that Nintendo released on the original Game Boy in 1993. The game was a sequel to 1991’s “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” for the Super Nintendo. The day he got the game, he played it for eight hours straight and skipped classes the next day. So if there was ever a person for reviewing this game, it was Hardy. 

“‘The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening’ for Nintendo Switch is a phenomenal remake of a 25-year-old game,” he said. He added that the original was released for the Game Boy in 1993 and because of the hardware limitations, each area was one screen, moving to every new screen required a transition that was fixed with a seamless transition where the camera constantly follows the player. To go along with this, the game was remade completely in 3D with a beautiful clay and diorama sort of aesthetic for what is meant to be a dreamy and surreal world to explore. 

For Hardy, it’s not all about the gameplay and the graphics. He took piano lessons for more than 10 years and has been playing for 12. He also played the saxophone for eight years. According to him, the music also saw a massive upgrade from shrill beeps to an orchestral arrangement of each had tweaks to make them full fledged 3-minute songs versus 30-second loops. 

“The music was just shrill notes in the original game, but still I could imagine what it would sound like with an orchestral range in it, and it had the potential to be the best Zelda soundtrack,” Hardy said. 

A photo of Link from the 2019 version of “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.”

For the most part, the gameplay, level design and bosses stayed faithful to the original game. He said that it is an all-round solid Zelda game easily securing its place as one of, if not the best, 2D Zelda games and quite possibly the most faithful remakes of a game of all time. He was also blown away by the impressive musical and graphical updates to the game. 

“Even though it is an amazing remake, it didn’t add or change a lot from the original, but even if someone played the original, I would highly recommend they play this version as it simply is a much superior version of the two,” Hardy said. Or in other words a four-out-of-five stars from him. 

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