ESRB – E for everyone
Reviewed on 3DS
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was released on the SNES and is regarded by many as one of the best games in the franchise. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (LBW) is a 3DS sequel that is so similar to the original that it almost feels like putting on a good pair of running shoes. Link even swings his sword with the same sweeping arc. This game just “feels” good.
LBW isn’t just a great source of nostalgia though, it is just short of a work of art. The animation is beautiful despite its simplicity and the score is top notch. I have a tendency to play a lot of 3DS games with the sound turned all the way down. That is simply not an option here. The orchestral soundtrack is one to be enjoyed and stands up to some of the best soundtracks I have ever heard. Trust me parents when I say that you will NOT grow tired of this music as you might think you will. It is just that good.
I may be a sucker for bringing my favorite games into the modern era, but Nintendo made a number of adjustments to LBW to help make it more accessible to a newer audience. They accomplished this by removing most of the rigidity found in other Zelda titles, abandoning the standard dungeon formula that players had grown used to over the last few decades. Instead, players are allowed to tackle dungeons in virtually any order that they choose. This is aided by the ability to rent all of the different items and weapons early on. It results in a brilliant change that encourages experimentation and exploration early on in the experience
Family Gaming Assessment:
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a sword and sorcery themed adventure along the lines of the Lord of The Rings. As such, players take on the role of Link, a young hero, and use a sword, bow and arrow, bombs, and other weapons to defeat fantasy creatures that range from skeletons to sentient slimes.
The conflict in this game is resolves almost purely through combat. But, despite all of that, there is very little to be concerned about. Link’s enemies are very rarely human and they all vanish in puffs of smoke when defeated.
The art style of the game sports a playful and childish aesthetic that helps drive home how harmless the combat is in this title.
This is a very challenging game. Players are asked to explore a large open map to locate dungeons that are essentially puzzle-filled mazes. Link is provided with multiple weapons that double as tools to help solve the various puzzles he encounters. The true challenge comes from balancing all of these tools to solve puzzles while monsters are hunting you down!
There are multiple sources of information available to help solve the various puzzles within the game so they shouldn’t be a deal breaker on their own. But, if your child is easily frustrated or dislikes puzzles and puzzle game play, then this is a hard game to recommend.
This is a must own for just about any 3DS owner.
This was my favorite game of last year (and I’ve not found one yet this year I’ve liked better). It was at once comfortable and surprising, and was fun from first to last. Also a great entry point for young Zelda players, and a great use of 3D.