Here’s a confession for you – I’ve never been a big Legend of Zelda player. I never had a NES or SNES growing up, and when I finally grabbed a Nintendo 64, the main goal was to play the outstanding wrestling games the system delivered (WCW/NWO Revenge and WWE No Mercy are still beloved by gamers of a certain vintage). And while I’ve had my Nintendo Switch for nearly two years, I still haven’t jumped into Breath of the Wild.
Which means, my first real exposure to the world of Link and Zelda has come in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, a remake of the 1993 Game Boy title that just arrived on the Switch. In the game you play as who else but Link, who has washed up on Kholint Island “with strange and colourful inhabitants. To return home, Link must collect magical instruments across the land and awaken the Wind Fish.”
While many may think that I’ve missed out on some great games (I no doubt have), I genuinely enjoy going into remakes without a frame of reference. It means I can enjoy the title for what it is in the here and now, not what it once was. In the case of Link’s Awakening, I’m enjoying it very much. And so is my partner in crime.
Andy Burns: So, what do you think of Link’s Awakening?
The Princess: I like it. I like how cute it looks and the gameplay itself. It runs very smoothly.
Andy Burns: How much did you know about Zelda before we tried playing this game?
The Princess: Nothing! Technically I’ve never seen Zelda in a game. It’s Marin!
Andy Burns: I see. Well, do you think Link’s Awakening is good for kids?
The Princess: Yes. It can get a little confusing, but who cares!
Andy Burns: What confused you?
The Princess: The woods at the beginning, where you’re supposed to go. And the very annoying racoon.
Andy Burns: That confused me too, but we figured it out, didn’t we? Anything else you want to say about the game? Did you like the side missions?
The Princess: Yeah! I did end up getting the Yoshi.
There’s a lot of dungeon crawling within the game along with RPG elements, but the extremely “cute” graphics help make Link’s Awakening more appealing to a younger player (like the Princess) and one who doesn’t always have the patience for RPG-type games (like the Princess’ dad). Like nearly every Nintendo IP game, there’s an ease to stepping into Link’s Awakening that makes previous knowledge of characters or worlds unnecessary.
Fans of the series will no doubt love playing The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening once more, while newcomers will find lots to engage with for the first time.