Returning To A Classic With Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds - 3DS -
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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Returning To A Classic With Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is my favorite game of all time, so I was ecstatic when I heard that Nintendo would be revisiting its world with a new 3DS title. I had a chance to play an a demo on the E3 show floor, and I’m confident that it will be a fantastic love letter to the game for existing fans while remaining accessible and fun for newcomers.

All of the game’s environments and characters are based on the art style of the SNES original, and even the soundtrack consists of well-done remakes of classic tunes. Everything looks fantastic, and the game looks far better in motion than it comes across in screenshots.

A Link Between Worlds’ overworld differs slightly from A Link to the Past, but most large sections and landmarks are in the same place. Link’s house is still in the middle of the map, and the demo led me to the Eastern Palace in the same dusty location that it occupied on Super Nintendo. Pots, rocks, and plants are in different locations, and some enemies behave differently. For example, Link is no longer electrified when he strikes a Buzz Blob with his sword.

One of the most significant tweaks to the gameplay is the omission of the standard magic meter. Instead of a finite magic reserve that has to be refilled, A Link Between Worlds features a recharging energy meter. In the demo I played, this meter dictated how often I could shoot arrows, swing my hammer, or toss flames from my fire rod.

It also dictated one more key element of the game, which is a completely new addition. Link can now press against walls and become a flat, graffiti-like version of himself. While in this form, he can sneak around in the walls and access areas that would be otherwise unavailable. In the dungeon available in the demo, this ability came in handy several times during some clever puzzle segments involving moving platforms.

At the end of the demo, I once again encountered the worm-like Moldorm from A Link To the Past. The fight played out just as it did in 1992, tasking Link with striking the tail of the wriggling beast until it was destroyed. After a few strikes of my sword and a well-placed arrow, Moldorm exploded and I was rewarded with a heart piece.

I’ve been excited about A Link Between Worlds since its original announcement, but I’m far more confident in this sequel after spending some time with it. It seems to strike all the right nostalgic notes, but new features like the energy bar and 2D wall sections make the action feel fresh. Longtime Zelda fans and younger gamers alike should find plenty to like when this 3DS title releases in November.

Visit our E3 News Headquarters for all the stories from the show. This preview was originally published on June 11, 2013.

  • Not to nit pick but once you got the Golden sword in the original you could hit buzz blobs without being electrocuted.And what energy bar are you talking about? Arent the hearts life and the bar a magic meter?

    Also,im extremely hyped for this game
  • I still need a 3DS

  • Reggie Fils-Aime is also a huge fan of this game.  I wonder what other interests he and Dan share.

    I mean... can you guys get him for a Replay?  I'm pretty sure that would be awesome.

  • I'm definitely going to get a 3DS now!!!!!

  • My 3DS isn't gonna get any breaks this year. Zelda!!!
  • Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate remakes of Classics like ALttP and OoT. But I'm really hoping that Nintendo doesn't fall into a remake rut rather than creating completely new games.
  • I've been extremely skeptical of this game since I first saw it, especially because of its cartoon-ish graphics. Since he's a long-time fan, however, I'll take Dan's word that the game is good so far.

  • cant wait

  • I've had reasons to buy a DS again but this is a no brainer.

  • yeah, I'll probably get this.

  • One of the first games that introduced me to the aspect of RPG elements was the original Zelda for the NES. Later, when the SNES version was to be released I had the cashier I knew at the local Wal-Mart hold it for me when it came in. From the minute I purchased it (excluding 2 hours of sleep & going to school) I played it from start to finish, without any sort of help, guides, etc ...

    Zelda - A Link to the Past remains on of my favorite all time games and when I read the news of a new one for the 3DS, even though 3D motion gives me motion sickness (pre-cursor to a seizure) I wanted it. When I found out it can be played in 2D I decided this is the time to purchase a 3DS.

    My impressions from this article though, while still positive, sounds like some aspects of the game have been "dumbed down" for the current generation of gamers. It is not like the game was "hard to beat" as I did it without any assistance, but to dumb it down by removing the shock, to make the MP like some Halo game where it regenerates by itself and to model the world more or less as the same as the original game came to be a disappointment, but I have the current generation of gamers to thank for that.

    No matter, I never had any real interest in the 3DS system itself, but now I do and am glad I waited because I can get the XL console for a very reasonable price.

  • Recharging mana is an update that is definitely needed, and for such a simple thing.
  • Why can't some of the awesome games like these come out in the early summer, so students like me can enjoy them on our biggest break of the year?

  • Can't wait for this game--I played the GBA version years ago and have greatly regretted selling it so this news is very welcome!

  • Can't wait to hear the Dark World theme with an orchestra.

  • A link To The Past was the Zelda game that got me hooked to the franchise. So indeed I am very excited for this beautiful redesign it looks gorgeous.

  • Wow - this game looks awesome.  I may have to bite the bullet and get a 3DS for this.

  • Now I need to get a 3DS. I love Zelda so much and I miss it. I need a Nintendo product anyway. I am getting the Xbox One, I have the Sony Tablet, and now I need Nintendo and I will be complete.