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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.

Comments
  • Cant wait to play this, never played the original and im excited to play the new iteration.
  • aww yisss! Ive been waiting for this for a long time. The original LTTP is one of my favorite games ever!

  • How is it that Nintendo had such a mundane E3 presence and they have all this stuff I want from them this year? Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Wind Waker HD, DK Returns TF, Mario World, Zelda A Link Between Worlds, Dream Team, Mario Golf.

    Holy Crap. I am not buying more stuff from any other publisher. Not even close.
  • I wish he had commented on how the 3D works.
  • Cool Beans. WHERE IS HIS PINK HAIR?!?
  • I'm glad to hear that this sounds more promising than the new Yoshi's Island game.

  • Can't wait. Maybe buying a 3ds wasn't a bad idea because until this and the announcement of Pokemon x and y I pretty much regret spending my money on a 3ds.
  • Awesome! Loved that music.

  • I like the nostalgic feeling to it, but I hope it doesn't rehash too much. Right now it's sounding like a Master Quest or LoZ's second play through. More LoZ is never a bad thing, but I want more originality not just the same bosses in the same dungeons in the same world.
  • This E3 has been about two things. Sony smashing Xbox One and NINTENDOMINATION!!!!!!!!!!!! I really like the name they chose for this game.
  • I just don't feel all that excited for this game. And the wall stuff seems out of place and a rip-off of Paper Mario.
  • So much want!!! LoZ is my favorite franchise in the world and I will no doubt be getting this day one. This, and Wind Waker HD. and the new Zelda WiiU... My god it's good to be a Nintendo fan.

  • As disappointing it is to see a different art style, I can't wait to play this
  • I have to buy a 3ds just for this!
  • I am fallen more and more in love with this game. Playing this will bring back so many awesome Zelda memories.

  • I just hope there's more fresh content than just dungeons and stuff. I'd like a new section of the overworld to explore.

  • Words can't describe how much I'm excited for this.
  • I hate to nit pick but shouldn't his hair be pink?
  • These graphics are so beautiful and the music is still majestic. Any gamers around 40 yrs (me) are bound to get that giddy feeling in the stomach. It's a testament to how great this game was. Thank you Nintendo for polishing this gem and giving a new generation the chance to experience why so many gamers rate this #1 on their all time list.
  • The name is nice.....

    Everything else.......


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