The lights are on
I'll be honest. When I first saw previews for this game, I wasn't really excited for it. I never got into ALttP like other Zelda fans, so a sequel certainly didn't peak my interest. However, on a split decision, I decided to buy this game because who knows how long until the next home console Zelda arrives. This has easily been my greatest purchase in a long time as well as one of the best games I've played in years.
A lot of people complain about Nintendo doing the same thing year after year. However, A Link Between Worlds proves that not only can Nintendo break the traditional formula, but they can succeed while doing it. For the first time since the original Legend of Zelda, players can tackle dungeons in any order they choose. How does this work? For starter's, Link's many items are available to rent (and later buy) from the beginning of the game from Ravio, so the idea of picking up a new item in each dungeon is long gone. However, each dungeon still revolves around certain items, and it's up to the player to decide which items will be needed for each dungeon.
Puzzles in the game require a lot of split second thinking. Link's new ability to merge onto the wall requires you to think in completely different terms from past Zeldas. It creates the sense of a 3D world in a 2D environment. I found myself always looking at the walls wondering how to get from point A to point B, and the answer would sometimes be right in front of your face. When traveling on the wall, you have to think in terms of layers because Link can only travel left and right. If a platform is too high up, you need to look for a higher starting point. It's these small details that make this one of my favorite features in a Zelda game to date.
How else does Nintendo break the mold? Well, this is probably one of my favorite Zelda stories as well. It's short, but it does feature its nice little twists. I played for about three days and beat the last boss. Tutorials are nonexistent aside from a few new features. The combat mimics all the other top-down Zeldas. The soundtrack actually disappointed me compared to other Zelda titles, but the music still shines as one of the best in video games nonetheless. My only complaints would be the game's length, and the small annoyance of losing all of your rented items after falling in battle. Anyone can jump into this game; it's perfect for veterans and newcomers alike! If you haven't picked up a 3DS yet, then this is the game to pick one up for.
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