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Review The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening review thread

Bullet Club

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IGN: 9.4/10
My most succinct recommendation for the 2019 remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening would be this: a couple of weeks ago, having finished the original, I was actively hoping that this wouldn’t be a shot-for-shot remake. Entire decades after the fact, the dungeons felt a little underthought, the controls a bit archaic. Even slowly making your way through the overworld by way of set clues, rather than the kind of self-directed navigation we were allowed in A Link Between Worlds, felt old-fashioned. And yet, as I potter once again across Koholint, digging up its last remaining secrets to avoid turning it off again, I’m delighted to have been wrong. Link’s Awakening retains the style and feel of its 1993 self, but looks and controls like a game – albeit a retro-styled one – made in 2019. In doing so, this feels like it was made in some alternate present, where games remained in 2D, puzzle-focused and strange, but tech improved to support it all. You could, I guess, call it time travel.

Gamespot: 8/10
Though the remake has a couple of blemishes, it's still an easy game to recommend. People speak of Link's Awakening as the secret best Zelda game. That's a tough call to make, but it's definitely one of the best. If you haven't touched a classic Zelda game in a while, Link's Awakening will almost instantly transport you back to the '90s. It's simple, in many ways, but the orchestrated journey still conveys a sense of adventure, and this new version is without question the best way to experience it. And more than anything else, it will put a smile on your face. Remakes are a dime a dozen nowadays and often easy to overlook. Don't make that mistake with Link's Awakening.

Destructoid: 9/10
Slight gripes with the new engine and the old source aside, this is still Link's Awakening: one of the best Zelda games to date. Although I don't think I'm going to rotate the DX version out of my yearly Zelda replay sessions, I'll definitely be working the Switch remake in.

Vooks: 4.5/5
Link's Awakening, all these years later, is still an amazing Zelda title, it's a flood of nostalgia for those who have played it before, and if you haven't it's not one of those "old games" that people say were good, but they're just clouded by nostalgia. The slowdowns in the framerate is a little blemish, as that's the kinda thing that doesn't hold up over time. But with the limitations of the Game Boy removed, modern graphics and art, all new music — Link's Awakening continues to the littlest Zelda title with the biggest heart.

Daily Star: 5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is the quintessential 2D Zelda experience. The gameplay never feels repetitive, and solving each dungeon or beating each mini-boss is equally as satisfying as the first. The audio is crisp and matches perfectly to the gorgeous visuals that players will be treated to throughout their time on Koholint Island. It pays homage to the original in the greatest of ways, by introducing an entirely new generation of players to one of the best Zelda experiences out there. It is a must-have for any Zelda fan, and so should take its place as a console seller for the Nintendo Switch.

EGM: 4/5
The remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is stuck between two places—the past and the present. Chances are that you’ve already made up your mind about whether or not to play it. It’s a classic Zelda game given a second chance with a striking visual language and evocative, haunting musical reinterpretations. Making the jump from the Game Boy to the Switch means that you’ll spend a lot less time changing items in the menu and much more time appreciating the meticulous clockwork of Koholint Island’s challenges.

Gamesrader: 4/5
This is old-school Zelda at its best and most strange, reimagined for a modern audience. For those looking for a more traditional Zelda experience on Switch, this is the dream, with its inventive dungeons and puzzles galore (although don't make me do any more horse head bouncing), set in a world that'll keep you exploring for days to come. Regardless of whether you're familiar with the game or are experiencing it for the first time, this is a sweet slumber you'll want to slip straight into.

USgamer: 5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remake for the Switch improves most of the flaws from the original game while maintaining (or enhancing) everything that makes Link's Game Boy adventure a classic. Its shiny new coat of paint suits it well, even if slowdown issues pop up from time to time. A few hours of play is all it takes to remind you why Zelda fans love Link's Awakening so very much.

Eurogamer: Essential
I first played Link's Awakening in black and white, more than 20 years ago, but it coloured my hopes for every Zelda since. Some frame-rate issues on the overworld at launch aside - more an annoyance than anything else - this version surpasses the hopes I had for another visit to its world. Koholint Island deserves nothing less, and while Link must journey to leave its shores, this remake will always be a place which preserves the island for others to follow.

The Sixth Axis: 8/10
With a quirkiness to it that stands out from the rest of the series, Link's Awakening still holds up beautifully well as a modern 2D Zelda game. Outside of some nagging performance issues, Link's Awakening is a wonderful remake of a Game Boy classic.

Screen Rant: 4/5
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is practically the same game that was released in 1993 - for better or for worse. The original version of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is still a great game after all these years and the remake has the same great gameplay wrapped in a more pleasing package. The lack of compelling new content and the short length of the game are two disappointing aspects of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and returning players shouldn't expect much outside of improvements to the base game, but it's still the same excellent title that it was back in 1993.

Polygon
Link’s Awakening is a special adventure and a perfect introduction to even the youngest would-be Zelda fans, but it does fall short at times. The striking new presentation is stellar, even if the game can’t quite keep up with the splendor on the technical side. And the slight enhancements made to the original’s gameplay are mostly for good, even if the biggest new feature (Chamber Dungeons) doesn’t offer much.

Nintendo Life: 9/10
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was a technical marvel when it first arrived on the scene back in 1993. Easily one of the great Game Boy releases, it was a first bash at a handheld Zelda that took the formula as perfected by A Link to the Past, jammed it all onto a tiny portable console and, somehow, managed to make it all work while adding a host of new features and concepts to the mix. This beautiful Switch remake rebuilds all of this from the ground up in fine style. It adds modern conveniences, a dungeon creator, amiibo support and lots of little quality of life improvements whilst infusing every single square inch of Koholint – every secret passage, Piranha, Pokey and Pig Warrior – with a level of detail and depth that totally reinvigorates both its timeless story and classic Zelda gameplay for a whole new generation of gamers.

Press Start 8.5/10
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is another must-play Nintendo Switch game. It still stands the test of time and in no way feels outdated, which is impressive for a 20 year old game. Don't let performance issues and a high price point stop you from playing this absolute classic.

WCCFTech: 8.5/10
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening looks gorgeous, sounds beautiful, and tells a twee and compelling tale. While the game can be played through in around ten hours if you know what you're doing in advance, new players will find a lengthy and engaging Zelda game to love. Whether it's your first time playing Link's Awakening or your dozenth, you will still find a gripping Switch game that you'll remember for another twenty years.

Twinfinite: 4/5
Whether this is your first Zelda game or if you’ve played Link’s Awakening 10 times, there is something amazing to be found here for everyone. This remake is absolutely charming, stunning, and visually striking, making it one of the prettiest Switch games out there.
XGN: 9.3/10















 
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Bullet Club

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It's at 86 on Metacritic.

Framerate Info

The Sixth Axis
So it’s a shame just how ropey the frame rate can feel at times. The game actually spends the vast majority of its time at 60fps, but as you cross into a different part of the map or meander through Mabe and Animal Village, the streaming in of new data and number of NPCs on screen sends the frame rate tumbling down to 30fps at times with an unsightly juddering feel. It’s a real disappointment that this hasn’t been remedied since we first encountered it at E3 and it spoils the otherwise wonderful art work.

Gamespot
It can, also, be the one thing about the game that irks, as the frame rate takes a noticeable hit when most scenes load into memory. The problem seems to be tied to the game's pronounced depth-of-field effect, which employs an exaggerated blurring effect to enhance the miniature-toy feel of the presentation. Don't get me wrong, this is more of a minor annoyance than anything--which should tell you a lot about the quality of everything else.

Gamesradar
However, because it does feel like its pushing the technical capabilities of the Switch, there are a few issues with framerate stability when exploring the world. It only lasts a second at most, but it's more noticeable than you might think, especially considering it's not an issue I have regularly on Switch.

USGamer
Unfortunately, the overworld is where the biggest flaw in the Link's Awakening remake is laid bare. There are some framerate issues that pop up when Link's above ground, with obvious slowdown in Mabe Village and Animal Village. This hitch doesn't leave a deep scratch on the adventure, since it never impedes my movement and dungeons still hold steady at 60 FPS. Despite the scuff, I'm still charmed by the new Koholint's unique plastic shine and toy-like inhabitants. I want to hug every bunny and bear hanging out in Animal Village.

Polygon
But the game itself, sadly, does not run great. This is perhaps the most surprising aspect of Link’s Awakening, given that Nintendo tends to put a priority on performance for its core franchises. Super Mario Odyssey ran at a silky 60 frames per second, and while Breath of the Wild was limited to 30 fps, it always felt like a consistent, stable 30 … the Deku Shrine notwithstanding.
 
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PaNaMa

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It's at 86 on Metacritic.
I'm most interested in the length of the game, as I have no doubt about its quality. For a single player RPG at $80+Tax CDN (so $91 ish) I expect something in the 30-40 hour range. I see a lot of people claiming "5 hour game" online everywhere, but even if it's double that, it still falls short of typical RPG length and therefor is not a good value to me. So I'm interested to see the reviews
 
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Max_Po

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are ther performace related issues like FPS drops ? in the previews there were a lot of fps drops...
 

Vawn

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I'm most interested in the length of the game, as I have no doubt about its quality. For a single player RPG at $80+Tax CDN (so $91 ish) I expect something in the 30-40 hour range. I see a lot of people claiming "5 hour game" online everywhere, but even if it's double that, it still falls short of typical RPG length and therefor is not a good value to me. So I'm interested to see the reviews
The original was probably 15ish on average. I expect this is the same.
 

Cravis

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Glad to see it’s getting good reviews. I never played Link’s Awakening so I’m going into it with completely fresh eyes.

I never had a Game Boy growing up. I went with a Game Gear instead lol
 

RPGCrazied

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Looking good to me. Never really played the original all the way through. I do remember the start of it on gameboy.

And 15 hours for a 2D Zelda is long enough. I hear that is a con from some reviews. Everything doesn't need to 60 hours long.
 

Kazza

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I seriously didn't expect the high scores
It's a Zelda game. Aren't high scores pretty much a given, even for the more mediocre entries? (even Spirit Tracks got an 87 metacritic score, Phantom Hourglass 90 and Twilight Princess got 95!)
 
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Mista

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It's a Zelda game. Aren't high scores pretty much a given, even for the more mediocre entries? (even Spirit Tracks got an 87 metacritic score, Phantom Hourglass 90 and Twilight Princess got 95!)
It's a Zelda game. Honestly, I'm surprised at how low the scores are. Looks like framerate hit the score a bit.
I was seriously going to say this but didn’t because Nintendo fanbois gets butthurt fast
 

Scopa

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I was seriously going to say this but didn’t because Nintendo fanbois gets butthurt fast
You’re the butthurt one, Buttface! Yoo suCk coz YoO dun like Zeldar.

Jealousy is a curse, my friend. Don’t be jealous.

Nintendo loves everyone.
 

Mista

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You’re the butthurt one, Buttface! Yoo suCk coz YoO dun like Zeldar.

Jealousy is a curse, my friend. Don’t be jealous.

Nintendo loves everyone.
Fuck off Scopa. I love Zelda but we gotta agree there
 
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ael85

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What an absolute gem. Just thinking about when Yuzu runs it at a solid 60fps 4k makes me fuzzy inside.

Framerate again being an issue in Zelda games. Nintendo must be regretting when they decided for the Switch specs, seems like it needed a little bit more juice.
 
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PaNaMa

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The original was probably 15ish on average. I expect this is the same.
$92 on the nose, if I buy from Walmart. Lot of cash for not a lot of game.

Looking good to me. Never really played the original all the way through. I do remember the start of it on gameboy.

And 15 hours for a 2D Zelda is long enough. I hear that is a con from some reviews. Everything doesn't need to 60 hours long.
At $92 (80 + tax CDN) tho? Is that a good price for 15 a hour single player RPG experience? Everything doesn't need to be 60 hours long, I agree, but this isn't some $29 game either. A full fledged price for a bite sized RPG. At 25-30 hours I'd fall on the sword here, but I can't justify $92 for 15 hours no matter how shiny the review are.
 
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mcjmetroid

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I'm sorry but I don't really trust reviews based on Zelda games.

I don't meant to be a downer but it doesn't feel like there's enough content and the frame drops are pretty bad looking.

I will wait for this one.
I'm sure it's a quality solid game for the Switch mind you.
but I'm not convinced it's worth full price.
 
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It seems like a fun little game. I like the artstyle a lot. But the short length, lack of new content and performance issues prevent this from being a day one purchase for me. It does seem like a $30 game tops.
 
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Lionel Richie

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It's a Zelda game. Honestly, I'm surprised at how low the scores are. Looks like framerate hit the score a bit.
I don't think that's it, I think it's because this is a 2D game essentially, there's basically a hard limit for reviewers. Dead Cells has a 89, Cuphead a 87, Hollow Knight a 90 and those games are transformative original pieces. This is a somewhat meek remake of an old ass game.
 

StAidan

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Got this preordered and looking forward to playing it again after all this time, but even more hoping my son will enjoy it as his first Zelda game. He just turned 9 and I think he'll enjoy the gameplay and the impactful story.
 
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Shaqazooloo

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Didn't play the original so i'll be playing tomorrow. kind of hope it's not too long though I want to finish it before Dragon Quest XI comes out.
 

Shaqazooloo

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Are you unable to switch between multiple games you haven't finished? 0o
I'll never finish them that way. When I put down a game for too long it'll be at least a year before i'll get back to it. I don't want to have a bunch of unfinished games so now i'm gonna start focusing on new ones that I buy until I beat it.
 
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