The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013)

[ゼルダの伝説 神々のトライフォース2]

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013)

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo EAD Group No. 3
Director: Hiromasa Shikata
Platform: 3DS

A blacksmith's apprentice has to become a hero when a sorcerer from another world starts hunting down the descendants of the Seven Sages and turning them into paintings in this sequel to A Link to the Past.

It's been a good while since we last had a top-down Zelda, but none of the old magic has been lost. Everything controls really smoothly. The new wall painting mechanic adds a whole new dimension (pun may or may not be intended) to the game. Also, the ability to rent items early in the game changes the typical formula a bit, but don't expect too drastic of a paradigm shift (not that too many fans of the franchise really want that, I don't think). If you're wanting to relive the glory that is A Link to the Past (my favorite entry in the franchise) with a fair bit of new stuff added in, you won't be disappointed.

While the story isn't particularly deep or complex, the narrative is strong enough to carry the game. I particularly liked the Lorule inversion of the Hyrule triad. The counterparts to our representatives of Power, Wisdom and Courage are weak, foolish and cowardly respectively, which I thought was clever. The villain Yuga is an interesting amalgamation of previous villains (Ganon, Agahnim, Girahim) with a little of that still has a bit of his own personal flair. I also really like Princess Hilda for some reason.

Though this game uses the top-down perspective of the 2D entries into the franchise (excepting The Adventure of Link), the graphics are rendered in 3D. I can't speak for the 3D effects, though, as I lack depth perception and so leave the 3D setting of my 3DS off. It's not super high-poly or anything, but it all looks good with an appealing style somewhere between that of A Link to the Past and Wind Waker.

There are a lot of remixes of tunes from A Link to the Past, which is a welcome blast of nostalgia, and many of the sound effects come directly from its predecessor. Little things like the sound when you pick up a heart bring you right back to 1992.

As I said, A Link to the Past is my favorite Zelda game and when I heard there was going to be a sequel, I was duly hyped for it. I heard positive feedback that encouraged me further and once I got my hands on it, I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. Get this game. It's totally worth it.

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