At PAX Australia 2013 in Melbourne, Nintendo Australia had a number of games on show at their exhibitor hall booth. One of those games was the hotly anticipated upcoming 3DS title Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. We were able to get our hands on the game and found the game to be one of the highlights of Nintendo’s booth.
Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is the follow-up to 1992’s A Link to the Past. So roughly 20 years later was the time right to link back to the Legend of Zelda series past? Well after getting my hands on A Link Between Worlds, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’, this is the top down Zelda we have been waiting for.
Upon the initial reveal of A Link Between Worlds, I was skeptical of its visual aesthetics which seemed somewhat rubbery and far out of the trusted wheelhouse for the Zelda franchise. However upon sitting down with the game and getting a feel of it, all those qualms were quelled. The visuals are delightful in motion and work incredibly well with the 3D function of the console.
The game plays just like top-down Zelda games of old, providing a sense of nostalgia that is well earned. There are a number of interesting features of the title, but I think the 3D function adds a greater level of depth to the game that is simply remarkable. It is definitely a game that puts the 3D function to great use, especially with puzzles that use the depth as part of their design. It makes for a fresh feel to the traditional top-down Zelda style and that is something the series has long needed.
A Link Between Worlds features a slightly revised version of the Link to the Past overworld, some changes are present which seems to signify that the game takes place a little while after the first game. It is however unknown how far after and if the Link and Zelda of this game are the same as seen in A Link to the Past. The Dark World is also present in the game much to fans delight.
So how do you make the old hat new? It all comes down to small changes not grand ones and A Link Between Worlds is definitely a number of small changes. It feels very much like the traditional top-down Zelda games, but it is the small changes that make all the difference in this game. If you are expecting something radically different, that is not what this game offers. It is a fresh take on the classic style of Zelda, that feels just as familiar as it does fresh.
Ultimately, The Legend of Zelda franchise is always must-play series for Nintendo fans and A Link Between Worlds is another title in to add to the Zelda history books. It won’t blow your mind, but you’ll undoubtedly have a good time with this game. A Link Between Worlds is a must-play game for the 3DS.