Over many years, I have played the vast majority of the titles in the Legend Of Zelda franchise. It’s one of those rare franchises that offer multiple Game of the Year titles. I have fond memories of A Link to the Past. It was the first Zelda title I completed without any help or guides. I spent hours upon hours with Ocarina of Time. And of course, I played explored every possible inch of Breath of the Wild. One could argue that this is the greatest franchise of all time.
And yet, despite my love for the series, I have missed out on playing any of the Zelda titles that appeared on Game Boy. It wasn’t like I wanted to skip these, but rather, I never felt inclined to play that much on the Game Boy. I guess I prefer playing on a TV instead of handheld systems. So despite my love of the franchise, there are quite a few Zelda titles that I have never played. With that being said, I was so excited to finally play a Zelda title that was new to me.
When I first started my journey in Link’s Awakening, a massive sense of notalgia rushed through me. From the ebb and flow of the music to the familiar “hyah” from Link himself, Link’s Awakening was undoubtedly a Zelda title. But then I started discovering the many differences between Link’s Awakening and other games in the series.
There were so many things that threw me for a loop. The inclusion of Super Mario enemies. The jumping ability of Link. The lack of a princess that needed to be saved. Even the end twist that it was all a dream! Link’s Awakening felt familiar, yet unique. Even though side-scrolling sections have appeared before, their inclusion also felt unique in Link’s Awakening, especially the use of them for boss fights.
Visually, the art design is incredible. I love the little touches that bring the world to life. The vibrant colors and detail are some of the finest I have seen in the series. I can’t help but wonder how other Zelda games would look with this art design. How awesome would the Dark World look in this art style?
All of this brings me to an inevitable conclusion: Link’s Awakening is the perfect remaster. Stylistically, it is one of the best looking games in the franchise. Its ageless gameplay works perfectly on the Switch. I had a hard time putting down the controller the minute I started playing. And while there were a couple of things added to the game that didn’t work (Dampe’s Dungeon was not my favorite), Link’s Awakening is among my favorite games of the year.
So what’s next? Link’s Awakening topped the charts in Europe and sold well in Japan. I don’t have numbers for North America, but it’s safe to assume it did just as well. Does this mean Nintendo will remake other Zelda titles? Only time will tell. I do believe that they are more inclined to remake something else from the franchise thanks to positive reactions from the fans and media. At this point, if any remakes turn out as good as Link’s Awakening, then I have no issue seeing more Zelda remakes in the future.
Would you be ok with more remakes? Or is Link’s Awakening enough? Sound off in the comments!