The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX Review

legend_of_zelda_links_awakening_dx_gbc_screenshot1One must be wondering, “Why do a review on a 21 year old game?” Simple. At the time Link’s Awakening came out, I was three years old, didn’t have a Game Boy, and couldn’t read. Then again, whenever we rented a Nintendo game, I would force my older sisters to play the game for me. And even when the remake, Link’s Awakening DX, came out in 1998, I still didn’t have a Game Boy Color. I got it in 2000 for Christmas and never played any Zelda games until the Oracle series and poor Link’s Awakening was on my list of games I never got as a child.

Nevertheless, thankfully Nintendo decided to put it on their 3DS Virtual Console for $4.99 and I was able to finally to play the last GBC Zelda game.

The story is simple: Link is trapped in a storm on his ship which gets hit by lightning and he becomes shipwreck. He washes up ashore on Koholint Island to be discovered by Marin and her father Tarin. After waking up, Link goes down to the beach and recovers a sword. There he meets a mysterious owl named Kaepora who tells him about the Wind Fish and the Eight Instruments to wake him from his slumber.

Very classic Zelda game. Go to eight dungeons, collect the object at the end of each dungeon, and then go defeat the main villain which is Dethl in this game. Nice name bro.

While playing this, I was feeling very nostalgic. Remembering my childhood days playing Oracle of Seasons and Ages. Though this game is very different than the later two.

The game sticks to the overhead perspective as previous Zelda games which works great on handheld consoles in my opinion. You get your standard sword and shield in the beginning and along the way you find other items to help you on your quest such as the Pegasus Shoes to run/dash and Roc’s Feather for jumping those pesky pits.

There are two things that show up when you killed enough regular field enemies: the Guardian Acorn and the Pieces of Power. Guardian Acorn shows up when you killed 12 enemies and halves the damage you take. The Pieces of Power show up when you killed 40-50 enemies and basically powers up your attack. I was quite shocked when I saw those items since I never saw them in the Oracle games. They are useful when you actually want them though the music that plays when you pick them up can kind of get on your nerves after awhile.

The bosses and mini-bosses for each dungeon were quite unique and hard at times. In the level 5 dungeon Catfish’s Maw, the enemy Master Staflos became my worst enemy. Having to fight him three times annoyed me. The strategy here is to hit him with your sword and after he crumbles to the ground, you bomb him. Hitting him was the problem. His hitbox is kind of small above him that I ended up dying on him a couple times. Dying on a mini-boss is like the cone of shame to a dog. I have to say I was disappointed that some of the mini-bosses and bosses here were reused in the Oracle games. The boss Façade in the dungeon Face Shrine was reused in Oracle of Seasons as the mini-boss in Snake’s Remains.

For the final boss Dethl, I wasn’t all that impressed. Majority of his forms were rehashed Zelda bosses except for two. Though his last form was challenging for me causing me to get the Magic Potion from Crazy Tracey.

The music is beautiful. Even on the Game Boy Color, the Legend of Zelda series always seem to get me into the sense of adventure. If I had to pick, the Ballad of the Wind Fish is my favorite track of this game.

Overall I did enjoy this old classic that I never got to play as a child. Only I wish that I didn’t have to find a walkthrough when I got lost… I hate getting lost in Zelda…

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX Score


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