Review #033: The Legend Of Zelda – A Link Between Worlds (3DS) ~ Merged.

1382344384First Impression – Official site

Warning: This is a longer review. 

I know, I know. This game has been released for such a long time. I have only just recently beaten it. The reason for that is that other games distracted me and I was annoyed at one dungeon. But hey, now that I have finished it, I finally can take a look at this game. I already reviewed a Zelda game earlier this month, but I hope you guys can forgive me for two Zelda game reviews back to back. There will be one guy that will read my review for sure! Isn’t that true, Dark_Legend? Since I know you are looking forward to any content about Zelda. We are both big Zelda fans. Zelda is love. Zelda is LIFE! Anyways, enough with the randomness in this introduction. Let’s take a look at this game. And as usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on this article and or your opinion on this game. Before I continue with the actual review, I want to say that this review has been written quite some time after the first impression article. So, it might be quite possible that my opinion changed quite a bit compared to the first impression. Hopefully you readers can understand that. 

Let’s start.

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While I was playing this game, I was also playing the remake of Ocarina of Time on 3DS. The story has lots of similar elements. While the set-up is quite similar to A Link To The Past, the story takes it’s inspiration from Ocarina Of Time.

That doesn’t mean that the story isn’t unique. I’m a little bit disappointing to see that the story was created using two other Zelda stories with a new element in it. I don’t have any complaints in terms of story besides that. I just felt like I was playing through two quite similar stories. The medallions were the paintings in this game.

It’s by all means, not a bad story. I liked the characters and it was really interesting to see how this game throws a twist in the end. I can’t say it’s predictable, only a person with a lot of experience in the visual novel genre or in writing might see the ending of this game coming.

I can understand that this game is a remake of A Link To The Past, so I can forgive the story being mediocre. I’m actually glad that we got a different game then another remake of A Link To The Past, because it already got a remake on the GBA.

Also, because this game tries out a ton of new things with the Zelda formula, I can’t complain that much about it’s length. A complaint I read often is that this game is too short. I can agree. For veteran Zelda players, you can beat this game quite fast. I didn’t beat it as fast as I could because I didn’t like one dungeon. I’ll get into that later.

Not that good?

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I’m quite sure I’m going to get some hate for this, but I think that the scores this game get are quite high. Honestly, a bit too high. Let me explain myself. Before I look like a troll.

Graphically, this game left me with a “meh” feeling. I enjoy the style using in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks more. You won’t hear me complaining about the more realistic and detailed art-style of Ocarina Of Time. This game is a mix between the two styles.

It tries to have a realistic look on the characters while some enemies and part of the world have a more cartoon-like look to it.

I also didn’t like some character and enemy designs. My favorite race in the Zelda series must be the Zora’s. In this game they look like blown up frogs. So, long story short, I don’t think that this game looks all that good.

This game does make more mistakes then that. The final boss is way too easy. I was able to beat the final boss on my first try. I even didn’t need my 2nd health potion. The solution was way too easy for a veteran puzzle game player. It left me with a very disappointed feeling. The story might have a sweet climax, but the gameplay hasn’t.

What I’m trying to say here is that the difficulty is messed up. All other reviewers said the same. Because you can do the dungeons out of order, they programmed the game in a way that the difficulty is somewhat equal in all the dungeons. There is the big issue, since you get stronger through-out the game, it truly becomes a cake-walk. I haven’t played through Hero Mode, but the overall difficulty isn’t good throughout the whole game.

Good?

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Sadly enough, I’m not done yet with talking about the negatives of this game. A huge improvement is that you can put pins on your map to locations you want to visit in the future! This is quite a nice feature. I used it from time to time to be able to get to certain hart pieces later.

But I do have a problem here. All the locations of the dungeons have been marked. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It helps the player not getting lost, but it kills the exploration. Now, it’s less fun to be able to say: “I found the entrance to that dungeon.”. It’s marked on the map. You can’t overlook it.

Let’s talk dungeon design then. Earlier in this article I talked about the issue I had with this game. In the forest dungeon, you are stalked by a wall master. While it’s a very original idea and it creates some amazing puzzles, it can be quite annoying from time to time.

In general, I think that the dungeons are very well designed. The ice dungeon breaks a Zelda tradition. You can get the boss key almost right away. In some dungeons you can find suits to upgrade yourself. You can even find the master shield in one of the dungeons. The dungeons are filled with challenging enemies and great puzzles. I might had to use a walkthrough once or twice because I wasn’t able to figure out a puzzle. It was one in the Ice Temple. The lay-out is a bit confusing.

You can do the dungeons in what ever order you wish. You can rent the items from a weird guy that invades your home. This is very unique and quite fun. Because you try to get to secrets early and things like that. You can also buy the items later on. And here is where the issue lies. The dungeons feel less rewarding to go through. At least for me, they do. Because you got the dungeon item in advance, you can easily go through it without an issue. There is less reason to try and find each and every item.

 I could sink into the floor… I mean wall.

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So, is this game really not worth playing? No, that would be the wrong thing to say and think. This game provided me with a lot of fun. The main mechanic really helps with that. In this game you are able to merge with almost any wall in the game.

I honestly think that the music is really well done. I love the touch that the music sounds more distant as soon you merge into a wall.

Also, you can be a bit more careless with your bombs and arrows. Thanks to the magic meter, you never run out of them. That saves a whole bunch of grinding, something that shouldn’t be in a Zelda game in the first place.

The side quest to find the baby squids (?)

The animation is extremely well done. This game really plays nice in 3D as well. While I’m not a big fan of the visuals, I think the 3D is good. There is a lot to do besides the main story line. The fact that you can upgrade your stuff, makes the side quests rewarding.

Maybe a little spoiler, but there is a “hero” mode in this game. With this mode you can replay the whole game but in a more difficult fashion.

Also, there is a multiplayer aspect to this game. It’s more spotpass related, but I think it’s really fun. You guys should check it out!

Anyways, I think I have said the most important things I wanted to say about this game. Let’s go to my conclusion.

Conclusion

The bad:

– Visually lacking in my opinion.

– The end game is extremely easy.

– The wall master hunting you down in the forest temple can be annoying 😦

– The map can be annoying to use.

The good:

+ Pins on the map!

+ Great soundtrack.

+ Great idea’s to change up the gameplay.

+ Amazing use of the amazing meter!

Closing thoughts:

This game isn’t perfect, it’s good. But it is anything but worth the big scores that big magazines are giving it. I’m a big Zelda fan, but I put this game down after I got annoyed by that wall master in the forest dungeon chasing you. There is even one in the first room of the dungeon. When I don’t play a Zelda game until I finish it, it means that there is something lacking.

The game was originally meant to be a remake of “A Link To The Past”, and that’s what this game is holding back. This is a reworked remake. Somehow I have the impression that the developers changed the main idea of the game somewhere mid-way development. They needed something simple to set this game apart, so they started reworking the game with the wall merging mechanic.

If I look past my fanboy-ism for the series, I see a game that has some issues but still provides a fun ride. This game isn’t an outstanding Zelda experience, but it came close. They only had to flesh out the game a bit more. To add a bit more difficulty to it. Yeah. That might have been better.

Score: 70/100

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About NekoJonez

I'm a Dutch video game blogger. I play old and new games. On my blog I give my opinion and views on them. These are my personal views. I say what I think. I also talk about more then just games. I talk and discuss the gaming industry or elements of games. To get to know me better, you should come on my blog. :) Keep the most up to date with me on my twitter: http://twitter.com/nekojonez Reviews, first impressions and more. Visit my blog: https://arpegi.wordpress.com/ http://www.arpegi.be/ Besides blogging, I also act on stage, have a job in education, play games and study to become a better IT guy.
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