Warning: Full spoilers for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds below. You have been warned.
So I just finished the newest Zelda game, and yes, it really was as good as everyone is making it out to be. I wouldn’t say I was skeptical beforehand, but my expectations were definitely blown away. From the moment I turned it on all the way to the end (and what an end it was), I was consistently impressed. Was it perfect? No. No game ever is. Did it worm its way into my top 5, maybe even top 3, Zelda games? Hell yes it did. Let’s break it down.
Visually, the game looks amazing. I played it with the 3d on the entire time, the only game I’ve done that for so far. The 3d effects were all subtle but magnificent, and it really did help to give the game that extra depth. I wasn’t blown away with the character models when I first saw them, I thought they looked a little too cartoonish for me, even more so than Wind Waker, but by the end of the game I was won over. The characters all have great personality, the only exceptions being Link, who is a blank slate, and Zelda, who I thought looked a little too baby dollish for my taste. I loved the colors, the world, everything about how it all looked. The dungeons looked great too, and had a lot of extra background visuals for extra ambiance, which I loved.
Musically, this is one of the best sounding games in the series, hands down. I don’t know if they used real instruments to record it all, but it definitely sounds like it, and if they didn’t, my hat is off to Nintendo for some awesome sound effects. Each dungeon and location had its own theme music, which all sounded amazing.
The dungeons in this game were the only place I had any issue. They all looked great, and I really enjoyed being able to visit most of them in whichever order I chose. In most of the reviews I read, the dungeon length and difficulty were considered good, or at least acceptable, but I really felt like some of them were too easy, and I could blow through them much quicker than I thought I would. I get that since there was no set order to the dungeons, they couldn’t make one significantly more challenging than the others, but the complexity could have been upped a little more in my opinion. The order I tackled the dungeons in were the Eastern Palace, House of Gales, Tower of Hera, then the Thieves’ Hideout, Swamp Palace, Desert Palace, Dark Palace, Ice Ruins, Turtle Rock, and Lost Woods. I realize that Nintendo compensated for the length and difficulty of the dungeons for how many there were, but… it was just a little disappointing sometimes when I would be playing through a dungeon and all of a sudden I would be at the boss way before I expected to.
I loved the new item rental system, and by the end of the game I had every item bought and everything except for the Sand Rod and the boomerang upgraded to their nice versions. I would really like Nintendo to utilize a similar item system in future Zelda games. I thought that the need to rent and then buy them gave me a reason to go out and get rupees, and Ravio was always fun to interact with, especially when you’ve bought everything and he’s just chilling on the floor. My favorite of the new items in the game, of which there were only two, was the Tornado Rod. After I upgraded it, it became pretty much my default weapon.
For the story, I was mostly pleased. I had guessed that Ravio would be Lorule’s version of Link from the beginning (how else would have had all those items in the first place?) and Hilda’s dark appearance, as well as the fact that she was the one who had Zelda’s portrait, pretty much gave away the fact that she would turn out to be the one orchestrating the events of the game, so none of the twists in the story really got me, but it was an enjoyable story nonetheless. I really enjoyed Hilda’s character, how she was willing to do anything to save Lorule, and I thought the ending where Zelda and Link restored Lorule’s triforce was really awesome, and provided a very epic feeling ending, especially accompanied by that music. Yuga as an antagonist never really felt comfortable. He was merged with Ganon for the majority of the game, so I didn’t really understand which one of them was in control, if I was going up against Ganon or Yuga, but I guess it doesn’t really matter.
In relation to the rest of the series, I really enjoyed how this Zelda was always looking up to Zelda and Link from LttP, and how their love and relationship is still being remembered during LBW. I thought that was a really nice touch. My guess is that this is the game that kickstarts Hyrule’s Golden Age, since the triforce is now in the royal family’s possession, althought I think it was at the end of LttP as well… so I’m not really sure how the triforce was split up again at the beginning of this game. Must be another “divine prank.” Stupid gods.
I went into the game with the mindset that some amazing Majora’s Mask reference was going to be shown, but other than the mask in Link’s house, which is a what the fuck moment in and of itself, I didn’t really see anything. There was a milk bar, and lots of people wearing masks, and the eye ball puzzle switches looked really similar to the Majora’s Mask eyes, but other than that, there was no solid connection at all. Perhaps Lorule and Termina are the same place, just in different timelines. I don’t know. Why the fuck does Link have Majora’s Mask!?!? The world will (probably) never know.
Anyway, to wrap everything up, Link Between Worlds is a really amazing game, and any Zelda fan would love it. I plan on taking on Hero Mode at some point in the future, probably after I finish Oracle of Ages.
“Describe your perfect cup of coffee,” she said. I thought she was kidding but she wasn’t. I thought about it a while and then the writer in me, Mr. Word Expert, tried to verbalize it. When I was finished and had failed miserably she said, “It only gets worse when you go into it further. Try to describe what you think is the perfect cup of coffee, or the perfect girlfriend, meal, dog, car… whatever. You can only recognize perfection when you see it, but you can’t describe it even if it’s sitting right in front of you. Trying to find the right vocabulary to describe the qualities of something perfect is like trying to hold water between your fingers.”—Jonathan Carroll (via browndresswithwhitedots)
“I used to work at McDonald’s making minimum wage. You know what that means when someone pays you minimum wage? You know what your boss was trying to say? ‘Hey if I could pay you less, I would, but it’s against the law.’”—Chris Rock (via lamaracuya)
shout out to people who are scared to call others out, whose hands shake when they try to explain what’s wrong, whose throats threaten to close up with thoughts of ‘what if i’m just overreacting’, whose hearts are pounding out of their chests because they just stuck their necks out for their beliefs, who have lost friends and respect and safety for aligning themselves with causes