A Link Between Worlds was my very first ever Legend of Zelda game. I know, I know. I definitely don’t live under a rock, and I definitely know it exists. Before you pick up your pitchforks, rest assured that I was given some lovely recommendations for my very first time.
With the release of Breath of the Wild and all of the amazing reviews pouring out for it, I thought it was finally time to really see what all the fuss was about. I asked my good friend Matt over at Normal Happenings (as he is the biggest Zelda fan I know) what game he would suggest starting with. He said A Link Between Worlds for the Nintendo 3DS.
If this seems a little familiar, it’s because I featured this game on Normal Happenings’ Hyrule: See the Sights! Hear the Sounds! which is a huge and amazing blogger collaboration. You should totally check it out to see all of The Legend of Zelda games that were featured. Go for the stories; stay for the incredible music. (And try out some of the recipes.)
Brief intro: Link is tasked with restoring peace to Hyrule after the evil sorcerer Yuga, who has the power to transform living beings into wall art, captures Princess Zelda and escapes through a rift to Lorule. Yuga seeks to kidnap the Seven Sages and use their power to resurrect the Demon King, Ganon. Link is granted the ability to become a living painting after obtaining a magical bracelet.
Link must save Princess Zelda and prevent Yoga from resurrecting Ganon in this beautiful, puzzle-packed, 3DS game.
Review: This is my first Legend of Zelda game ever so I have literally nothing to compare it to when it comes to the previous games of the series. A Link Between Worlds has truly set the bar high for any other Legend of Zelda game I choose to play. (I’m looking at you Breath of the Wild.)
While the popularity of Zelda was not immediately recognizable as I was getting my footing as Link, I quickly fell in love with the shiny graphics and game mechanics. There wasn’t much of a tutorial which was fine with me. Cue the Heroic Quest, and I was feeling pretty at home with A Link Between Worlds.
It wasn’t until my first dungeon that I finally understood the love for these games. I adored the puzzles and the fun enemies. Things were just hard enough to make me think before I acted. Things could get a bit hairy or even frustrating, but I pushed on, all the while admiring the mechanics and how much fun I was having in my very first dungeon.
Then the most amazing part of A Link Between Worlds happened.
I reached my first boss battle. With some quick thinking, I thought I had defeated him only to be turned into a painting like the warriors before me. I knew though that the story was far from over. My bracelet pulled me off the wall and gave me the ability to merge into walls. MERGE INTO WALLS. I was freaking out, and showing my husband this amazing game mechanic, and just fangirling over how awesome this new “power” could be.
Something else about this game drew my attention, too. There is no linear way to defeat dungeons. You can easily progress through the game by going to any dungeon you want. Most games have the player go from objective to objective so this really sets A Link Between Worlds apart from the rest. You are allowed to explore and get to know Hyrule which was a huge plus as a new player.
There were so many things to love about this game. Ravio is one of them. He’s a wandering merchant who creates his shop right in Link’s home. He provides all kind of items for rent or for sale. Talk about convenience! The only bone I have to pick about this is when you die three or four times, renting that weapon has it downside. Frustratingly, every time you die, the item turns it self back into Ravio’s store, and you have to pay to rent it again.
After experiencing several hours of gameplay in A Link Between Worlds, I can safely say, it is one of my favorite games. I adore puzzles, but I love uniqueness even more. Being able to turn myself into a painting and walk along walls, squeeze through crevices, and avoid obstacles really sold me on the game itself. You don’t need long tutorials here either. Without the hand-holding that usually comes with games like this, I was able to happily explore the world and go at my own pace.
The Legend of Zelda has gained a new fan, thanks to this amazing recommendation!
Bottom Line: A Link Between Worlds, with its pretty graphics, beautiful music, and exciting game mechanics, is your own unique journey that no one needs to hold your hand on.
Official Rating: E
Genre(s): Adventure, Action
Geeky Gal’s Score: 5 out of 5 stars!