GBAtemp Recommends #69 (:tpi:): The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Hadrian, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. Hadrian
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    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    Welcome to the 69th :creep: issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This project is a weekly feature where we share our favourite games and applications with you. The titles we recommend may be "old school" games, a piece of Homebrew, a ROM hack, sleeper hits, an application, etc, but one thing's for certain, we think they are fantastic and deserve your attention!

    It's the last of a special four week look at GB/GBC titles and I was going to be a hipster douche and do Kaeru no Tame ni Kane wa Naru but thought I'd go mainstream with one of the finest video games...ever.​
    The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening
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    Nintendo have pretty much owned the dedicated handheld gaming space ever since the Game & Watch appeared way back in the early 80's. Then they released a console that has become synonymous with handheld gaming and each handheld console since has pretty much dominated the market since (Virtual Boy doesn't count btw). The reason for this is that Nintendo knows the market. While the likes of Sega at the time just offered cut down versions of their hits, Nintendo made all new entries that are considered as good, if not better than the console counterparts. This game has almost been out for 20 years and time has been extremely good to it.​
    The story starts after Oracle of Seasons/Ages (though this game was released before those two...and also the two N64 games). Link goes aboard to train himself up so that he is a better warrior, while he is on his way, he encounters a storm and it destroys his boat. Link washes ashore, shipwrecked on a island called Koholint. There he is rescued by Marin and she takes him to her home to recuperate. Once he is better he tries to leave the island, however he cannot and is confronted by a mysterious owl who then informs Link that he must collect the Eight Instruments of the Sirens and wake the Wind Fish in order to get back home. I have to say that this story is one of my favourites in the series, it's different to the usual "save the Princess/defeat Ganon/save Hyrule" arc.​
    The gameplay is pretty much A Link to the Past only with less colours. By no means is this a cut down pint size version of Zelda, it's every bit as rich and full as that SNES title...in fact more so! The game follows the same top down action/adventure perspective with the emphasis on exploring. The dungeons get harder and larger as you go on. At the end of each dungeon you must defeat a "Nightmare" boss creature in order to gain a instrument of the Sirens. What is different however is that there are now side-scrolling platform sequences, kinda like Zelda II only you know...playable. There are side-quests and missions to take part in along the way, collectable shells so you you can have a much more powerful sword and trading mini games. Also worthy of note, this is the first Zelda title where Link can fish as well as play songs on the Ocarina. Another thing is that this is also the first title where you can assign items to the A/B buttons, this has now been adopted to every proper Zelda title.​
    Graphically it's one of the best GB titles going. It's full of character and detail and you also get to see cameos from the world of Nintendo. The backgrounds are as varied as you would expect, despite the lack of colour. The sound pushes the GB. Fantastic, memorable original scores compliment the gameplay.​
    The game was later ported to the GBC, this time it was in colour and had an extra dungeon. This was no cheap port job, Nintendo took a lot of care in retaining the greatness of the original and also making sure that it was every bit as amazing.​
    All in all rather than just be a portable Zelda title, Nintendo improved the gameplay and despite the 8-bit limitations actually modernised the series further. What started as a port of A Link to the Past has easily become one of the best Zelda games, improving on the games that came before on such modest hardware. It's not just an essential GB title, it's just essential for anyone who loves a great videogame that has a rich story and charm.​
    Genre: Action/Adventure
    Release Year: 1993 (GB) / 1998 (GBC) / 2011 (3DS Virtual Console)​
    Developer: Nintendo EAD
    Published by: Nintendo
    Directed By: Takashi Tezuka
    Released For: Gameboy / GBC / 3DS Virtual Console

    If you enjoyed this week's edition of GBAtemp Recommends! please leave a comment in the thread. This helps us monitor feedback and ensures we keep posting these articles in the future. There will be a special bonus edition this Thursday to celebrate the anniversary of a classic franchise...that kinda went meh.

    If you would also like to write a GBAtemp Recommends! article, let me know.​
     
    TheForce81, Prime_Zero, Veho and 7 others like this.


  2. FireEmblemGuy

    Member FireEmblemGuy Finally hit 1000 posts

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    Oh man, this game... One of my top 3 8-bit games, probably, up there with Super Mario Bros. 3 and the original Dragon Warrior Monsters, and if you've seen my NES, GB, and GBC library, that says a lot. The DX upgrade was just icing on the cake.

    Sadly, the Oracle games kind of suffered the same way Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword did compared to Ocarina of Time, MM, and Wind Waker - they tried to build on the success of this but added too many gimmicks.
     
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  3. qwertymodo

    Member qwertymodo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I picked up the DX version on the 3DS store... best purchase I've made in a long time. I also have both the original and DX versions in cart form, but I really like having it downloaded to my 3DS. It always confused me as a kid why Yoshi and Chain Chomp were in a Zelda game...
     
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  4. Hadrian
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    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    While I enjoyed those games the series did become overly reliant on gimmicks but still they are better than the two DS games.

    I personally think it's time for a new director, maybe even get Miyamoto back in there, he has said recently that he wants to make a new game. I think some new fresh eyes could be what the series needs but then it needs to be with a developer we can trust...like Retro perhaps.
     
  5. Nah3DS

    Member Nah3DS Madre de Dios! Es El POLLO DIABLO!!!

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    my first Zelda
    it was a great way to start :)
     
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  6. The Real Jdbye

    Member The Real Jdbye D:

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    I think you should've featured the DX version instead. But this game is indeed a masterpiece, like most Zelda games (I'm looking at you, Philips)
     
  7. Clydefrosch

    Member Clydefrosch GBAtemp Psycho!

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    whats with the talk about gimmicks? while I'm also no big fan of the whip or the air blower, I certainly enjoy having new different weapons with new different 'riddles'.

    personally, apart from the helper animal, I loved everything they did with the oracle games. All the way down to the connectivity and everything
     
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  8. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

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    I love this game.

    Hell, sometimes I fire up the greyscale one just to use the select warp glitch.
     
  9. Arras

    Member Arras ★02

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    At first I thought you put :tpi: in the title because this game is its origin... Then I noticed the number.
     
  10. dj4uk6cjm

    Member dj4uk6cjm GBAtemp Fan

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    One of those great zelda games. :)
     
  11. Bladexdsl

    Member Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

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    the very 1st game I ever got on my gameboy and the very last zelda that didn't dumb the game up with stupid mini games part of the quest. it's also the last zelda imo that stuck to the true zelda formula. zelda was never the same again after this.
     
  12. mightymuffy

    Member mightymuffy fatbaldpieeater

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    Gotta love Nintendo's Japanese box art! Don't think I've seen this particular one before though, me want! (I've got Japanese Link to the Past box :D)
    Anyway the game.... yep, wonderful stuff! Doesn't quite beat Link to the Past for me, but still far and away the best Game Boy (GBC) game ever made, and yes, up there with Mario 3 as one of the best 8bit games ever.
     
  13. urbanman2004

    Member urbanman2004 GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeap, I actually played and beat the DX version on my Gameboy Advance I used to have. On a summer from middle school when I had nothing to do, that game kept me busy. One of the best GB games of its kind.
     
  14. Aeter

    Member Aeter A walking contradiction

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    This along with Pokemon Yellow and Harvest Moon have ruled my GBC for years.
     
  15. Bladexdsl

    Member Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

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    also goombas in a zelda game :rofl:
     
  16. kineticUk

    Member kineticUk GBAtemp Fan

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    Classic. They don't make em like this anymore...
     
  17. BORTZ

    Global Moderator BORTZ wtf, nintendo

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    This was one I really sunk my teeth into. It really showed how BIG a GB game could really be. A flagship title for Nintendo's handheld.
     
  18. Nah3DS

    Member Nah3DS Madre de Dios! Es El POLLO DIABLO!!!

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    Kaeru no Tame ni?


    :blink:
     
  19. mechagouki

    Member mechagouki Kill 'em all...

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    I loved this game in b/w and loved it more in its DX incarnation.

    My favourite part? Stealing stuff from the shop and having everyone call you a thief.
     
  20. mysticwaterfall

    Member mysticwaterfall Streamforce Supreme Commander

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    Only Zelda game I ever beat twice. Fantastic game all around.
     

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