The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Review


William Poole, Section Editor

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a Nintendo Switch video game developed by Grezzo and published by Nintendo. The video game is a remake of the 1993 game on the Gameboy. Link’s Awakening updates the game by adding modern graphics, improved mechanics, new music, and even a dungeon creator to keep players coming back.


The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening takes place on the island of Koholint, a mysterious isle that the main character, Link, has found himself on after crashing his raft. He is found by a young girl named Marin and she takes him to her village. After waking, he returns to the shore only to stumble across his sword and be informed by an owl to awaken the Wind Fish in order to return home. For the Wind Fish to awaken, Link must collect eight instruments and play the Ballad of the Wind Fish in front of the large egg atop Mt. Tamaranch. Link must traverse treacherous dungeons and landscapes to find the instruments, and fight many monsters on the way.


The gameplay expands heavily from the original, especially since the Nintendo Switch offers more than the Gameboy. For example, items are now much easier to sort and use due to the easier menu navigation from the original, also the game simply moves at a much quicker pace. Text boxes move quicker, which is also a major improvement from the original. As for the map the game takes place on, it remains faithful to the original. The only real noticeable addition from the original is a new dungeon creator, which gives the game an expanded lifespan. Looking away from comparisons, the gameplay by itself is done very well, it is simple to understand and can be picked up by anybody. Puzzles are a joy to figure out and feel rewarding when you do. If you ever get stuck, there are telephones around the map that gives you hints on what to do next. Sometimes these hints can be vague, but they do help nonetheless. One aspect of the gameplay that is marvelous is the progression. There are parts of the map that are blocked off until you acquire certain items, which are normally acquired from the dungeons. This aspect makes it to where you do the dungeons in the intended order rather than doing them in a random order which would make the game unplayable and tedious. The game’s length is around 10 hours, which is a decent chunk of time for the type of game it is. It isn’t too long, but it is certainly enough to satisfy. To go along with the main quest, the game also provides a lot of things to do on the side. You can collect heart pieces to increase your health, find secret seashells to get rewards, or you can just go fishing! All in all, this game ensures you always have something to do to the end.


The dungeons are a major attraction of this game and deserve a category of their own. In-between exploring Koholint Island, you enter treacherous dungeons to collect the required instruments and defeat bosses. There are eight dungeons in total, each dungeon having unique layouts and puzzles. My favorite dungeon in the game is easily the seventh dungeon, Eagle’s Tower. It has cool puzzles and a great layout that left me wanting more when I finished it. The bosses in the dungeons each have individual mechanics that are enjoyable to figure out and overcome, along with really awesome designs. Each dungeon in this game is fun, and none of them were ever aggravating to progress through.


This game does what should be expected of a remake, it makes the graphics more modern and chooses an art-style that compliments the original. The art style chosen is one that can appeal to all ages, as opposed to some other Zelda games such as Twilight Princess which have a darker tone for older audiences. Link’s Awakening, unfortunately, has some issues despite its many positives. The biggest issue is the frame rate, which is supposed to run at a steady 60 FPS but drops down to 30 or below constantly. This isn’t an issue that would bother a casual player, but one that is certainly conspicuous to some.


The music in this game is pretty good. It takes some tracks from the original and re-arranges them in a phenomenal style that combines old-school bit music with orchestral instruments. The music in the game, especially on Koholint Island, inspires you to continue on your adventure and immerses the experience.


Link’s Awakening exposes a classic adventure to a new generation of gamers and does so faithfully and conventionally. It doesn’t change too much from the original but adds just enough to improve the game in favorable ways. Now, is it worth the sixty dollars? Maybe. If you haven’t played the original, it is certainly an exciting adventure for anyone to experience if your cup of tea is old-fashioned adventure games. If you have played or own the original, however, it doesn’t add too much to warrant a sixty-dollar purchase. This game is an incredible remake, and worth a buy if you enjoy witty, old-fashioned action-adventure games.

Score: 8/10