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Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX - Review

An old favorite gets an overhaul

By Ryan Amos, RPGamer Writer


Review Breakdown
   Battle System9.5
   Gameplay9.5
   Music9.0
   Originality8.5
   Plot8.5
   Replay Value9.0
   Sound9.0
   Visuals9.5
   DifficultyEasy
   Time to Complete10-15 hours 
Overall
9.0
Criteria

   With so much hype surrounding its big brother, many people missed the release of the Game Boy Color remake of Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. While the original Game Boy version was great, the colorized version is absolutely spectacular. The folks at Nintendo did a wonderful job remaking this already-a-classic Game Boy game.

   When I opened the plastic wrap, I didn't know what to expect out of the colorization. When I looked at the instruction booklet, I thought it would be very poor. This was not the case. The pictures in the booklet were obviously done from an incomplete copy of the game. The colorization of this game is fantastic. I couldn't have picked a better color pallete myself. This is on top of the fact that the Game Boy Color sports razor sharp graphics. If you see pictures, they don't do this game justice, it must be seen with your own eyes.

   A word about the Game Boy Color. These things are super neat. Get one and get it now, the graphics are incredible for the battery life and price. I probably played 16 hours and the little press things on the 2 AA batteries show half power left. Very smooth. The only thing it could use is a backlight, but ASCII makes a front light/magnifier, which works just as well on the highly reflective TFT LCD screen.

   Ahem.. Back to the game at hand. Nintendo has added a special secret dungeon to the DX version of Link's Awakening. It is only accessable by the Game Boy Color, and it relies heavily on the color to solve the puzzles in the dungeon. The prize recieved at the end of this very cool, albeit short, dungeon is also very cool and colorful.

Secret Dungeon
Cool, but screenshots don't do justice  

   There are also other various changes. Pressing select will show you how many pieces of heart you have, among other things. There is also the Camera shop, which, while useless, is another thing to collect. The pictures are mildly humorous, and can be printed if you own the Game Boy Printer. The rest of the game is essentially unchanged, sans bug fixes (remember the old screen jump trick? It doesn't work anymore.)

   The music, while still the simple beeps and boops of the Game Boy, still has that catchy tune to it. While the variety of songs is slim (only about 8 or so total) they never get boring or repetitive. And yes, the classic Zelda overworld theme IS in this game. Several very cool versions of it, as well.

   Being a Zelda game, it naturally has high replay value. Collecting all the Secret Seashells, pieces of heart and photographs is no easy task, and I assume something special awaits if all are collected (I wouldn't know, I didn't play THAT much into it.)

Smile!
Say Cheese!  

   And, as a Zelda game, you would expect it to have a relatively weak plot, right? If you hadn't played it before, the storyline is actually very different from the rest of the Zelda series. How different? Zelda isn't actually in the game at all (though some argue that Marin is Zelda.) It starts out when Link is sailing around the world alone to prove his courage when he runs into a storm and his ship is destroyed. He washes up on to a beach on Koholint Island, where he is discovered by Marin. When he wakes up, he is at her house with her bumbling but well-meaning father, Tarin. From there, Link learns that he has to collect the 8 instruments of the sirens to wake the mysterious Wind Fish and escape the island. The way it is handled is very well, it isn't boring even if you have played it before.

   Of course, being a Zelda game, and on top of that, a Game Boy game, it is naturally too short. Not that this is a bad thing, you're always hungry for more. At around 12 hours, it is a very long Game Boy game, but still not long enough. We can only hope that Nintendo is working on another Zelda game for Game Boy Color.

   None of this really changes the fact that this game is easliy one of the best Game Boy games ever created. It's great now, as it was back in 1993. Anyway, if you own a Game Boy, quick, rush out and buy a Game Boy Color. And when you're buying that Game Boy Color, buy Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX along with it.


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