Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Review

A Link Between Worlds is one of, if not the, finest games of 2013. Nintendo had a daunting task to deliver on a sequel to A Link To The Past. Not only has it done so, it's crafted one of the best Zeldas in recent memory.

Although interesting in their own right, Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass felt like franchise offshoots, toned down to ensure they fitted the DS. ALBW is the exact opposite. It feels like an adventure bigger than the sum of its parts, modelling itself on its predecessor near perfectly, yet adding a suitable amount of fresh ideas to ensure it feels new.

The most sweeping change comes in the form of being able to rent items rather than find them in dungeons. Brought in to add a sense of exploration and choice to proceedings - you can now actively choose which areas to tackle and when - it also emphasises a very serious shift in how devastating death can be in a Zelda game.

In the past, most iterations have only ever punished you for running out of hearts by sending you back to the last doorway you entered - it never carried any serious impact. Now, dying results in any item you've rented returning to Ravio, the friendly retailer who's taken up residence in Link's house. While the ability to fast-travel means this isn't a huge problem to circumvent, that legendary beeping is now responsible for genuine dread. There's a very real consequence should you fall.

It's an addition that may divide people - initally against it, I found it grew on me as the hours passed - but it's the rest of ALBW which truly shines. Along with some of the best music I've ever heard in a game, its intelligent dungeon design, incredible use of 3D and the merge mechanic - which will constantly trick and challenge your mind - and the numerous nods to the entire series meant I thought my heart would burst from my chest in joy. This deserves its place among the great Zelda games of yesteryear.

Wonderful.

Game finished in 12 hours. Played for an extra 5 hours in 'Hero Mode' (a harder setting unlocked on completion). Please also note: the Streetpass functionality in this game is very good. For somewhat crazy reasons, we can't tell you how it works...

10 / 10

  • New item mechanic makes progression interesting.
  • Fantastic dungeon design.
  • So many delightful Zelda nods.
  • Genuinely some of the best music in video game history.

Click above for enlarged The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Screenshots

8 Comments

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User Comments

Get2DaChoppa's Avatar

Get2DaChoppa

Not sure if this music is in the game, but I thought you might like it...

YouTube Video
Posted 18:08 on 15 November 2013
Graboot's Avatar

Graboot

Nintendo just sold a 3DS XL - I'm definitely getting this.
Posted 06:24 on 15 November 2013
SimonMiller's Avatar

SimonMiller@ b23cdq

Yeah, I'm a little baffled. The Umbungo said we weren't allowed... and yet it's out there. It's fun to find out how it works on your own anyway.
Posted 23:38 on 14 November 2013
b23cdq's Avatar

b23cdq

As Nintendo already revealed the StreetPass functionality before this was posted, I don't see why you can't talk about it. That is, of course, unless there is more...
Posted 23:32 on 14 November 2013
ChangtheSubject's Avatar

ChangtheSubject@ Clxmj

Papa N dog
Posted 21:23 on 14 November 2013
DancingRhino's Avatar

DancingRhino

Sounds like they've put some challenge into the combat. Zelda fans won't like that!
Posted 21:07 on 14 November 2013
Clxmj's Avatar

Clxmj

Joystiq gave it a 5/5 and Gametrailers a 9.8.
Never count out the Big N.
Posted 19:27 on 14 November 2013
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH

WOW! Was not expecting a 10. I mean review scores are not the end all or be all of a game, but still. Wow!

Great, this is making want to buy this game now... THANKS Simon and Nintendo. You're making life as a uni student on a budget even more difficult ;D
Posted 18:38 on 14 November 2013

Game Stats

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
10
Out of 10
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
  • New item mechanic makes progression interesting.
  • Fantastic dungeon design.
  • So many delightful Zelda nods.
  • Genuinely some of the best music in video game history.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 22/11/2013
Platform: 3DS
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Unknown
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 557 5
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