With its top-down perspective and charming visual style, one might dismiss The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
as lesser Zelda. Not that you would, or could. Because this remake of the beloved Game Boy
classic is essentially a love letter to fans of the series. Of which, our own Alex Andreadis considers himself to be. A fan.
And so over the past week he's been spending most of his days in the beautiful and strange location that is Koholint Island.
With the built from the ground-up Link’s Awakening remake arriving on the Nintendo Switch it’s important to talk about its origins and some of the constraints Nintendo had when dealing with old-school Game Boy hardware. First off, simply getting to play a Zelda game on a handheld back then was a revelation. But like the 8-bit NES original, Game Boy Zelda was limited to rendering action screen-by-screen. The image would not scroll with Link, so the game’s environments and dungeons and top-down combat were designed with this limitation in mind. That said, Nintendo made the most out of it and jammed something interesting to see and do on every screen.
Click Here to Read Out Full The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening Review
Fast forward to today, and many Zelda games later, we can now revisit this Game Boy classic on the exponentially more powerful Nintendo Switch hardware. From the moment you boot up The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Switch, it's clear that this remake has been a labour of love. And really, the new visual look is without a doubt the prettiest Zelda game I've played. The re-designed introduction transforms the handful of frames seen in the Game Boy original into a stunning sequence of beautiful hand-drawn art. This sets the tone because everything here is, for lack of a better word, better than ever.