E3 2019: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening PreviewGet egg-cited for this dreamy reimagining of a classic title!06.18.19 - 7:02 PM
After a surprise reveal during a Nintendo Direct presentation earlier this year, fans have been looking forward to more news about The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. Reviving a classic Zelda title may seem daunting, especially with a new toy-inspired aesthetic, but after spending some time with the dreamy reimagining at E3, it's easy to say that the game looks incredible and plays even better.
Aside from its vivid visual overhaul, Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch has received several quality of life improvements which will enhance every player's experience as they navigate the mysterious Koholint Island. From the addition of 8-way movement, new assignable item buttons, and improved enemy AI, such as Moblins which take precise aim or square up for battle, Link's Awakening far exceeds the typical expectations which accompany a remake of this kind.
Updates to the map system are also breathtaking. Players begin their adventure with only a roughly sketched map that gradually fills with vibrant colors as Link explores each intriguing region along his quest to gather the Instruments of the Sirens. A pin system similar to the one found in Breath of the Wild also makes an appearance, making questing and exploration just that much easier.
Characters now have delightfully expressive facial animations, with Link making silly faces during cutscenes, when falling through a hole in a dungeon floor, or when expressing joy at fishing out an empty bottle from the Fishing Pond. The same charm carries over to other characters and even enemies, such as Buzz Blobs dusted with Magic Powder, turning them into the comically bug-eyed Cukeman.
Of course, longtime fans will recall the many strange and lovable quirks and crossovers found in the original, which have largely been retained in the remake — as far as we know. The Yoshi Doll still appears in Mabe Village's Trendy Game, Goombas stomp the floors in Tail Cave, and though it hasn't yet been confirmed, it's likely safe to say that Anti-Kirby will still make a fiendish cameo while exploring Eagle's Tower. Fans may also be delighted to hear that the previously hardware-exclusive Color Dungeon will make a return for the first time since its appearance in Link's Awakening DX!
Most importantly, Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch isn't merely a nostalgia trip for fans of the original releases of this highly underrated chapter in the Zelda series. Without a doubt, the tight controls, perfectly tuned gameplay, and incredibly polished presentation found in this masterful recreation will ensure that it won't be remembered as just another remake — Link's Awakening will almost assuredly be hailed for years to come as the apex of 2D Zelda.
The first Zelda title not set in Hyrule, and without series staples like Ganon, Princess Zelda, or the Triforce, Link's Awakening is as novel today as it was when it first debuted almost three decades ago. Whether you've played it before or plan to for the first time, Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch is perhaps one of the top must-own titles for the platform in 2019.