The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was a quirky side-story on the handheld Game Boy when it was first released in 1993. More than a quarter-century later, Nintendo is rolling out the red carpet and making it a major release on its lead platform, the Nintendo Switch. The remastered version sports a new visual style, a revised control scheme, and a new dungeon-editing feature. But does the cult favorite Zelda game hold up?
The critical consensus seems to be that slight technical hiccups aside, the core of Link’s Awakening is as strong as ever, and improved by the Switch interface that allows you access to multiple tools without constant swapping. Response to the dungeon editor is more tepid, with many reviewers agreeing that it’s limited and uninspiring.
“Though the remake has a couple of blemishes, it’s still an easy game to recommend,” Peter Brown said in GameSpot’s Link’s Awakening review. “People speak of Link’s Awakening as the secret best Zelda game. That’s a tough call to make, but it’s definitely one of the best.”
Several other outlets have also published reviews for Link’s Awakening. We’ve gathered a range of them below to give a broader look from around the industry. For even more, check out GameSpot’s sister site Metacritic. If you’re thinking about picking it up, be sure to read up our Link’s Awakening pre-order guide.
- Game: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: September 20
- Price: $60 / £50 / $68 AUD
GameSpot — 8/10
“If you haven’t touched a classic Zelda game in a while, Link’s Awakening will almost instantly transport you back to the ’90s. It’s simple, in many ways, but the orchestrated journey still conveys a sense of adventure, and this new version is without question the best way to experience it. And more than anything else, it will put a smile on your face. Remakes are a dime a dozen nowadays and often easy to overlook. Don’t make that mistake with Link’s Awakening.” — Peter Brown [Full review]
Forbes — 10/10
“Overall, this is a excellent remake of an already faultless Zelda game. If you never played the Game Boy original, then you absolutely need to pick this up. If, like me, you grew up playing this game, then there is a lot of new content to keep you busy. While Breath of the Wild was the game many bought their Switch for, Link’s Awakening has only reinforced that decision for me. So buckle up and let a friendly owl show you what Koholint Island has to offer.” — Ollie Barder [Full review]
US Gamer — 5/5
“The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake for the Switch improves most of the flaws from the original game while maintaining (or enhancing) everything that makes Link’s Game Boy adventure a classic. Its shiny new coat of paint suits it well, even if slowdown issues pop up from time to time. A few hours of play is all it takes to remind you why Zelda fans love Link’s Awakening so very much.” — Nadia Oxford [Full review]
Game Informer — 9/10
“This remake beautifully captures the essence of the Game Boy original while adding some quality-of-life upgrades to bring it up to contemporary standards.” — Jeff Cork [Full review]
Kotaku — Unscored
“You may recall that two years ago, Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, an all-time great that revitalized the iconic series. The company’s latest Zelda game is so radically different that they basically feel like different genres, but when taken together, they help explain what makes The Legend of Zelda so special. On one end of the spectrum, there’s the vastness of a polished, beautiful open world full of strange places to explore; on the other, there’s the density of an island packed with secrets. If the two games have one thing in common, and offer one reason to keep playing Zelda all these years later, it’s this: They both make it feel pretty damn incredible to swing a sword.” — Jason Schreier [Full review]
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Source: Game Spot Mashup