A Link Between Worlds

*Released: November 22nd, 2015

*Platform: Nintendo 3DS

*Type: action, adventure, role-playing

     I remember A Link Between Worlds being touted as the long-awaited sequel to one of the most iconic Zelda games in the seriesThe Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. LttP (for short) was originally released about twenty years ago for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or SNES and gaming enthusiasts everywhere still mention it frequently. This game is even available for digital download on the WiiU. Just so everybody knows, even I am currently debating with myself on whether or not I want to add it to my growing collection of games.

     By all outside appearances, A Link Between Worlds really is that sequel. I have played through this game once already and am currently enjoying my second playthrough so I can stand firmly by that statement. But for anyone who hasn’t played it, I can offer a few good reasons.

  1. ALBW’s storyline is a continuation/retelling of that of its SNES ancestor.

  2. Practically everything from the SNES original is present, only upgraded and enhanced. Most obviously, the graphics. I mean, look at this! Video game time must be measured in light years or something. The environments feel fleshed out and have a way of sucking the player in and the controls follow pretty much the same format.

  3. The gameplay is mostly the same but smoother and with a few tweaks.

  4. The most important characters from the SNES original return and are further developed while new ones are introduced.

     A good sequel is essentially a good balance between what’s old and what’s new and in my opinion, A Link Between Worlds is an excellent example of this. Playing through the game for the first time was quite the nostalgic experience for me. Memories of that time I completed A Link to the Past on an actual SNES came rushing back to me. They served me well as I strapped myself in for a completely new experience.

     Yep. I just typed that. Even though these two games share many of the same elements, the truth is that playing through A Link Between Worlds has to be gone about in a whole new way. This game has definitely got its own things going on.

  • Renting and buying items. I can admit that this goes against EVERYTHING I’ve ever known about Zelda games. It’s just . . .wierd. Losing all of the cool items I had rented every time I lost all my hearts was really annoying and expensive. Which brings me to the fact that

  • This is the most expensive Zelda game I have ever played. And I thought Windwaker was bad for making me pay about 400 rupees whenever I needed a Triforce Chart deciphered. Damn you, Tingle! What could you possibly need all that money for?! You live in a ridiculous looking tower on a tiny island in the middle of the Great Sea . . .*ahem* Sorry. Got a little carried away there.

  • The ability to travel along walls as a drawing makes a world of difference. Two worlds, actually. With a game mechanic like this I couldn’t tackle dungeons, solve puzzles, or get to those tricky heartpieces like I could in A Link to the Past. Especially not that one impossible heartpiece in that one obscure corner . . .

  • Almost all of the weapons and items are powered by a stamina meter. No more worrying about running out of arrows or bombs. Looking for green bottles to refill a magic meter is now a non-issue.

  • The dungeons don’t have to be conquered in any particular order. It offers a lot of freedom and aids in making each playthrough a little bit different.

     To conclude this post, I’d like to share a few insider tips for anyone interested in playing A Link Between Worlds for themselves.

  1. Leave no rupee uncollected! I cannot stress that enough. Be sure to farm for rupees whenever it’s possible as soon as possible because it can really make or break the entire experience. Collecting lots of rupees is the difference between dominating a dungeon and having to leave in the middle of it because of a lack of proper equipment.

  2. Don’t spend the whole game renting items and weapons! Be sure to buy them whenever the chance presents itself. Having to re-rent the same stuff is a headache that can be avoided.

  3. Watch that stamina meter! Being momentarily defenseless or being forced off of a wall and into a bottomless pit are very real hazards.

  4. Go to the House of Gales before attempting the Tower of Hera. Trust me on that one.

  5. Clear the Thieves’ Hideout first during the second phase of the game. It’s one of the easier dungeons during this phase and there’s a ton of rupees in there.

  6. Don’t leave a dungeon without opening every last treasure chest. I missed out on so much when I didn’t follow this rule: treasures, rupees, that Titan’s Mitt that I spent the whole game looking for . . .

     All right. That’s enough from me. Go forth, my fellow gamers and become that Link between worlds!

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