Last Friday, I felt a little itchy to pick up something different to do for the weekend. Two pretty important things released that day in the Nintendo world – the new Switch Lite, and the remake to Link’s Awakening.
I’d not even considered the Switch Lite until release day. But then, hearing everyone discussing it and seeing the pretty teal colored model started to get me interested in it. Even though my current Switch is perfectly fine (and hardly played as much as it should be), and I only partially spend time playing it in handheld mode as the TV mode is really what I’m interested in.
So it seemed really counter-intuitive to buy a whole new system for… what reason? Just because I got hyped?
Anyhow, Syn talked me out of spending the money there. But I still felt like I wanted something new to mess with this weekend. So, instead, I dropped by Target and picked up a copy of the remake of Link’s Awakening. I also got a couple of really cute promo pins for being one of early purchase people at Target, which I didn’t even know about until the guy added it in.
Hardly a History
I was a Nintendo kid through and through. However, I admit that the one system I never had growing up was a Game Boy — not until Pokemon Blue released and I bought the Game Boy Color for it.
Truth was, I wasn’t really much into handhelds. It wasn’t until later years, when I really started enjoying my 3DS that I actually got into those smaller platforms.
Despite that, I do briefly remember playing Link’s Awakening, and I swear it was on the original Game Boy. It might have been at a friend’s house. It’s really fuzzy, but I do recall the whole trading item for item thing and playing a strange Zelda game where Link’s washed up on an island.
Needless to say, I never finished the game, even if I did play it. So, even if this version was exactly the same as the original, it would have still been like a brand new experience for me.
I generally enjoy the oldskool Zelda experience – an adventure game where you wander around, put the pieces of the story together, and slowly build up items that give skills that unlock more areas to explore.
Of course, this game has that, and it has charm in spades. I don’t know how much was changed from the original in terms of story and script, but it’s just downright fun. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and that’s what I enjoy most about it. Several times, it’s made me laugh out loud or just grin because of its gentle sense of humor.
I wasn’t sure if I’d get on board with the art style at first. But I watched a few videos and thought it was pretty cute. Now that I’ve played it, I think it meshes really well for what it is. Sometimes the characters and objects in the world strike me as adorable little toy figures, especially when seen from afar. And then sometimes you get lovely scenes like this:
The only minor gripe I have – and it seems this is experienced by many – is the moment or two of slowdown you get sometimes when crossing area lines or when you move into a screen where there’s a lot of monsters. It’s just for a second, but I noticed it as soon as it happened the first time.
This is no game breaker, and I’ve accepted that’s how its going to be.
So far, I’ve cleared the first three dungeons, and I just finally saved up enough to buy the bow, which will allow me to defeat the sub-boss and enter the next shrine. You know, I love everything I just said in that sentence, because it has the feel of good oldskool Nintendo gaming!
Things don’t have to be complicated or fancy to be fun. This remake, whether you’re a long-time fan or someone who never really played the original, is just plain LoZ fun. And seeing the number of folks who were on my Switch friends list playing this over the weekend, I know I’m probably not alone in feeling that way.