So I was browsing around Marion today and I noticed EB were selling Nintendo eShop cards. Excellent, I thought, finally a way to get some funds onto the system. So, $30 later I’m now the proud owner of Link’s Awakening DX on my 3DS.
The original Link’s Awakening on the Game Boy was an important part of my childhood. In fact every Game Boy game I owned, from Donkey Kong ’94 right up to Pokemon Silver, holds a special place in my heart.
To me, Awakening was to Zelda what Super Mario World was to the original Super Mario Bros. on the NES: The pinnacle of the evolutionary line. It took all the lessons Nintendo had learned from Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Return of Link and perfected the experience. The overworld and dungeons are still divided into single screens that you move between by travelling off the edges, but there is such incredible variety between locations and creative design that you don’t feel like the copy and paste environments of the NES games. The world opening up to you as you collect items, gaining the power to jump over pits, pick up rocks, or even swim through water, creates an air of discovery as you explore each new screen and revisit old ones to find new paths.
I never got to play the DX upgrade when it originally came out back in 1999, but the colourations make the world seem even more vibrant than the original 4-colour monochrome edition. I can’t wait to discover the Colour Dungeon and get new challenges, and see how each boss looks with a fresh layer of paint on them.
Happy gaming, everybody. Find something you love and play the hell out of it. Wear your fingertips to the bone.