It’s time for another Legend of Zelda game. You could say I’m on a bit of a roll eh? This is another fairly recent overhead title so it comes with a lot of the quality of life updates you saw in the Switch game as well. I wouldn’t say this one quite beats Link’s Awakening but the story here is better. It’s a really fresh story with fun characters and very high stakes the whole time. You can’t go wrong there.
The story starts out with an intruder named Yuga showing up and infiltrating Hyrule. He starts turning everyone into portraits and even does this to Zelda before Link can stop him. Link is turned into a portrait as well but fortunately his armlet prevented this from being permanent and Link can now use the ability to phase into a wall like a paper character. He must now stop Yuga in his mad quest for power. To do this Link will need to awaken the Triforce, grab the master sword, and keep the 7 sages safe. Can he pull this off?
First off the graphics here are really solid. We get the occasional full cutscene where the animation can really shine but even in gameplay it’s very clear. There are a lot of striking colors all around and the boss designs are good. I won’t say this will compete with the top Nintendo games but it does well on the 3DS. The soundtrack is also a lot of fun with great themes around every corner. You’ll have a lot of fun listening to the game as you go on.
The gameplay is your classic Legend of Zelda style but there is one big improvement here which is that you get your weapons right away. So Ravio sells just about every weapon in the game and you can rent them for cheap. So the best thing to do is rent all of them and you only lose the weapon if you die so make sure you save the game a lot. Now I did this for pretty much the whole game but the only time it is tempting to let yourself die is if you made a lot of progress in a dungeon. After all resetting would lose that data so check to see how much money you have and if it’s enough then I would suggest just going back to the shop and renting everything again. When you get a game over you are given the option to respawn there anyway so it won’t take very long.
There are quick travel teleports all over the map so you rarely have to replay any large part of the game. Money is also fairly abundant and I was able to permanently buy a few of the items later on so then dying doesn’t even matter as much. All of the weapons will be useful at some point in the game so having them all will minimize how often you have to backtrack through it all. Towards the end there is a point in the game where you have the option to pick from 7 dungeons and the fun part is you can basically do them in any order. It’s like the game is part open world which is nice.
It makes for a pleasant experience although you can expect things to get a little tough for the final boss. Now there’s a boss that beat me quite a few times. I still feel like some attacks are almost Rng but hang in there and you’ll be okay. I couldn’t figure out how to get a fairy in the bottle for this game so buy a potion from the witch instead to restore your health. I also highly recommend getting all of the Master Sword materials to max the sword out. This means you need less strikes for the boss which is massive since every hit counts. The boss can beat you in around 3 blows after all, at least with the number of hearts that I had.
Meanwhile with the story you’ll have a lot of twists and turns to get through which are fun to experience. Link and Zelda are great leads as always but for example we meet a princess named Hilda who is a lot of fun. She’s lake a version of Zelda who grew up without a hero and so things have been tough on her. She never gave up though and fights for her planet which is admirable. Then there’s the villain Yuga who is new to the series. He’s definitely powerful and puts up a fight though so you don’t want to underestimate him. This guy absolutely plays for keeps and the ability to turn anyone into a painting is actually really scary. It’s hard to dodge and if not for the armlet then that would have been it for Link right there.
Each of the boss fights are unique and require different strategies. Yuga’s fights tend to have you be very observant to react to where he goes while other fights will require you to throw bombs from afar or get in close for a classic sword fight. Adapt how you fight for each boss and you’ll be fine. It really makes you feel like you’re playing through a true adventure that way as button mashing will not be enough to win here. The going through walls gimmick was also handled really well so it didn’t feel tacked on.
Overall, Link Between Worlds is a really fun game. It’s easily got one of the best Link stories and there is a whole lot of suspense here. It’s a very satisfying journey that keeps you on your toes and the gameplay had a lot of effort put into it by the devs. The dungeons are all long enough to be memorable while not overstaying their welcome. I liked how the floors were used in that switches on one floor could affect things on another. It made even the small dungeons feel big with how they kept adapting and the puzzles were handled fairly. If you don’t have this game yet then I definitely recommend fixing that!