Disclaimer: This is my first attempt, guaranteed to be terrible.
A bit of background, I’ve admired the Zelda series for a while, owning both DS titles, Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks. I’d been toying with the idea of replacing my old DS Lite for a while, and recently I took the plunge and bought the 3DS XL Zelda edition, which comes with a copy of Link Between Words. I should point out if anyone is thinking of buying that, 2 words of warning, first the came does not come with a cartridge you get a code to download the game. Secondly the charger is NOT part of the bundle and you have to buy it seperatly. (They only cost £5, but it still annoys me)
Anyway, lets actually discuss the game itself: (for this first post, i’m going to use a pros and cons system)
Great storyline (There’s a big twist at the end)
The ‘merging’ on to walls system. When I first saw this I thought ‘great, another pointless gimmick’ but thankfully I was wrong. The design of both the dungeons and overworld, use this feature effectivly, however it’s not over-used, the right balance has been found
Controls, I’m not going to lie, I hated the ‘use the stylus to control Link’ system in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks, it was too clunky and often led to many mistakes, i.e. trying to get Link to move and he just keeps attacking. I often wondered why not use the D-Pad? Luckily someone was listening to me, in ‘ALBW’ the 3DS’s suprisingly easy to use joystick, controls Link
, it just makes things so much easier and gives Link more freedom.
Transport: In the 2 previous Zelda DS games, moving around the world was very different. Phantom Hourglass used a boat, due to the fact it’s seen as its a sequel to ‘Wind Waker’. I liked the fact that things weren’t that linear, you could ignore the plot and just explore. However one simple thing ruined it, the boat was FAR TOO SLOW, the game stopped being fun, as it took 5 minutes to get from place to place. Spirit Tracks used a train, however the system was far too linear, you were very limited to where you could go through out the game. However Nintendo have solved this is ‘ALBW’ by stealing concepts from Pokemon. Early in the game you obtain the ‘Pegasus Boots’ that allow Link to run, similar to the ‘running shoes’ in Pokemon. Later in the game you gain the ability to be transported to any area where you saved your game, this is very similar to the idea of ‘Fly’ used in Pokemon. This makes backtracking easy and thats a key part of Zelda.
Has some nice minigames/side quests to increase the life of the game.
The 3D effect: I don’t feel that the 3D effect improved the game in any way, and the narrow ‘sweet spot’ where you can actually see the 3D, meant that 9 times out of 10, it was just blurry.
Renting Items: Firstly I know this was put into the game as a throw back to ‘A Link to The Past’ But it just annoyed me that what would often happen is that you’d die in a dungeon, have all your items returned and have to start over, and you waste time collecting more Rupees. Eventually you are able to permenatly buy items, they’re either 800 or 1200 Rupees, which is a lot, and this is made worse by the fact its not that easy to get Rupees fast. (I collected the Bees, 50 Rupees each)
Overall, I loved A Link Between Worlds and it was a good reason to invest in buying a 3DS and to me its one of the best games for the console. I admit its not perfect, but no game is, if anything the game is better with the 3D turned off, and as for the money issue, you can figure it out.