The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
Reviewed by Philip Barclay-Monteith
Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is the fourth game in the hugely
successful Zelda Series. It is the first on the Game Boy platform and,
some would say, is one of the better ones.
It is set on the magical island of Koholint where Link is shipwrecked.
When he wakes up, the first thing he does is get his stuff back, thanks
to Tarin, the not so bright father of the obligatory girl.
Following the instructions of Ulira, a telephone answering service and
a cryptic owl, he journeys into the dungeons eight island to collect the
eight magical instruments to awaken the interestingly- name Wind Fish (?).
Graphics 7 out of 10
The graphics for Zelda 4 are quite good for a Game Boy game. They tend
to be a bit simplistic, but this does not detract from game play. In fact,
this makes the graphics reminiscent of the SNES version. The only real
gripes I have with the graphics is when the text boxes come up, as the
low pixel count makes it look permanently italicized. Also, some of the
fiendishly difficult puzzles involve floor tiles, and a Game Boy monitor
makes it hard to tell them apart. This problem can easily be solved, by
playing with a Super Game Boy.
Music and Sound 7 out of 10
The sound for Zelda 4 is not particularly good, with typically blippy
tunes and blippy sound effects. This, however, is not the fault of the
manufacturers, just the fact that Game Boy hardware has a lot to learn
about speakers. The tunes themselves are very effective, and apply well
to the atmosphere. The castle has spooky music, the town chirpy, and
the in between sounds adventurous. The sound effects are very accurate
if you don't mind the high-pitchedness of them, with the sword swishing,
the arrow flying and the jump going boing.
Game Challenge 9 out of 10
The difficulty of the game is what really kicks in. Zelda 4 is an incredibly
difficult game, and really surprised me after playing other Game Boy "RPG"s.
Sometimes the puzzles are really easy, and make you wonder why they even
included them. This is just to lead you up into the nasty ones. The thing that
really keeps Zelda 4 going, are those puzzles in which you desperately search
for a vital key that's in the next room! The only problem is that sometimes
the game expects you to do things in the correct order, and if you use the
wrong key in the wrong place you need to do e-v-e-r-y-thing again.
Overall 92 out of 100
Overall, Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is a very worthwhile game,
with plenty of playing time and a whole chunk of an island to explore.
The puzzles are fun (most of the time) and the levels are interesting
(most of the time). Zelda 4 is an ideal game for RPG fanatics, and anyone
else who likes using the old grey matter. It lives up to the expectations
of the previous games, and is a worthy addition to anyone's collection.