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The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

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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.

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