The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening - Switch

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Media: Cartridge Arcade origin:No
Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB)
Released: 20 Sept 2019 (GB)
Connectivity: Save data cloud
Features: Handheld Mode, TV Mode, Tabletop Mode
Accessories: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, amiibo support


Nintendo has teamed up with developer Grezzo for a modern reworking of the Game Boy classic, The Legend of Zelda: Link s Awakening, to much celebration from long time fans of the Zelda games. Nintendo's triple-threat of excellent overworld design, tough (but not unbeatable) dungeons and visual design that pushed at the edges of what the Game Boy could do made the original a classic, and developer Grezzo has gone for a faithful translation of the original that works for both the Nintendo Switch and a 21st century audience.

It's clear from the offset that Grezzo is staying close to the source, when the original's opening sequence is recreated as a moody anime and Link is washed up on a beach before the camera pans up to show the egg of the wind fish at the island's summit. The first thing you'll notice, of course, is the visual style Grezzo has gone for. It's certainly cute, but rendered in a 3D style you don't often see developers punt for when they're aiming for 'adorable'. It looks almost like Playmobil come to life with a soft-focus depth of field, and it's ideal for capturing and translating the style of the Game Boy original. In fact, the whole thing is chock full of detail taken straight from the original, from the butterflies drifting by to the wavy lines in the sand.

Don't worry, though. For all its faithfulness to the original, this still has the feel of a modern game. The slight tilt of the point of view makes movement feel more natural, as does the shift from screen by screen navigation to continuous scrolling. The controls have been modernised too, giving sword play a more natural feel.

Whether you're a fan of Link's Awakening on the Game Boy or just looking for more Zelda on the Switch, Nintendo has you covered.