The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Post-E3 Hands-On Impressions
You may have already seen our opinions on Mario Kart 8 and Yoshi’s New Island after the recent post-E3 event Nintendo held in London, showcasing the latest developments for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS alike. Also on display was a certain top-down spiritual successor to a certain legendary SNES game — yes indeed, the new Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was in attendance, seeing Link pack his hammer, shield, sword and much more besides… including that infamous and ingenious ability to slather himself over a wall and become a moving picture.
It’s an impermanent trick, using the magic meter at the bottom left of the screen, although employed to tremendous effect as you slink around obstacles and solve cheeky puzzles with your newfound talent. The demo itself was timed, so we were certainly having to pull out all the stops as we made our way through the first dungeon. You’ve likely already seen it in action — big springs with weird faces, red and blue alternating switches and lots of floating platforms. The game’s a glossy and adorable treat for the eyes, and a joy to play too. It even takes the bizarre but by no means unpleasant option of having the screen scroll in stages like the SNES game that has so evidently inspired it.
Packed with secrets as any Zelda should be, the game plays as you’d expect, and sounds as good as any of its forebears. It’s certainly the franchise at its top-down finest, although we noted that there’s no option to scrawl notes on the map on the bottom screen like in Spirit Tracks or Phantom Hourglass. The friendly Nintendo rep overseeing our sojourn through the dungeon swiftly reminded us of the integrated 3DS note-writing application that’s a standard part of every system — but that’s not the same as lovingly scrawled doodles on the very dungeon map itself.
Nonetheless, it’s a paltry quibble for a nostalgic yet refreshed instalment of one of the world’s greatest gaming franchises. Ocarina Of Time 3D proved that the Zelda series can be done on the 3DS with open-world gusto, but there’s nevertheless a wonderful charm to A Link Between Worlds that cannot be denied.
Shockingly, our demo ended just as we landed a sword blow on the dungeon boss itself, leaving us urgent for more. It’s a familiar system, but the Zelda recipe is as intoxicating as ever — though our time with the game was short, this is definitely one to watch. The become-a-walking-graffiti-boy mechanic alone promises so many secrets that we’re anxious to sidle up to as many walls as we can and see what we can find!
…In the game, that is. If we do that in real life we’ll probably get arrested for suspicious behaviour and/or trespassing.