I love Zelda games, let’s get that straight at the beginning. Link To The Past on the SNES is possibly a favourite so when I heard there was a new Zelda 3DS game I was more than a little excited. However, I was less enthusiastic about its reuse of old maps from the SNES classic. I was a little worried that this just a way to reuse that game with a few twists.
However I found that my fears were unwarranted. As I started playing The Legend of Zelda Link Between Worlds I discovered a fully fledged new experience. It makes use of Link to the Past for art style and inspiration but not for content.
The game plays almost perfectly on the Nintendo 3DS, and seems to have been aimed at the slightly more casual audience on Nintendo’s handhelds. Where as my kids (and me at times) used to get stuck and need some on-line assistance with Zelda games, here I found that they could progress at a steady pace without intervention.
It is structured like any other Zelda game with an over-world punctuated with dungeons but you can approach things here in the order you want, rather than having to work through all of them in turn. This meant that if they did get stuck they would go and try another dungeon or quest and then come back to the problematic area.
This and a whole range of other small touches really make Zelda Link Between Worlds one of my favourite experiences on the 3DS. Perhaps my only criticism is not being able to save the game at the end. As with other Zelda games you are put back to your previous save point after finishing, so you can go back and collect everything you missed. I’d prefer to be able to save after completing and then continue the quests.
To get too hung up on minor issues like this is to miss the point though. On initial impressions The Legend of Zelda Link Between Worlds is a firm favourite in our family.