The Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds is a step in the right direction for the series
Admittedly, I was not impressed with A Link between Worlds since its initial reveal, the game looked too pedestrian and safe by Nintendo’s standards. Luckily, First impressions are often wrong and boy was I wrong, despite the familiar setting, The Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds is in my opinion the most forward thinking entry since Ocarina of Time. I have not completed A Link between yet, but I am deep into the game, and by god am I impressed.
A Link Between World, unlike many Zelda games in the modern era, treats me like a gamer. It acknowledges that I have the capacity to overcome challenges, it understands that I can make my own decision and more importantly ALBW does it with respect. Link Between Worlds no longer holds your hand at every step of your adventure, it throws you into the deep end without remorse.
I love how all the essential items are available so early in the game. Not only does it allow you to complete dungeon on the order of your choosing, it also encourages exploration. When I discovered a secret within Hyrule that I could not yet access with my current arsenal, I found myself more often than not going back to Ravio to get the item I needed. Just today, I spent a good hour exploring Hyrule for Heart Pieces. Admittedly, it was counterintuitive to what is needed to finish the game, however I just could not help myself.
Most impressive, is that ALBW provides a worthy challenge for the player. A Link between Worlds is a Dark Soulification of the Zelda Series. Regardless of the poor enemy AI, foes are plentiful and will attack you relentlessly. More excitingly, Dungeons are lurking with more traps and pitfalls – in fact you will be regularly looking for hearts in your playthrough. The anxiety levels rise at the possibility of death. The risk and the reward idea of the renting system is exciting, since you lose all your rented gear when you die. It is a fantastic concept originating from Demon Souls – in my opinion Nintendo can turn the notch up an extra level by providing more challenge and a greater risk and reward for the player.
Despite, not finishing the game yet, I have a powerful vibe that A Link Between Worlds could potentially be the best game of the series since Wind Waker. It is certainly much much better than the DS Zelda games. If A Link Between World is the testing ground for Zelda Wii U, then the series is moving in the right direction. The open nature and the improvements in the challenge has got me excited once again for the series’ future. Finally, the Zelda series is once again treating me like a gamer, hopefully the trends will continue into the future.