This is my first blog post and I'll probably get lots of hate for it, but it's something I've been itching to admit since 1993.
By the time this game rolled around, I was still playing Link to the Past, a game I got well over a year before. I was obsessed with this game. Yeah, Star Fox and Street Fighter II took up a lot of my time as well, but LttP was the goods. In my opinion, a Zelda game has yet to surpass it (don't want to hear it Ocarina fans). Either way, the summer of '93 was a summer that continued my love with gaming peppered with my introduction to gangsta rap.
This is bliss.
So when I got my 50th issue of Nintendo Power and saw not only a beautiful gold cover, but that there was going to be a new Zelda game and the first to be on the Game Boy! I was stoked. I daydreamed what the game would be like. I damn near memorized the lyrics to the awful Link's Awakening rap ad.
OH MY FUCKING GOD.
Then I actually got the game.
For me, the game kind of fails because of the system it's on. The Game Boy just didn't have the power to really live up to the hype of its predecessor. See, what really attached me to LttP was the terrific feeling of exploration. Sure, I did plenty of that in the first two Zeldas, but LttP was much deeper. There weren't just caves with old people inside. There was houses, one different from another, a Death Mountain that was littered with secrets, and all the extra items and other assorted secrets that weren't needed to complete the game. Link's Awakening didn't have that.
After crashing on Koholint Island and finding my sword, I was ready to explore. Then I found the holes I couldn't cross. Then I found the rocks I couldn't lift. It seemed each powerup is there to make the world slightly more open. Yes, this is a hallmark of all of the Zelda games, but not to such a limiting degree. By the time I got the feather that makes me jump and the bracelet that makes me lift shit (real exciting treasures by the way), there wasn't much to explore.
Dear feather, you were kinda cool in Super Mario Kart. You're fucking shit in this.
Speaking of items, another limitation of the Game Boy was the shortage of buttons. As a result, you can only hold two items at once. Sure you can only hold one item in LttP and the original Legend of Zelda, at least you were still fucking able to hold your sword and shield.
It's not much fun to go to those goddamn rocks or the goddamn bottles and have to remember to go to your menu and equip the bracelet. Oh, and when you're done lifting something, be sure to re-equip your sword or shield. Annoying.
It's not that Link's Awakening is total crap. I like the story, and dig the Wind Fish in his omnipotent trippy goodness. The Mario references (the Chain Chomp, the Yoshi doll) are great, and being able to steal from the store was awesome. Hell, the music is damn good for the Game Boy, offering a neat take on the Zelda theme. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep me from quitting somewhere between the second or third dungeon any time I try to revisit it. I completed it nearly 15 years ago, and that's enough.
YOU ARE AWESOME!
It's these hardware limitations that keep Zelda from working on the Game Boy. It's also these limitations that kept me from trying the Oracle games. (On the other hand, The Minish Cap is a terrific, beautiful little game. I'm struggling with Phantom Hourglass, as it's a little too light for me.) Sure, you can give me shit by explaining to me that this was the best they could do with the Game Boy, and I could respond to you by saying that it didn't keep the Game Boy Mega Man games from completely sucking.
If this was in color, was on the NES, and had Mega Man sans helmet on top of a building, this would be awesome.
Anyway, sorry for such a different opinion. Maybe I'll do a blog defending Zelda II, a game that I loved until the fucking Wii deleted my game save, but that's for another time.