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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds  




Opinion: Future Zeldas should make note of the 3DS game photo
Opinion: Future Zeldas should make note of the 3DS game

9:00 AM on 11.12.2013

Trim the fat, please


At some point, there will be an HD Zelda game and, for our sake, I hope it does away with the constant hand-holding and extended intros that were present in Skyward Sword, among other games.

Right now, none of us have any idea what Nintendo has planned for the next coming of Zelda on the Wii U, but one thing's for sure -- I hope it looks to A Link Between Worlds for guidance.

One of the chief complaints I've heard from non-Zelda fans over the years is that "the intro area is too long and isn't fun to play." And you know what? They're often right. Twilight Princess' goat wrangling mini-game that goes on for eons and Skyward Sword's movie-length Skyloft sequence immediately come to mind, but those aren't the only problems in those games. They also gate off a ton of areas and content, making it less of an "adventure" and more of a series of "levels."

A Link Between Worlds does away with all of that by throwing you into the fold in a little under five minutes, tasking you with an interactive intro dungeon to get your feet wet. Instead of mingling with your childhood friends for 45 minutes and using hawks and fishing rods to run errands, you're basically put right in the thick of things. It's a design change that not only keeps things exciting the first time around, but more bearable for repeated playthroughs (and Hero Mode, which is included in Between Worlds).

Following that, the game basically says "have at it," and throws you into an open world modeled after A Link to the Past. But it also does something that no other Zelda game has done before -- it allows you to buy every core item at the very start of the game. I know what you're saying -- "wait, hold up, what? Every item?" For the most part, yes. A Link Between Worlds lets you buy every item you see above, including the iconic Hookshot, Bomb bag, and Bow, right away. As long as you have the money for them, you can grab anything in sight like it's a Hyrulian fire sale.

There is a caveat however, as you're just "renting" these items until your death. But since I completed the game without dying once (fairy bottle resurrection doesn't count as death) I never had to actually return them, and just had them with me the entire time. It not only felt empowering, but it also added a sense of adventure that many games are missing when they gate off multiple areas. There's still some gating for narrative purposes, but for the most part this renting mechanic does live up to its promise of freeing up exploration.

Nintendo has already mentioned that they're planning an increased amount of freedom in the Wii U Zelda, and I hope they look to their most recent 3DS game for a few ideas on how to approach that. While the very first Zelda game threw you into a true open world at the start, many games over the years have gated off content far too strictly, or dangerously over-explain everything to the point where there's no sense of discovery. I will never forgive Skyward Sword for ruining a puzzle in the final dungeon of the game.

But item renting and welcomed streamlining doesn't encompass the entirety of A Link Between Worlds, so be sure to check back on Thursday to see how the rest of the game fares in my review.





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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds



10:09 AM on 12.18.2013
My jam for today: Japanese Zelda commercial song

Oh snap. Turn it up -- this is my jam! This new The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Japanese commercial features a little rap by Japanese Hip Hop group Scha Dara Parr. While I don't expect you all to know and app...more



3:45 PM on 11.26.2013
Deals: Target will have the 3DS XL Zelda bundle for $150

We already knew Target was going to have 3DS XLs for $149.99 on Black Friday, but that was just for the handheld systems. Now we know that the Zelda 3DS XL bundle will also be going for the same price. Yup, $149.99 with The ...more



10:45 AM on 11.22.2013
I should have made Chris post this Zelda accolades video

I'm just giving you a hard time, Chris. I always stand behind our team's reviews, and I'm not concerned with what the other sites have said. But I love The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds so much. It's so good! Consider this hazing for your new job role. Tee hee hee.more



5:15 PM on 11.18.2013
See some of the changes in A Link Between Worlds

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is out this Friday. Anyone who wants their hit of nostalgia early can scope this direct comparison video that places A Link Between Worlds' recreated world side by side with the ori...more



12:00 PM on 11.14.2013
Review: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

In recent years, Zelda games have gotten a tad too flowery. What was once a true open world adventure involving a hero thrown into the great unknown with the ability to explore to his heart's content, has become something els...more



10:52 AM on 11.13.2013
A Link Between Worlds custom 3DS coming November 22

During this morning's Nintendo Direct event, the platform holder issued a reminder regarding its plans to release a custom 3DS XL to celebrate the launch of the recent entry in the Legend of Zelda series, coming out November...more



1:00 AM on 11.12.2013
This Link Between Worlds live-action TV spot exists

It's better than those live action Pokemon X and Y commercials, I guess. It's sensible that Nintendo doesn't want to hinge a TV spot on 3DS resolution alone, I suppose. And instead of paying for a full CG trailer, just make ...more



4:40 PM on 11.07.2013
The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds 3DS unboxing

This unboxing will look like pure braggery, but that's not the point. I really wanted to show you the beautiful new golden, Triforce-d The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 3DS XL bundle. We cut the box right open as so...more



4:45 PM on 11.04.2013
A Link Between Worlds concept art is so pretty it hurts

Nintendo has rounded up a new handful of concept art from the upcoming (just a few more weeks!) The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds to give all of us a peek into the vision behind the game. Yet again, we're presented w...more




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