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Just Finished Link’s Awakening DX

Content of the article: "Just Finished Link’s Awakening DX"

Pretty much straight after finishing LttP, I started Link's Awakening and I loved almost every minute of it. The characters, story and setting are really brilliantly put together, and it takes a lot of risks by deviating so much from the established zelda formula, but they really pay off.

What I really liked about it after playing LttP is how this games feels like it wants you to have fun, rather than LttP's arcade-like approach with arbitrary punishments. You always spawn with the same health you saved with instead of having it capped at 7 hearts, you spawn in the location where you saved, and the game dropped fairies and hearts at nearly the same rate that I was losing health, so I didn't keep dying and having to make my way back to where I was. The game is also much more designed around exploration and puzzle solving rather than combat and I love that about this game. The unnecessarily difficult combat in LttP made the game feel more like a chore than a fun experience. This game also has the in-game telephone system for giving you hints about where to go and what to do, which is much better than LttP expecting you to keep checking the manual or just exhaust the entire map looking for some obscure required item that you are unlikely to come across organically.

A lot about this game hasn't aged well, but it still held up in my opinion. The Gameboy's 2 face buttons just aren't enough for a game like this where different items are needed all the time to traverse dungeons, so you'll be spending a lot of time pausing and unpausing the game to swap out items. There's also a fair amount of sprite flickering in some parts of the game and it can be kind of distracting, but I only really noticed it in a handful of sections. The art style is really cute though. Having seen some gameplay footage of the switch remake, I really like the art style they went with, and the QoL changes like a better map, free-scrolling camera, and more face buttons to put items on make that seem like probably a better way to play the game, but the DX version is still really enjoyable and I'd say it's still worth playing..

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This is probably my favourite zelda game so far after Majora's Mask, and it makes me kind of reluctant to go and play the rest of them since what I liked so much about this game (and MM) was the fact that it isn't like a normal zelda game.


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