This year a brand new Zelda game came out for 3DS while a remake of a fan favourite came out for the struggling Nintendo Wii U. Today I have decided to review both games and you will find out how good I think they are.
A Link Between Worlds
This game was first revealed in a Nintendo Direct last winter and was only called "The Legend of Zelda" before its name was revealed later on. Many people liked the game but complained that it was slowing down development of Zelda Wii U which we still haven't heard anything about yet but I didn't like this at first because it reminded me of New Super Mario Bros. and I thought the Zelda series might get the same problem (make one retro rehash, keep re-releasing it with little amounts of change instead of making new games) and as of now we still don't know if A Link Between Worlds will do that but I hope not.
This game takes place centuries after A Link to the Past. Link works for a blacksmith and he has to deliver a sword to the knight captain and when he goes to find the captain at the sanctuary, the captain and a girl named Seres have been turned into paintings by a man named Yuga and Yuga takes the painting of Seres and leaves. Link goes to Hyrule Castle to tell Princess Zelda where he also learns this games backstory (the events of Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past) and gets the Pendant of Courage. Link meets a man named Sahasrahla who tells Link to go to the Eastern Palace to find a man named Osfala who Yuga may be looking for. Link goes to the palace and finds Yuga who has already turned Osfala into a painting. Link fights with Yuga and soon Yuga turns Link into a painting and leaves him on the wall in the palace while Yuga leaves the palace. Link uses a bracelet he was given to get out of the wall and now he can use the bracelet to turn into a painting and move along walls. Link goes back to tell Sahasrahla what happened and Sahasrahla tells Link to find the Pendant of Power and Pendant of Wisdom. Link goes to the Tower of Hera and the House of Gales where he manages to get the pendants and then he goes to the Lost Woods where he obtains the Master Sword. Link goes to Hyrule Castle again where Yuga turns Zelda into a painting and then goes through a strange crack in the wall. Link follows him and ends up in another strange castle where Yuga fuses with Ganon, the series antagonist from other games. Yuga tries to attack Link but Link is saved by a girl named Princess Hilda and she tells Link she can hold off Yuga and that Link can escape. Link leaves and finds out that he is in Lorule, a kingdom ruined because it lost its Triforce in a war, Across Lorule and Hyrule there are more cracks in walls that Link can use to travel between kingdoms. Link must now find the 7 sages who have been turned into paintings by Yuga and are now in Lorule. Once Link finds every sage, the sages give him the Triforce of Courage from Hyrule and tell him to return to Hilda's castle. He finds Hilda again who tells Link that she told Yuga to steal Hyrule's Triforce so she can save Lorule despite the fact that it would destroy Hyrule. She summons Yuga and Link manages to defeat Yuga. Hilda tries to take the Triforce of Power from Yuga but Yuga betrays her and Link is given Light Arrows from Zelda so he can defeat Yuga. Once he does Link and Zelda return home and make a wish using Hyrule's Triforce to restore Lorule's Triforce and save Lorule.
That plot is much more deep than any other game I've reviewed so I like it.
Link controls very similar to how he did in ALTTP but he has a few changes. At the start of the game a man named Ravio opens a shop in Link's house ans Link can rent weapons from him. Each weapon is fun and easy to use and they are better than previous games because a meter has been added to the side of the screen which slowly restores whenever you aren't using a weapon. It depletes when you use a weapon to limit how much you can use them but this feature is actually very convenient because weapons such as the Bow restore automatically so you no longer have to search for Arrows when you run out and because of that the game flows better.
The main new feature of this game is that Link can turn into a painting and walk along walls. It has many uses such as travelling over pits and avoiding enemies. Its not too broken since it runs on the same meter as your weapons. This new ability is quite use full and I would like to see it return in future Zelda games.
Hyrule hasn't changed much from ALTTP so anybody who played that game will know where all the secrets are hidden in Hyrule. I enjoyed exploring Hyrule a lot more than in previous games and I even like the combat even though in other games its more stiff and it makes some enemies hard to fight. A witch named Irene will let you warp to any save point which is also good since you won't have to do any backtracking but sometimes I would backtrack since I found it so fun.
Lorule is divided up into many areas that can only be reached by using portals from different places in Hyrule (or using Irene once you have already recahed that area). Enemies in Lorule are much stronger than the ones in Hyrule so Lorule can be more difficult to explore. Fans of ALTTP will be glad to know it looks like the Dark World and has the same music but other than that, Lorule is completely new. Its still fun to explore but I used Irene a lot more here than I did in Hyrule.
The dungeons are shorter than other games but it might be because you already have the weapons instead of finding them in the dungeons. They were designed well but what I really like was that the dungeons in Lorule can be done in any order and it really sets this game apart from other Zelda games where the dungeons must be finished it a set order.
Its obvious that ALBW wasn't meant to look groundbreaking and it has really simplistic graphics. It looks more like ALTTP in 3D and the graphical style is pretty cool.
About half of the music are remixed from ALTTP and the remixes are well done. The new tracks in this game also sound good but not as good as the remixes which is a shame.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is like New Super Mario Bros. I really liked this game but lets hope that Nintendo keeps creating Zelda games that are brand new and not trying to appeal to retro gamers.
This game ended one fantastic year for the Nintendo 3DS and if you still don't have one then you might have been living under a rock but now that you are back out of the rock then you should buy this game and a 3DS to play it on.
The Wind Waker HD
In 2008 I rented The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the GameCube. I liked it a lot and it was the first Zelda game I really enjoyed which caused me to keep it many months after it was supposed to go back. When I was about half finished the game I returned it because it was overdue and I decided to rent it again in a few weeks but when I went to get it again the store was closed and it was the last store where I live that carried GameCube games which meant I wasn't going to finish the game. Last year Nintendo revealed a remake of Wind Waker that was meant to hold people off while Nintendo finishes the next Zelda game for Wii U so I was glad that I could finally get the game again.
This game takes place hundreds of years after the events of Ocarina of Time (I should mention that this game and ALBW take place in different timelines). Link lives on an island called Outset Island with his grandmother and sister, Aryll. On Links birthday he wears the clothes of the Hero of Time (the main character of OOT) because it is customary on the island. Link and his sister see a large bird in the sky carrying a young girl and a pirate ship in the ocean shooting at the bird. The bird drops the girl in a forest on a mountain on top of the island so Link gets a sword and goes up there to find her. The girl is named Tetra and she is the captain of the pirates that were trying to save her. As Link and Tetra leave the forest, Aryll tries to go see them but the bird that captured Tetra swoops down and takes Aryll. Link and the pirates travel to Forsaken Fortress where the bird lives so the pirates shoot Link in a cannon to get him inside. Link finds his sister but before he can save her the bird grabs Link and carries him to a dark figure in the fortress who tells the bird to throw Link into the ocean (which it does). Link wakes up aboard a talking boat on Windfall Island and the boat tells him that the man from Forsaken Fortress is named Ganondorf and he has gotten free from the seal that the 7 sages put him in back in OOT. The boat is called the King of Red Lions and it takes Link to Dragon Roost Island where it tells Link to find an item called Din's Pearl. Link meets the Rito people there and finds out that their guardian deity, Valoo has been mad for days and they can't figure out why. Link and a girl named Medli manage to sneak into Dragon Roost Cavern where they climb up the mountain and defeat a monster that was hurting Valoo. Prince Komali (the son of the Rito Chief) gives Link Din's Pearl for his efforts. The King of Red Lions gives Link the Wind Waker and Link goes to a shrine where he learns a song that he can use to change the direction of the wind. Link sails to another island called the Forest Haven where he must get Farore's Pearl from the Deku Tree. Link finds the Deku Tree but before he can get the pearl he finds out that one of the Koroks (friendly wooden creatures living on the island) named Makar has fallen into the Forbidden Woods. Link goes to save him and gets the pearl. The King of Red Lions tells Link to go to Greatfish Isle and get the last pearl from a fish called Jabun but when Link gets there he finds that Ganondorf has destroyed the island and that Jabun has fled to Link's home, Outset Island and a giant rock guards where he is hiding. Link goes to Windfall Island again to get bombs so he can break the rock and get into where Jabun is hiding. The King of Red Lions talks to Jabun and gets Nayru's Pearl. Link uses the pearls to make a large tower rise out of the ocean where Link must complete trials to prove himself worthy (of something). Link does so and a portal appears that warps Link to a strange castle where he finds the Master Sword. Link returns to Forsaken Fortress and finds his sister and more girls that the giant bird kidnapped. Tetra and her pirates come get the girls to bring them home while Link defeats the bird. Link and Tetra go find Ganondorf and Ganondorf tells them that the Master Sword has lost its power and Tetra is Princess Zelda. The King of Red Lions brings Link and Tetra back to the strange castle and they meet the former King of Hyrule who was the spirit making the King of Red Lions talk. The King proves that Tetra is Zelda and that the strange undersea castle is Hyrule Castle and that all of Hyrule was covered in a large ocean to prevent Ganondorf from getting the Triforce. Zelda stays in the castle to hide from Ganondorf while Link find Medli and Makar who are sages of the Master Sword and they power up the Master Sword. Link also finds the pieces of the Triforce of Courage across the ocean. Link returns to Hyrule Castle where he finds out that Ganondorf has taken Zelda so Link goes to Ganon's Castle, saves her and defeats Ganon by stabbing him in the face.
Link plays like he does in other 3D games which is good. The Wii U Gamepad works well for this game and I can't imagine playing Wind Waker without it. This game really shows how mainstream games could control on the Wii U.
The large Great Sea can be quite boring to travel around but each island has some stuff to do and items to find. Exploring can be fun but can get old fast because of the sailing.
The earlier dungeons are well designed and are much more complex than other first dungeons in Zelda games. The later dungeons have you travelling with Medli and Makar which leads to many creative and unique puzzles not found in other Zelda games.
This game looks amazing. The new lighting makes the game look brand new and while the animation hasn't changed, it was ahead of its time a decade ago. I don't want future Zelda games to look like this since it can ruin Nintendo's image to hardcore gamers.
This and the plot are the only parts of the game that are better than ALBW. The soundtrack of Wind Waker is amazing and there wasn't any song I found unfitting or dull and they always made the moments better. Even when sailing, despite how boring it is the music is great.
While this is a good game, if you want to play it I think you should buy a GameCube and the original game. The remake isn't worth its price.
Wind Waker to me is great and I finished it twice in the first few days since I bought it. You should buy this only if you have a Wii U since you could get the original for a lower price and the difference between the original and the remake isn't enough to buy it again.