Reviewing a game that is a shot for shot remastering of a Gameboy game seems far-fetched. However, with both the simplicity of the original never lost and the controls that were revamped to a better form, Link’s Awakening 2019 is a game that deserves to be spoken for.
The game revolves around Link, who, stranded from a shipwreck upon an island, must collect 8 instruments of the Sirens and awaken a legendary Wind Fish in order to escape the island and return home.
The thing that gave this game an edge back in 1993 was its jump ability, and that satisfying action is the same in the Nintendo Switch port that was just released. However, what sets it apart from its original port is the button scheme that the Switch provides, allowing items to be swapped between effortlessly as well as the addition of hearts that leave less rage-filled moments that the original was prone to. (Mind you I was only 10 when I got ahold of my first Gameboy so it could have just been me.)
The greatness about this port, however, comes through its art style of claymation. The cuteness is appealing to all audiences and the combat system provides a challenge for regular game-players. The puzzle-based dungeon system reuses the same as the original so those of you who have played the old will repeat the same in the new though it never comes off as tedious.
The only thing that present Nintendo does that old Nintendo never had the ability to do was force feed Amiibo mechanics into all of their games. It’s not forceful like in Mario Party but allows a better version of creating dungeons. I don’t own any Amiibos so I couldn’t discuss its quality, though it was one of the few diversions from the original so I felt I should mention it.
Link’s Awakening is cathartic in a sense. In a stress-filled world, we utilize whatever we can to give ourselves an escape, though with gaming today, it’s filled with over-the-top, 2 -dimensional antagonists and our attempts at shooting them to feel important. That’s why a quiet game as well done as this, that gives joy through its adventure focused on the ability to explore and find earns all the recognition it gets.