REVIEW – The Legend Of Zelda DX: Link’s Awakening (Game Boy Color)

You know, I’ve never been a massive fan of the Zelda series ‘cos I always end up getting stuck and sick of trying over and over to progress, but I decided a few days ago to just sit and play this portable classic all the way through until it was done, even if it killed me.
Now even though this is for a handheld game, I couldn’t help but go all out with the experience and just play it on my TV through the Gamecube’s Game Boy Player attachment. Complete with the Wavebird controller as the current generation has gotten me quite attached to wireless controllers.

I hadn’t played this for years and I’m not even sure if I had ever completed it as the final cutscene was new to me. Having this on the big screen made it look much clearer and more colourful that what you’d get with the GBC/GBA/DS etc. but still, this would be a great game to just sit on the bus with if you have an hour or 2 spare. The only downfall about this is that some of the dungeons are much longer than your average bus journey and you can’t save the game in the middle of one, resulting in you starting from the beginning of the dungeon again. I’m sure you’d have all your items and keys etc., though.

For those who haven’t played this game, the game begins with young Link being washed up on the shore of Koholint Island where a girl finds him (you) and takes him home. When he comes round, he realises he isn’t in Hyrule anymore and Princess Zelda isn’t anywhere to be found.
After retrieving your sword and shield, you explore the island in hope of finding a way home. A talking owl (yes, a talking owl) tells you that the only way off the island is to awaken the Wind Fish.
To do this, you must collect 8 instruments found in the various dungeons around Koholint Island by defeating the Nightmares that stand in their way.

If you’ve played the earlier Zelda titles (mainly the 1st Zelda game on NES and Link to the Past on SNES), you’ll be no stranger to the gameplay found in this great little game.
Everything’s still in tact; the heart containers, the bombs, the hookshot, the bow and arrow, the sword upgrade…. you get the point.
It’s still the same top-down-and-a-half view with the same animations from the previous games too. You’d think the graphics might have suffered a bit with it being a portable version of a console title but everything remains unchanged. It’s typical 8-bit zelda but the DX version for the GBC features amazing colour which makes it look closer to SNES graphics.
Very good job, visually.

Even the music isn’t half bad. I don’t know whether it’s a bad thing or not, but whenever you’re on the main map (not in a cave, dungeon or house) the famous Zelda theme is on constant repeat. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great tune and everything but just every now and then I’d be frantically trying to get to the next dungeon so that I didn’t have to listen to it for much longer. Bearing in mind, I played this for God knows how many hours over the space of just 3 days. I played it for 6 hours just prior to writing this review.
So maybe, just maybe, you might want to space your play time out if you don’t want your head battered with one tune. I also found myself trying to mix things up by singing the System Of A Down lyrics over the top 🙂

So all-in-all, this is a great portable game. Especially with it being a Zelda title. There are really only 3 ways to play this game at the moment; you could buy Zelda DX for your Game Boy Color which can also be used in any Game boy up until the DS lite (minus the Game Boy Micro) or you could buy the original Zelda: Link’s Awakening for Game Boy. You can use this in the same systems as DX but it has no colour.
Also, if you own a 3DS, you can purchase this from their Virtual Console for just £5.40. Bargain! Especially when the GB and GBC versions are selling from anywhere between £10 and £40.

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