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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Discussion (Nintendo 3DS) [game]
9.4/10 from 43 user ratings

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Review (Nintendo 3DS) (9.9)  by  

The latest entry in Nintendo's famous adventure series, The Legend of Zelda, is just about upon us! This game takes place in the same "world" as the classic SNES game, A Link To The Past, following a new Link on a new adventure through Hyrule, and an alternate kingdom, Lorule.

Time to grab the Master Sword once again, adventure fans. The world needs a hero, will you answer the call?

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Posted: 11/13/13, 15:39:36  - Edited by 
 on: 11/13/13, 15:50:53
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I finished the game this morning. I thought it was great. I liked the way they did items, but I'm not sure I'd want this to become the standard from now on. All I did was grind for rupees for an hour or so to buy everything as soon as I could so I didn't have to worry about losing anything if I died. Then I never died.
Posted: 12/24/13, 19:31:13
I agree that it was nice having everything available from the get-go, but it really cut down on the element of surprise. There's got to be a better way. I had the idea that you could EITHER buy the item OR grab it from the dungeon. If you buy it, you get its upgrade in the dungeon, and vice versa. But I like what V_s outlined. If you don't have the item yet, have less convenient but equally effective item substitutes in the vicinity. Maybe you have to bait an enemy into doing the action(s) you need.
Posted: 12/24/13, 19:40:51
If you're not dying that's a problem with the difficulty, not the items system. The rental system was put in place to speed the game up at the beginning and make it more open, not to make it too easy.

Would you really be surprised if you went to a dungeon and then found the hookshot right before you needed to cross a big gap with a wooden post on the other side?

Also, just to make my position clear, I'm not attached to the idea of Rovio having his shop in every game now, I just want the whole world to be open from the beginning, I want the dungeons to be gated off, and I don't want to be forced to do them in a pre-determined order, I want the pace of the game to feel crisp, I want freedom, I want to feel like I have the things I need to explore, I don't want to take baby steps, I want to run. I certainly don't want to have to find and complete a whole separate dungeon just to get the item I need to get into a real dungeon, that's a massive step backwards even from the old formula.

If there are going to be surprised I want them in the form of new items and abilities, I will never be surprised by the boomerang or bombs no matter how well they are hidden.

Also I don't see the point in giving me bomb flowers before the bombs (that has always irked me), just give me the damn bombs.

Basically anything rote and tedious: destroy. Anything fun: create.
Posted: 12/24/13, 19:58:35  - Edited by 
 on: 12/24/13, 20:02:01
I'm not saying the items made it too easy. I'm not even complaining that the game was too easy at all. I'm just saying that the reason I would stress about before I just bought everything wound up not ever being a concern.
Posted: 12/24/13, 20:26:07
I finally got the Titan mitt. I should have visited the desert palace on my first foray into Lorule.
Posted: 12/24/13, 22:03:33
deathly_hallows said:

Would you really be surprised if you went to a dungeon and then found the hookshot right before you needed to cross a big gap with a wooden post on the other side?


If there are going to be surprised I want them in the form of new items and abilities, I will never be surprised by the boomerang or bombs no matter how well they are hidden.
I'm musing under the (probably misguided) assumption that the next LBW-style Zelda would have a sizable selection of new items with new uses. And having ALL of those cool new items things available right at the beginning just feels wrong, somehow. Anticlimactic, maybe. Though with a new overworld, enemies, and puzzle types, surprise might be less of a concern.

I also like the idea of alternate solutions to typical Zelda obstacles, especially if they make no-item runs a new challenge. Maybe there are hookshot enemies, and you have to provoke/lure them into hooking your target, then run across their chain or whatever. Or there are enemies that grab and throw you, and you can squirm around to influence where they throw. Options are nice, especially if they stem from more diverse/complex obstacles.
Posted: 12/24/13, 22:05:34
For those saying the game is too easy, please beat the game and start over in hero mode. This game is much harder. You will appreciate having all the items so soon in the foray. Trust me.
Posted: 12/24/13, 22:10:00

I still think it would probably be more trouble than it is worth. If you have the bow in the first 'mini-dungeon' you visit and you don't need the bow, you would have to look far for the hammer (or whatever item you need in that dungeon). If guess some structure is needed at least at the beginning, but it would feel a bit anticlimatic if I went to my first dungeon and had to use that same item I found in the mini-dungeon before. Even if I'm not using an item to get to the arrow, there wouldn't be significantly different to having that item inside the dungeon like in previous Zeldas.

At any rate, I just like having all the items available from the get go. That means you get to tackle the world in whichever order you want. Like Charles, I'm not enamored with Rovio's shop but with all the items pretty much given to you from the get go, the items actually feel like tools to help you explore and not reasons you are exploring, if that makes sense.

I mean, I agree with Charles, is there really much exploration when you find the bomb right before a dungeon, and then see a cracks in the wall all over that dungeon?

I guess your complaint could be directed at the fact that there isn't much else to find in the game besides treasure (rupees). Ironically, at times I wished I actually had more side-quests. Without counting the maimais, I think I've only done one. I don't mean padding the game but at least give me a few more challenges that perhaps use two or more items. And as I say that there is one room that has me stumped.
Posted: 12/24/13, 22:18:08  - Edited by 
 on: 12/24/13, 22:30:58

I think the problem is we're trying to shoehorn an amended formula into a game that was already designed around a more simplistic system. I have no doubt that if Nintendo created a Zelda from the ground up with the intention of handling items like I described, they could do an amazing job of it.

Like Nate says, design stuff for alternate solutions too. Sure if you'd managed to track down the bow in the overworld, one particular dungeon might be much easier- But not impassable. If you've done the 9% run on Metroid Zero Mission, you can see the kind of design philosophy they can shoot for. That would be incredible and make the experience that much more unique for each player. Some people might have found the bow first and gone and done the 'bow' dungeon first. Others might find the bombs instead and go do that dungeon first. A third person may have found neither of those and completes both dungeons the hard way, perhaps with some help from a Hookshot. Stuff like that.

Yes it would require some amazing design work. But I believe Nintendo could pull it off.

deathly_hallows said:
It's still putting up roadblocks, gating dungeons off, and slowing the game down needlessly, which is exactly the problem Nintendo was trying to fix by giving you access to a ton of stuff from the get-go.

'Slowing the game down' was never the problem.

The problem was a set order of dungeon progression and the same old 'dungeon item->boss' formula. Our alternative still solves that problem but doesn't automatically gift you stuff. It makes the game an actual adventure.

deathly_hallows said:

Basically anything rote and tedious: destroy. Anything fun: create.

I agree.

Farming rupees- Rote and tedious.

Exploring and *adventuring* for items- Fun!

Get creating Nintendo
Posted: 12/25/13, 00:32:12
Just started this tonight, and got up through the first dungeon. Liking it a lot so far. I appreciate that the game has (so far) just let me get going with the adventure and hasn't treated me like I have no idea what I'm doing. The music is fantastic! And though it was short but sweet, I'm very encouraged by the first dungeon. Great level design that made really good use of verticality; many of the dungeon's rooms felt almost like Penrose stairs at first glance.

This has been my first significant hands-on time with my Zelda 3DSXL, and my hands are already thanking me for abandoning the regular 3DS.
Posted: 12/25/13, 06:25:20
I finished the game a few days ago. Great game. I did about as much as I could. I found all maiamais, most of the heart pieces (except for three) and played all the minigames. I've spent literally about a day of my life on that game. I don't think I'm going to play through it again; hero mode isn't enough of an incentive for me to play through this game again, imo. I felt like it was an appropriate time for me to finish my journey.
Posted: 12/29/13, 15:25:36
I beat the game this morning. Have about 3 heart pieces and 8 maiamais left to find, but I think I'll save those for a rainy day (for handheld games, I like to leave a little bit leftover just so I always have something to play later on).

What a game. It's crazy because of how good Super Mario 3D World is and how I found that to be Nintendo at their very best, and they managed to release a second game this year that is every bit as outstanding, and on the very same day no less.

A Link Between Worlds is my favorite Zelda since Majora's Mask, which isn't exactly a "de facto" title considering I really like Twilight Princess. ALBW is just that good. When I think back on this game, I'll be looking at the dungeon and overworld design and how, combined with Link's abilities (particularly wall mode), this game provided many of the most creative moments of the entire year for me. It always felt like there was one more thing you could do or find in a certain area even after passing through it several times, if you were just willing to try something that might work. This concept probably could be extended to the boss battles as well, particularly what was a phenomenal final battle. Over and over, the game impressed me by how clever and creative it was. And the game never tells you what you have to do to solve a puzzle, defeat an enemy or get to a hard-to-reach area. It gives you the tools, but allows you the freedom to figure it out yourself. It finds a great medium between too easy and too hard, where it ends up being challenging without being frustrating, and also very rewarding. It's the Zelda game that has encouraged exploration the most of any in quite some time, because it's rewarded not just by finding stuff that helps make you better, but it's worthwhile content due to how much fun and gratifying it is.

In the end, it's a no-frills Zelda game that gets just about everything right. With only some mild hand-holding, the game allows you to just go ahead and embark on the adventure without arbitrary restrictions or excess padding getting in the way. It avoids the familiar pitfalls of the three most-recent 3D console Zelda games by deconstructing the game back to being what the core of a Zelda adventure is, and just makes the best possible game within that framework. And unlike the more recent games, the game's new gameplay mechanic does not feel gimmicky, unessential or detracting from the experience like wolf link, flying or sailing did, respectively. Everything about wall Link is integral to the entirety of the game, and the game would not be nearly the same without it, nor would wall Link be as good of a mechanic without a game being built so well around it like ALBW is. Maybe it's the comfort of being in the familiar setting of LTTP, but there's a confidence about every aspect of this game that has been missing from Zelda games for a while.

Fantastic game.
Posted: 12/29/13, 21:31:01
TheBigG753 said:

And the game never tells you what you have to do to solve a puzzle, defeat an enemy or get to a hard-to-reach area. It gives you the tools, but allows you the freedom to figure it out yourself. It finds a great medium between too easy and too hard, where it ends up being challenging without being frustrating, and also very rewarding.

This is exactly how I feel when it comes to the items discussion. I feel that it is a good thing to have most items available from the get go since you can go pretty much wherever, encouraging exploration.

This game is so good it makes me want to buy Skyward Sword. Although I may have to rethink that, not only because Skyward Sword wasn't the best it could be, but because it is very expensive for no reason. I might just get Twilight Princess and call it a day.
Posted: 12/30/13, 05:13:13
Twilight Princess is really good, but after playing ALBW it's going to seem so slow, it really holds your hand and forces you do to things in a linear way, the first like 5 - 10 hours of that game are a slog where you are basically a dog on a leash (pun intended), it takes a long time before they let you have any freedom...

Damn ALBW has spoiled me, it's going to be so hard to go back to the slow, restrictive Zelda's where everything is walled off!

Also, the truth is I enjoy 20 to 25 hr. Zelda more than I enjoy a 60+ hr. one, maybe that means I'm not a hardcore gamer like James Jones, but bah, it's true.
Posted: 12/30/13, 15:56:23  - Edited by 
 on: 12/30/13, 15:59:59

Believe you me homie I know how Zeldas operate. I've been critical of Skyward Sword/Twilight Princes (but I guess this also applies to Wind Waker) and I know what to expect to a certain degree. I just want to go through it, you know? Although perhaps I should just play Xenoblade and spend my time with a game that actually justifies a 60+ hour journey.
Posted: 12/30/13, 21:16:11
With my last heart piece collected, I now have all items and upgrades, making for 100%! I'll be going back through in Hero Mode, but for now, here's my pointless quick review!

-Solid gameplay
-Fun dungeons
-It's Link to the Past!

-No difficulty curve
-Lack of discovery
-It's Link to the Past.

Overall: 8/10
Posted: 01/03/14, 23:37:03  - Edited by 
 on: 01/03/14, 23:39:40
Did any of you guys ever revisit Mother Maiamai after getting all of your items upgraded? (And after talking to Ravio one last time.)

You're treated to a cool little surprise. I meant to bring it up when I learned about it a while back, but it doesn't look like I ever did.
Posted: 01/04/14, 01:05:51
Do you have to get ALL of the little MaiMais? I have no idea how to get some of them. I think it's because I'm missing the Titan's Mitt but I have no idea how to get it. My pride is not letting me look it up.
Posted: 01/17/14, 07:27:00
@TheOldManFromZelda Maybe.

But I prefer the Metroid Prime / Resident Evil 4 path of being fairly tough first try through and then even tougher on the unlocked modes. Or just give me the tough one from the start.
Posted: 01/17/14, 07:48:16
Finally got my Titan's Mitt. I like finding some things in the dungeons like the Master Ores or the Blue Mail - it's a nice surprise. Not sure I wanted the Titan's Mitt in there though....what a tease! I've been looking for it forever, assuming something like that wouldn't be in a dungeon at all. And depending on what order you go through the dungeons, you could play practically the entire game before getting the ability to lift heavy rocks, which is kind of important if you're MaiMai hunting.

I do like the fact that I just don't know what I could get in a big chest in a dungeon. It's super anticlimactic in the 3D games when you KNOW you're getting the hookshot or you KNOW you're getting this or that. When my blue mail popped out of a chest I went "Oh, that's awesome." Nice little surprise. I'm not sure I like having a map in the dungeons from the get go. It turns my dungeon experience into a "fill in the blank " game where I just go room by room until they're all filled in, and then keep going until the chests are all gone. It's kind of remeniscient of older Zelda games - once you figure out a room, you're probably done with it, whereas in the 3D games I feel like you are always coming back to the same rooms to solve some grand puzzle. I wouldn't have minded a little of that here.

I just think they need to keep figuring out ways to surprise us.
Posted: 01/17/14, 17:11:54
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