The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds in Light of Breath of the Wild

the legend of zelda a link between worlds
Image courtesy of Nintendo

I Finally Played A Link Between Worlds

With all of the excitement around the Nintendo Switch and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I decided to bite the bullet and pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds for my new 2DS. I was trying to hold off to find a deal on it but, since its widely regarded as one of the best games on Nintendo 3DS, I figured it was worth the full price. The fact that all of the desirable 3DS games are still the price they were released at years down the line is an issue for another day.

 

Long story short, I loved a Link Between Worlds. It’s an awesome throwback to A Link to the Past for longtime fans while it’s structured completely differently from anything else in the series. Everyone reading this is probably aware, but items in ALBW are rented from a loveable but strict entrepreneur rather than discovered in dungeons. As you’d imagine, access to all of the game’s items from the start allows you to tackle the dungeons in any order that you please. With this innovation being a main feature in the most recent game, I’m pretty excited for what it could mean in the “open world” of Breath of the Wild.

the legend of zelda breath of the wild title screen
Image courtesy of Nintendo

Nintendo Breathing New Life into the Legend

With Nintendo’s message around BoTW being so focused on its open world and parallels to the original Legend of Zelda, the structure presented in a Link Between Worlds becomes even more interesting. The most recent BoTW trailer featured a ton of characters in the game that we’d never seen before and some set pieces that insinuate a more gritty story of the Legend. We’ve seen items in game, but don’t yet know how they’re acquired. I know that a Link Between Worlds didn’t get nearly the support and funding that BoTW has, but in light of all of this, Nintendo even trying something new in the well-worn Zelda formula on a small scale gets me more excited about BoTW.

 

Games media keeps harping on the fact that Zelda isn’t the system seller that its hardcore fan-base thinks it is, and the number of copies of Link Between Worlds supports that truth. Even though it didn’t set any sales records for Nintendo, it’s widely regarded as one of the best titles on the 3DS, a console known for its stellar library. The critical and fan reception of a Link Between Worlds, including heaps of praise for its departure from the tried and true Zelda formula, hopefully was not overlooked by Nintendo while developing BoTW.

 

Nintendo is betting big on the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as a Launch title for the Switch. Even with more launch titles emerging for the Switch as its launch approaches, Zelda is assuredly a main driver for pre-orders of the system. I love going back to classic Zelda and am looking forward to replaying Ocarina of Time on my new 2DS, but I’m fascinated by the idea of Nintendo swinging for the fences and going in a whole new direction with the latest game in the series. I guess we’ll know how much it harkens back to the origins of the Legend of Zelda soon enough.

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