MobyGoal achieved! Thanks to all contributors who helped us reach 250 documented ZX81 Games.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (Game Boy Color)

92
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Ace of Sevens (4229)
Written on  :  Jan 15, 2007
Platform  :  Game Boy Color
Rating  :  4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful

write a review of this game
read more reviews by Ace of Sevens
read more reviews for this game

Summary

Princess Zelda's Wonderful World of Color

The Good

It's Zelda. That's a pretty good start right there. It has the basic structure of find a dungeon, get an item, use that item to defeat the dungeon boss, then to reach a new dungeon that we've all come to know and love.

The graphical upgrade from the original release of this game is quite impressive. Objects haven't just been assigned a color, but stand out in multiple bright hues. You would never guess this originated as a black & white game. It actually looks quite a bit better than the NES Zeldas and does an admirable job following the style of A Link to the Past, even though it is on much weaker hardware.

The new secret color dungeon is interesting, though I found it rather easy and actually easier to find than some of the non-secret dungeons. The bonus (either double sword damage or half damage taken) is useful without making the game ridiculously easy.

The items are great as always. You have Zelda classics like the bow, sword, shield and hookshot, but also some very cool items that are effectively items while you have them, such as a bow-wow puppy on a leash or the flying rooster. There is also a feather which allows you to jumps and makes a few areas almost into platformers. It's an approach taken by very few Zelda games, but it works. It also opens things up in a new way by letting use use any two items together, not just pairing them with a sword. This allows many creative combinations, like the feather and pegasus boots for long-jump, or the bomb and arrows for bomb arrows. This is the first appearance of the ocarina, which went on to be a central part of the mythos.

The puzzles are for the most part tough, but fair, with adequate clues given. Just head back to the library if you can't remember how to do something. Some of them, like dungeon seven, with its collapsing structure, are amazing. The boss fights are all pretty easy, but are large and impressive by the standards of the platform and most involve some sort of cool puzzle.

The Bad

There are a couple places you're supposed to bomb that have no visual indicator on the wall, nor do they show the room on the other side on the map. It supposedly makes a different sound when you hit a bombable wall with your sword, but I didn't notice anything different. You have to consult a cheat guide or run around bombing everything.

While you run quite short on money for the first part of the game, once you buy the bow, there's not really anything else to do with it. You'll find plenty of bombs and arrows in the environment. I ran around with 999 rupees for most of the game.

It's a bit shorter than most Zelda games, but, let's face it, most are ridiculously long and you'll still get more of of this than pretty much any other Game Boy game save Pokemon.

The save system is irritating as you must either die, or hit start, select, a & b all at the same time to save. This can take a few tries. When you restore, you're at the beginning of an area. These make it unfriendly for short-burst playing, as people often do with handheld games.

The Bottom Line

This is one of the more surrealistic Zeldas, and that's saying something. There are the odd anachronisms like telephones in a fantasy setting numerous Mario characters and a village of anthropomorphic animals, in addition to the whole trippy story about dreams. This is one of the best, if not the absolute best, game for the Game Boy or Color platform. There is little excuse not to own it.