Link’s Awakening Is a Delightful Return to a True Nintendo Classic

In 1993, The Legend of Zelda franchise came out with a game that would become a cornerstone of the series. Link’s Awakening hit the Game Boy as the first of many handheld titles, and it follows Link after he washes ashore an island with no memories to his name. While the game may have wiped all of Link’s memories, fans have not forgotten any piece of this cherished game, and Nintendo knows so keenly.

That is why the upcoming remake of Link’s Awakening has the eyes of gamers everywhere upon it, and ComicBook.com got a chance to play the game at San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

The demo was open to select press, and I was able to play the game for about 30 minutes before moving on. I found myself playing Link as he awoke in a bed where he was greeted by Marin. When she realizes Link has no memories, she encourages Link to explore a bit, and then I was off running about Koholint Island with carefree curiosity.

At first glance, Link’s Awakening looks gorgeous in this demo, and it looks similarly with every subsequent glance. All of the 3D footage was rendered smoothly, and Link’s sprite-like features were adorable. In ways, all of the characters looked like Playmobil figures come to life, but their adorable expressions made them feel lifelike.

After I located Link’s sword and shield, the demo allowed me to explore the main square of Koholint Island with ease. There were still all the usual puzzles blocking you from certain areas, and they all felt very familiar to the original game. There were ample enemies to fight along the beach as I searched (to no avail) for my sword at first, and I found myself losing track of time playing.

That feeling only tripled when I managed to scrounge enough Rupees to play the fishing mini-game. Any fan of Link’s Awakening will remember this game, and it feels smoother than ever on the Nintendo Switch. In fact, I enjoyed the game so much that I played it for at least 5 minutes straight which prompted laughter from the Nintendo representative walking the floor with me.

Before my demo ended, I was able to enter some secluded woods where a few Bokoblins awaited me. I was impressed with how naturally the demo slipped between settings. The game felt entirely familiar as Link’s Awakening had not made any major changes in terms of content or story. However, as I looked over the polished graphics and controls, I just wanted to play more. When my demo time came to an end, it would be an understatement to say I was sad, but I felt excited as I walked away.

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After all, Link’s Awakening comes out this September, and I will be able to play the whole game to my Wind Fish-loving heart’s content then.

So, will you be checking out this game when it drops in the fall? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!