Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is great

This game… I almost don’t recognize it as a Zelda game. Or rather I do, but not a recent Zelda. The best way I can describe it is as this being to Zelda as New Super Mario Bros is to Mario. There’s no giant tutorial, oh sure, every once in a while someone will give you a line of text saying what button to press, but no having to show off your moves to kids or anything. The prologue is incredibly brief. Hell, the exposition is barely there.

The interesting thing about this game is that very, very little content seems really gated. You’re more or less on rails until the first dungeon, and there’s at least one other major milestone (that opens up the alternate world from the title), but other than that you’re fairly free.

Even to get to the first dungeon, there’s no cutscene telling you what to do, you wander around until you hit a dead end and all there is is a symbol of a bow and arrow, and a sign about a new shop opening signed by the guy who rescued you. The game trusts you’re smart enough to go back and find the guy.

Speaking of that… there’s a shop now. And your money has real value. You see, they moved the items out of dungeons. Now this guy in a bunny suit that lives in your house sells items. And when I say “sells” I mean “rents out”. For a relatively small fee (about 50-100 rupees depending on the item) he will give you any item in the game… until you die. If you die he loots all your rented items off your corpse and brings you back to your house. Want another go? Rent the items you need again.

After the third dungeon (I think) you can buy items, which is… expensive. About 800-1200 rupees. Buying them does nothing except prevent you from having to rent them if you die. Its cost effectiveness is dependent on how bad you are at the game. I bought a couple sort of “on principle”, but for me personally it doesn’t seem worth it. I doubt I’ll die the 12 times needed to make the rods worth purchase, for instance. Especially since both main story and sidequest items sometimes need money to buy so I like to maintain some cast on hand (that said, if you’re reasonably thorough and like to explore, you do rack up good amounts of money). Also, not all items are rented/from that shop. There’s an item shop in Kakariko with the shield, for instance, and it’s fairly cheap. The game is perfectly okay with you never finding that shop, or deciding you don’t need a shield, though.

Even so, death is a real danger. I died at least once because I didn’t realize a monster was hitting really hard (about 3 hearts worth of damage, and a very real risk of getting locked in its attack). I’d say I don’t think I was supposed to be there yet, but once you get to the other world, pretty much everything hits for several hearts worth of damage and many of them take a lot of hits too, so I think the statement is closer to “I probably shouldn’t actually engage that enemy in combat yet”. I died another time to a boss, fair and square. Two fairies and 8 heart containers and I got mulched. It was close, though, he was on his last phase.

Due to the new item system, though, you can do dungeons in whatever order you want (within each milestone). The wizard/mentor guy (Sahasrahla, I have no idea what his relation is to ALTTP’s Sahasrahla other than they seem to fulfill the same role) basically just says “we need these two items, do what you can to get them, have fun. Bye!” I got the one I got first because I happened to stumble upon and figure out the quest chain to get to one dungeon before I figured out the way to get to the other one.

As for the “dungeon formula”, there still pretty much is a “dungeon item”. For the first three dungeons the game puts its symbol outside the dungeon and you need it to get in, and that item is exclusively used to solve the puzzles and the boss is vulnerable to it. As far as I can tell, for the other world dungeons they don’t put the symbol outside, but it’s really not rocket science. You’re on a snowy mountain with ice everywhere, there’s a giant ice statue blocking your path. Needless to say, there’s a fire item in the shop. WHAT DO I DO!? It’s not hard to figure out, and certainly not as obtuse as, say, the goddamn chain chomp in Link’s Awakening, but it’s nice that they trust you to figure it out.

That said… there are some, well, I wouldn’t call them “sequence breaks”, but there are some deliberate speedrunning tricks they put in. More than once I’ve been able to bypass sections of a room due to having the right item. They’re not huge boosts, but because I was renting a bow I was able to hit a switch early, or because I had the boomerang I was able to grab a key without solving a puzzle. So your alternate items don’t go completely to waste in the “wrong” dungeon, and of course you can always use them on enemies if you want.

The experience is amazing. It’s great accidentally stumbling on the right item to lift rocks, or swim. It’s nice accidentally finding a guy who gives you a bottle. It’s cool that they mark all the dungeons on your map and expect you to figure out how to get to them, get into them, and decide which order you’ll do them in. Want to give up and work on a different place? Go ahead. Right now there’s a bunch of giant rocks I can’t lift. It’s really cool not knowing if I have to free a certain sage or pass a certain game stage, or if I just haven’t completed the right sidequest or explored the right area to get the item for it yet. Hell, I didn’t find the boots until well after they were available because I warped somewhere instead of walked. There’s a real death penalty, and a real danger of dying. I don’t know what happened to this game, but it’s awesome. This is basically an old school Zelda game with a bunch of modern-day polish added.

Also, it’s totally cool that all the nice people who gave you items and stuff were sages… and the game never plays them up, or mentions it. You just see the paintings that Yaga has when he resurrects/fuses with Ganon and realize “oh shit… the Zora queen? The cool power gauntlet dude? THEY HELPED ME GIVE THEM BACK ASSHOLE”

I can’t wait to get this game!

I knew this game was going to kick ass, and it’ll have been the first Zelda game I’ve played since Minnish Cap. Really can’t wait to get my hands on it!

I picked up the game yesterday and I love it! I haven’t played as much as I’d like and I’ve only finished the first dungeon. But part of that is because I’ve been exploring the area and talking to people and everything. I picked it up because it’s a sequel to one of my favorite games ever, but it’s a lot of fun in it’s own right.

I’ve only played a little bit, but so far it’s fantastic. Just the title screen alone gives the perfect bit of nostalgia for the old game.

I just got this on E-Shop the other day. But I’m reluctant to play it for some reason. Partly because I’m worried about the whole renting an item idea. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good idea, I just don’t know how well it’ll fair for me. If my pockets aren’t full of rupees, I farm for them. So it might be difficult for me to keep on having to spend money on rentals that I will lose because I suck at games and will die often.

I really can’t decide whether I’ll play the game on my own or YouTube a walk-through. There are benefits to both. I’m not that great at games but I love them. I want to 100% complete It, but I’ve seen some of the puzzles in videos and I wonder if I’m smart enough to be able to pull it off on my own.

This game really is great. I didn’t mind the DS Zeldas, but these traditional controls really are better than the stylus controls, at least for the basic movement and sword fighting. Also this wall/painting mechanic works well and seems like it will allow for some good puzzles.

You will not max out your wallet. The wallet holds 9999 rupees in this game, and while it’s generous with Rupees, it’s nowhere near that generous. You have to break the bank pretty frequently. There are at least two upgrades that cost 3k and 888 rupees*. I was homing in on about 9100, but that was after doing all the dungeons (except the very last one) and finding all the secret treasures AND all the pieces of heart AND all the Maimais, after buying hardly anything all game.

I did find that there is a benefit to buying items beyond not losing them if you die. If you find Mother Maimai she’ll send you on a fetch quest to find 100 of her children, for every 10 you return you can upgrade a shop item, but only if you own it. I haven’t used them because I waited until I got all 100 to return and I’m basically at the end of the game. The upgrades seem fairly standard: the bow shoots 3 arrows in a fan, hookshot becomes longshot, bombs and hammer have bigger blast radiuses etc.

I’m not sure what the point of the boomerang is, it seems to just be a worse Hookshot. It’s never required, so if money is tight skip that one.

Also, if you die/take too much damage frequently:

Do the dungeon south of Link’s House in the dark world first, its special item cuts the damage you receive in half.

In general, I recommend doing Turtle Rock (Southeast Lorule) and Ice Ruins (Northeast Lorule on Death Mountain) last. They’re more difficult than the others and their secret upgrades aren’t really anything to write home about. I did Ice Ruins first, and the boss hits like a truck compared to pretty much everything else in the game.

  • If you find the secret guy with the item, it’s in the Lorule item shops for 9999 rupees.

I always thought that Link’s Awakening had the perfect balance in holding your hand vs. letting your explore and figure out what to do next. How do you think this game compares?

Because I definitely do not like how the original Zelda gave you nothing (save for the instructions in the book), and I still think the original Link to the Past was a bit too light on direction. In my mind, it needs to gradually fade off as you explore the world, not leave me clueless after I rescue Zelda.

The game marks all the important story locations on your map and basically tells you to go to the giant red X’s whenever you feel like getting around to it. It adequately points out the couple obtuse mechanics (such as Lorule not being a contiguous continent – needing each area to be independently accessed from Hyrule) with only a couple lines of dialogue.

I’d say it’s a pretty ideal mix of letting you know what to do but still giving you space.

What do I do with the StreetPass Tree?

I can’t reach the apples on the tree… Can anyone help me? What am I supposed to do?

I didn’t do any of the Streetpass stuff (I’ve tried to do Streetpass things before and it just doesn’t work in my town), but in general to get things down from trees you use the (minor item spoiler):

Pegasus Boots to run into them.

So, the Streetpass fights have achievements (Challenges) associated with them. Reading through them, I noted that there are many for winning with a weapon and winning with an upgraded weapon. Does that mean that one you upgrade a weapon, the winning with the “normal” version achievement becomes lost? Same with the shield?

Just picked this and a 3ds XL up the other night. Game is fun. It’s kept me engaged alot longer than any of the 3D Zeldas. I like the tool rental because it lets me have a degree of control over where I want to go and when. So far (when the second world opens up) combat is really easy. Music is really good and so are the dungeons.

Pretty satisifying game so far.

I have mixed feelings about this Zelda game.

I just rented all the items at once, and the few times I died, I had saved shortly before, so quitting the game with all my items was really no big deal. Having all of the items at my disposal made getting heart pieces easy.

Most of the dungeons are pretty short, and simple.

Most of the combat doesn’t require much skill for me, and I’m really not that good at video games, as much as I like them.

I can’t believe that I have found, on my own, almost all of the heart pieces, and most of those kids, (even though I never upgrade any of my weapons).

I haven’t played the mini games… yet

The Music is great.

I actually never had a problem with the art style, even if things do look a little weird when not at a top-down angle.

I’m not done with the game, I just saved the last sage.

Although the game is fun, I don’t really understand the hype.

Jumping back to say I really like this game alot. I’m down to the last two sages and I think the dungeons have some really ingenious solutions. The control is tight and I really love the rental system. I love being able to go to almosy any dungeon right away instead of being directed to specific ones. When can you upgrade weapons? I own a couple and have two sages left.

No one found this game to be at least too short, if not too easy?

I’m down to the last sage, not sure how much is left from here, but it feels like it’s a reasonable length. I’ve probably put 10 hours into it or so and figure theres a couple left. If you want to get all the hearts and all of those octopus things it’s probably longer though. The bosses are pretty easy once you figure out the patterns, but every Zelda has been that way. I’d probably say they give you access to 3 bottles too quickly, as I was running around with 3 life saving fairies within the first couple hours I think.

All in all for $40 I’m getting my monies worth. I think the dungeons are all quite clever. Not necessarily difficult, but clever in how the puzzles are put together. I would think younger kids would have a really tough time with thinking outside the box on some of these. I didn’t read a single word of FAQ or tip online, which has also made it more enjoyable. I’m sure if you grab a hint or two to some of the puzzles on the web it takes away a significant bit of enjoyment.

I didn’t look for hints either. I just got done playing both Zelda: Oracle games, and both games seemed to have lasted longer, and were also a little tougher IMHO.

I just don’t understand the big hype around this particular entry. I know renting items introduces a new way of playing, but it shortened the game, I feel. Like I said, I just rented all the items and saved frequently. Now that I finished the game, I have little interest in buying/upgrading my weapons, and getting hearts from the Mini-games I missed. No way this is one of the best Zelda games out there.

Although I think ‘Skyward Sword’ was a great game, perhaps one of my favorites. I LIKED the motion controls. I liked seeing a heart and wondering what type of item I would get to be able to reach it.

When do you get to upgrade your tools? I’m in the last sage temple so it shouldn’t be a spoiler. I feel like I’m missing something.