Return to Hyrule
Grab your Master Sword and don your green cap for another round of magical adventures and devious puzzle-solving.
There’s one word that appropriately describes how we feel when we play The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and that word is joy.
We mean, sure, we feel excitement when we’re up against a uniquely challenging boss monster, and we feel triumphant when we solve a devilish puzzle. But, overall, what we take home from the game is the simple joy of exploring worlds full of hidden discoveries, and the sincere joy of going on an honest-togoodness heroic adventure.
Between Worlds takes us back to the magical kingdom of hyrule and once again puts us in the shoes of the green-clothed Master sword-wielding hero, Link.
If you’re new to Zelda, then Between Worlds for the Nintendo 3Ds is a very welcoming introduction to the puzzle-filled adventure series. If you’re already familiar with the Zelda series, then you’ll recognise Between Worlds is the successor to 1991’s legendary (and Zelda- rary) masterpiece, A Link To The Past.
You should already know what’s going to happen next: Link will have to delve into puzzle-filled dungeons to find the power to rescue Princess Zelda after she gets kidnapped by the Big Bad Guy. (That’s not a spoiler! Getting kidnapped is part of Zelda’s job description.)
The hook this time is that the evil Wizard Yuga — this story’s Big Bad Guy — is going around turning people into paintings, like some kind of deranged Van Gogh. Link gets zapped by the painting spell, but he instead gains the power to transform into a 2D painting at will and scoot on walls.
This might sound like a silly little story hook and gameplay mechanic, but trust us, going 2D adds a lot of depth to this game. slapping yourself onto, and into, walls lets you do everything from dodge attacks to cross impassible chasms to catch thieves.
Magical puzzle box
This brings us directly to what we love so much about Between Worlds: The game is jam-packed with secrets to discover, and uncovering hyrule’s hidden treasures is pure, unadulterated section there every one the most kingdom full treasures, And, piece teases to bombed chest ledge combination knows, have
incentive Worlds, own puzzle head dungeon prison that water that 3D game. one; and the around ready
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unadulterated joy. There’s not a section of the world map that’s just there “for sightseeing,” and almost every zone you enter has at least one secret or seemingly impossible-to-reach treasure to unlock.
Forget Link or Zelda or any of the quirky dudes you meet — the most interesting character is the kingdom of hyrule itself. The kingdom is like a magical puzzle box, full of hidden passages and secret treasures, just waiting to be solved. And, every time you solve one piece of it, the foxy lil’ kingdom teases you with even more things to uncover.
Are those cracks in a wall hiding a cave entrance that can be bombed open? Could that treasure chest on that seemingly isolated ledge be reached with the right combination of tools? Nobody knows, but you’ll find out! You’d have to have zero sense of curiousity and wonder to resist poking around hyrule to see what’s revealed next.
The variety of dungeons presented provide another great incentive for you to play Between Worlds, as each dungeon has its own theme to discover and unique puzzle mechanic to wrap your head around.
For example, there’s a thieves’ dungeon that plays like an exciting prison escape; a water dungeon that lets you go wheeeeee! on water slides; and an ice dungeon that plays like a particularly hellish 3D platformer on a top-down 2D game. (OK, maybe forget that last one; it’s less “incentive to play” and more “reasons to rage-punch the developers”.)
What’s interesting this time around is that a lot of the world is ready to be explored from the getgo. Unlike other Zelda games, you don’t discover most of your exploring/puzzle-solving tools inside dungeons.
More than half of the tools — such as the boomerang and grappling hook — are available near the beginning, providing you flexibility in choosing which dungeon or puzzle to solve first.
however, this flexibility comes with a price — your items are rented, not owned, and they’re reclaimed by the tool merchant whenever you’re defeated. It sounds like a pain, but it actually makes exploration more exciting by removing the usual triviality of rupees, hyrule’s currency.
In most Zelda games you’ll quickly have more money than you know what to do with. however, in Between Worlds, each rupee becomes an investment in making your character stronger, making the discovery of hidden treasures that much more satisfying.
It’s not just the game world that’s well-designed; the whole game is densely packed with great features, and Between World makes use of several functions unique to the 3Ds.
For starters, early in the game you’ll find an item that lets you see hint Ghosts, who in turn will give you tips on how to solve puzzles that are in your way. The catch? You’ll need to pay the hint Ghosts with Play Coins, the currency you earn on your 3Ds for using it as a pedometer.
By the end of Between Worlds, you’ll either have a finely-tuned puzzle-solving mind or an excellent cardio workout, which is a win either way.
Next, the 3Ds’s street Pass feature lets you meet — and defeat — other Zelda players. When you perform a street Pass, the other player sends her version of Link to your world, who you can choose to battle. Win and you get a bounty, lose and... nothing bad happens, don’t worry.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a masterfully crafted game that can be enjoyed by both newcomers to the series and established fans.
We can’t recommend this game enough, and it’s not only because we want to see more players in Malaysia who we can street Pass with. (Come at us! We have an 800 rupee bounty on our hero’s head!)
If the thought of solving puzzles, defeating monsters and saving a magical kingdom full of wonders gets you fired up, then get your 3Ds ready because there’s a world of adventure waiting for you in hyrule.
Pros: Lots to discover and explore; crafty puzzles.
Cons: running... out of breath... earning Play Coins... for puzzle hints!
go flat: Turning into a painting (left) will let you explore the beautiful, secret-filled kingdom of Hyrule in imaginative ways.