Re­turn to Hyrule

Grab your Mas­ter Sword and don your green cap for another round of mag­i­cal adventures and de­vi­ous puz­zle-solv­ing.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY - By SHAUN A. NO­ORDIN bytz@thes­tar.com.my

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.

Hello hero­glyphs

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

re­vealed

Dun­geon

in­cen­tive Worlds, own puz­zle head dun­geon prison that wa­ter that 3D game. one; and the around ready

don’t

dun­geons.

such be­gin­ning, in

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.

Dun­geon delv­ing

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.

Nin­tendo 3DS

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.

End game

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.

Link

Princess Zelda

rovio

yuga

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