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Universal acclaim - based on 81 Critics What's this?

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9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 678 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a new game with a new storyline set in world of the Super NES classic The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 81
  2. Negative: 0 out of 81
  1. 100
    No two ways about it: if you own a 3DS, this Zelda is a must. It’s an intelligent and entertaining action game, brimming with fresh ideas and fascinating worlds. [Issue#237]
  2. Nov 14, 2013
    100
    Painting over any cracks that were starting to appear in the Zelda series, A Link Between Worlds is a refreshing experience and another Nintendo 3DS masterpiece.
  3. Nov 14, 2013
    96
    A stellar game all the way around. A Link Between Worlds maximizes the concept of depth, from the 3D, to the 2D mechanic, to the characters. This game certainly fits well in the pantheon of amazing Zelda games.
  4. Nov 14, 2013
    90
    It’s not just a nostalgic trip; A Link Between Worlds is an excellent game on its own. That said, this title functions most effectively as fan service to us old heads — the references to the source material are as numerous as they are captivating.
  5. Dec 11, 2013
    90
    A Link Between Worlds boasts excellent characterisation and spacial design. Even a too-shallow difficulty curve can't hold this long awaited entry back.
  6. Nov 27, 2013
    90
    Even the most stalwart, traditionalist series fan should be able to appreciate A Link Between Worlds for what it is: the most interesting new Zelda game since Wind Waker.
  7. Nov 14, 2013
    65
    A Link Between World's main problem at the end of the day is a complete lack of heart. There's no defining moment, no memorable villains or characters, and no truly "new" items that make their mark on the series. It's certainly playable in every sense of the word, but I didn't feel the magic I had felt so many times before.

See all 81 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 166
  1. Nov 22, 2013
    10
    What initially looked like a game leaning on the aging crutches of A Link to the Past has turned out to be a thoroughly poignant, vivid and immensely satisfying game worthy of standing on its own two feet. Set in the world of A Link to the Past, Link Between Worlds makes the serendipitous combination of a reinvigorating spark with a meaty hit of nostalgia. Presenting freedom of choice gameplay not seen since the original, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds makes no effort to hold the players hand through the richly dense world of Hyrule and it works brilliantly. Rather than following in the footsteps of Game Freak and introducing the franchise to a new generation of audiences at the risk of patronising its long term fans, (I’m looking at you Pokémon X and Y) Link Between Worlds pays homage to those of us who have followed Link since his debut over 25 years ago all whilst paving the way for a reinvention of what it means to make a Zelda game. The puzzles in Link Between Worlds are, as aforementioned, immensely satisfying. I could almost hear the pieces of a riddle snap together in my head as I strived to calculate the answer. It’s a feeling experienced whilst playing the Professor Layton series, but puzzle-solving in this game is made relevant and interesting by the vivid world, close to perfect combat and awe-inspiring imagination. This is a beautiful game, presenting a colourful and vibrant world that just seems to radiate adventure and exploration. The characters are complex and interesting, but perhaps the biggest achievement in terms of its presentation is the silky-smooth 60fps frame rate which stays consistent throughout this 18 hour adventure even with the 3D effect turned on. Expand
  2. Nov 28, 2013
    10
    It's like A Link to the Past popped up in a magical toybox in my hand. Just fantastically brilliant all around. So super high polished, and totally gorgeous. A must-have for 3DS owners, and a great showcase for the system. Expand
  3. Dec 27, 2013
    10
    Fun for all ages. This chapter in the Legend of Zelda franchise is the same as the last top down zelda games but with a few new gameplay elements that take advantage of this being a 3d rendered world. If you like zelda or are just getting into it, this is the game for you. Expand
  4. Nov 23, 2013
    10
    To start off, this game is phenomenal, it is truly one of the best games of this generation. I went into this game thinking: "This is going to be an OK game" but, after having finished it 100% already, I can say my old hypothesis doesn't do this game justice. This game is fresh and new, and to a lesser extend nostalgic also with its numerous references to its predecessor The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. On that note, while this game may feature an overworld similar to that of its predecessor, it's not without good reason, this game takes place around a mere 150-200 years (several generations to be more precise) after its predecessor in the same region. Everything else about the game is new and fresh, the gameplay, the location of secrets, the visuals, the temple/dungeon layout, even some of the items and puzzles; to simply call this game a 'remake' or a 'rehash' is delusional.

    The art style and presentation of this game is a beautiful reimagining of the art style from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past but with a much better resolution, and in 3D rather than using 16-bit sprites. The way this game handles the stereoscopic 3D aspect of the 3DS is breathtaking, and by-far the best use of 3D in any game on the system. The lighting of this game is far more dynamic than all the other handheld or 2D games, and it only adds to the overall stunning visuals the game already has. Not only does this game have marvelous 3D visuals, but the gameplay is tied into the 3D visuals, allowing for an even more amazing experience.

    The gameplay is somewhat familiar to veterans of the series, but it is by no means a 'rehash' on old methods, nor 'gimmicky' (cute little buzzword for people that have difficulty with innovative gameplay) by any means. The ability to merge with walls allows for more dynamic combat scenarios with standard enemies and bosses alike. It allows for new puzzles and challenges to be utilized in the game, making for a completely new experience that will feel new to even veterans. Another fantastic gameplay feature is item renting, while some may criticize it because it's 'new', I embrace it for adding a completely different way to go about completing the game. This game's item renting feature adds an even more non-linear aspect to a game that is already open-world, giving players the ability to complete the vast majority of the game's dungeons in any order. The item-renting feature means players will no longer find items in the dungeon itself, but instead, each dungeon features an offensive, defensive, or supplemental upgrade for the player to use somewhat similar to the leveling up feature in Zelda II when a player completes a palace. What could go better with the amazingly fresh gameplay than a grandiose soundtrack?

    My personal favorite aspect of this game is its fantastic soundtrack which features unbelievable musical scores that fit the mood and atmosphere of each area perfectly. Another great aspect of the soundtrack is how it has incredible remastered, orchestrated versions of some of the most popular Zelda themes from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. These themes, both new, and remastered old, provide an auditory experience unlike any other game, save The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, that combines new imaginative tracks with remastered nostalgic ones.

    The story is phenomenal, different than all the other Zelda games, yet surprisingly captivating for what it's worth; but, being as I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't played it, I will refrain from discussing the fascinating details. Despite this though, the ending of the game is one of the best out of all the Zelda games, and does leave a few cliffhangers presenting numerous options for future sequels in the 'downfall' timeline (See Hyrule Historia for full, official timeline details). The amazing 3D visuals, beguiling story/plot, enthralling gameplay, and grand soundtrack, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is an absolute MUST for any Zelda fan, for any 3DS owner, and for any prospective gamer interested in Action-Adventure/RPG games. This game is easily one of the best games this year, and one of the top 5 Zelda games of all time, I hope everyone enjoys this game as much as I do, it was worth every cent.
    Expand
  5. Dec 28, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I can remember playing the original A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo years ago. And while my memories from the original can never be replicated, this newest rendition will produce many additional enjoyable moments. If you have been attempting to find an explanation (or excuse) to purchase a 3DS or 2DS, THIS GAME ALONE IS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD AND IS REASON ENOUGH TO BUY A 2DS OR 3DS!!

    I have been amazed at how the game can play tricks visually, even without the use of the 3D depth slider. The merge ability is a great twist on the gameplay, and for anyone who has played the Paper Mario series, you should easily transition into this method. And just when you think you have explored most of the new areas, the game leads you into other new areas to explore.

    I have only finished the first palace, but can tell that I will be hooked until the very end.
    Expand
  6. Aug 30, 2014
    9
    The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is without a doubt an awesome game, one that is surely to become a classic in our hearts in the somewhat distant future. It is undoubtedly a worthy successor to A Link To The Past. This game retains its roots from its predecessor, yet still manages to innovate with concepts that are new to The Legend of Zelda series. This is one game that you should definitely pick up sometime. Furthermore, the game has certainly become one of my favorite Zelda installments (it is now second only to Ocarina of Time).
    The world in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds seems massive for a Nintendo 3DS game, in which I pleasantly surprised by the size of Hyrule alone. Discovering Lorule just seemed to reinforce the variety of activities and secrets in ALBW that were just waiting to be discovered. I've spent hours merely exploring both worlds within the game, just in awe of how much there is to do in the game. Completing side quests, playing minigames, collecting Pieces of Hearts, slaughtering monsters, finding Easter eggs, treasure hunting, Streetpass, etc. They're all in the game, and more.
    Speaking of Streetpass, I concur that it was used quite well. For those who do not know, individuals with the game can Streetpass each other, then fight "Dark Link" versions of others using their personal combination of weapons. The Dark Links are AI-controlled, and also account for the number of hearts an individual may currently have, as well as potions, fairies, and other healing items. With this feature, also comes a list of accomplishments, each of which that can be unlocked by completely certain tasks during these fights.
    I found the wall-merging sections of the dungeons to have been used quite effectively as well. They truly added another layer of difficulty to the puzzles present within this game by innovating this brand new mechanism. More than few times did I find myself stuck in specific areas of the dungeons throughout the game, perplexed on how to continue. For that, I applaud the developers; fantastic job, Nintendo EAD.
    In fact, I'd even go as far as to consider the entire world in the game (Hyrule and/or Lorule) as one giant puzzle, that you must slowly solve as you travel between worlds, merge through walls, conquer dungeons without a specific order, and complete certain tasks. It's actually a tad difficult to explain, but I suppose if you were to play the game yourself for a few hours, you might have an idea of what I'm talking about.
    By the way, Ravio is an absolute jerk in the beginning of the game. Seriously bro, you break and enter my house wearing a purple bunny mask, then have the audacity to ask to stay there for awhile. Soon after, you claim MY house as your own, then proceed to turn into a shop that sell various weapons for ridiculous prices. That other purple mask must have been responsible for his utter disrespect. Really bro, who does that?! Oh, and not to mention that you force your birdlike slave to fly to the other side of Hyrule (and sometimes Lorule) to a dangerous dungeon, have it steal my items, then leave me there to die. It doesn't matter what he did later on in the game, the point is that Ravio can stay in Lorule alone for all I care. I never want to see that stupid and cowardly Nabbit-ripoff again in my life. Please understand.
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  7. May 12, 2014
    2
    Let me start by saying I specifically registered this metacritic account to post this review, hence the user name, and am a huge Zelda fan (twilight princess triforce tattoo included).

    So when I say I was horrendously disappointed by this game, I feel the need to share why and think the single best word to describe it would be "uninspired". That said, maybe you need a bit more of a break down.
    1) Mini-games - Hoping for shooting galleries? bomb-chus? Deku sprout flying? Prepare to be disappointed, usually the "most" fun gameplay, instead the completion-ist in you is almost deciding to pass on playing, luckily they're beyond easy so you won't get 'bored', you'll just get done ASAP.
    2) The flattening gimmick - Its like combining annoying camera angles but because of the tool "Rental" system your going to use it non-stop to check for dead ends 4 screens away. Because walking back and forth is fun! (It's really not).
    3) "Rental System" - Do you not completely suck at games, and have played 1 or more Zelda games previously? Prepare to have more money than you care about. Rent everything the first time you have enough money, cause boy you aren't going to ever need to scrounge!
    4) Easiness of puzzles - Thinking water temple hard? Nope, not even close, in fact, if not for all those blind alleys and walking back and forth (see above), you could do every dungeon practically at a dead run!
    5) Characters - Nope, no minish cap sassy companion, no dark mask vendors, no good or evil midna, I mean even a robot with no emotion is more interesting than nothing.
    6) Storyline - You would think with all of the content, they would of nailed the "nostalgia" factor atleast, unfortunately the storyline is such a direct rip-off/merge of the single most popular Zelda title and the one it stole its title from that you don't care about anything or anyone in the universe.
    7) GAMEPLAY - Gimmick aside, it plays like a Zelda for SNES. Now you may be thinking (I liked that game, it was fun to play) but really, from trains to touchscreen controls the handheld titles have been the creative platform (and cause motion controls suck - sorry guys) for numerous innovations, this one adds nothing.

    In summary, uninspired. Thanks Nintendo. It's pretty bad when Ocarina of Time remakes are somehow more original than your newer titles. Give us Majora's Mask remastered and I'll consider forgiving you....maybe.
    Expand

See all 166 User Reviews

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