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

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9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 699 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 171
  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 16, 2013
    10
    With a nostalgic feeling, the astonishing graphics for a handheld and the puzzles that we fans of The Legend of Zelda always wished for, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a definitive and must have title not only for Zelda fans, but for all 3DS owner. 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 27, 2013
    9
    Nintendo shows that they still know what they're doing. I loved a Link to the Past, and this modernization of the game works just as well. I was enthralled by the stretches of Hyrule, and the Dark World, now called Lorule. Nostalgia made sweet impact as familiar music and areas hit.

    I appreciate that the game is fast-paced and more action oriented, and it provides a great classic feel. What's also great is being able to rent every item you could possibly need. It's great to just jump right into the action with reckless abandon.

    The game's story is also quite a bit different. The ending was also quite atypical from most Zelda games, and I enjoyed watching it unfold throughout the adventure.

    Although the game managed to replicate the old school feel, it didn't replicate the old school challenge. This might just be the easiest Zelda game to date, even easier than Wind Waker. I understand the reasoning because of how open the world was. The game's later dungeons are all accessible at once, so it would be unfair for someone whose new to enter a ridiculous dungeon, but I love digging through enormous dungeons. Some veterans may even finish the game in 10 or so hours. There is hero mode, but considering how easy it was, it would've been nice to have the option right off the bat.

    Still, it's a great game, especially for newcomers and those who might be intimidated by the series.
    Expand
  6. Aug 23, 2014
    9
    If you liked 2D TLoZ games, you're gonna totally love this game too. But I felt like game is a little bit easier than other TLoZ games (played A Link to the Past, Majora's Mask, Ocarina of Time, Oracle of Ages & Seasons). Buying and renting items are cool but that's the easy part in my opinion. Other than that, if you own a 3DS and still thinking about "Hmm, should I really buy A Link Between Worlds?", you're wasting your precious time. Go and buy it! Expand
  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 171 User Reviews

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