The Legend of Zelda, and is the first game in the series to be developed specifically for the 3DS.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this fantasy epic, the series centres primarily on Link, who is the only playable character within the game. Link is best known for his rescue of a fair maiden called Princess Zelda, the leader of the world of Hyrule, from Ganon, a Gerudo thief who is the primary enemy in the series.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds indirectly follows on from the 1991 Super NES title, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, in this game, the usual villian, Ganon, has long since been sealed away by a group known as the Seven Sages, and peace has seemingly returned to the land of Hyrule.
However, an evil wizard called Yuga has recently begun tracking down the descendants of the Seven Sages and turning them into paintings, in order to use the power of the Triforce for himself. It is up to Link to locate Yuga and find a way to rescue those sages who have been turned into paintings before it is too late...
Although The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds takes place in the same world as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, there are lots of new exciting elements which help to mark a clear distinction between the two games. For example, although the game environment is largely the same as that featured in A Link to the Past, all the dungeons are totally new, and the game features several new puzzles to solve.
The game's magic meter now refills automatically instead of requiring the player to collect potions in order to refill it. Furthermore, the magic meter now replaces the previous ammunition system for Link's bow and bombs, as well as being used to power other items and special abilities, such as the magic hammer attack.
Several items from A Link to the Past do return in this game, however, including Link's trusty bow and arrow for shooting enemies long distance, his projectile-shooting sword and his shield, as well as the mallet which allows Link to knock down pegs in the ground, and the Fire Rod which helps to create a firestorm.
Furthermore, these weapons can now be rented for a small amount of Rupees (the in-game currency) from Rovio's Shop, which gives Link a much better chance of defeating enemies earlier in the game.
There is one catch, however, if Link gets defeated in a dungeon, he loses all of his rented items. nevertheless, these items are available for purchase later, assuming that players have enough rupees to do this.
A major new power for Link in this game is the ability to enter walls and become a painting himself in order to move along certain walls and passages and to reach new areas. This ability also allows Link to enter cracks in walls to move between the world of Hyrule and a mysterious alternative universe, known as Lorule, which has its own princess (Princess Hilda) for Link to rescue from the evil Yuga.
Drawings of hearts and rupees can also be found on these walls, but can only be collected when Link is transformed into a painting himself. Using any of these abilities or items will also cause Link's meter to deplete over time.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds also takes advantage of the 3DS' StreePass abilities. Once StreetPass is enabled, other players will appear in your game as Shadow Links. When you approach a Shadow Link, you can do battle with the character and reap special in-game rewards if you win.
In conclusion, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a really interesting game. The stereoscopic 3D really does add new depth to the game's environments, especially when exploring the dungeons.
The game will be instantly familiar to fans of A Link to the Past, but has enough new content to make it enjoyable to both old and new fans alike.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is available to purchase now from most videogame outlets, or as a digital download from the Nintendo eShop, and even as a special bundle with the Legendary Gold Nintendo 3DS XL. If you liked the previous Legend of Zelda games, then this is definitely a must-have for your collection. Overall rating:10/10.