It feels great to back at E3! On day one, I headed to Nintendo’s section to check out the goods. I scheduled Warp Pipe Pass appointments for Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Pokémon Sword and Shield later in the week, so I started my convention tour by hopping in line to play the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.
As usual, Nintendo nailed the presentation. All of the Switch stations set up to play the island adventure are beautifully decorated with scenes from the game. Familiar tunes serenaded me as I waited in line. In less than an hour, I was hands-on! The E3 demo drops you right into Koholint Island and lets you explore. I was able to check out the Toronbo Shores and the Forest of Mystery. It’s also possible to enter the Tail Cave, but my session expired as I was heading that way with the key.
I loved my time with the game, brief as it was. The art style is absolutely adorable. All of the inhabitants of Koholint Island resonate charm, and I had a smile on my face the entire time. My main graphical complaint is that the edges of the screen felt a bit blurred and out of focus. This may be an intentional choice to keep you focused on the action in the center of the screen, but I found it slightly distracting. Additionally, there were some rare instances of frame rate drops. Fortunately, there’s still some time for polish.
I was given a pair of Joy-Con’s in a grip for my controller, which isn’t exactly my preferred set-up. There’s just no beating a Pro Controller! That said, the game handled perfectly smoothly. It feels just as good as it looks.
If you grew up playing and loving Link’s Awakening, this is a must-have. If you’ve never played the Game Boy classic, you should seriously consider getting the new version anyway. It looks to be a largely faithful experience to the original, but it has the look and feel of a much more modern game.