Link's Awakening E3

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.

Resonating charm

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.

Ben Lamoreux
Nintendo Enthusiast's Managing Editor. I grew up on Super Nintendo and never stopped playing. Been writing video game news, opinions, reviews, and interviews professionally for over a decade. Favorite franchises include Zelda, Metroid, and Mother.

You may also like

More in E3