Yes, I've said it. Fans who picked the "Zelda" series up at "Ocarina of Time" may baulk at the idea, but, if impressiveness were measurable as the ratio of a game's brilliance to the limitations of the host hardware, then this game wins the contest hands down. Quite simply, to get a game of "Link's Awakening"'s length and depth onto a machine that was far from state of the art even on its (the Game Boy's) 1989 debut, was a phenomenal achievement - and one which should not be taken for granted even in today's world of endless Nintendo repackaging which saw the game relaunched in colour around the time of "Ocarina of Time".
While the game quite forgivably lacks the scope of its illustrious siblings "Link to the Past" and "Ocarina of Time", it is nonehteless a thoroughly absorbing work. As per those games, all the characters and items are somehow related to your quest. Throughout the game there is a run of items which have to be exchanged - dog food for bananas, bananas for honey, and so on. At first this seems rather pointless but it soon becomes vital for your quest: a key example of just how involved this game is. It is an 8 bit title that shames many of our modern 128, 256 or however-many-it-is (they probably don't even count anymore) bit works of today, to shame.
The dungeons are often inspired, with many excellent ideas, such as the crashing temples of Eagle's Tower, and the recurring bosses. A few - most notably the Angler's Dungeon - are a little lightweight, but generally the standard is fantastic. The bosses are a little disappointing at times, but the final encounter with a morphing blobby monster - and the crazy pseudo philosophical end sequence - are excellent.
Overall, this game was an essential part of the "Zelda" series' imperial '90s trinity (along with "LTP" and "OOT") and is as great to play now as it was in 1993.