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.
on 1 December 2003
Now this is how to make a game. 100% gameplay. The graphics are none too special but hey - the original version was released way back in 1993. In my opinion this is the most playable Legend of Zelda yet. I know I'm in the minority but it dominated my life more than Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker or Link to the Past. The plot is better than most Zelda games, and the structure well defined and skillfully modelled. Sub quests are present and there's even a fishing minigame. The music is chirpy and never annoying and the puzzles - though often hard are never unfair - there is always a logical solution. It is quite a long game that earns replay value by just being tremendously fun. The new DX version even has a brand new dungeon not present in the original game. It is better than resent handheld Zeldas (Oracles was good, but not AS good). Take my advice , if you do not already have this game BUY IT or the original version. Your gameboy will love you forever.
on 3 June 2001
Well, this is my first ever Zelda game that I got. (well i got the original in 93) and I have to say it is still my favourite game to this day. Before this I had only played Striker, Batman and Super Mario Land. This introduced me to an entirely new experience, a game that lasts for hours and you can talk to so many characters, do so much, go fishing, white water rafting, ocarina playing. This is a masterpiece of epic proportions and still hasnt been beaten by any new games to this day. In my mind this is Shigsy's high point. Nothing can beat this marriage of interactivity, neat graphics, great music, exciting bosses, cracking storyline, a great narrative and most of all fun. In my mind thats what Zelda's always been about and nothing does it better than this.
on 11 March 2012
I have always been a firm believer in the idea that older games are much more fun and much harder than modern games. Games don't have to have the latest graphics or fancy controls or millions of different options, and this game is certainly one of many old games that prove it. The creators of this game have faced the challenge of limited possiblities with fantastic results. This game is incredibly challenging and some parts of the game will have you stumped, such as (Spoiler alert!) the trading sequence and the blue rooster. (/Spoilers). But no matter how hard the game may become it just never stops being fun and everytime I put it down I found myself picking it up again ten minutes later and having another shot at it. This game has so many brilliant aspects that it is impossible to go through them all, I'm just going to say that if you haven't played it already, it's fantastic.
on 14 October 2015
I bought the game from KonsolenKost -More than Games!- and I have to say I'm absolutely satisfied with the purchase. At first I was sceptic because the item description said it was in an "acceptable" condition. Well, not only was it in an EXCELLENT condition, but it also arrived sooner than expected. The cartridge has been tested on my Game Boy Color and it works just fine. The only downside I can think of is that the game came with 3 saved games, probably from the previous owner.
The first time I played this game I'd borrowed it from a friend, and it became one of my favourite games ever. Now, thanks to KonsolenKost, I can bring back those memories from my childhood. :)
on 13 December 2000
Not much to say apart from-it's brilliant! The graphics, gameplay,everything it's all perfect and it'll last forever, it's so complex and very tricky-so don't expect an easy time! Well worth gving up a few weeks of your life for, which it what you'll you need to finish this h-u-u-u-ge masterpiece.
on 13 September 2013
I've based my review on the Nintendo Download version (which is the same as this, I have a cartridge of this game but the gameboy is 'broked' and the download is fresher in my memory)
This is a classic Zelda game, and it plays very much like all the Zelda's used to before the DS (controls with buttons instead of stylus) and the game plays like an exploratory RPG with a simple fighting system, a lot of puzzle solving elements and that little touch of fun. The action is like a birds eye view overhead the character (Link or whatever you want to call him lol) and world design and dungeon design is basic but vivid in colour (its from the gbc days, its actually a good progression from the nes which looked dour in colour). Music is really nice, and plays like an old video-game should.
There is a lot to do here, and a lot of the time is spent looking for what it is you need to do and who you need to do it for. The game actively encourages you to do this as well as the main quest. I must warn you though that its a game that you must continue on with or at least a game to write notes along with. Not a lot of hints are actually given and sometimes its hard to know what it is that you actually have to do. Always pay attention to the dialogue (and keep that pen handy lol)
I recommend this to rpg fans who want to try something different than turn based battling (and zelda is the best at what it does) without losing to much of the RPG elements (there is a sort-of levelling up system but its more like more health bar than stronger stats)
on 23 December 2002
This game is the best gameboy game EVER. No contest. It is probably the only (or at least one of the few only) open-ended games for the Game Boy, though you do have to complete the dungeons in linear order, there is one massive island to explore at your will, with new areas of the island coming available as you progress through the game.
Not as much an RPG as an Adventure game with action and puzzle elements, you don't really have any attributes to increase. Every time you kill one of the 8 boss creatures you get an extra 'heart', i.e. an extra unit of health. There are also quarter hearts you can find, get 4 of them and you get another extra heart. These are found in hidden areas all accross the massive island, and the even more massive underground levels, and that's not even counting the 8 dungeons, one of which has several floors which you have to bring together and demolish in order to access the boss by solving several nice puzzles.
The story itself is pretty camp but not overly so, you awake after a shipwreck to be trapped on an island and you must defeat the evil threatening the island in order to get home.. There's some original stuff when at the very end you wake the wind fish and it turns out that it was all a dr-- oh but I don't want to ruin it for you. There are plenty of special items, a big chain of items which you swap with NPC's through the game in order to at the end get a magic item you need to complete the game. You start finding a yoshi doll, trade it for a bow (the decorative kind), a dog gives you dog food for it, which you trade for bananas, etc. It's all very surreal, but there are plenty of straightforward weapons, such as 2 swords, 2 shields, an unreasonably expensive bow (which you can shoot explosive arrows out of!) a grappling hook, a boomerang, and more.
The sheer number of things to do with mini-games and subquests and a massive island with a cave network and 8 dungeons to explore makes this the best gameboy game ever. You'll play this over and over and over and you'll never get bored of it.
So what's new in DX? Well it's now all in glorious colour for the GBC, and there is a ninth dungeon with colour-oriented puzzles and at the end of that dungeon you get to choose new special clothes, one of which makes you tougher, the other makes you more powerful. There are also plenty of other small things which have been added to the game, and some bugs fixed such as the move+select thing which used to allow you tomove great distances bypassing obstacles.
So in conclusion, five stars. Again it's definitely the best game boy game you can get.
on 7 December 2010
when I first played this game back in the 90s I was so addicted to it. I can say even though I have played it again and again I don't think I could get board with this game.
the quality Nintendo has is a way to make games fun to pick up time and time again. as 8 bit puzzle adventurers go I would say this is a must have, it has a good narrative excellent puzzles and good all round fun.
I would say from the fist links awakening to the later colour versions I would say if you have a gameboy/pocket or a gameboy color,this is a must have.
also the conditions I got this game in was very good the only thing that was not the same for when I first had the game was there was no game booklets. but saying that to get a game which is still in its own cardboard bocks of this age was well good.
even it you only get the game cartridge i say buy it you will have fun
on 22 October 2013
My 14 year old daughter is very happy with this game & has played it lots more than she ever played her Nintendo Dsi! Who'd have thought "retro" (that's old & outdated to us who lived through the Gameboy years!) could be so cool? The game itself worked perfectly & arrived in good time & well packaged.