Despite the game's tiny size, it has the heart of a lion. In a market saturated with movie-grade visuals, Link's Awakening DX will challenge you, make you smile, and maybe even cry as it concludes (go ahead; we won't tell).
ESRB Rating: E
Price: $5.99 USD
THE BASICS: Little Big Quest
Link's Awakening DX plays similarly to other top-down installments of the Zelda series. Link must explore dungeons, travel across Koholint's expansive overworld, swipe at enemies with his sword, and make friends with villagers. Koholint also offers Link tons of extra quests, treasures, and surprises, so it's a good idea to stray off the beaten path sometimes. Exploration in Link's Awakening DX is aided by items like the Pegasus Boots, which let Link plow through rocks, and the Roc's Feather, which lets him leap over pits. Items can be combined for maximum effect: Using the Roc's Feather in conjunction with the Pegasus Boots, for instance, will let Link jump over very wide pits, while arrows and bombs can be combined for an on-the-go explosion.
It Doesn't "Feel Small" -- It's not unusual for Game Boy games to just feel like the scaled-down little brothers of their 16-bit predecessors. That's never a problem with Link's Awakening DX, which feels every bit as epic as any console-based Zelda game.
It Packs in a Lot of Content -- Though Koholint Island is smaller than any incarnation of Hyrule, each screen does a great job of packing in dungeons, puzzles, traps, objects, and enemies. Link's Awakening DX is a compact adventure, but it's a busy one.
A Great Soundtrack -- If you thought the Game Boy wasn't capable of great music, you thought wrong. The soundtrack for Link's Awakening DX still holds up thanks to its unique rendition of the classic Zelda theme. The game also offers are also unique, memorable chiptunes that are still remembered fondly today, including the theme for Tal-Tal Heights and the famous "Ballad of the Wind Fish."
The "Game Boy Camera" Pics Can't Be Saved to an SD Card -- The original Link's Awakening DX was compatible with the Game Boy Camera--an accessory that snapped and printed little pictures via the Game Boy. Throughout the game, Link will have his picture taken by a mouse, who will then offer up the option to print the pictures via the Game Boy Camera. Obviously, there is no camera support with the Nintendo 3DS version of the game, but it would be nice to have the option to do more with the pictures--like save them to an SD card, for example.