When the Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening first graced our eyes during a Nintendo Direct, many people immediately fell in love with the art, while others absolutely hated it right out of the gate. I was one of the former - and the game itself didn't disappoint either. Going into this experience of playing through Links Awakening already in love with so many things about it, it was hard to find anything to dislike, but really, as a game, there isn't much to dislike to begin with. It's a solid game that has stood the test of time.
Links Awakening is of course a remake of the original title released on the Gameboy, and latter released as a deluxe version with a few more features and the ability to play in color (partially) on the Gameboy Color. The game is a 1:1 remake almost exactly. Oddly enough, Links Awakening was my first Legend of Zelda title that I played as a kid, and while the game was too difficult for me back then, it was nice to be able to return to the world I first met with fresh eyes and a stronger gaming ability and relive the adventure for the first time again.
Coming from Breath of the Wild of even Hyrule Warriors, a lot of the skepticism surrounding this title was based on the graphics. How did we go from a expansive open world epic to a silly little tilt-shift toy world? Its the Legend of Zelda - thats how. Among many other things (like converging and diverging timelines, different versions of Hyrule and much more), the art is what makes the Legend of Zelda franchise so unique. While our standard version of Link from Twilight Princess is the one we've come to know and love, alternate versions dont detract from the overall legacy of the hero. After all, the games are called the LEGEND of Zelda. Each of these games is a retelling of a story about our reincarnated hero of time. It only makes sense for each retelling to be as unique as the story teller!
But I digress. As a game, Links Awakening is solid. It's a remake that was done just right. Better where it needs to be, and untouched where it didn't. As kids we played these retro games and imagined these pixels to be vast worlds, it's awesome to see them brought to life, just as we imagined them.
One of the most unique parts about Links Awakening is that it doesnt take place in Hyrule. That gave the original developers a little bit of freedom with characters and locations. The Mushroom Kingdom references are really outstanding.
Links Awakening at its core, is like any other Zelda game. There are dungeons, collectibles, and fun characters to meet along your journey to save the island, just like you always do. It's strongest point is that it doesn't stray from it core mechanics, and for that, its nearly perfect.