A Worthy Remake of a Classic Game
In a nutshell the Link's Awakening remake is a very worthy remake for one of the best video games of all time. You can tell that a lot of love and attention was poured into this game by Grezzo and Nintendo and a very keen eye was paid to recreate the original game nearly beat for beat. That said, it's not perfect and a few glaring issues keep it from a perfect score.
Link's Awakening Suffers From Framerate Problems
The biggest issue that of the Link's Awakening remake is that it suffers from framerate issues. The game mostly keeps to a 60 hz/fps rate but at times dips to 30 and it's quite noticeable. Apparently this was an issue that many people noticed when the game was demoed originally that has improved but some issues still remain. I hope Greezo and Nintendo are working on an update because playing this game entirely lag free would be incredible. That said, it's a great game, you're just gonna notice the lag or at least, I do.
As a huge fan of the original Link's Awakening I consider that Gameboy the Gameboy Color DX to be nearly perfect games. Grezzo and Nintendo decided to go with a score that remakes the original chiptunes in a Breath of the Wild style orchestral motif. The end result is a very personal sounding score that makes you feel like the musicians are in the room playing along with the game. The recording of the songs is quite dynamic and the musicians themselves put a ton of style into the songs creating something very special. With that, this is one part of the game i'm not entirely sure about. The music is fantastic but as someone that adores chiptunes on the Gameboy i'm not sure the music is better or on par with the original score. Not all aspects of a remake will be better and for me, perhaps, i'm still stuck in the past with respect to the score.
The Remake Changes A Few Things
A few things I noticed that the remake changes were the opening cinematic. It's fairly faithful to the opening Gameboy scenes except the new anime style doesn't have music. The opening Gameboy scenes and score are forever burned into my brain so when the new cutscene dropped the music this was one change I noticed. Instead the new cutscene uses the visuals and sound effects to create tension instead of leaning into the score. It's a fun change and works quite well.
The Trendy game you play to collect the Yoshi doll and other items is one iconic element of the original Link's Awakening and they include it in the remake with a twist. In the old Trendy game the items moved around in a circle on a conveyer belt and the new game forgoes that entirely. The Trendy game claw in the remake, just like claw games in real life, can drop your items in odd ways that feel cheap but in the end this version of the game might be easier. This isn't a huge difference, but something I did notice.
Any review on the Link's Awakening Remake is going to mention the new lush toy like 3D visuals and how incredible they are and everyone would be correct. I won't talk much more about it but will note that the new interpretations of the Gameboy classic is quite bold and sometimes goofy. That said, the original game was pretty goofy too.
The Influence of Link Between Worlds
One thing I haven't seen discussed when people talk about the new Link's Awakening remake is how it feels like a proper follow up to Link Between Worlds. Link Between Worlds was a sequel to Link to the Past on the 3DS and the Link's Awakening Remake really feels like a continuation of that Zelda gameplay, art and musical style. Link Between Worlds didn't feature such a shiny 3D style, my guess is because the 3DS wasn't quite capable of it. That said, if Nintendo continues with the flagship Zelda games ala Breath of the Wild and the top-down Link Between Worlds / Link's Awakening style of game I'm in.
To compare Link Between Worlds and the new Link's Awakening Remake check the Link Between Worlds Trailer below.
The Story So Far
I've played the game up to the Slime Dungeon and so far, it's been incredibly fun. Link's Awakening isn't a very long game and so far they haven't added anything to it in terms of extending the story. I'll do a full review once I'm done with the game but if the game ends like it starts, it's gonna be really fun.