I’m ~10 hours into A Link Between Worlds (which is also my first experience with the 3DS XL) and have enjoyed just about every minute. If you’re thinking about getting your hands on this game, make it happen. Long time fans and newcomers alike will almost definitely enjoy this title because it’s just so fun and absorbing.
I’ll probably scratch up a full review later on, but for now here are some quick thoughts on the game. Spoilers will be avoided.
* One of the coolest things that A Link Between Worlds introduces to the series is the item renting system. Instead of opening chests to find that item you probably knew was coming, nearly all of them are available early on. This not only encourages exploration straight away, but makes rupees relevant – something that hasn’t really happened in a long time. On top of this, getting a game over will cause the items you rented to be returned so this gives you a much better incentive to stay alive than in previous games.
* The artwork is slick and looks gorgeous on the larger 3DS XL screen. Even the 3D effect works well. I’ve been switching in and out of 3D + 2D to get a feel of how they compare, but I think this is more a matter of personal taste. I find that gaming in 3D for extended periods gets a little jarring though.
* Dungeon design is fresh and innovative. Link’s new ability to become part of the wallpaper adds a new layer to puzzles, and solving them in a new way is very rewarding. Exploration and experimentation with this new dynamic is also encouraged.
* The OST is awesome. There are some familiar tunes in the mix but plenty of new ones too, matching the theme of a game that is both nostalgic and inventive at the same time. A Link Between Worlds pays homage to its prequel (A Link To The Past) but has no trouble in forging a new identity on its own.
That’s all for now but as stated above, I’ll probably write a little more about this game although I might hold off until I’ve completed it. Stay tuned.