The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Limited Edition 3DS XL Review

The Limited Edition Bundle includes a product code for a digital download of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

Overview:

Recently, I took a look at the new 3DS XL, specifically the Limited Edition Legend of Zelda version. Which, it has to be said, is as pretty as they come in terms of Nintendo’s themed handheld consoles. It belongs to a veritable spectrum of Limited Edition XL’s which range from vibrant Yoshi and Kirby themed models to a disappointingly plain white Mario one. This Zelda Limited Edition Bundle includes a product code for a digital download of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, one of the newer Zelda titles in the franchise, and the first to be offered as a digital download as well as a cartridge.

Visuals:

Boasting a 90% larger screen than the original 3DS, it’s hard not to marvel at how different this new version is from it’s relatively minute predecessor. The 3D-depth effects feel much more immersive on a larger screen and the resolution, although the same as the original 3DS, isn’t lost in any way to being stretched by another 90%. It’s clear, bright, bursting with depth and colour, and quite simply pulls you in, in a way that the normal 3DS couldn’t quite manage (in my opinion.) Call me old fashioned, but I remember playing Ocarina of Time on a large, square, lumberous television set that audibly strained to produce a 60Hz image. loz2I’m therefore used to temple trawling in a nice, big frame.

When I gave the standard 3DS a go in a GAME outlet some months ago, it wasn’t enough to sell me the handset, or the 3D remake of Ocarina of Time, however awesome it may look, and indeed, be. I chose to bide my time, and wait patiently for the inevitable 3DS XL, Nintendo’s last attempt at milking the proverbial teat of novelty before bringing out something along the lines of a “4DS”, which will presumably (depending on which physicist you speak to) allow you to bend time itself, or something equally flamboyant.

This console however, does sell me the 3D remake of Ocarina of Time, and visually, it hasn’t let me down in any regard. In terms of some of Nintendo’s packaging choices however, there’s a little room for improvement. The impatient amongst you can scroll down to ‘Features’ for an instant idea of what I mean by this.

Audio:

The on-board speakers provide a satisfying level of sound quality befitting that of any of Nintendo’s previous handheld systems, with all that nostalgia-inducing MIDI fuzz to boot. However, when I plugged in my EX5-10LP earphones – ah-haw-haw – it became a different experience entirely. The onboard soundcard, when coupled with the right earphones, knocks the socks off of any of the previous models in the DS line. It’s bright, crisp, bursting with dynamic range and is powerful enough to render even the hardiest of stern-faced adults into flummoxed pillars of childhood awe.

Features:

Now, this is where I poke at a few holes. This bundle contains everything you need to get started, minus a hard copy of the game and an essential power cable which is inexplicably excluded from the package in the apparent hopes that every family in the observable terra-verse has a spare DSI XL charger just ‘kicking about the place’ – which luckily, I did.

loz3But in all seriousness, this is a feature bound to be missed by parents shopping online and ultimately become the cause of worlds of unneccesary dismay amongst this generation’s newer members of the Nintendo fan-club. Veterans such as I, who are used to anticipating such retail curveballs from Nintendo, are left only miffed by this decision.

However for the younger Nintendo fans I forsee this being a birthday ruining policy that needs doing away with, again, in my humble opinion. Word around the campfire is that it has something to do with the environment, but if that were genuinely the case Nintendo would have surely offered some sort of ‘send us your old chargers for Nintendo points’ scheme. Instead, they chose to say, ‘No chargers for anybody! Except these 3DS XL branded ones which happen to act as striking replicas of the DSI XL ones, both of which can be bought seperately and at wildly different prices.’

But for some reason I find it hard to blame Nintendo for these oversights because, really, it does make a warped kind of sense, even though it diminishes any re-sale value if say, you want to sell your DSI XL or your 3DS XL second hand and thus have to part with your only charger, or buy a new one to replace the one you have to forfeit… In any case, these are minor gripes that really, can be ironed out by spending a few extra quid, if albeit, utterly begrudgingly.

A Link Between Worlds:

The included (but not, but included in spirit) digital copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a very entertaining title that most closely resembles what would happen if the early SNES Zelda titles and the newer, shinier Pokemon titles were left alone to produce an estranged lovechild. It’s a top down-but-sometimes-not mix of puzzles, endearing characters and charming dialogue that we’ve come to love, know and expect from any quality Zelda title in the series. But if you want an unrivalled, genuinely enthralling Zelda experience on the 3DS XL you’ll be looking to pick up the 3D remake of Ocarina of Time, again, seperately and at additional cost.

Despite a few misgivings, it’s hard to give this bundle anything short of a 10/10, as the build quality of the system speaks of longevity, the design looks as though it’s fallen straight from the imagination of every long-serving Zelda fan and the included software is genuinely a joy to play. Just be sure to pick up a charger if you don’t have one, and a copy of Ocarina of Time 3D to fully ice the cake on this truly inspiring themed bundle.

You can currently pick one up on Amazon for £229.90 – although this price is expected to increase as stocks deplete.