Such is the peculiarity of Nintendo's relationship with its past, that a sequel can also, somehow, feel much like a remake, or at the very least, an homage.
There is certainly something deeply familiar about The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, as the game begins its adventure, guiding the player through paved puzzles and an over-world that harks back to the Super Nintendo days of its predecessor A Link to the Past.
This is fairly superficial though, because the game seeks to move us into the modern era, through its five-play addition of snazzy graphics, new mechanics, new puzzles, stereoscopic 3D and second-screen functionality.
Based on Nintendo's E3 demonstration, all of these boxes are being ticked. 3D gameplay is implemented at every turn with the now familiar link-chain of plunging platforms and layered levels. The camera moves the view around in swinging arcs that give the world a sense of circularity as well as of depth.
New mechanics, like the oft-lauded ability to turn Link into a two-dimensional moving graffiti, add to the game's aura of exploration and discovery and play into the series of puzzlers encountered along the way. Similarly, that second-screen is hauled into play, as inventory management becomes a meta-puzzle in its own right.
This is Nintendo at its past-plundering best, making use of the things that delighted 12-year-olds two decades ago, and attaching them to its own innovations both of the intervening years and of today.
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