Go back in time and enjoy the 35th anniversary of one of the most popular video game series with Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda Edition. Marking the second release of the modern Game & Watch series system, this compact and powerful game console is equipped with three classic games of the series and provides more functions than the Mario version. Some people might say that it is dangerous to take risks alone, but what about three people? Well, that’s why Zelda told us to try hard, even in the pocket.
There are many ways to experience Zelda’s long and rich history. Playing them on the original console, diving into the virtual console or through the Nintendo Switch Online membership, it’s hard to believe that the beloved franchise is 35 years old-yes, we feel it too. But we are happy to report that Zelda Games and Watches has successfully provided another way to make the Legend of Zelda so unforgettable gems return. On the surface, this game console is roughly similar to the “Mario Games and Watch” released last year, but there are some significant and pleasant improvements.
Looking at the system itself, the Zelda variant has the same excellent build quality and weight as the Mario iteration, and you can still charge it with the USB-C cable, which is included in the package. When fully charged, you can get 6 to 8 hours of playing time-if you set the brightness and volume to maximum, the playing time will be a little less. Instead of using a red casing, we used a vibrant green casing, which will have an impact whether it is in your hand or in the cardboard holder that comes with it. Like Mario Game & Watch, there is no stand. However, it contains a cardboard frame, although it is a bit fragile, it still looks great when supported on the frame.
On the console, start and select buttons have been added, which results in the rubber A and B inputs located further down to the right compared to Mario Game & Watch. Although this rearrangement did not cause any problems, unfortunately the same problem cannot be said to the D-Pad because it is still located near the bottom edge of the system. This is not a deal breaker, but it would be nice if it moved up a little bit. Nevertheless, the soft click sound is still a real sensory enjoyment, and the response is very good, which means that it is very comfortable to play for a long time. When you open the game and watch it, you will notice that it contains a glowing Triforce; a neat and unexpected touch that completes the packaging well. This of course is something we hope to see more in future versions of the theme.
Speaking of interesting features, the system provides players with six different games or modes. “The Legend of Zelda”, “The Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link” and fan favorite “The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening” can be easily accessed by pressing the “Game” button, each title also has Own save file. There are still some secrets that need to be revealed, such as playing in hard mode, which can be unlocked by pressing certain buttons or letting the system idle so that the screen displays classic Zelda works of art. Switching between each game is fast and easy, and it’s perfect for continuing where you left off, similar to the “quick resume” feature on Xbox X|S. In terms of performance, the simulation is excellent and will not affect the image quality or controller input. Each game and mode runs smoothly, and you can also switch to the standard image ratio in Link’s Awakening to help immerse yourself in nostalgia. Varying between the two screen ratios means that considering the small display, a wider screen option is preferable. Fortunately, the LCD screen is bright and clear, and so is the sound quality.
Comparing Mario and Zelda systems side by side, the same screen seems to be used here. Therefore, if you have Mario Game & Watch, you will know what will happen. Turn it to the highest setting, the brightness is really dazzling. From the unmistakable retro green and black in Game Boy’s Zelda: Link’s Awakening, to the eye-catching color palette of Zelda II, the monitor presents every game and mode well. Of course, the 2.5-inch LCD display may seem trivial at first glance, but it can be easily put in a pocket or happily placed on a bedside table. It’s great to play the game when you have free time, because it’s easy to start from where you left off last time.
Another cute touch is the classic Vermin Mole Fighting game, which is also included in the package. It has three difficulty options, the most difficult of which is the “C” mode, which can be unlocked if you hold down the A button for five seconds, which will benefit those who pursue more difficult challenges. Unlike last year’s Mario variant, instead of playing the famous game and Mr. Watch, the controllable role is our green age hero Link. When you hit the mole, adding a rupee jingle would have been icing on the cake, but this slight adjustment to the design fits the system perfectly, and it exudes charm from every corner.
Another significant change is part of the clock function. Here, you can control the mini-links that move behind the big screen numbers. Press and hold A for five seconds, the ticking sound will also be exchanged with some Zelda music. It’s fun to fiddle with, but it’s purely to keep your hands busy. The sixth function-game time timer-allows you to set a specific time to defeat the enemies in the infamous Zelda II title. It is really strange to get the highest score and end this sentimental mode well.
It is worth mentioning that you can choose to change the language of all three games.The original Zelda and Zelda II both offer Japanese options, which brings some surprises possible It was not noticed at first. Switching to Japanese on the original Legend of Zelda title means you will get a richer sound in some places. This is because the original game was released on the Famicom system in Japan. Compared with NES, Famicom’s improved hardware specifications allow developers to use upgraded sounds. However, Zelda 2 saw a slight change in the voice of the dialogue. The adjustment will not stop on the audio. The Japanese version of the game has some different character models and screens, which will please fans who have a more keen eye for details. It is these small adjustments that highlight the appeal of this cute pocket system.
The retail price is US$49.99/£44.99. Games and watches: The Legend of Zelda Edition is an excellent Nintendo hardware. By providing three games and some simple and fun game modes, the improvements in the second Game & Watch series will set off a storm among Zelda fans and collectors. It may not be the most beautiful system you have, but its simplicity has a certain charm. The gorgeous screen, rich sound and portability make these classics a real pleasure to replay.
Final verdict: Recommended for fans of the “Legend of Zelda” series, those who like Nintendo’s collections, or those who want to experience the iconic Zelda game for the first time.
A Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda system is provided to My Nintendo News by Nintendo UK.