Gorgeous Toy-Like Graphics
Let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way first, the best and biggest update to Link’s Awakening is its absolutely gorgeous graphics.
While the original game doesn’t necessarily look bad, like many early Game Boy games, it was a bit rough around the ages. Nintendo has traditionally done a fantastic job with visual upgrades to Zelda games, like with Wind Waker HD, and that holds true with Link’s Awakening.
The island of Koholint is much more detailed now, with lush greenery, dense swamps, colorful characters, and more.
While initially strange, the toy-like aesthetic that Nintendo chose for the remake really works well. It makes the entire game feel like some kind of playable diorama, and there’s a kind of sheen to everything that reinforces that idea even more.
Link’s Awakening generally runs at 60 FPS, which makes the graphical upgrade feel super crisp. I say generally because there are occasionally framerate drops when too much is happening on-screen, as you can see in this framerate test from ContraNetwork.
Still, Link’s Awakening is a stunning visual upgrade that’s definitely worth seeing on your own.