Zelda: Link’s Awakening’s Chamber Dungeons Are A Big Disappointment

The enchantment of a Zelda dungeon is in its intricacy. A good dungeon begins off feeling overwhelming, stuffed with buttons and doorways and unusual obstacles. As you make progress, fixing puzzles and buying gadgets, all of it slowly begins to make sense. You get an entire understanding of how the passages stream and the rooms all weave collectively, as should you’ve simply solved a troublesome math downside or discovered the key behind a magician’s trick.

The upcoming remake of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, which launches for Change on September 20, features a new non-compulsory characteristic referred to as Chamber Dungeons that allows you to design your personal variations of Zelda dungeons. In idea, this could allow you to recreate the magnificence of Nintendo’s design, like Mario Maker does for its platformers. In actuality, nonetheless, these Chamber Dungeons are boring and tedious, an enormous obvious wart on an in any other case improbable recreation.

Right here’s how they work. After you’ve performed Link’s Awakening for a couple of hours, you’ll run into Dampé the Gravedigger, a recurring Zelda character who on this recreation is obsessive about watching Hyperlink full dungeons. Each time you beat one of many recreation’s 9 normal dungeons, Dampé will unlock all of that dungeon’s rooms for his Chamber Dungeon creator. He’ll offer you challenges to rearrange these rooms into your personal distinctive dungeons, every following a selected set of tips or restrictions.

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The principles are pretty easy. Each dungeon wants an entrance room and a boss room. It wants an excellent variety of stairways. The variety of locked doorways must be equal to or fewer than the variety of chests. You possibly can’t select what’s in these chests, solely whether or not or not you’re inserting a room with a chest in it. The ultimate chest you open once you’re adventuring in a dungeon will all the time be the boss key. The opposite chests will both include keys (if there are locked doorways) or rupees (if there aren’t). The entire rooms have to be accessible in a roundabout way, and virtually all of them are primarily based on dungeon rooms that you just’ve overwhelmed earlier than. A few of Dampé’s challenges offers you character limitations, like “three hearts solely” or “you possibly can’t use a sword,” whereas others will provide design restrictions, like this early one:

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A profitable implementation of this problem would possibly appear to be this:

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Whenever you’re completed arranging a dungeon, you’ll need to go in and beat it, and that’s the place the Chamber Dungeon mode turns into really tedious. As a result of the majority of rooms you possibly can place are from dungeons you’ve already completed elsewhere in Link’s Awakening, finishing a Chamber Dungeon means doing the identical belongings you’ve already completed, simply in a special order. Having to defeat all the hidden slimes to get a key or defeat a troublesome boxing mini-boss to maneuver ahead is much much less enjoyable once you’ve already completed it. When precisely what’s coming subsequent, it’s actively irritating.

The character of this mode signifies that every room needs to be fully self-contained—in spite of everything, you possibly can play them in any order—which makes them really feel much more monotonous. There aren’t any grand, interweaving puzzles or design methods right here. You’re simply working from room to room, doing belongings you’ve already completed earlier than, all culminating in a boss struggle you’ve already overwhelmed. After a few challenges, I discovered myself beginning to design every dungeon primarily based not on what would possibly really feel sensible or elegant however primarily based on what would let me end as quick as attainable. They’re all so boring and straightforward that Dampé’s one-liner on the finish of every completion makes for a horrible punchline.

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This seems like a rudimentary, stripped-down model of what a Zelda Maker may appear to be, and the outcomes are actually dangerous. Fortuitously, Chamber Dungeons are the one main flaw on this Link’s Awakening remake, which is a lovely recreation of the Sport Boy traditional. We’ll have a full overview subsequent week.