If its score of 94 and receipt of our 3DS Game of the Year award didn't give it away, ONM has the hots for Link's latest handheld adventure. What was expected to be a cute blast of nostalgia turned out to be a fine quest in its own right, making use of a nifty wall-walking merge power and playing with depth perception to create some of the most head-scratchingest puzzles in recent memory. You always expect great things from Link and co, but this was especially special.
We petitioned to have words with the brains behind the game and find out where some of those ideas came from and were delighted to secure time with the game's composer, Ryo Nagamatsu and its producer, Eiji Aonuma. In true A Link Between Worlds fashion, feel free to tackle the following questions and answers in any order you like. Enjoy!
ONM: Congratulations on creating one of the best adventure games ever made and our 3DS game of 2013. Is it a relief that it has been accepted so well?
Eiji Aonuma: That's nice of you to say that. I was really glad to hear that so many people were enjoying our game and to see the numerous positive posts on Miiverse saying how much fun they were having.
ONM: Dedicated gamers must be extremely hard to impress these days as they have such high expectations of new releases, particularly when they are from a series as universally renowned as The Legend Of Zelda. Do you find it difficult to make innovations when you feel such pressure to deliver a game the fans will like?
EA: For Zelda, I think innovating is precisely what we need to do to meet the expectations of our fans. We will, of course, continue to question and reconsider the approaches we have taken in the past without any reservations.
ONM: As well as the generally high expectations, there will also be some gamers who like really tough challenges. Did you ever consider making Hero mode [unlocked after the credits, it makes the enemies you encounter hit twice as hard] available to everyone from the start, like with The Wind Waker HD?
EA: With The Wind Waker HD we naturally expected many people to have played the previous version, so we made the harder Hero mode available from the beginning. However, although it is a sequel, this time we have a completely new game.
We felt that it was more suitable to have the players first enjoy the game at an appropriate difficulty level and then let them try a harder challenge.