This may come as a surprise to you, but the Switch remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
looks pretty different from the Game Boy version. Still, it recreates the original’s the world, scenery, and even opening cutscenes almost one-to-one in a shiny new art style.
To show how close it can get, we took a side-by-side look at a few (spoiler-free) scenes that are in both the remake and the DX version of the original that was on Game Boy Color (a more interesting visual comparison than the simple shades of green on the Game Boy). Watch the video above to see it in action, flip through the slideshow below to see the shots next to each other, or scroll further down the page to slide between the two versions for yourself.
One reason the gallery above is neat way to compare the two is because it’s closer to the actual resolution difference between each version. We actually nearly doubled those Game Boy images too, with the original resolution of the handheld being just 160×144, compared to the remake’s 1080p.
As a result of the resolution difference, you’ll notice some large black bars on either side of the images from Link’s Awakening DX as you play through these sliders – these were actually added by the 3DS, as we recorded it off of the Virtual Console version where it’s still available for purchase. 16:9 resolution can make a world of difference.
In the images above and below here, you can see how much the remake was able to expand on the relatively simple opening cutscene of the original. Despite how different it looks, I love that it still matches nearly shot for shot at times – and it’s in a style that I’m dying to get a full animated TV show of.
This next image is a great example of how the remake occasionally takes what the original could only somewhat represent and expands upon it. This room is obviously significantly more detailed than on the Game Boy version, but little things like the grey boarded crates and the tall, multi-drawer dresser at the top right are still intact, just lusher.
You can also see how new tech lets the remake do stuff like zoom into important item moments. Picking up the sword here is a bit more momentous when you can actually make out what’s going on (but the wavy pattern in the sand is still lovingly represented).
Be sure to check out the video and gallery at the top of the page for even more shots than just what we’ve got in these sliders. You can also check out our final preview of Link’s Awakening here.
Tom Marks is IGN’s Deputy Reviews Editor and resident pie maker. You can follow him on Twitter.