The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was always going to make a splash. Not only did the release of the game coincide with Nintendo's new portable console the Nintendo Switch Lite but it is also the remake of one of the most renowned Zelda titles. However, few would have predicted such a positive reception in a market full of remakes and remasters. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has placed at Number 1 on the UK boxed gaming charts, displacing Borderlands 3.
The UK's physical game chart covers all console games and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is the first Zelda game to top the chart since Ocarina of Time in 2003. The bestselling Zelda games are hardly predictable and Link's Awakening was an oddity in the series when it originally released, so it's a bit surprising to see it top the charts. Link's Awakening was the first Zelda game to not include the princess and introduced many mechanics which have become synonymous with the games today, one of the most popular being fishing. The remake has revamped the appearance of the game and in comparison to Breath of the Wild, brought back dungeon crawling. The return to these mechanics has been a huge critical success and now the title looks set to replicate this accomplishment commercially.
The game is Nintendo's fastest-selling game this year. Yet this week has also seen an increase in sales for other Switch games. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has climbed three places to be third on the chart. The release of the Nintendo Switch Lite has undoubtedly increased buzz around Nintendo titles and will have impacted the sales of these games. The Nintendo Switch Lite improves on the Switch in certain areas, primarily its portable nature and design. Whether the portable console can make the lasting impact of its predecessor, the 3DS, remains to be seen, but the range of games available to the console through in-house titles and third party producers is impressive. With new games on the horizon for the Nintendo Switch Lite, Link's Awakening has once again set a precedent for the quality of portable games.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening was the first Zelda title to be released on the Game Boy in 1993 and was unique in its narrative structure and game mechanics. The director of the original game, Takashi Tezuka, described the game as a passion project and it is a title that deviates from the norms in the Zelda series. With plenty of remakes and remasters being released, it is impressive that an unconventional title can make such an impact.
With it being Nintendo's 130th birthday it seems appropriate that one of their titles would top the UK gaming charts. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening reviews have been very positive and the game has certainly made an impressive start in the UK game charts. Whether these sales will be maintained through the digital market remains to be seen.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is available now on the Nintendo Switch.