We have tested Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda, a cute laptop that hides more surprises than you thought

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The video game market is an expert in generating needs from nothing, the explosion of merchandising is a clear example. Those of us who are already an age have experienced that change. A couple of decades ago, finding any kind of Zelda-based product, beyond the unspeakable animated series, was like finding treasure. Today, Nintendo exploits its franchises with countless products that go beyond software and hardware, from garments of all kinds even Lego packs. In the meantime, The Legend of Zelda turns 35 with hardly any noise and with products that, in principle, did not seem “so” special. It is true, it is not as round a figure as the quarter of a century reached in 2011, but even so, this time the ceremony has been practically reduced to the remastering of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (title that, precisely, came to celebrate Link’s twenty-fifth birthday) and the launch of Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda. A party that seems small compared to what happened a year ago with the plumber. Of course, when push comes to shove, the Kioto show that they are still experts in creating needs from nothing, and this Game & Watch is a clear example.

No, last year I didn’t rush to the stores to get the Super Mario Game & Watch. I have to my credit a Game & Watch Ball and a while ago I put the issue of collecting (I have gained in health). I became so detached from these types of products that I did not even consider getting the Zelda, and those are big words, because it is a saga with which I have always had a special relationship. In those we were, firm as a rock and willing not to let Nintendo put me through the hoop of nostalgia. Yesterday the aforementioned machine came home, and I can only say that now I want Mario’s.

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As small as beautiful

Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda It is what it is, and by this I mean that it is precisely what it promises: a festive product as valuable as the celebration it entails, intimately linked to the gaze of whoever consumes it, and designed to satisfy your target customer.

The box, tinted the classic gold of the franchise, does not have any kind of commemorative stamp (it seems that Nintendo has forgotten before us that this came to celebrate that anniversary). But the courteous does not take away the bravery, and as soon as you open it one can already sense certain signs of affection. The inner cardboard forms a black frame decorated with the Triforce and prepared to act as an exhibitor of the clock-console. It is enough to unfold the die-cut rear leg and we will have where to place it if our intention is to expose it.

Touch, the Game & Watch feels as compact as it is light. A little bigger than the Ball, and practically identical to Mario’s, combines plastic with metal covering the front of the case. When turned around, you can see a Triforce that governs the lower rear and that, in addition, lights up in the dark.

Curiously, What has surprised me the most has been what I least expected, and I mean everything that has to do with the functionality of the console. It is clear that, before almost any other alternative, I do not recommend anyone to start playing The Legend of Zelda in this Game & Watch. There are a thousand more comfortable and efficient ways to approach the classic, from the Switch itself (with the online subscription) to the myriad versions that have been storming the market since the Game Boy era. However, I already notice: I’ve spent more time than expected playing, for example, Link’s Awakening.

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Three video games, a watch and several surprises

But in order to add some organization, let’s go piecemeal. The first thing to clarify is the content, what it offers in terms of software. Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda trae consigo tres videojuegos: The Legend of Zelda, The Legend of Zelda II: the Adventure of Link y The Legend of Zelda: the Link’s Awakening. The thing does not end there in terms of entertainment software, since if you go to the official product page on the Nintendo website, you will come across a series of secrets that, on the other hand, you like to discover as you touch the machine. In my case, it has been one of the things that I have enjoyed the most. From the outset, know that, in the first iteration of the franchise, it is also included, accessible from the beginning, in the Second Quest way. A more difficult version of the foundational adventure that you can unlock by typing Zelda when choosing a name for the game. Also has a version of the classic Game & Watch starring Link and available in two game modes: GAME A and GAME B, each with its own difficulty levels.

The size of the console is really small.

Another interesting addition is the possibility of accessing different versions of the titles included. Since you can delve into both Japanese and Western deliveries, which will allow you to appreciate the differences that occur, for example, in the music and sound effects of the original Zelda with respect to our version. Of course, forget about translations, Spanish is still out of the equation. On the other hand, depending on the title you are playing, you will be able to discover different illustrations that will remind more than one of the instruction manuals of the time.

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Finally, we have the star function of the console, which can make it reign on the shelf in our living room: the watch. By putting it in that role, the machine will stay on showing the time on different screens, allowing each time we consult it, let’s look at a different environment of Hyrule. The locations vary depending on the time of day, forming a 12-hour loop that makes for an adventure in itself. In addition, if we wish, we can make the music composed by Koji Kondo (with the surprising sound of the machine), atmosphere our stay throughout the day. As the icing on the cake, just press the crosshead at any time to control Link while the console continues to perform its function. As a good digital watch, the inclusion of a stopwatch could not be missed. Now in this case the timer shift keeps a surprise; a time trial mode, from The Legend of Zelda II, in which you kill 21 enemies in the shortest time possible.

Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda does not hide its status as an exhibitor product. In fact, he embraces it, and transforms his own packaging into a lectern designed for it. It is not, by far, the best way to play anything that it brings. But It’s what it claims to be: a portable mini game console that celebrates the Zelda universe, and that will delight anyone who, as a servant, harbors a special feeling towards the Triforce saga. If this is your case, I can only tell you the following: “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this”.

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