This is both a love-letter to SNES Zelda's of old, and also a continuation of Zelda: A Link To The Past. You take the role of a new Link, who is going to once again save Hyrule. You set out in true Zelda fashion, chopping enemies, blowing up walls, solving puzzle dungeons, trying out new weapons and finding secrets as you fight the colorful host of enemies and bosses in the lands of Hyrule.
The Story & Flow
The story and setting will be completely familiar to anyone who has played A Link To The Past (or anyone who has played a Zelda title at all, really), because A Link Between Worlds exists in the same world as Link To The Past, and I mean, the same world. Everything is just where it was before, but there are still new secrets to uncover, and the 3D mechanic makes you rethink the game, especially the top town perspective. As usual, there is a creeping evil spreading across the lands, this time in the form of a powerful sorcerer who is turning people into paintings, before hiding them away in a shadow-world called "Lorule". Link is pretty good and screwed at this point, until he gets a magical bracelet that allows him to turn into a painting himself, which opens up a lot of interesting puzzle opportunities to think your way through.
This particular Zelda might be the most puzzle heavy entry in the series' entire history, and that is not a bad thing. Puzzles are thoughtful and interesting, and most take some critical thinking in addition to fast reflexes. All weapons are available at the beginning of the game, thanks to a weird-looking merchant who hangs out at your house while you are out adventuring. As long as you can pay the rental fee, you can access most of the game's weapons almost immediately, which also opens up some interesting possibilities. Like Dark Souls, it's up to you to decide what areas you should visit immediately and which are out of your league. If you find yourself dying in the middle of a dungeon, all your rented weapons return to the merchant, leaving you more or less at the dungeon's mercy, or taking a long hike out of the dungeon and back home to re-rent the weapon you need. Most dungeons have a couple ways to solve the puzzles located within and there is a fast-travel option you get after too long, but losing your life in a dungeon is still a bitch. The other side of this, is that it gives your actions some heft as you stare at your last heart, knowing that you'll have to head home to pick up the bow and arrow again. It's a pain, but it gives death some meaning, since you literally have to cough up rupees to reacquire your weapons.
Graphics & Sound
The game has a gorgeous aesthetic that comes together between old school and new. The updated SNES style, cartoony graphics fit perfectly, and it's a lot of fun to see old, NES/SNES enemies getting a visual upgrade. The sound is unsurprisingly great as well, with stellar music and SFX all the way throughout, from the sound you make while swinging your sword to the dangerous sounding music in any of the game's loaded dungeons.