It may have come up before a time or two but it's worth stating again; I got my start as a gamer on the SNES (that's the Super Nintendo Entertainment System for you young whippersnappers out there) with Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Secret of Mana, Illusion of Gaia, Chrono Trigger, Mario Kart and of course, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The 16 bit SNES sound and graphics hold a special place in my heart to this day, and I've spent hours combing through plastic totes at various second hand stores trying to get my hands on hard to find cartridges for my still running system. (Other than LoZ and Mario Kart, I have all of the above!)
You can imagine my delight then when I saw a preview for Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds a month or two ago, the first direct sequel in the Legend of Zelda universe! I picked up my copy today and shared the opening first bit with my son, Gabe. It took a couple of tries for his 3DS to read the game but as soon as that shining golden Triforce spun it's way onto the screen accompanied by the familiar (and yet somehow better!) tune, it was magic. Sheer nostalgia flooded through me and for a little while I was transported away from all the stress and bother of my life right now and into the world of my childhood. Who needs drugs when you've got Nintendo, amirite?
Seriously though, the gameplay is solid, the music is multi-layered and gorgeous, the graphics are clean and bright, and while the story is quite familiar (I almost feel not that I'm playing a sequel but a reboot) there are new elements that are quite refreshing. In an hour and some of gameplay I've already defeated the first dungeon and opened up the world for exploration both within the storyline and outside of it. At some point I know Zelda will get kidnapped and need rescuing (she IS one of the decendents of the 7 Sages after all) and there are 3 pendants I need to recover (again!) and the Master Sword (this IS a LoZ game after all) but I don't really care.
Unlike with the Mario franchise, which basically has no story but 'go rescue Peach using this new gimmicky item/gameplay/trick we created', the Zelda games have always centered on the story, and I'm a story hound at the core. RPGs are the meat and potatoes of my gaming experience and once again Nintendo has delivered exactly what I want in a game.