The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Preview

But in my heart, you will always be A Link to the Past 2.

If the dungeon that Nintendo showed a couple months ago at their 3DS event didn't already cement its "Link to the Past"-ness, the overworld certainly does—the same tiered earthen walls, trees, and enemies. It's so close to the original that it's almost too close, but for the marvel of seeing it in reimagined in 3D, which had been turned off when I sat down. This is one game where the 3D depth really does make it clear how they've highlighted the idea of vertical layers of gameplay.
 

It also continued to make use of the pictograph ability that Link has. Treasure chests are hidden on different seemingly inaccessible areas; however, if Link merges into the wall, he can travel around to any place the same level of the wall uninterrupted. Well, for as long as he has enough energy.

Abilities and items in A Link Between Worlds are tied to an energy bar that recharges over time, instead of being consumable. This isn't just limited to the amount of time that you can remain pasted to a wall; it also applies to items like arrows and bombs, and non-consumable items like the hammer.

 
Perhaps the most striking thing in A Link Between Worlds is just moving around the overworld and marveling at just how pretty everything looks. It's like someone created the dream 3D world Zelda fans might have imagined lay under A Link to the Past's pixels. It brings to mind the incredible artistry of that game and at the same time highlights how far we've come.

Nintendo's E3 website claims the game runs at a clean 60fps, and it certainly looks it. Also introduced at E3 was the drag-and-drop item screen (allowing you to switch which items you're using with the flick of a finger). All in all, it's the kind of optimization that's perfect for a touchscreen device married to traditional gameplay controls.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (A Link to the Past 2, no matter what you call it, Nintendo) releases this November on Nintendo 3DS.