Five minutes and three seconds, to be precise — that’s how long it just took me to get to the tutorial dungeon in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, which comes out for 3DS on November 22.
Using my iPhone stopwatch app, I started recording the second I hit “new game.” Including the opening cut-scene, with no detours, it took me three minutes to get my sword, and five minutes to hit the first dungeon.
The dungeon itself took two minutes to beat.
For comparison, via this Gamasutra article, it takes 70 minutes to reach the first dungeon in Skyward Sword. It takes 20 minutes to hit the first dungeon in Ocarina of Time. And it takes 2 minutes to get to the castle basement in Link to the Past, the predecessor to Link Between Worlds.
In other words, this game is more like those older Zeldas — the Link’s Awakenings, the Link to the Pasts of the world — than it is like the newer, slower, tutorial-packed Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess. Thanks to the item rental system, this game feels totally different, too. I’m a few hours in, and I’m totally charmed so far.
Stay tuned for our full review of Link Between Worlds, which is coming in the near future.