The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening remake has now been released for the Nintendo Switch and it brings one of the most beloved handheld Zelda games into the future. Thanks to the capabilities of the Switch, the handheld classic has been improved in nearly every way. It plays better thanks to the Switch's bigger button layout, it looks better due to the improved power of the system, and it even includes some new features.
A lot of attention has been paid to the console games in the Zelda franchises. Every 3D Zelda game has received a remake or a remaster on a handheld or console except for the last two, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. With the release of the Link's Awakening remake, however, it marks the first time a handheld release has gotten this treatment. So if Nintendo were to continue this idea, here are the handheld Zelda games that would benefit from being remade.
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Let's begin with the title that could arguably be the next game to be remade simply because it would get the same treatment as Link's Awakening. The Minish Cap is arguably the best handheld Zelda game after Link's Awakening and A Link Between Worlds. Therefore, it wouldn't need to be altered all that much. The big game mechanic of Minish Cap was the ability to shrink down and explore previously un-explorable areas. Perhaps if this game had come out on the Nintendo DS, the bottom screen could have been implemented for the small areas whereas the top screen could represent the standard areas.
However, we are now working with the Switch and there are still benefits to that. Obviously, the extra buttons and graphical prowess means the game would get two obvious graphical and gameplay upgrades. Since the game's original release, though, the Zelda timeline has been officially released. We now know that The Minish Cap takes place immediately after Skyward Sword. Perhaps Nintendo could take this opportunity to tie the story in Minish Cap better with Skyward Sword. It would be really interesting to see what they can do as the world of Hyrule before the threat of Ganon is not very well explained.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass / Spirit Tracks
These two DS Zelda games are arguably the most contentious entries in the Zelda franchise for the same reason Skyward Sword is. Both use untraditional controls to play the game. Skyward Sword uses motion controls for almost everything and Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks both use touch screen controls exclusively. If these two games were to be ported and remade onto the Switch, the benefits would be huge.
First and most important, thanks to the inclusion of an analog stick on the Switch, movement, as well as all controls, can be mapped to the buttons and sticks while also leaving the touch screen controls intact if you want to play the game as originally intended. Those touch screen controls may have been the source of the contention this game gets but it was the developer's intention. Therefore, this provides a happy medium.
Next, both of these game's graphics use the same cel-shaded graphics as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. This game would look spectacular with the same fidelity as the HD remaster of The Wind Waker. Many Nintendo fans nowadays love how cel-shaded Link looks and the only reason Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks had trouble with the game were the controls. Well, with that problem solved, the graphics will entice even more to play these games as for many, this will be a new adventure for them.
Finally, like the HD remaster of The Wind Waker, some of the game's more repetitive moments can be cut down and better implemented. Some areas are reused, the world can feel small, and the lack of difficulty ultimately makes some areas boring. With the addition of more traditional goals, though, more thought could be added to help flesh out.
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages / Seasons
These are the games that would benefit the most from a remake. Oracle of Ages and Seasons were originally supposed to be three games called The Legend of Zelda: Mystical Seed of Power, Mystical Seed of Wisdom, and Mystical Seed of Courage. Known as the Mystical Seed Trilogy, each was designed to reflect the three pieces of the Triforce, Power, Wisdom, and Courage. Power would focus on combat gameplay, Wisdom would focus on puzzles, and Courage's play style was not revealed.
Each game would also have a special mechanic as well. Power would have the Rod of Seasons to manipulate the seasons, Wisdom would have a magic paintbrush to help solve color puzzles, and Courage would have a time theme where you would manipulate daytime, afternoon, and evening. These games were also supposed to be connected via a password system. This proved to be this concept's undoing as it was ultimately too much. So elements of Courage were adopted in Ages and Courage was canceled completely.
These games deserve to be remade and, more importantly, fully realized. Plenty of fans would love to see the Triforce concept fully developed and the easiest way for that to happen would be for Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons as well as the third game/concept (Oracle of Color? Chroma?) all in one. The games would ideally receive a graphical and controls upgrade, probably similar to Link's Awakening, but the new content would be the big draw. It may seem like too much to do for a remake or remaster but Nintendo has added extra content to a re-release before, including an entirely new addition to the timeline, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords. So never say never.