The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
- October 4, 2013 (NA)
- September 26, 2013 (JP)
- October 4, 2013 (EU)
- October 5, 2013 (AUS)
- Wii U
- Nintendo EAD Group No. 3
Set Sail for a glorius HD remake.
Remakes are often a great thing for the gaming industry, they allow developers to provide an experience that has been previously enjoyed by many before but also fill space between major releases. A better part about these remakes is that new players get to experience the game for the first time and receive the best version of the game. Developers also get to use this chance to fix any issues that both the developers themselves and the general public had with the game and add anything that they feel could improve the game, as is the case with Wind Waker.
The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker was already an amazing game on the GameCube with plenty of features going for it that just made it fun. Arguably one of the most iconic features of Wind Waker was its presentation, the beautiful mixture presented by the cel-shaded cartoon-like characters mixed with the beauty of the cel-shaded landscape that existed upon the great sea. It was hard to believe it could get any more beautiful but yet this HD remake has added so much to the look and feel of the game. The skies and the oceans have never looked better, providing beautiful blue textures to the world. Most of the time it was almost impossible to not just stop and sweep around to look at the beauty of the world’s many islands, flowing oceans and fluffy clouds.
The Hero of Time has fallen into legend in this world and the land known as Hyrule has been lost beneath waves and has become nothing but a series of small islands connected by a vast ocean. Living on one of these quiet islands is Link, along with his sister and grandma where great stories of legend still pass around. However, one day Link must leave his little island home and cross the many oceans of the world in order to rescue his sister after she is captured by a monstrous bird. Little does Link know this sets him on the path of an even greater destiny.
The game sees Link visit many islands, each memorable in their own ways but each containing something important for Link to discover. Among these many islands also exists several bright and colourful characters, from the residents of Outset to the residents of Windfall, this world is filled with several interesting characters, each with their own thoughts and views. Many of these characters play key parts in Link’s journey but most are just funny.
This is by far one of the shorter Zelda experiences. The game features five main dungeons before the final boss’s base, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The classic Zelda puzzle solving is a bit more challenging here than in other entries in the franchise. A notable puzzle being a tricky light-based puzzle that required reflecting lights around a room to set up a light-based path that could then be reflected to open a door. There are plenty of other puzzles which each make for a diverse challenge as well as little challenges that require quick thinking in order to solve. But even with the puzzles, boss battles and other Zelda challenges, there’s still more, this is where the great sea comes in.
The oceans of this land act as the game’s main Hub. It is divided into many sectors each housing an island and many secrets to discover, both on land and at sea. Crossing the ocean and uncovering these secrets is all part of the journey set before Link. This is also where one of the game’s changes has been made. Nintendo has added the new swift sail, which is won through the game’s auction house, in order to speed boat travel. The swift sail adds extra speed to your boat and enables quicker journeys between islands without changing wind directions, this has made me want to sail around more as I am no longer concerned with monotonous sailing times and getting annoyed at the thought of constantly having to change wind direction.
The story of Wind Waker will see countless hours spent sailing the oceans, which is also sped up by the gamepad’s little additions. For those that played Ocarina of Time 3D, the menu system and map have been pulled from there and have been fitted in nicely on the gamepad’s screen. Items are just a simple touch and drag away from being used and swapped around, but even more importantly the map is displayed across the screen. This has made navigation much easier without the relentless need for the constant pausing to view the map, ensuring you can always sail the direction you want to go in.
Other changes have also been made to the game which will certainly benefit the players. One of these is the fixing of the major Triforce piece fetch quest. Originally this final run across the great sea required a few hours to complete, slowing the game right down leading towards the game’s major climax. Nintendo heard the cries of the fans and sped this quest up dramatically, removing five of the original charts from the game and situating the actual pieces in their place. Three of the eight maps still remain but the experience is sped up at a key point.
For veteran players Nintendo has also added the Hero mode to the adventure, adding a higher level of difficulty and challenge to enemies, by doubling the damage they do with every hit. This makes doing many playthroughs of the game more enticing and is sure to add more fun and more outrage.
The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker is one of the more odd entries in the Zelda franchise. The original game was often given a bad reputation because of the cel-shaded art style, with the design being often seen as childish, despite there being a much darker undertone. The ideas and new additions added to the HD remake of this GameCube classic make it even more fun and easily replayable, making this one of the most enjoyable Zelda outings to play. To put it simply, if you have never played the original and are looking for the best version of the game then here is your chance to get a Wii U and play something great. I just hope we see more remakes of great games in the future.