Review: The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker HD

Zelda INFO
WWHD Story
Wind Waker HD takes place several centuries after Ocarina Of Time. The game takes place on a vast ocean known as the Great Sea which is filled with tiny islands. The game opens on Outset island where Link lives with his sister and grand mother. Whilst celebrating his birthday, Link rescues a girl from the woods after a creature drops her there. This leads to Link’s sister being captured by the mysterious creature. The adventure then turns to Link having to rescue his sister from the evil Ganon.

WWHD Presentation
As you’d expect, Wind Waker HD looks absolutely stunning on the Wii U. It’s the nicest looking game to date on the system. This is all thanks to the upgraded HD textures that really pop thanks to the beautiful cell-shaded backgrounds. Link animates much smoother than he did in the Gamecube version and has a lot more expression on his face depending on what situation he is in.

WWHD Screen1
The new lighting engine that this game uses is absolutely phenomenal. Outset Island looks better than ever and I found myself getting lost in this game just looking at all the beautiful scenery. This isn’t something that I remember doing in the original. Sure the art style was interesting but I was never in awe of just how good it looked. The amazing soundtrack sounds better than ever before and really keeps you immersed n the world.

WWHD Gameplay
Wind Waker was truly revolutionary when it was released. It completely changed up Zelda as we had known it before. Wind Waker focuses really heavily on it’s unique story and style of combat. It really gave players a sense of exploration in a world that they’d never experienced before. The game was criticised for being quite a bit shorter than other games in the series and also having an uninspired set of dungeons and fetch quests.

Despite this is was still praised for trying something different and being able to pull it off. Even though it’s quite short, the main quest is one of the biggest rides that Nintendo have ever provided. The gadgets and locations are more inventive than ever and you never feel like the story is dragging on.

Wind Waker HD is without doubt the best use of the Wii U gamepad yet. Nintendo have really gone out of their way to show you all the different ways that you can use the gamepad in order to enhance gameplay. The gamepad is now used to display the map. It’s also used to quickly swap out items which helps more casual gamers get into the series.

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Wind Waker Screen2
The game also uses the built in gyroscope to aim and look around whilst in the first person view. This really helps accuracy when using either the hook shot or aiming the bow. For those that want to go with a more traditional controller method, Nintendo have also included support for the pro controller.

Miiverse is also smartly integrated into a game through the use of a new item called ‘Tingle’s Bottle’. You can write down a message and pop it into a bottle then send it out to Sea. Other people will then see your bottle floating at shore and will randomly see your message. It’s just another smart way to integrate Miiverse into a game and whilst it doesn’t really enhance the experience, it’s nice to have it there for those who want it.

There have been some minor adjustments to the second half of the game but most of the main criticisms with fetch quests and uninspired dungeons remain the same. One huge criticism with the original was just how long it took to sail from place to place. Thankfully this has been fixed with the introduction of Swift Sail. This speeds up the sailing process regarding of the weather.
Nintendo have also introduced Hero mode for series veterans. In this mode enemies will inflict double the damage and you cannot find hearts in the environment. Thankfully this can be toggled on and off when loading a save file, so you’re not restricted for the entire play through.

WWHD Conclusion
Wind Waker HD is a game that all Wii U owners should play. It’s one of the first times that we’ve truly understood just how special the Wii U gamepad is. You’ll enjoy this game whether you’re new to the series or a series veteran. Nintendo have introduced a host of new features to make this title better than it ever was before and the presentation is second to none.


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