NintendoReviews

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (Wii U)

The-Legend-of-Zelda-The-Wind-Waker-HD-Header-review-G3AR
Game Info

GAME NAME: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

DEVELOPER(S): Nintendo

PUBLISHER(S): Nintendo

PLATFORM(S): Wii U

GENRE(S): Action Adventure

RELEASE DATE(S): 25 October 2013

A Zelda title that uses cell shading? That will never work, how could it?” Rewind to 2003 and this was the outcry that plagued The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker before its launch on the Gamecube. And boy oh boy was this justification wrong, as even today the game holds a legendary status for… well… its visuals.

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD now runs at 1080p widescreen capacity and has never looked better. Even the colour pallet has somewhat altered making The Wind Waker HD feel like a entirely new experience from the word go. It’s changes such as these that let you feel that Nintendo haven’t simply re-rendered an old title but have taken the time and effort to almost reinvent the wheel. There are numerous changes to the gameplay as well which are not apparent at first, but after spending some time with the game, the rupee drops and you can’t help but think, “How did we play this in any other way?” The grappling is drastically improved, optional gyroscope aiming has been included and even the text speed is quicker. The Swift Sail enhancement, found early on in the auction house, noticeably boosts your sailing speed and reacts to the wind making sure that the wind is always coming from behind. It’s the small things that matter and Nintendo have gone to great lengths to improve the entire game rather than only its visuals.

The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker HD 003

The modifications aren’t without fault though. More specifically, the Tingle Quests are still around, and they’re still just an array of tedious pricy side quests which cause far too much frustration. The quests have been simplified to only three triforce maps but this isn’t enough to make these quests worthwhile. In a way this just re-enforces a well known fact in the Zelda franchise, stay away from Tingle.

At times Wind Waker HD does seem a little too simplistic when comparing some of its puzzles and boss fights to the more recent Zelda titles such as Skyward Sword. This is not a fault directed to Wind Waker HD rather than a natural evolution and a progression of the series. Over time you expect the bar to be raised, especially in the dungeon levels. To counteract this, a “Hero Mode” has been introduced to Wind Waker HD, similar to that found in Skyward Sword. Enemies now dish out double the damage and Link’s health recovery is limited to potions and fairies. In fact, all items in general are a lot more difficult to come by. This new mode will challenge even the most seasoned Zelda fanatics and that’s great.

The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker HD 001

The Tingle Tuner from the Gamecube version is back and, disappointingly, there isn’t the same hand type integration found between the GCN and the Game Boy Advance. However, even though there is no 3DS compatibility, there is now a Tingle Bottle which integrates with the Miiverse and randomly sends messages to others player’s islands. Moreover, The Picto Box has been upgraded to 12 photographs and can be submitted multiple times.

The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker HD 002

It can be argued that The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is the best game of the Zelda franchise, but the reason for its cult following and status has never been more apparent than in the HD remake. The visuals are far improved compared to any other Zelda game and the sense of adventure in the open seas is unparalleled to anything else in the series. Not only is the game beautiful, but with some minor improvements, Wind Waker HD is now more accessible to a new generation of gamers as well as fans alike. Either way, Wind Waker HD feels like an exciting new experience rather than a rehash of an old classic.

9.5 Overall Score
Aesthetics: 10/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Design: 9/10

New look & feel | Overall game production

Tingle quests

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Author: Garth Kaestner View all posts by
If there is a Nintendo, retro, Microsoft or Sony console around, you'll find that I won't be far behind. Lover of Bonnie Tyler and Tottenham Hotspur.
  • The Batfan: Ryan Slayer

    Man, Zelda is SOOOO cute in those graphics…

    • Michelle

      FYI his name is Link,the princess’s name is Zelda.

      • The Batfan & Seaman

        FYI, I… One day, my sarcasm will be world renowned.

        • The Batfan & Seaman

          Never again will I attempt sarcasm. Never.

      • Michelle

        I’m a Gamer girl,I know my games and their characters :)

        • Carla

          Woop woop Gamer girls for life!

  • Choffel

    Improved grappling and faster text scroll? I’m even more in than I was before!

  • Nadine

    Wow good score. I’ve yet to play a Zelda game. Oh no wait I’ve played a really really old one. Would like to try a newer one though.

  • Thami

    Awesome! Though his eyes are a little creepy.

  • http://P Zhameer

    How many Zelda games are they going to make? Good review though and would love to try it to see what all the fuss is about.

    • http://g3ar.co.za/author/garth/ Garth

      Nintendo can make 1000000000000000000000000000 The Legend of Zelda titles and it still won’t be enough.

  • Albertus

    I still need to play a recent Zelda game but will probably not as I’m not a Nintendo fan.

  • Jarred

    Still one of my favourite games of all time, and one that I have never owned. Will definitely pick it up at some stage (when my bank account looks better after the PS4 payment), but it’s great to see that such a classic stands tall by today’s standards.

    Super review man, look forward to chatting about the game more ;-)

  • marc

    Cant wait to get this. I am a little upset the game got delayed in SA. Really loved the game on the gamecube and now its in HD….bliss.

  • Robert

    have never played any of the legend of zeldas

    • marc

      You are missing out-most of them are incredible.

  • Andrew

    I love the legend of zelda however I don’t have a wiiu

  • Michelle

    I love Link,he is so cute.I only ever played a Legend of Zelda game on the DS.Wish I had a Wii U for this game and Monster Hunter.

  • Mayuran

    NEVER PLAYED THIS

  • Ryan

    Great review. Never really go into Zelda though. Might grab a game since i bought a 3DSXL

  • Ziyaad

    Wish I had a Wii U just for this game. Ok wait I just wish I had a Wii U for the love of gaming.