The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 92% (based on 105 ratings)
Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 240 ratings with 6 reviews)
The animation has aged very well and something tells me that is isn't going to change either. The cute, child-friendly style is just the highlight of this game. Some people people argued that it doesn't look like a Zelda game anymore, but that isn't true (at least in my opinion), the style really adds a good bit of magic to the game. I still prefer Ocarina of Time's style (or the style they are going to use in Skyward Sword), but this is certainly not bad.
The story is very refreshing and simplified for the children, there isn't any higher power or magic realms this time, all you know is that there are diamonds that need to be found in order to go to an underwater city. I personally like it this way because younger people never ask me to explain something to them, they just understand it and leave me alone. Adults can't really complaint either because the story is not "too simple" and it's also well-written. You just have to love the perfect balance Nintendo found here.
It plays very easily, you never have any trouble moving around or fights with the menus. I especially like the "items menu" that has a sub-menu for all your bait and another for all your spoils (fetch-quest items), this makes it very tidy while there was serious potential for a gigantic and confusing menu. I also want to mention that the boat is much better than Epona and doesn't glitch as much.
The soundtrack is simply amazing, it is better than in any other Zelda game ever, maybe even the best in the history of video games. It covers everything from cheerful and light for the islands to dark and sad for the caves and dungeons. Some of my favorites would be; Dragon Roost Island, Sage Laruto and Gohdan's theme. The only songs that aren't that great are most of the songs you need to play yourself (aside from the "sages' songs").
The dungeons are pretty good and creative, there were no ports from previous games in here (aside from the Wind Temple which I heard was supposed to be in Ocarina of Time, but that doesn't count). They also interested me because they really looked like what they were supposed to be, the "Forsaken Fortress" actually looks like a fortress and the temples guarded by the Sages actually looks like a place where the Sages would pray.
The hardest dungeon is right at the beginning of the game, only the final battle with Ganandorf is as hard. The dungeon is very annoying to navigate through, you don't have a weapon for the largest part and some enemies place you back in a prison if they catch you. This is very annoying because it makes it impossible for me to enjoy a second run through the game.
Sailing around the world is not really enjoyable, roughly 80% of the world is water, so it just doesn't feel right. Hyrule isn't Hyrule anymore, it's just water with a few islands in it. There is nothing interesting to find on the islands and fishing for treasure isn't that exciting either. Another complaint I have are the Koroks, you can't imagine how much I hate the Koroks. They are a new race that replaces the Kokiri, it's the biggest insult to Ocarina of Time ever. If you're not going to have Hyrule, you shouldn't make a Zelda game.
The Bottom Line
This is a pretty good Zelda game; it has a great soundtrack, timeless graphics and a nice story. The new "Hyrule" might not be as great as what I am used to and the Koroks should leg it before I use them as target practice, but it's overall still a great, magical whole. Especially younger fans of the Zelda franchise are going to have fun with this one and people who want to get into the franchise might also want to start here.
GameCube · by Asinine (957) · 2011
This game blends in so many good things, both old and new, into one great package.
Let's start of with the biggest change; the graphical style. It's totally unlike older games such as the legendary [i]Ocarina of Time[/i]. Instead of the rather realistic look used in that game, this title takes a more cartoonish approach to the graphics to make it look like [i]Four Swords[/i] for the Gameboy Advance but in 3D. But don't be fooled by it's kiddy look! While controversial at first, after seeing it in action it looks amazing. By using a cell-shaded look for characters this game succeeds remarkably well in creating this cartoon style. The characters become much more expressive. Link, the main character, has huge eyes to make his facial expressions much easier to see. This style allows for smooth animation, too. Good examples are clouds of dust or explosions. These look very stylish. While it's totally different it doesn't hurt the series at all, and allows for a style that is simple yet amazingly beautiful at the same time. Kids may find Zelda more enjoyable, too, in this cute, yet cool looking world. The graphics are stunning, just stunning!
The story has Link finding out that his sister has been kidnapped and taken to a fortress in the sea. Since the land of Hyrule has been covered in the sea by the gods to prevent the evil Ganon to threaten the people, most of the map is now water. Once Link arrives at the fortress he finds out Ganon has returned and sets out to find a way to get his sister out of there and defeat Ganon. Although rather simple at first, the story becomes much more complex after playing the game for a few hours. Many characters are new but some fan favorites return, such as Tingle or the Deku Tree. I am not going to spoil it here, but I can say the storyline is great.
Although the graphics are very different from the N64 games, the gameplay remains very similar, but also blends in some new things. As I said before, instead of green fields, there is now a HUGE ocean to explore. There are lots of Islands to see, some big, others tiny but all with their own little secrets. These islands will invite you to explore them and you will often find, in good Zelda fashion, that there's more to them than meets the eye. Since you are out at sea, you travel between them by boat. This boat, the King of Red Lions, can actually talk to you and leads the way by showing where to go on your sea chart. Since it is a sailing boat. You control the sail so if you want to get somewhere, you must have the wind blowing in the right direction. That's where the most important item in the game comes in: the Wind Waker, a magical conductors baton that gives Link the divine power to control the wind, if he knows the right songs. This is much like the Ocarina of Time was in previous games. Besides controlling the wind, other songs have other purposes, which I will not spoil here. There are other elements that are affected by the wind such as parachuting with your Deku Leaf. This item allows you to glide, but if the wind is blowing in the wrong way, you won't get very far. This element has a big and interesting impact on gameplay. While these items are new, most of them are familiar, such as the Boomerang, Hookshot, Rupees, Triforce Shards etc. For the rest of the game, it's all pretty much the same formula as before, but once again done so well that this is not a bad point at all. There are towns to replenish your health and stock up on items, fairy fountains to be found and, off course, the dungeons. These dungeons are once again full of fun puzzles that challenge you but never grow to tough to find out. At the end of each dungeon there is the occasional boss fight. As always, the new items you have found in the dungeon will be vital to defeating the boss, you just have to find out how to use them on it. Other enemies are mostly familiar but require you to use different items to beat them. Although the main quest it not too hard, there are lots of side-quests to do, such as finding the heart pieces, collecting treasure charts and making pictures of characters which will serve an interesting purpose if you look carefully. If you need help finding the treasures there is the Tingle Tuner item, a great GC to GBA connection that will give you hints where to fish up treasures. You can fish these up with your Grappling Hook when aboard your boat. Trying out items aboard your boat will get different results compared to when they are used on land. Bombs will become a cannon, the Grappling Hook becomes a crane etc. This is a very nice touch to the game. All these little touches will make you come back for more. They all add up to one of the greatest gameplay experiences on the GameCube. Amazing, simply amazing!
The sound is great but it doesn't add too much to the game. Although you'll be humming them soon, you may miss some classic tunes if you've played other Zelda games. Sound effects are classic, which I liked.
Sailing across the sea gets boring quickly when you sail long distances, which is often!
Playing the wind song all the time to change the wind's direction gets irritating after a while.
Sometimes there really is no clue where to go next, especially when about halfway through the game.
Some classic tunes are absent.
The Bottom Line
A very stylish adventure with lots of things to do and see. Difficult to put down. It's easily one of the best titles for the GameCube and will amaze you from it's charming visual style to it's excellent gameplay.
GameCube · by Rensch (203) · 2007
Its probablty worth pointing out that im a major zelda fan at this point. Not that it means im only gonna give it 10 out of 10 - high expectations can lead to dissapointment after all. While there was no real dissapointment, and the game is significantly evolved from Ocarina, it doesnt replicate the leap from Link 2 the past to ocarina. This is perhaps understandable, you can only get that "wow its 3d" factor the once. nonetheless, it does evolve the game quite a lot, in particular the control and, of course, the graphics. The camera is easily the best camera in any 3d game, and after many hourse play i cant remember once getting it stuck in a tree or behind a house. Mario take note. The graphics may not be what we were all hoping for (dark anime) but theyre still bloody ace, and stand up to extensive play. Quest wise, its more of the same as in ocarina, but with an extra level of detail in many areas, thoough the side-games didnt grab me like they used to. Oh and sailing accross the sea is seriously cool. Most mellow.
Well realistically, theres nothing significant wrong, but it is a shame we didnt get the graphics as seen at E2000 (or whenever it was). Perhaps the gamcube isnt powerful enough, and its another generation or two away? Who knows. Furthermore the quest, although in a bigger world, isnt as convoluted (although there are bags more secrets). I kinda missed the 'cause and effect' idea too, like the past and future worlds in ocarina, or the light/dark in link to the past. Its a good game mechanic, doing something in one place affecting the same place in the future/light world. But these are minor irritations at best.
The Bottom Line
highly reccomended game, like most zeldas. if youv not played one before its a 10 out of 10. For those raised on zelda, perhaps only a nine, but still essential.
GameCube · by A D (3) · 2003
I'm sure by now you've heard about the drastic change to the Zelda series, taking the 3D styled Ocarina of Time adventure and turning it on its head with a cel shaded style presentation. It's a major risk by the Big N, especially with so many fans backing the series with every passing title, but I for one am proud to say The Wind Waker is a shining light in the industry.
Yes, this is a kids styled game. The controls are easy enough to get into for any age, the graphics are more like something you'll expect in a saturday morning cartoon, and the adventure itself is far from the detailed world of a Final Fantasy, etc, but don't hold that against lil' Link. You see, behind it all is a game that's probably one of a few that are really worth playing all the way through. The cel shading lends an element of style rarely seen in any other.
I dare you not to be taken aback by the transition from day to night as you sail across the ocean, small fish following in the wake of your boat and the light breeze sifting across the sail. It really is a sight to behold, no matter how detailed other games might be.
The adventure itself isn't too short, but at the same time isn't too long either. As with the Zelda franchise of old, there are plenty of side quests and items to collect that can add plenty of extra hours to the game time, but The Wind Waker, if you sit down non-stop for a couple of days, won't take too long to complete the major quest at hand.
There isn't much else, however, that detracts from the experience. Yes, there are fans who hate the graphical overhaul, but I don't hold the originality of the title against it.
The Bottom Line
Until the next big Zelda title comes along, Ocarina of Time will forever stand as the best of the series. But the Wind Waker isn't that far behind. The only real let down, a slightly short playing time, and the fact that it is so easy to sit down and play may deter experienced and older gamers. But if there is one GameCube title that deserves a place on your shelf, this is it.
Nintendo made a brave move shifting from the OoT and Majora's Mask worlds with this cel shaded title. It's a solid and entertaining entry, so please don't let the kiddy like display on the screen put you off playing. You don't know what you're missing.
GameCube · by Kartanym (12381) · 2006
The graphics. O_O They are gorgeous. Link walking out of water with water droplets making a mark on the ground, the facial expressions, and the cool anime style all impress me. Oh, and the storyline's great, the action's there, and there's just this feeling of content while playing this game
How come Link doesn't get to keep all his cool weapons that he accumulates from past Zelda games? Wait, they're different Links!!!
The Bottom Line
Don't be iffed by the cel-shading. This is one step forward in graphical achievement.
GameCube · by Maceart BeefKing (6) · 2004
The graphics rock! They make this game a virtual cartoon. Also the dungeons, the over world, as well as the explosions looked awesome! Love those graphics! The gameplay was very nice. The sword moves were cool, and the rolling attack was also nice, because I could use it to move to certain areas quickly and I could roll into a wall and cause jars to fall off of some shelves. The music is also kind of nice, and the fact that you can turn the camera with the C stick is really awesome.
Most of this game was just EASY. I only had one or two deaths on my first play-through of this game.
The Bottom Line
Next time you go and look for a new GameCube game, whatever you do, do NOT pass this game by! The moment you get it in your sight, BUY IT!!! Five stars for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker!
GameCube · by Dark Cloud (31) · 2003
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