"“This game looks stupid. The Zelda series is ruined.” "
“This game looks stupid. The Zelda series is ruined.”
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was a revolutionary game and is still heralded as one of the best games of all time. Fans clamored for a sequel, and Nintendo delivered Majora’s Mask, which failed to live up to the expectations of many and left fans awaiting another entry that could match the spectacle that was OOT. When Nintendo finally revealed Wind Waker for the Gamecube, these anxious fans were disgusted. Wind Waker does away with the realistic graphical style of the N64 Zelda titles and instead opts for a bright, cel-shaded world that defied people’s expectations at the time. The masses might have scoffed at the idea of a kid-tested, mother-approved take on the series at first, but The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is definitely a worthy entry in the series.
From the outset, Wind Waker is a departure from the Zelda mold. Of course, you still play as Link, but rather than being tasked with saving Zelda as you’ve come to expect, you ally with a group of pirates in order to rescue your sister. The storyline is less than epic at first glance, but the plot develops quite a bit as the game progresses. Link will soon discover that he is the reincarnation of the legendary hero who controlled the wind. Of course, this means that you’re fit for the task of saving the world from eternal enemy, Ganondorf. By the end of the game, you’ll be enthralled in a quest that’s more interesting than anything the series has seen prior. Particularly impressive are the characters you’ll encounter on the journey. Every important character is brought to life by superbly written dialogue that’s funny and that gives each character a certain charm. From Link’s dear old Grandmother to your talking boat (yes, a talking boat), there’s nary a soul without something interesting to say. The game never becomes as dark and gloomy as past installments have, but you won’t miss it because Wind Waker still provides a compelling enough tale to warrant playing from start to finish.
Perhaps the most drastic change from Zelda norms is the world you’ll explore. The series has always offered a vast overworld, but Wind Waker’s is absolutely massive. Instead of traversing by foot, nearly all of your travels will take place in open water as you sail from island to island. As you might expect, this dramatic increase in scope also means that there’s much more territory to explore than before. Luckily, you’re armed with your trusty sea chart which serves as a map of the world and also keeps track of the locations of treasure scattered throughout. However, your sea chart is essentially blank when you first receive it, and to fill in the details, you’ll need to enlist the help of some very talkative fish you’ll find as you sail through the ever-expansive sea. These fish will not only illuminate bits and pieces of your sea chart; they’ll also inform you of the location of useful items or provide other clues for your quest. Wind Waker packs an unfathomable number of side quests and items to uncover, and discovering everything will take a lot of time and dedication.
Community review by Daisuke02 (October 21, 2007)
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