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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube) artwork

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube) review

"When I first heard about Cel-Shading for Zelda, I was completely outraged. I harbored thoughts of giong to the Nintendo company and massacreing the man who thought of this idea. But as time went on, I got used to this idea, because Zelda still will be Zelda no matter what type of graphics it is in. So of course, the game was released, and I immediately purchased it. Once I started the game, I knew it was to be an enjoyable experience, and yet I didn't dive myself into it like past Zelda games. T..."

When I first heard about Cel-Shading for Zelda, I was completely outraged. I harbored thoughts of giong to the Nintendo company and massacreing the man who thought of this idea. But as time went on, I got used to this idea, because Zelda still will be Zelda no matter what type of graphics it is in. So of course, the game was released, and I immediately purchased it. Once I started the game, I knew it was to be an enjoyable experience, and yet I didn't dive myself into it like past Zelda games. The feel was not there, and it wasn't the fault of the cel-shading either.

STORY (8/10): Zelda has never been big on stories, besides creating an intricate cast of characters. Wind Waker has a larger story then past games, one about the world being thrown under water and the master sword needing to be recovered. Kind of stereotypical, but that is what Zelda does. The characters, however, do not seem to be as memorable as some in the past. There are a few crucial ones, including my personal favorite Quill, but overall there is a weak sorrounding cast in comparison to other Zelda games. This is not too large of a negative, though, because it still exhibits a traditional storyline, and that is enough to due the Zelda series proud.

GRAPHICS (13/15): Now this is very tricky for me to review kindly, because throughout it all I never did like the Cel-Shading. I found it very cartoonish, and kinda killed that feeling of Zelda for me. Yet, I must admit that the graphics themselves look fairly good. Link shows alot of strong facial emotoins, and it is obvious when he is happy or sad, you can tell, as with all of the major characters. The colors are all bright and cheery, as the game is supposed to be, and the characters all have their own distinct (yet rediculous) looks. The only thing I have that has to do with graphics, is why do the Moblins hop around when you slash them like that, that just annoyed me the entire time. All in all, I wasn't fond of the type of graphics but I will admit they were made well.

SOUND (6/10):I was disapointed with the music intensely. I mean, throughout the history of Zelda, they have the best sound tracks period (especially OoT). So I expected with the new Gamecube capabilities, that I would recieve music I would never forget. I was sadly mistaken. Many of it is rehashed from past Zelda games, which is ok, cause most of those were good. Past that, however, many of the song were annoying and unmemorable. Also the sailing music gets on your nerves after you have heard it for around twenty straight hours, and the dungeon music is repetitive, and not really spooky nor memorable. Lastly the music you play with the Wind Waker, is quick and not fully orchestrated like the ones in other Zelda games. With that all said, the music really isn't that bad, but it isn't up to par with the other Zelda games.

GAMEPLAY (38/50): What makes Zelda shine from many other game series, is its excellent gameplay.
Wind Waker keep this tradition in some aspects, but also changes alot of other classic gameplay elements.

The first problem is the world itself. You will spend hours upon hours sailing around in your ship just to reach the small nearest island. Now, while there is a warp song to speed this up, this is still a hassle and not very entertaining, plus the battles on the boat are more irritating then entertaining. Also the map itself leaves only like three of four large island, and the rest just pale in comparison, which is disapointing.

In these small words are a nuissance called treasure charts. You must find 49 of these in the game, and then search out to their special location and use the grappling hook to pull out a treasure. This is annoying having to sail to all of these islands to retrieve the treasures, instead of just getting them out of the first chest. It seems as if it is just a way to prolong the inevitable.

Besides the small worlds, the second biggest problem is the lack of dungeons. There are a total of seven dungeons in Wind Waker, but the first few ones are simple and short, and there are only two later ones, that aren't even needed to collect hte triforce. None of the dungeons are very memorable, instead just repitition of the same puzzles.

Now for a little positive input, many of the classic weapons have reapeared such as the bow and arrow, bombs, hookshot, etc... These are implemented in a control scheme nearly identical to past Zelda games. It is very easy to control, and the weapons are all effective and easy to control. Along with the subweapons, the major weapon is also complex and fairly easy to control. Their is ''Z'' targetting again, but this time with the ''R'' button instead, but it works exactly the same. This makes battling easier, and able to use various techniques such as the very effective parry techniques.

Now by reading what i have spoken about the gameplay, you would think I would've given this gameplay a horrible score, but in truth it is still a fun game despite the constant sailing and searching for treasure Charts. The exploring is part of Zelda, it just seems to go a little to far in this one, but the game itself still has some entertainment.

REPLAYABILITY (5/10): Know, there is alot to find in Wind Waker. You will need to basically tranverse every island, and search to discover nearly every possible treasure chest and all the heart pieces. That is about 10 extra hours of gametimes, including all the hidden passages and treasure charts. With that said, the game itself is only about 10 hours long, and does not really merit a playover. I Have played it once, and it feels like I have done everything to do and yet not enough interest to do it again. If you are the truest Zelda fan however, I can almost guarentee you will play it at least once more, and one day maybe I will to.

DIFFICULTY (3/5): For a Zelda game, it is really easy to beat. All the boss battles are rediculously easy, and I do not believe I used a single fairy the entire time, when usually I need to use them constantly. There are only a few difficult parts, and only a few difficult puzzles also. Now, don't get me wrong, you won't beat this game overnight, but you also won't be throwing around your controller in disgust. For you newer gamers the difficulty is nice, but for the experts out there it is kinda disapointing.

OVERALL (73/100): Zelda: Wind Waker is truly not that bad of a game, but you cannot comprehend the disapointment I had when I played through it. It was not as intriguing and grippy as past Zelda games which pulled my close and would never let me get away until it was completely beaten. This just didn't have that same feel, and same longing to be the complete and utter champion. This game still merits a pickup if you are a Zelda or Adventure platform fan, but I am warning you about making your expectations to high...

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Community review by ratking (October 16, 2003)

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