Leave No Game Untouched’s The Leged of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube) Review
By Popular demand (from the other crew) I’ve got stuck reviewing Zelda: The Wind Waker, but all GameCube games suck, you may say, then I will say no that’s a lie there are excellent GameCube games for instance Super Mario Sunshine (I may make a review for that) and in this case Zelda Wind Waker. Yes it’s good, I’ll tell you why in depth in this review of course. ZWW is the third 3D instalment in the franchise, the first two being Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, it is not as similar as its predecessor, in fact it introduces brand new game play elements.
ZWW starts off with a good old story and shows how it fits in with all the other Zelda games. You wake up as Link (how come in pretty much every Zelda game Link “wakes up” at the start) and it’s your birthday hooray!! I won’t go in depth with the story from here, lol, but basically what I liked about the game from the start is that you get straight on with some light side quests that teach you the basics controls, then very soon the action starts up and you can get on with some good old fashion sword play. What I really liked about the plot was that it gives you a great feel of what you’re doing and your environment around you. Another thing I like about the plot is the suspense and surprises you get from it, the plot really does make you feel like you’re in the game and I love it for that. The game play of course is similar to its predecessors with a few new things added to it, Link will have to solve puzzles, fight enemies, do optional side quests and find collectables. The sword fighting is the same as its predecessors; Link use his shield, execute techniques such as the spin attack, horizontal/vertical strikes and the new Parry Attack which is a lot of fun and will end up being compulsory sometimes to defeat enemies. Link can target like in previous games but in this game it is called “L targeting” (instead of Z) this can help Link talk to people far away and plays a major part in sword play too. You can also find items like in the other Zelda titles, to help solve puzzles and defeat enemies; they can be equipped to the z, y and x buttons. The magic meter is also in this game, allowing the player to use magic later in the game. The items and abilities in this game aren’t wasted; in fact the good thing about this game is that you will use all of them almost all the time, each having their own unique abilities to help in side quests and dungeons. The new game play element added to this game is sailing the ocean, you will meet a talking boat in the game that helps you out by giving advice and of course help you sail. The player must sail from island to island in order to progress in the game, later on you can gain items such as the bombs that when used on the boat will make a canon appear giving you the ability to shoot down monsters in the water and blow up obstacles to proceed in the game. Later in the game you can find the wind waker which lets you do several things such as changing the wind direction in favour to the direction you’re heading. The downside is that sailing can be very boring and take some time before you reach your destination it really is no fun in games to wait for something, although there is some action at seas they could have at least put more enemies or something in your path to make it more interesting other than just the occasional action. This is one of the few things that made the game worse.
Many people didn’t like the graphics in ZWW because they were unrealistic and bad. The graphics aren’t bad, they are different, that is also what I say to those who diss the new Skyward Sword Graphics (an improvement from the dull Twilight Princess Graphics and Wind Wakers over cuteness). I liked the cell shaded graphics which were cute and suited this game, everything about the graphics was pretty much perfect and there were never any problems with the animation. Cut scenes were also made very well, backing up the whole story and theme. Levels were well designed, from the dungeons to the islands; it is great fun exploring your surroundings in this game. Along with well designed levels, the puzzles were also made to be fun and at times difficult which is all about puzzle games and especially Zelda Puzzles, it just feels great being able to solve the puzzles and getting that feeling of accomplishment after. Speaking of which, the level of difficulty was perfect, this game gives you the easy bits and the hard bits and it’s not just a super easy 2 second game or a frustration marathon. Although it has a perfect balance of difficulty, I thought that it was still a bit on the short side, if it was a slightly longer game I think it would have been more fun, but it is kind of made up for with the side quests, this game has the most side quests so far in the franchise. Speaking of side quests, an optional player two can join in with the fun after you get past a certain point in the game. While one person is controlling Link, the second can plug in their Game boy Advance into the GameCube using a special cable, this mode involves the character Tingle giving advice on the Game boy and selling items and his help vital for solving those super secret puzzles in which your aim is to retrieve all the Tingle trophies. The down side to this quest is that it costs lots of rupees for Tingle’s help and you also have to have the Game boy Advance and cable to do this quest.
ZWW also has quite a lot of collectables, such as the joy pendant and skull necklace which can be obtained from numerous places such as from pots, treasure chests or from enemies. The addition of the collectables was a great idea I think, it keeps you occupied in the game and its great fun too collecting them, they are sometimes essential to unlocking new things in side quests. The enemies in this game were well designed and fun to fight, it was great trying to survive and defend yourself until you can find a good strategy to defeat them. When enemies are defeated, they sometimes leave behind collectables, rupees, item refills, hearts and orbs which you can crack open with your sword to find the whole lot inside to collect. As well as minions the bosses were formidable foes too, it was some of the greatest fun I’ve ever had fighting the bosses in this game and using everything you can think of to defeat them.
In conclusion ZWW was a great new addition to the Zelda franchise. It was original and great fun to play. The down sides were the short play through and boring sailing bits but they can be forgiven with everything else this game has to offer. This game is one of my personal favorites. Can’t wait to see what Zelda Skyward Sword has to offer and I plan on reviewing that game in the future.
OVERALL RATING: 8.5/10 unnamed units
Written by JakovZord (9/1/11)