Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Review

If proof was ever needed that you shouldn’t give a flying monkey’s what your audience thinks, then the Wind Waker debacle of the early 00s is it. Remember the hassle when it came out, with people devastated and furious at Nintendo that it wasn’t realistic? I bet they feel silly now.

Ironic too, as out of the big three (Wind Waker, Ocarina and Twilight Princess) it’s the one that’s art style holds up the most successfully. Even more so, now that it’s got an HD sheen. It still looks unique, whilst Twilight Princess looks like some Final Fantasy/ Lord of the Rings bastardisation.

Gameplay wise though it’s… well it’s Zelda isn’t it? You’re a green clad boy, tasked with saving the world from an evil ginger magician, thus giving you a chance to explore a vast world and raid tricksy labyrinthine dungeons filled with puzzles and cool boss fights. Up until Skyward Sword, which had more of a Metroid Prime approach to its design, every 3D Zelda played out in this manner. Not that there’s anything wrong with that - it’s a fine template to work from - and Wind Waker's sea-faring adventure is as good as it ever was.

This isn't 2004 anymore, however, and refinements have been made. The touchpad helps a lot, obviously. The constant faffing about through your item inventory is all but dispelled, as a quick flick of your Wii U Gamepad sees you equip something else in a flash.

There have been changes to sections of the game too. You can equip a faster sail (via a subquest) should the constant sea-faring start to drag. The Sisyphean Triforce shard hunt has been scaled back as well, with less scouring of the seven seas, although, honestly, I remember that being a fairly relaxing time-sink. Oh well.

Apart from that, it’s the same largely brilliant game from 2003 with a new lick of paint and intelligent mechanical upgrades.

Played for 15 hours.

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9 / 10

  • Looks gorgeous in HD
  • Typically excellent puzzles, dungeon design
  • Noticeable slow-down during cannon fights.
  • Cut dungeons still give it a slightly unfinished feel

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User Comments

CephNightmare's Avatar

CephNightmare@ AdesteFideles

How do you even run that smoothly? I've bought it for the GC at the time but my GC died.. But trying it on Dolphin emulator doesn't really wanna work for me, inconsistent framerate..
Posted 15:21 on 30 October 2013
AdesteFideles's Avatar

AdesteFideles

As pretty as it looks - and it sure looks pretty! -, I still think I prefer Wind Waker on the Dolphin emulator.
Posted 23:58 on 17 September 2013
Woodfella's Avatar

Woodfella

Its a shame that they couldn't have included the cut dungeons as they'd used elements in other games.(I think the ball and chain in TP is one) Would've been good to have something extra. Still looks grand
Posted 23:18 on 17 September 2013

Game Stats

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
9
Out of 10
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
  • Looks gorgeous in HD
  • Typically excellent puzzles, dungeon design
  • Noticeable slow-down during cannon fights.
  • Cut dungeons still give it a slightly unfinished feel
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 04/10/2013
Platform: Wii U
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Adventure
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 1,562 270
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