The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is an action adventure video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo for the GameCube on 2002-12-13. An HD version was released for the Wii U on 2013-10-04. This is the first game from The Legend of Zelda series released on the GameCube.
In the game's story, you player an island dweller whose ancestors emulate a mythical hero, a boy who wore green adventure's clothes and saved the world from evil. Your island is attacked by a giant bird who is kidnapping young girls, and your younger sister becomes its latest victim. As the player tries to rescue his sister, he meets a band of pirates, a talking boat, and all sorts of other strange characters living on islands all over the ocean.
After I got a computer that could run emulated GameCube games at full speed, I started playing games from the series I most love. This was among the first three games I tried. Being hugely disappointed at the horrible controls of the previous 3D Zelda games, I had high hopes that Nintendo would have perfected the technology after several years worth of games. They had not, and I spent most of the game being frustrated with horrible camera angles and terrible controls.
I don't own this game, but I am playing it.
Best Version: Wii U
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The cel-shading is nice, and the depth-of-field blurring on distant objects really helps the quality of the visuals.
- The music is pretty good. It includes several homage tracks from older games, and plenty of new songs as well. There aren't that many really punchy tunes, but the soundtrack works overall.
- I like that, even as two men are begging you to rescue their kidnapped daughters, you can blow them off to play hide-and-seek with some truants.
- Some of the puzzles in the game required a bit of brain power.
- Giving multiple functions to items in and out of the boat was a clever design.
- I like the Miniblin, the little demon monsters with the pitch fork who keep saying "deh-nan!"
- I like that they gave Zelda a more important role than merely a damsel in distress.
- The game world is surprisingly tiny for a Zelda game. The only reason is seems large is because of the huge amounts of featureless water covering 99% of the map. In reality, you could fit all of the islands into a single map square. This means there isn't very much to do in the game.
- Boat combat is not fun, fair, or worthwhile. A single hit from anything knocks you out of the boat which requires you to swim back to the boart, re-board it, and activate the sail again. If you're in the middle of a swarm of seahats or gyorgs, this usually means you'll get hit again in the process, and have to start it all over again. If the enemies do leave behind treasure, it's usually just the basic items (rupee, bomb, arrow, small magic) which will sink before you can reach them anyway. It's best to just avoid boat combat altogether, which means an annoying series of dodging attacks until the monster gives up.
- It doesn't feel like there is enough variation among the game's monsters. Most islands are inhabited with various colored chuchus, and that's about it.
- The stealth parts of your assault on the Forsaken Fortress start out fun, but quickly become tiresome. And, each time you're caught, you're sent all the way back to the far end of the fortress to do it all over again. Likewise, falling into lava in Dragon Roost Island, missing a jump in the Deku Tree, and falling into a pit in the Tower is all annoying, and, the terrible controls make this happen far too frequently.
- The timed obstacle courses you have to complete in the pirate ship are not fun at all because the game's controls are so bad. My guess is they're there to force you to get better with the game's controls, but it would have been much nicer if they just made the game's controls better.
- It's annoying that the light source for sunken treasure disappears when you near it.
- I don't care for the new design of the fairies. They look more like aliens or Hindu goddesses.
- The forest water quest is not only boring, but, by putting a time limit on the water, it's also tedious.
- It would be nice if you couldn't waste bait. Several times, after talking to a fish, I forgot to unequip the bait and ended up wasting it by throwing it into empty water.
- Link's facial expressions, along with most of the other character's from the game, look stupid. The beak-nosed people especially.
- The player control and camera control are so atrocious they ruined much of the fun of the game.
- Something as simple as reading a sign, opening a chest, or even walking in a straight line requires effort to do correctly, and often results in missed attempts.
- Each time you enter a new room, the camera is positioned inside the room, facing toward Link. So, in order to see what is in the rooms and know where you can walk, you you have to manually rotate the camera. Every. Single. Time.
- While in enclosed rooms, the camera often zooms in on Link's head obscuring your view. This is especially annoying while fighting in a small room. I spent a large part of the game seeing an extreme closeup of Link's hat or face.
- Even in outdoor regions, the camera often faces Link, rather than show where he's going. This camera angle is only useful when something is chasing you, but is a pain in the butt for the majority of the game.
- There are all sorts of sections in the game where these poor controls and camera angles make something that should be easy obnoxiously difficult like trying to throw the bomb flowers into the statues to get across the lava on Dragon Roost Island. Through most of the game I was fighting less with the enemies and far more with the bad controls.
- The game play is very slow.
- There are unskippable cut scenes all throughout the game including every time you enter or exit a door, see a door open or close, discover an item, open a chest, collect an item, latch a grappling hook, find something in the water, and so on. I wouldn't mind seeing these things once in a while, but they happen constantly and you can't skip them.
- Unimportant repetitive dialogue is written very slowly and cannot be bypassed. I honestly don't need to be told that a key can unlock doors every time I get a key or how much a rupee is valued every time I find one. I also don't need to be told for every color of chu that their jelly can be used for potions.
- Ship travel is an unbearably slow process. Even after you spend time changing the direction of the wind and watching the same cutscene for the millionth time, it still takes far too long to go between the islands, and most of the time, nothing interesting happens during the journey. I usually just set my course and then do something else. I have to listen to the music because enemies sometimes spawn, but, other than that, I don't even need to see what is going on! Also, if you overshoot your target, you can't quickly backtrack without either changing the wind again, or zig-zagging back, both of which are slow.
- Several benefits to the game can only be accessed if you also have a Game Boy Advance. This is a shameless way to force the player to buy more Nintendo products in order to fully enjoy the game.
- Cannon combat on the boat is especially slow to operate and difficult to aim.