Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is a game that was released for Gamecube in 2003. It continues the Zelda tradition of fighting enemies with a sword and many other weapons.

The story takes several hundred years after Ocarina of Time. After the Hero of Time, the Oot's Link, sealed the evil Ganondorf away, he somehow was able to escape. The people of Hyrule waited for Link to return, but he sadly did not. In the end, the result was Hyrule being forced to be destroyed and sank deep underwater.

After Hyrule's extinction, chains of islands emerged and new civilizations to arise. We start with our new hero, also named Link. On the island known as Outset, we start with Link being woken up by his sister, Aryll, reminding Link that it was his birthday. On this day, Link received special warrior clothes from his grandma, which are the classic green clothes and hat. He also receives a telescope from his sister. While using the telescope, Link notices a huge bird carrying a girl in his claws before he was shot by a nearby pirate ship. She then falls into the nearby forest. Link then travels in and rescues the girl, who happens to be the pirate ship's captain known as Tetra. When returning back to his village, Link then witnesses his sister being kidnapped by the beastly bird. With the pirates help, he tries to get his sister back, but fails. Along with this, Link meets his shady nemesis, who we should all know who. Later, Link meets a small, red, smart sailboat called the King of Red Lions. This is when Link's adventure starts.

The game is the same plot as many Zelda games, fight enemies, make friends, collect certain somethings from dungeons, collect weapons, etc. Unlike most games, you now must travel overseas to get to where you want to go. This is fairly faster than traveling across a large field with no horse. The controls are easy to use once you have gotten used to them, but most actions on the King of Red Lions are a little frustrating. One, it is a sailboat, so it only gains speed in the direction the wind is blowing. So before you start sailing around, you must pick the direction you want the wind to go using the Wind Waker, a conductor-like instrument that act similar to the Ocarina of Time. Like the Ocarina, you will learn different tunes that you will play to advance in  the story. Back to boat problems, my second problem with it is attacking enemies. Using a cannon you get later in the game, you can attack threats to Link and the King. One problem is that if you use it, you must take down your sail. So basically, you can't move while attacking. You can still switch between the two, but it may get a little stressful.

The Wind Waker uses a new graphic engine that uses cel-shaded and light textures, resulting in cartoon graphics. Compared to Ocarina of Time, they are a lot smoother and definitely show a big improvement between the Gamecube and the Nintendo 64. The characters are well done, many rather silly looking which fit very good into the game. Just look at Toon Link in all of his glory:

He may look useless but he will put
hurt onto his enemies.

Seeing this, I can tell that graphics are good overall and pass.

Wind Waker has some pretty good tracks in it, from the adventurous sea theme to the laid back Outset Island theme. Some songs are even throwbacks to past Zelda games. All the tracks fit their exact places, like I said, from happy, sad, confident, shady, ancient, odd and even dangerous. Overall, the music is great and is a good addition to the game. Sound effects are rather silly as well, many fitting their cartoon world. They are all well recorded and don't really tend to wear out, well, most of the time. Voice sounds are good as well. I can't really explain those because I already explained sounds, and I have the same comment about both.

With laid back graphics, fun music, funny moments and a good storyline, The Wind Waker is definitely a good title. Interested? If so, see if your nearby video game store may have an old copy for sale. It would definitely be worth it.



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