Hello gamers and welcome to the midway point of our 100 reviews in 100 days. I couldn’t think of a better title to mark the middle of this list.
Sailing into the #51 position…
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was the reason I owned a GameCube. Well. This and Smash Brothers. It’s also the reason I own a Wii U now. That’s right, a Wii U. Shocking, I know. Anyway, after its release in 2002 this game went on to consume the majority of my 2003.
A Beautiful Change
Undeservedly, Wind Waker fell under a lot of fire, (and got more than its share of fan-hate), upon its release. Nintendo decided to take the franchise in a different direction, at least as far as the artistic style of the game was concerned. While I personally loved the graphics and the shell-shaded styling, it was a massive departure from previous installments of the series. Apparently, this was enough to send the hardcore fans into murder mode. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Majora’s Mask and Ocarina of Time as much as the next Zelda geek, but Wind Waker had something special and, (in my opinion), the art style punctuated and enhanced the experience. It was a blessing, not a curse.
While I can, to a point, understand the uproar that the change caused, I think there’s a very important distinction that needs to be made between Wind Waker and it’s sister titles in the LoZ series. Wind Waker is based on the actual legend of Zelda. The main character, confusingly, is still named Link, but it’s not the Link that you’re used to playing as. Nor are you on a mission to rescue Zelda. At least, not in the strictest sense. With that in mind, a change in art style and gameplay seems very fitting. While it’s true that you weren’t technically following the Link you’re familiar with, the gameplay felt similar but more fluid. Whether that was due to a jump to a more advanced system or not, I can’t say. The swordplay is entertaining and the animations that go along with it felt natural and fantastic. I really can’t say enough about how much of a joy this game is to play.
What’s Not To Like?
If you look past the artistic changes (and seriously, they’re not a big deal), this game is really easy to fall in love with. It’s incredible. Beautiful even. Wind Waker takes all of the classic LoZ elements that you’re familiar with and adds an artistic twist to them. Whether you’re riding the airwaves on a Deku Leaf, sailing the seas with King of Red Lions, or exploring the ruins of familiar landscapes with Tetra, Wind Waker is always throwing something unique and entertaining at you. Give me a gorgeous game that keeps things interesting, entertaining and fun and I’m a happy guy, and Wind Waker delivered that in spades.
Should I Play it?
What kind of question is that? Yes, of course you should! Seriously, stop reading this and go play. Now. If you’ve ever liked the LoZ series in the least, you’ll enjoy the hell out of this game. Wind Waker is the quintessential adventure game that everyone should play. Probably not much of a shocker, this thing gets a 5 out of 5 in my book. Why are you still here??? Go play it!