The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD: Beauty and the Beauty / by Benjamin Sawyer

Back in 2002 Nintendo released the most controversial Zelda game in the series. Not due to gameplay, this went on to be a fan favorite, but it's graphical style. No one wanted "Toon" Link, but this afforded Nintendo a wide range of artistic freedom when it came to the design. Leap forward 15 years and now the worst selling Zelda is given a second chance on the slowest selling Nintendo console. But give this one a chance.

Nintendo could have went the normal, straignt to the point route and just gave this a HD resolution bump up but instead this is a full blown remake. Although, if there was one thing that the Wind Waker didn't need was a graphical upgrade, it is stunning to see this game like it is on the Wii-U. The colors are vibrant, the character models are gorgeous and everything has a bloom lighting sheen to them. If you knew nothing about the Wind Waker you could eaily mistake it for a game that came out now. The same can easily be said about the gameplay as well. This is the best combat system that a Zelda has ever seen and it is totally unchanged from the 2002 release. With the inclusion of the gamepad the traditional pause menu has been moved to the second screen. With just a swipe of your finger you can rearrange your items without stopping the flow of gameplay. A neat addition but one I didn't care to have one way or another. Having the map available without having to pause was awesome though. Especially on the open sea.

Not just settling for a mere port, Nintendo has updated a few things. Sailing was a mixed bag in 2002, some loved it, others didn't. Here it has been remedied a bit with the inclusion of the swift sail which speeds up the boat and automatically changes the wind direction. The dreaded Triforce quest has also been sped up a bit. You no longer have to find 8 charts and then 8 salvage spots. Nintendo also added Hero mode from Skyward Sword for those who felt Wind Waker was too easy, but I feel it is a bit unbalanced, enemies do double damage and there are no heart drops, you have to rely on fairies and potions.

If this is the route Nintedo takes with HD remakes then by all means keep them coming. Some people didn't have a Gamecube, and Nintendo's games on that system are both hard to find and expensive. This gives us all second chance. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

9 bits out of 10