- Fantastic cartoon graphics given a new HD sheen
- Hours of mystery and adventure
- Many oddballs to meet and islands to explore
- Some sensible changes make the game even better
- No abandoned material restored
- Minor glitches and gameplay issues
- Review Price: £44.99
Few Nintendo games have been met by such a mixed reaction as The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and while those feelings don’t run as high now as they did ten years ago, that’s still the case today. Then the battle was between those who regarded The Wind Waker as a classic and those who hated the game’s bold cartoon style or thought all the sailing was a bore. Now it’s between those who see this remake as a confirmation of the game’s classic status, and those who will see it as a missed opportunity. We’ll admit to a certain amount of disappointment at what The Wind Waker HD fails to deliver, but it’s hard to feel too cross when what we’ve got is still so richly lovable, so sweeping, so exuberant.
Yet it doesn’t seem to matter with The Wind Waker because it’s such a coherent and engaging piece of work. Each section seems to flow on into the next, making it incredibly hard to put down. And even if you played it on its first outing, you’ll be surprised how much you’ll have forgotten from your first visit, and how enjoyable a second outing is.
There’s certainly no shortage of eccentric characters to meet or strange new places to explore. Some fans feel that the world of The Wind Waker isn’t as interesting as the world of Ocarina of Time, but the more you play, the more you realise that they’re wrong. Whether you’re looking to salvage sunken treasure, deliver the post or find secret caves, there’s plenty here to keep you exploring for a long, long time.
A huge part of the pleasure of The Wind Waker is in the exploration – in taking to the seas, stopping to get tips and chart updates from the local talking fish and then finding out what each outpost or island has to offer. The new version doesn’t change this, but it does cut down on the time spent drifting around.
There’s so much detail in the animation – and particularly in Link’s responsive face – that you’re hit by how brilliantly the whole thing works, and how badly other cartoon-style games released since compare. Rather than childish, The Wind Waker now looks iconic, and while some might prefer the more ‘grown-up’ style of subsequent console Zeldas, we’d argue that this incarnation is the best.