- Original release year: 2002
- Consoles: GameCube (HD remaster: Wii U)
People can be dicks. Joyless, irritating, dicks. You know the people. They hate everything. Anything popular, anything different, anything new, they hate. They’re the vocal minority, speaking louder than anyone else. Wind Waker earned the borderline derogatory term ‘Celda’ (named after the cel shaded graphical style) by disappointed fans, who disliked the ‘cartoonish’ graphics, wishing for an updated Ocarina of Time. There was backlash and disappointment when the game was revealed, but fans’ fears were misplaced, because the game wasn’t just awesome, it’s also aged better than any 3D Zelda game in existence (and not just in terms of its visuals), proved more so by the recent HD remaster. It’s also probably the best 3D Zelda game, like ever, ever, ever.
The Wind Waker is awesome. You play as a young Link, embarking on an epic adventure, across stormy seas. in search of adventure, across iconic islands, searching for your sister and finding princess Zelda (woops, spoiler alert, she’s in the game). The revelation that Hyrule is actually submerged, as a hidden landscape, found under the sea is a stroke of genius (oh yeah, more spoilers, sorry) and makes this one of the greatest and most ambitious Zelda titles of all time.
The ‘gimmick’ in this Zelda, as I previously stated, is you travel across the sea and visit numerous islands. It makes this Zelda feel bigger than any other game in the franchise, even if it’s not actually the case. You control the wind and travel on your trusty talking boat.
As in all Zelda titles though, the best bits are the dungeons and Wind Waker has some of the very best. It even has a water dungeon that isn’t too irritating. The forest dungeon is brilliant, in particular.
Despite feeling like the game was a little rushed towards the end, with it feeling like it abruptly begins the concluding segment of the game too early on (at least one or two dungeon ideas were completely cut) and despite the end Triforce Shard fetch quest being a lame way of artificially extending the game’s length, Wind Waker is still one of the best Zelda games of all time. Stylistically, people were wrong, the game looked and still looks absolutely beautiful. But more importantly, it plays beautifully. Get the Wii U version. It’s widescreen, HD, features a new sail to make sailing faster, the Triforce fetch quest is made shorter and it’s the definitive version.