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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for Game Cube
The latest Legend of Zelda adventure begins with young Link living a peaceful life on a tiny island. One day, Link witnesses a huge,... Read More
The latest Legend of Zelda adventure begins with young Link living a peaceful life on a tiny island. One day, Link witnesses a huge, menacing bird that snatches Link's younger sister and flies away with her. Link follows in hot pursuit. His search for her sets in motion an epic adventure that will have Link sailing the high seas and searching for answers to the mystery behind her disappearance. Minimize
2 Reviews from Epinions.com
Apr 10, 2003
The Wind Waker: The Result of Many Sleepless Nights
Pros: graphics, so much to do and explore
Cons: the massive water world might discourage some
The Bottom Line:
The Wind Waker encompasses many elements that made The Ocarina of Time and Majoras Mask great, while at the same time giving gamers something new and equally enjoyable.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (WW) starts out with an intro to how an evil force has escaped from imprisonment and how good must prevail during this dark time. Yeah, weve all seen it before. After the brief cut-scene, you assume the role of Link (or whatever name you named the character), and youre off exploring your homeland island (Outset Island). During the brief exploration, you encounter a big problem. Links sister has been kidnapped, and he must rescue her from the clutches of evil. Thats where everything starts, but as you progress, Link discovers his destiny and the mystery behind the events that have happened to his world.
WW is a combination of action, adventure, and exploration. Outset Island sets the perfect environment for players to explore and fool around with the games controls. You can talk with people, gather rupees, and brush up on your fighting skills. But this is just a small portion of what WW has to offer. After venturing to new land, you meet King. King is a talking boat that helps you out on your journey. This is where the game picks up. The world is made up of small islands that are scattered about miles and miles of water (The Great Sea). With the help of King, you are able to explore new islands, find items, and face new challenges.
Another interesting feature thrown in the mix is the use of the Wind Waker. The Wind Waker is a magical wand that allows Link to summon supernatural powers that will guide him through his voyage. When the player pulls out the Wind Waker a set of notes appear on the screen. By learning specials songs and playing the correct notes, players will be able to unleash the wands powers. These songs can change the direction of the wind, allow the day to pass, can be used to control other characters, and are necessary to enter sealed areas.
Exploration plays the biggest role in WW. There are several major islands you must reach. Once on shore, you must talk with its inhabitants and gather clues. These conversations can either be small chit chat or extremely important. After enough investigation, youll discover that theres a particular problem with the island. Thats where the action/adventure part of WW kicks in. These important islands have dungeons in which Link must defeat. This is where the game really shines. Dungeons are crawling with evil creatures. Link must use his trusty sword and shield to fend off these baddies. Heres where the combat system comes into play. Fighting, effectively, is done by means of a lock on target system. This fighting system allows Link to engage on one-on-one battles with the enemy. You can then perform combos with your sword, jump to avoid being struck, or use your shield to block attacks. You can also use other killing tools such as a bow, bombs, and a boomerang to defeat your enemies.
What I found most fascinating about each dungeon was that they were all unique and always offered something different. Each one requires you to use the skills and items youve obtained during your quest. For example, in one level you must use a giant leaf to float across platforms. In other parts, you must use your bow to hit switches. The list goes on and on with the actions that must be performed. And if you thought just handling enemies was enough, you also must contend with various puzzles that are placed throughout each level. Almost every room contains some sort of little puzzle. Some require you to strategically move blocks in order to reach a ledge, and some involve the use of a second person (standing on two switches simultaneously to open a door). Lastly, each dungeon contains a boss at the end. Each boss has a weak spot, and its up to the player to discover what gets the job done.
What sets WW apart from other adventure games is its somewhat non-linear gameplay. You still have to complete most of the dungeons in order, but theres so much players can do between the breaks. The Great Sea is a massive world filled with hidden surprises around every corner. Players can engage in small carnival like games. These require you to shoot targets and solve puzzles. You can also visit older places and use your new skills to gain access to secret areas that were once unreachable. Lastly, you can interact with non-playable characters and complete little mini-quests. These include findings rare items, collecting treasures, or speaking with other characters.
Fans of the series have mixed feelings about the new graphics. But most people I know dont like them. I on the other hand, found them to be quite engaging. Unlike the two previous polygon versions of Zelda, WW uses cel-shading. Basically, the graphics look like a cartoon. Every little portion of WWs world is done in this style. I thought the graphics fit very well with the game. I was impressed right from the start. The character models lack many body and clothing details that you would find in other graphics engines, but there are little things that make up for it. Take the use of facial expressions. Links eye and mouth movements when hes angry or happy are quite comical and believable. This really allows the gamers to get a feel for the games characters and story. I felt that the visuals really engrossed the gamer into WWs setting and the whole fantasy theme to the game.
The soundtrack is a bit average. Certain islands have their own little happy theme, while dungeons songs are darker and sporadically played. The Wind Waker songs are okay, but nothing near the quality as some of the songs found in previous games. Sound effects are right on the money. The sound of waves, splashes, and even the boats sail catching wind sounds good. There are no voice-actors in the game, just a few small moans and one word phrases.
The Wind Waker is an exceptional game on many levels. Although its nowhere near as revolutionary as The Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker does create the same magic that the series brought to the N64. It encompasses many elements that made Ocarina of Time and Majoras Mask great, while at the same time giving fans of the series something new and equally enjoyable.
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