points positive for owning a GameCube just increased
with the release of Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
This action adventure title takes advantage of the
Cube's capabilities and is destined to do for it what
Ocarina of Time did for the N64.
are those among the gaming community that eschew the
direction that Nintendo has chosen for the graphical
presentation of this game. Sure, it looks like they're
pandering to kids weaned on anime with the cartoonish
design, but let me tell you, anime never looked so
good. I was not a big fan of the new-Link look myself
but once I experienced the entire Zelda world as presented
in this game, I can only commend Nintendo for a job
well done. This is one great looking game. Not only
are the colors bright as you would expect in a cartoon
but there is plenty of subtleties as well. Shading,
particle effects, detailed environments and animated
backgrounds are of consistent high quality and will
soon make you forget about your grudge as you embark
on your latest adventure.
events of this game take place 100 years since the
Ocarina of Time as a new "Link" is out to
save his sister who has been kidnapped. He travels
by foot on land and by boat on the sea. He can control
the power and direction of the wind as he navigates
his way over the vast liquid expanse in search of
islands to explore. Link's daily activities haven't
changed much since the last few games as he still
has puzzles to solve, items to collects, dungeons
to crawl through and enemies to combat. The map is
huge and the game can take up to 40 hours if you want
to discover all of its secrets. Aside from the actual
collecting which can get a bit tedious, the game is
extremely well balanced in that the gameplay is varied
and elicits a feeling of great freedom as you don't
feel forced into any particular missions or objective.
at a wider market, the Wind Waker will definitely
appeal to younger gamers. The focus is on adventure
and exploration and it's almost impossible to lose
your life, though you will encounter many close calls.
It's this style of gameplay that will addict most
gamers as they don't have to restart at a particular
level over and over to get it right. What the Wind
Waker does is to let you explore areas and find puzzles
that you may or may not be able to solve depending
on your current abilities and weapons. This will cause
you to have to locate items or powers in other areas
should you choose to take the challenge at that time.
It feels as though the whole world is open to you
all at once.
Link never felt better. He moves around the 3D environment
with ease as he jumps, runs, climbs, flies, shoots,
stabs and throws bombs. Aside from his assortment
of weapons which include a bow and arrow and his master
sword, Link is now able to take his enemy's weapons
and use them against them.
good as the graphics are, the game would have benefited
from more character dialogue. While the music is good
and plays right on cue, it feels empty without some
relevant commentary coming from the characters. There
is a lot of interaction where it could have been implemented;
even the occasional out-loud thought by Link on one
of his boat journeys would have been a nice touch.
The sound effects such as the clanking swords and
various thumps, thuds and thunders are brilliant and
are presented in Dolby Pro Logic II for a true surround
Wind Waker is an improvement of Ocarina of Time in
many respects but some may find it too different in
its presentation. Just let me tell you that if you
cast your prejudice aside and check this title out
you might really enjoy this game as you can ill afford
to pass up any good Cube games at this point in history.