The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker | Retro Rated

Upon the brisk breath of an ocean breeze – a tale of prophetic proportions shall unfold. The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker, is one of the greatest games that existed on the Nintendo GameCube. I’d spent over three-hundred hours on this title as a pup, and you know what? I could do the same again now! Like a fine wine, it feels like The Wind Waker just doesn’t age.

The Hero Of Wind

Wind Waker was one of the first games of its kind to deliver stunning cel shaded graphics. Furthermore, its open-world exploration made it truly stand out from the crowd. By land or by sea, there are lots of feelings to experience from both aspects of travel. In retrospect, it’s most likely this split in methods of movement that delivers such a powerful gameplay experience. Whether by foot or by boat, Wind Waker makes both beyond enjoyable.

Expanding on dozens of mechanics that made The Legend Of Zelda so popular to begin with, Wind Waker takes the traditional formula and smashes it out of the park. The most notable classic tools you’ll encounter include the Grappling Hook, Iron Boots and Bombs. Some newer equipment now allows you to perform a wider assortment of actions. For example, the Deku Leaf allows you to glide through the sky; catching gusts of wind and air-plumes from below which send you higher, sort of a platformer’s delight. In addition to that function, the Deku Leaf serves as a means to generate useful blasts of wind.

Highlights

In terms of the story, Wind Waker will have you gripped from start to finish. Link’s journey starts with his poor, younger Sister getting kidnapped by an enormous bird. Link teams up with a Buccaneer squad and heads after the huge bird that kidnapped his Sister. Eventually, Link discovers this would just be the first event in a series events that would send him toward fulfilment of destiny. Expect to see classics like Tingle, Ganondorf, and of course, Princess Zelda. I won’t reveal too much in terms of plot, because this game’s such a rare jewel. All I’ll say is: prepare to be swept away with The Wind Waker.

Musically speaking, Wind Waker is something else. Not many games speak to my spirit with their music, but The Wind Waker was one of those few that did. Acknowledgements to Kenta Nagata, Hajime Wakai, Toru Minegishi, and Kōji Kondō for the work they did with composition. In fact, I’ll expand this opinion to the whole of the Zelda franchise, it all sounds great. But to focus on Wind Waker’s Soundtrack, it is incredibly moving. It motivates the feelings of adventure, but also feelings of a high-fantasy. Nothing adds depth and emotion to a scene quite like music, and Wind Waker struck all the symphony-loving cords in my heart; continuing to ring-around my head, even now.

Graphically, we’ve already considered how excellent the Cel-Shaded style was as a whole. 3D Models were made to run smoothly, and the semi-low polygon count is hardly noticeable. In fact, where some models are minimalistic, others are nicely-detailed. Textures tend to spread nicely with colours, all adding to the immersion. From Characters to Objects – even the rain & wind, everything flows aesthetically in tandem, making The Wind Waker one of the best-looking games from the GameCube generation.

Plenty To Offer:

What is there to do, except for the obvious, stereotypical Zelda stuff? Well, you’re not just tasked with uncovering ancient power, you’re also trailed with the job of uncorking the world – with over fifty locations to discover. When you’re done with exploring, you’ll find copious amounts of side-quests and mini-games to partake in. For all you true-performers, there are more collectables than you can shake a stick at. Not to mention for photographers, later in-game, you’ll be tasked with taking pictures of every single character and monster, turning them into sculptures to be displayed in a gallery.

Combining all this above you’ve got one of the best games of 2002. The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker is an unmistakable and unavoidable franchise Instalment for all Zelda fans. So whether you’re a Zelda virgin, haven’t played since Ocarina Of Time or’ you’re just starting out on Breath Of The Wild, you NEED to try The Wind Waker!

~Tat

10/10

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