Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Never Knew the Wind Slept

Before I begin, let me inform you all that progress in my 108 in 2008 goal is coming quite well. I spent some time recently playing through some NES games, which fortunately for me, takes very little time. Like... 10 minutes in some cases. In any case, I am on track to reach my goal, and quite a few reviews will be on their way this week (with any luck). Now, on with the post!

So, with a video game collection as large as mine (which is almost assuredly larger than yours), every once in a while, a game gets put on the shelf, and for a number of reasons, stays there for long periods of time, even while nearby games get played. Such is the case with The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. I got it for Christmas (thanks, self!) in 2005. And it sat there for nearly 3 years without being played. And it wasn't because I didn't want to play it, becuase I certainly did. It's just that it's hard to fit in the bigger games likes Zelda and RPGs and the like.

But despite the lengthy absence from my "beaten" list, the Wind Waker is a fantastic game and testament to the awesome game designing powers of Nintendo. It is groundbreaking in that it introduces a new design to the Zelda series. Instead of becoming increasingly lifelike, the characters took on a cel-shaded look, which basically means it looks like a cartoon. When it was first revealed, even some hardcore Zelda fans became disenchanted, because it was so different. But it only took a few minutes of playing the game to realize it was still a Zelda game. It's a definitely more light-hearted than many Zelda games, but that's not a bad thing.

The story follows Link (no, really?) on his home of Outset Island. He wakes up on his birthday and dons the clothing of the great hero, a tradition for young boys since the great hero in green saved Hyrule ages before. When Link's sister Aryll is kidnapped, he tags along with some pirates to save his sister.

Much of the game is spent traversing islands in a small boat. The size of world is simply amazing. There are many islands, each with unique traits and designs. Of course, some of these islands are dungeons, which house new items and powers. Many classic Zelda items such as the boomerang and bow and arrow return. There are also a few new items, unique to this game.

Other than the fact that it's on the ocean, the game seems to follow in the same steps as its predecessors. As I played it, I noticed it had a lot of the same elements as Twilight Princess. (Twilight Princess came out after Wind Waker, I know. But I played it first.) Some of the tougher enemies are the same, which was helpful since I knew how to beat them already.

All in all, the game is amazing. There are so many sidequests and small missions to complete, it's a wonder they fit everything on one small disc. As far as difficulty, I would say it's a little harder than Twilight Princess, but it's not frustratingly difficult like Metroid (thank goodness). I would recommend not only to Zelda fans, but also to anyone wanting to enjoy classic Zelda fun with a cool new look.

  • Classic Zelda gameplay with a sweet new design
  • Excellent story, fantastic adventure, huge variety of quests
  • As always, extremely well designed
  • If you get lost, you can REALLY get lost
  • Some enemies are just plain annoying
  • That's about it
This game has recieved a Blatantly Biased:


Kayla said...

Ok Ben. i need some professional advice. We are getting our kids Ry and Kate DS's this year. What would you say are the "have to have" games for this age group. 8 and 10. Thanks!

Rachel said...

This game was so fun! I loved playing it together :) I'm excited to start the next Zelda adventure, whenever we get around to it :) It would be fun if they brought out a new one soon. I guess we'll just have to wait and see when that will happen :) I love you, Ben! :)

Funluvinchick said...

Ah, Zelda. Still a game I've never played...though I have to admit I've been more inclined to pick up the Wii version of whichever Zelda game there is than anything else. Of course, I blame that being the Wii because I like the thought of having to do silly/stupid things to make a game work. :D