By Justin Guillou / November 21st, 2013
The items in Wind Waker HD are very useful; however, many are reused from Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. New to this game is the Deku leaf, which allows Link to glide (use it with the Wind Waker to cover more distance); the grappling hook, which allows Link to swing across gaps, and the magic armor gem which when activated, deducts rupees whenever Link is damaged instead of him losing health. Some items from the previous game have received improvements as well. For example, the iron boots can now be equipped with a button as opposed to going into the menu and selecting equip/unequip. Also this game’s version of the hammer can be used to stun enemies.
Wind Waker HD also has a spoils system. Basically, enemies sometimes drop items that can be exchanged for upgrades like new sword techniques. Link also has access to a bait bag, which can be used to lure or even briefly control certain animals on the field. The telescope that Link’s sister gives him very early on acts like this game’s first-person camera. I mentioned earlier in the review that weapons/items that allow Link to go into first-person should be mapped to the R button. Since the analog stick is above the buttons, it can be very awkward to aim properly and you may have to use some pre-Monster Hunter Tri clawing techniques in order to use it comfortably. This game also makes use of the Gamepad gyroscope, so if you move the Gamepad, the camera will move too. I turned that option off as soon as I could, as it made aiming the grappling hook much more annoying than it needed to be.
Like always, you get a new item in each dungeon, and they are generally acquired after defeating that dungeon’s mid-boss. I enjoyed most of the dungeons with the exception of the Wind Temple, because there is a giant room where you can easily fall down a few levels, and the trek back up to where you were can be tedious and annoying. Some of the dungeons require you to escort an NPC or even control them briefly to solve some of the puzzles. The dungeons are large but are generally well paced and don’t go on for too long.
Towards the end of the game, Link is given a task to find all of the pieces of the Triforce. This quest is another reason many criticized the original game. In the original game, you had to search for a treasure map (one for each piece), go to Tingle’s hideout, and ask him to decode it for you. This will set you back nearly 400 rupees- EACH. Once the map is decoded, then the location would appear on the map for you to go track it down. If that sounds annoying, that’s because it is. Thankfully this quest was shortened a bit. You only have to actually find and decode three Triforce maps. Everything else you can go out and find as soon as you have access to the areas. In fact, I found a couple of them by accident before even beginning the quest. This turned what would have otherwise been a tedious task into a much faster and more enjoyable quest.
Overall, I was incredibly pleased with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. For just $50, the game features a huge overworld with a large amount of items for players to find and collect. I completed my playthrough in about 27 hours. Keep in mind that I did not get every heart piece or complete every side-quest. In fact, I missed a lot of them due to me not referring to a guide too often. Those of you who plan on experiencing everything this game has to offer and want to find every single item will probably be looking at a 30-35 hour playthrough.
When you complete the game you have access to a second quest where Link keeps his outfit from the opening cutscene. Also, any Hylian dialogue is translated and some extra lines of dialogue were added here and there. In the original Japanese version a chart was included that enabled players to convert the Hylian alphabet to Katakana, allowing patient players to translate the text without beating the game. While some may say this game did not need a remake or an HD port, I say that the improvements made to this game are very welcome, making this a fantastic way to experience a classic Zelda adventure.
Review copy purchased by author.
This review is based on the Wii U version.
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