VGT – A Second Great Awakening

My son and I have different opinions about the recent remake of Wind Waker.  In fact let me add a text conversation that I had with him when I told him that I was pre-ordering the game:

Conversation

He was referring to the bloom and flare effect that have been added because of the new high definition.  But let me give my own opinion and my own impressions of the game.  Many players were excited about the prospect of being able to play Wind Waker in high definition.  I was not necessarily one of those people.  I believe that the original Gamecube version was the closest thing to a perfect game that I would ever want to play.  Sure, there are complaints about the lengthy sailing times and the quest for Triforce pieces scattered about the map.  There is also the process of earning Rupees and buying maps from Tingle.  But the overall experience is just so immersive that it is still an amazing experience on the Gamecube.  I love the original.   I miss the Tingle Tuner!

Aaah.  Sailing is relaxing

Aaah. Sailing is relaxing

All that said, there are many elements of this new release did I like and appreciate.  It looks good.  I like being able to play in 16 X 9 widescreen and I don’t remember the Gamecube being able to display certain games widescreen.  Those extra inches of screen real estate make a difference.  The new version of the game also has a much easier inventory system.  It takes advantage of the touch screen controller and you only have to “drag and drop” your items to a button assignment.  But the best feature of the new game is the ability to play the game on the Wii U game controller.

2013-10-12 19.13.28

With just a push a button I can take the game play from my television screen and put it right into the palm of my hand.  I have to admit that Wind Waker looks and feels great as a handheld game.  The screen is bright and clear.  A set of headphones and I’m playing Wind Waker in my own little world.  The music is just as good as I remember it – although I can not tell if the new soundtrack is any different from the old.

2013-10-12 19.22.57

There are some elements however that I did not enjoy very much.  The first of which is the boomerang control.  I’m sure that I can turn this feature off but the gyro feature for aiming with the boomerang I found to be very cumbersome.  At times I was spinning in circles trying to aim.  Very awkward.  Interestingly enough, that same gyro feature did not bother me when aiming with the bow.  I think it is because I tend to aim for a precise spot with the bow and I’m aiming for a wider area of several targets with the boomerang.  Otherwise, the control scheme is excellent and works well with the new controller.

So, Wind Waker looks great, plays great, sounds great, and therefore IS great.  I have enjoyed experiencing the game in a new way.  It makes me want to play Twilight Princess in HD.  That would be awesome.  Should you buy the game?  If you have never played it before – absolutely yes.  You will not regret experiencing this chapter of the Zelda series.  If you have played it before on the Gamecube  – you may not want to re-buy it.  I have no regrets, plus I have a bit of a soft spot for HD remakes (Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Bionic Commando, Duck Tales).

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