I don’t want to get my beams crossed, but before I jump into Zelda, I’d like to talk about Elvis Costello. His 1982 album “Imperial Bedroom” was marketed with the tagline, “Masterpiece?” Maybe it was a tongue-in-cheek “I dare you to buy this!” marketing strategy, but I can’t help but use that particular “M” word when Wind Waker is mentioned.
I should also preface with the fact that Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is my favorite 3D Zelda to date. It wasn’t an easy feat for the game to earn a permanent place in my heart. When I first played it I actually hated it. Maybe it was because my first run was also while I was going through the constant mood swings and emotional upheavals that come with “becoming a man.” Biology aside, I revisited the game during the Wii generation and adored it. More than Skyward Sword, more than Twilight Princess, and yes, even more than Ocarina of Time.
Naturally, when Wind Waker HD was announced I was happily surprised. Still, I’m never super excited to pay for a game I’ve already paid for. I can’t count how many times I’ve paid for Super Mario World on portables and consoles, be they virtual or otherwise. To review a game that is more than ten years old is downright silly. Instead, I’ll be talking about the additions that set Wind Waker HD apart.
The game is a much speedier experience this time around. The Swift Sail is godsend in this game. Pretty early on, you’re able to purchase this magical red sail that doubles your sailing speed, shaving minutes off your sea cruises from island to island. Not only does it make the boat faster, but you don’t even have to change the position of the wind for it to take effect. The wind follows the sail, and makes travel a breeze (pun heavily intended).
The Miiverse connectivity stuff isn’t much to write home about, but it’s worth a laugh or two. I almost never skip the opportunity to pick up Tingle bottles: reading the hilarious/mind-numbing psychosis from fellow Wind Waker HD players is almost always “why can’t Metroid crawl?” level.
The focal point of the game is certainly the graphics. Even Aonuma believes that the game is more at home on Wii U than it ever was on the Gamecube. I’m inclined to agree. I never had the urge to skip cut scenes, especially the emotional ones (and there are tons of those). I don’t know if it’s the fact that I can play the game blindfolded at this point, but the game felt shorter than before. Perhaps because it’s the definitive version to play. To echo Ocarina of Time, “The flow of time is always cruel.”
I don’t want to get super eloquent when it comes to my love for this game, be it the music, the characters, and the fact that the story is as hardcore as any Scorsesse film. Is Wind Waker HD a masterpiece? Yes. 5/5