5 Reasons Wind Waker HD Is Worth It - airbornebovine Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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5 Reasons Wind Waker HD Is Worth It

Wind Waker HD releases on Wii U's eShop and will come bundled with a special edition Wii U next Friday, and the game is getting quite a bit of press. Timed to release alongside a fresh Wii U price cut, it is expected to be a much-needed boon to the dismal sales of Nintendo's latest home console. Even through all the hype, I can't help but acknowledge the few who proclaim Wind Waker HD to be an unnecessary waste of the Zelda team's time. I completely agree that the original's graphics hold up incredibly well against modern consoles, but this remake goes far beyond graphics and convenient touchscreen controls. Here are my reasons why Wind Waker HD is more than worth it:

1. A Fresh Audience

Nintendo has repeatedly iterated that Wind Waker HD isn't just for nostalgic Zelda enthusiasts, but rather a revitalized experience fit for gamers young and old. A whole new generation (or at least those who own a Wii U) will set off on their high-seas adventures for the first time. Think twice before you assert that Wind Waker is perfectly content remaining confined to the GameCube.

Wind Waker's cel-shaded wonderfulness was caught in some stormy waters at first: while many critics praised the bold new art direction, a plethora of others scolded Nintendo for turning Zelda into a kiddy game. Over the years, Toon Link and his vibrant world have been steadily embraced by fans and critics alike as one of the most beautiful and gracefully aged visual styles ever conceived. Now that Wind Waker gets another crack at attracting a wider audience-with enhanced graphical splendor, I might add-skeptics may be more willing to give it a go.

2. How it Was Meant to be Played

I believe this quote from Eiji Aonuma's Wii U Developer Direct sums up my point nicely: "I feel like I'm now finally fully able to do what I wanted to back then." For me, it's really intriguing to watch as famous a designer as Aonuma revisiting his work and fine-tuning it to match the original vision. As any writer can relate to, returning to previous pieces often yields "What the heck was I thinking?" kind of moments, where needed improvements become painfully obvious. That Aonuma didn't at first realize how cumbersome the Triforce quest would be is surprising, but understandable. Sluggish sailing being the fault of GameCube's hardware limitations is also an interesting tidbit, providing further insight for one of Wind Waker's most notable qualities.

3. A New Challenge

Another prominent feature of Wind Waker HD is Hero Mode, where enemies dole out twice the damage and never drop hearts when slain.

The option of a punishing difficulty level isn't going to be selling any Wind Waker HD Wii U bundles, but it's a courteous inclusion for veterans all the same. I'm sure a number of you will recall a hard-to-reach cave on Outset Island. You know, the one with like a bazillion floors and a ton of the leanest, meanest monsters it could possibly throw at you? After conquering that very cave at least three times, I can practically do it with my hands tied behind my back. I look forward to a newly daunting plunge into Outset Island's hidden attraction.

4. The Flaws

No, I'm not going to try and convince you that Wind Waker is worth replaying so you can gawk at its few missteps. That wouldn't persuade anyone. The gaming community is saturated with protest of Wind Waker's time-consuming sailing, and I'm certainly not the first to gripe about the Triforce quest. In case you've been living under a Goron, Wind Waker HD seeks to iron out the kinks with a new swift sail item and its compressed Triforce hunt.

Personally, I can't wait to enjoy Wind Waker all over again, but with a far more streamlined experience. Cartography and treasure hunting were tough nuts to crack in the original. As you can imagine, slowly sailing back and forth across an enormous map isn't the most appealing thing in the world. I hope the swift sail can direct more attention toward this significant piece of Wind Waker that too many of us opted to ignore.

5. Ganondorf

I'll go ahead and say it: Wind Waker's Ganondorf is one of the greatest, most relatable, and memorable of not only Nintendo's villains, but villains of gaming as a whole. He serves as living proof that Nintendo bad-guys can be more than just one-dimensional brutes with a fetish for royal hostages.

Toon Ganondorf's fatal flaw is, frighteningly, sentimentality. What's frightening, you ask? You as the player are forced to identify with him. The whole time I played Wind Waker, I couldn't stop imagining how cool it would be to pull the plug on the Great Sea, restoring Hyrule to its past glory. The hard truth, however, is that Ganondorf's ambition is just that. He pines for a long-lost world that he once sought to destroy, and now seeks to rule.

 In what still remains the defining moment of one of the most impressive video game endings of all time, Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule makes the tough call, wishing upon the Triforce-before Ganondorf can lay a finger on it-for the goddesses to seal his beloved kingdom away for eternity. As the sea comes crashing down in a violent torrent, Ganondorf flies into a desperate, murderous rage. He clearly has no forgiveness following the loss of his homeland; you can feel it in his relentless and unmerciful blows. And for a tragic death, Ganondorf's demise is appropriately visceral (at least as visceral as a Nintendo game can get).

With Wind Waker HD, Ganondorf is returning in a significant way. A GameStop-exclusive special edition includes a gorgeous 5" figurine of Ganondorf. The best part? It's only $10 more than the standard edition!

Aside from this awesome special edition, I suppose my reasoning with Ganondorf really just doubles back to the whole 'Fresh Audience' thing; although, I do feel Ganondorf is important enough to Wind Waker's legacy that he is a reason all his own to once again sail the Great Sea. Everybody deserves to know this side of Ganondorf.

That about wraps it up for my opinion of the upcoming remake, but I want to know what you think. Is Wind Waker HD a waste of Nintendo's time and resources? Is Eiji Aonuma doing a wonderful thing by giving his masterpiece a new coat of paint? Are you going to go off-topic and start raging about how Wii U isn't a "next-gen" system? Sound-off in the comments!

 

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