PAX Australia: Wind Waker Preview

I’m not usually one for HD remakes or remasters, but I’m certainly excited for this one.

The Wind Waker is a game that holds a dear place in my heart for a variety of reasons, but mainly because it was the first game in the Zelda series that I had worked up my measly $5 a week pocket money to buy. When you’re a youngling and you’re wanting every game under the sun, you have to make sure every dollar you save isn’t spent on soft drink or lollies or some other frivolous item. I spent weeks upon weeks saving every cent I could so I could put the game on lay-by to begin with. Then it was just a matter of playing the waiting game. but soon enough, the game was in my hands and in my life. It became a title that I adored and appreciated a lot more than a lot of other games because of how much I worked up for it and saved for it. To this day, I still have that love of the game because of those reasons from back  in the day.

So as you’d imagine, one of the first things I wanted to see was the remaster of Wind Waker on the Wii U. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to get hands on the game until the very last day of PAX, but it was most certainly worth the wait to play. Right away you could notice how crisp and clean the game looked compared to the Gamecube version. What made Wind Waker stand out and give it a timeless look back when it released was the way the graphics brought so much life to the world and the amount of character it gave to everything.

In the demo I got to play, I was given the choice between fighting  one of the bosses, or to begin on Outset Island and rescue Tetra. I chose to play in some familiar stomping grounds of Outset Island and within the short 10 minutes I was given to play, I got to explore and rediscover the island and it was just how I’d left it. I began by walking out of my Grandma’s house and right over to Aryll in the lookout. She gave me the telescope, just as I remembered. I went to equip it by pressing the start button but all that did was pause the game. I was confused! How do I equip stuff? And that’s when I remembered that I was holding a controller with a screen in it. I glanced down and sure enough, all my items were on the screen and with a quick tap and button press it was equipped.

After pulling it out and using it at the request of Aryll, I zoomed in and around the island spotting all the attractions the island had to offer. Using the Gamepad, I was able to move the telescope around and see everything, it was a bit awkward at the show doing this, but I imagine back in the comfort of your own home, it would be a lot easier. But there was still other stuff to see and do! I jumped down from the tower and spotted a familiar red boat, lying in the water. I rushed over and he told me that even though he wasn’t suppose to be here, he thought it’d be a nice surprise and that I could sail around a bit, take in all the splendour of the island! So I jumped in! It gave me a chance to refamiliarise myself with the boats controls and try out the Wind Waker.

Taking a cue from Ocarina of Time on 3DS, pulling out the Wind Waker put all known songs down on the Gamepad for easy and quick reference. It’s a nice and welcomed addition that will definetly come in handy. Sailing around in the boat has been improved as well. Now you can speed up how fast you travel, so if you got to travel vast seas and don’t want to deal with the long times, a button press is all it takes to speed it up! Just another feature that’s been added to streamline and improve some of the past problems. Both of these are great additions to some of the gripes that lovers of Wind Waker will be thankful for.

Before I knew it, the demo was over and it felt like I didn’t even get to stretch my wings properly, but what I saw made me very happy and excited for the game’s release. What else can be said about the game? It’s Wind Waker, but prettier and improved! If you love the original, you’ll love this one.

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