The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
A descendant of "The One" fights the somehow-never-actually-dead Ganon once again, this time in a world soaked by the Gods for your protection.
Iíll admit that I was a little wary of the new look for this installment of Zelda. I didnít oppose it like many of the more vocal fan-boys and some of my friends did. I took a wait-and-see approach. So how is the new look? Totally amazing. The stylish cel-shaded cartoonish graphics and smooth animation continued to amaze me until the end. The large anime style eyes really bring the characters to life, so to speak. The monsters still look vicious and fierce in their cartoony state and the bosses are artsy, menacing, and a complete pleasure to fight against. I never got tired of seeing the purple plume of smoke from defeated enemies. Itís something that looks incredibly cool, no matter how many times you see it.
The combat system is just like the N64 Zeldas', so itís solid. Lock on to an enemy with Z-Targeting and pick a way to kick arse. Combat never gets tiresome because of all the slick moves ďLinkĒ can perform. He obtains new weapons throughout the quest and can even use enemiesí weapons, giving the player more combat options.
The dungeons and the puzzles contained within are excellently crafted. The puzzles can be tricky at times, and you may scratch your head for a couple, but they arenít too difficult. You also get to control other characters, each with their own unique abilities, so you can tag-team the dungeonís puzzles. If you do tire of dungeon crawling, there's plenty more to do in this "Water World." There are numerous side quests, plenty of mini games, droves of hidden treasure in the waters, and some secret areas.
As amazing as this game is I do have a couple of nit-picky complaints. Once in awhile I became a little tired with the amount of time it took to travel the vast ocean that covers the world. Sure, thereís much to do, but there were times when it just got a little boring. I didnít want to search for extra treasure or do a boat race, I just wanted to get to the next area. Having to change the wind every time you move got a little old, too. Yes, you get a tune that lets you warp from place to place, but the melody is limited Ė you can only warp to certain points, not anywhere you want. The amount of time traveling about does give you a good sense of scale of the land you're in, though.
My final little quibble is that ďLinkĒ isnít even Link. Heís an untested relative, not the legendary hero we all hum the theme music for. But, given that, I do like how the story is directly connected to the other games, and how you find out what happened to the world from the last games. Itís a pretty big revelation. Linkís descendant it is then. The story is very well done and is one of the best in the series. The interesting plot and characters draw you into the world until you defeat Ganon (Stop whining, I didn't ruin the end for you. Besides, who else is the final boss going to be?). The final boss battle is completely worth all the time roaming the high seas and taken away from your real-life duties. It's one of the best final battles I've played in awhile.
This game will last a long time. The main quest is lengthy enough, but when you add in the time spent exploring the waters, searching for treasure, battling pirates on the high seas, and just moving to the next dungeon, you will be playing this incredible game for quite some time. Donít let the cute look of everyoneís favorite green tunic wearing hero fool you, Wind Waker is a game that does everything so well and is abundantly wet (ha!) with style that it's an instant classic.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time & Master Quest Bonus Disc
If you were quick enough in reserving The Wind Waker, you received an extra bonus disc which included a complete version of The Ocarina of Time, originally released for the Nintendo 64 in 1998. The game features cleaned-up graphics thanks to the power of the 'cube. This is a great extra by itself, but it also includes a remixed version of the game entitled Ocarina of Time: Master Quest. This version was originally released in Japan and features altered and more difficult puzzles from the original. Also on the disc are seven trailers for other games. This bonus disc was an excellent motivator to reserve The Wind Waker.
Score for bonus disc: 9.0