[floatleft]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/zelda/cover.jpg[/floatleft]As one of the most anticipated games of the GameCube library I feel almost an honor to be the one to get to give my thoughts on the current generation Zelda game. The angle that I will take when reviewing this game is probably much different from what you might expect if you are to read any other reviews of The Wind Waker. The reason I say this is directly related to my experience with the Zelda series of games. If you have spent any amount of time reading our site then you know that I have a deep loathe for turn based RPGs and an absolute love for action RPGs. I would consider playing the original Zelda as my first experience into the foray of the RPG world. While I consider myself to be a fan of Zelda, my enjoyment never grew into an obsession. I never owned a Super NES and thus never played the A link to the past. I also was not very fond of the style of game used for Zelda 2 and thus I never experienced it. My N64 was bought purely for WCW vs NWO and Flying Dragon. You could say that I have been on a Zelda hiatus. I have been waiting for the game that would combine the style of gameplay and level of enjoyment that I felt with the original Zelda. I feel that the release of The Wind Waker ends this wait.
One of the more controversial aspects of The Wind Waker has been the graphical element of the game. There was a pretty even split of people that were very excited to see what Nintendo would do with cel shading and there was another camp of people that were very vocal about the fact that cel shading would somehow destroy the legacy of a game that began way back in many of our childhoods. I tried to maintain an open mind about cel shading and I did a fairly good job of not allowing either group of people sway my opinion in either direction. It should also be noted that this is my first experience with cel shading aside from playing the demo of JSRF and an hour or so of Dark Cloud 2, neither of which made me think twice about the use of cel shading. My thoughts on the graphics of the game are that Nintendo took a fairly unexposed technology and did some very amazing things with it. One of the most notable aspects of cel shading are the facial expressions that Link uses. The expressions convey more feeling and allow you to immerse yourself into the story. The lighting in the game is also superb. I toyed around w/ the camera and positioning it facing the sun in a myriad of different ways and I couldn’t find any flaws, clipping, or improper shading. This is not to say that it doesn’t exist, just that Nintendo made sure that it wouldn’t be common. Rest assured that Nintendo did a complete job on the graphics and you will be very impressed with just how good the game looks.
[floatright]http://www.snackbar-games.com/images/reviews/zelda/ss04_thumb.jpg[/floatright]Being a fan of the original, it brought me great joy to hear some updated versions of the old school music. The music in the game never seemed to annoy me or actually cause me to take notice that it was there. It seems to perfectly complement the overall game experience without standing out in a bad way. The sound effects were right on and even just using the speakers on my TV I felt like they did a good job on giving you that A