While we wait for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker's upcoming US release, we've decided to take another look at the import version of the game. We've had time to absorb the game's new look and gameplay and log a copious amount of time playing it, and are quite taken with Link's newest adventure on the GameCube.
The game's graphics, a lightning rod for criticism since the game was first shown off at Space World, really do work well. The stylized look is consistent and well done, which gives the game a very rich look. Art aficionados will see a disparate collection of influences, most notably the work of Hayao Miyazaki, melded into a cohesive package that is visually interesting. Despite all the criticism claiming that the new look for the series is childish and cartoony, the graphics in the game manage some impressive touches that give the game a distinct sense of life. The effect is accomplished by the high amount of animation that complements the stylized graphics. The fluid motion extends to every aspect of the game's presentation, making Wind Waker the most lifelike Zelda game to date.
The game's audio, most notably Koji Kondo's score, is especially impressive, thanks to the GameCube's powerful sound capabilities. While the voice snippets stay true to the precedent set in the Nintendo 64 games, the rich ambient sound and musical score, which draw on tunes from previous Zelda games, truly shine. The extra storage afforded by the GameCube disc makes Wind Waker one of the best-sounding Zelda games so far.
As far as gameplay goes, The Wind Waker offers up a generous helping of boss fights, puzzles, and multipart quests, which should please fans of the series. While the game obviously draws inspiration from the classic Nintendo 64 games, The Wind Waker certainly features some creative new elements that keep things fresh but stay true to the spirit of the content of the older games. Fans of the series will be pleased to see ties to the older games pop up in some interesting places.
We'll have more on the game soon. Until then, check out some new media from the game .