Unfortunately, Nintendo didn’t have a new Wii U Zelda game to show off at this year’s E3. What they did have, was the new HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker for the Wii U. Sure, it may not be a brand new Zelda adventure, but it's more than enough to give Zelda fans their fix while they wait for Link’s next outing.
The Windwaker’s HD remake is a testament to how amazing the original Windwaker’s graphics were. Frankly, it’s hard to tell that this game was not designed for Wii U’s current generation graphics. The sleek cartoony cell shading fits in perfect with the Wii U’s current line-up of games. Movement is incredibly smooth and textures look even better than before. If you are looking to play a graphically impressive game, look no further. This is the Zelda for you.
However, if you are looking to play a Zelda with new gameplay elements, then unfortunately you are out of luck. Windwaker HD is an HD remake in the strictest definition. The game is pretty much exactly as it was on the Gamecube. You won’t find extra dungeons or new characters or Director’s Cut style extras here.
What you will find, is a few new gimmicks with the Wii U Gamepad. For example, you can motion control a few items now. The Windwaker itself is a blast to control with the stylus. You can also play the entire game on the Gamepad if you wish. Just turn your Wii U on, change the channel on the TV for some background noise, and play the entire game handheld. It’s more useful than you would think.
The one aspect of the game that has been changed is travel, which is good because it was perhaps the most complained about part of Windwaker. Instead of having to sail back and forth all around the world, Link now has access to a quick travel system! Of course, you have to sail to each important part of the world at least once, but now he can hop from island to island just by using a menu. Awesome!
In addition, the Tingle Tuner has been replaced with a new item called the Tingle Bottle. Since the Gameboy Advance cannot be used with the Wii U, the Tingle Bottle is used to, instead, send messages to the game’s Miiverse community in order to ask for help. It is not yet clear whether or not this will have a gameplay effect, as the Tingle Tuner did.
The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker for the Wii U is a must have title for Zelda fans, even Zelda fans who already played the original Windwaker. This game is easily the definitive version of the Windwaker experience. Be on the lookout for it when it launches on the Wii U this October.