Since the days of the NES Zelda has been, and most probably always will be, the definitive gaming franchise of all time. With perfection and polish, all Zelda games, save a few, have been slated as the definitive experiences of there generation. From the original Zelda game on the NES which was the first game with a true narrative to The Ocarina of Time, which, till this very day, is said to be the best game ever created, Zelda has always been the game which has set up new standards for other games to follow.
The Wind Waker did exactly that. With everything we could ever dream to have in a game- stunning graphics, state of the art presentation, pleasing sound, awesome character development, addictive gameplay and much more- The Wind Waker can be safely said to be the best action adventure title of its generation.
Initially, Wind Waker might seemed to be a typical rescuing-adventure game, but this misconception is completely washed away as we progress through the game, facing the fascinating plot twists and turns. Halfway through the game, you will have completely forgotten the typical beginning of this game, and you will be so absorbed in this breathtaking adventure, that you will never want to put your controller down; and if you do, you’ll want to start playing again immediately.
Wind Waker’s story was as good as they come, and it was never too dark or gritty, and it was never too happy and sweet. It always struck the perfect balance between dark and happy, serious and funny, thrilling and chilling. Final Fantasy or God of War this game may not be, but it still conveyed its story in a fashion that was equally good.
The best thing about this game was the way it converged its story with all other Zelda tales, and the way it makes itself relevant in the larger scheme of things. Not a moment of this game is needless, and not a single scene of this epic story is irrelevant in the series of Zelda. It always makes sense, and it always leaves a huge impact. The story of WW, however, wouldn’t be half as good if it weren’t for the wonderfule presentation of the game. From the ethereal and awesomely structured cutscenes of the game to the stylish and sleek menus, the game always stunned us with its polished and elegant presentation.
The eloquence of the presentation of Wind Waker can be easily described by putting forth an example- the fabled underwater sequence at the end. That specific part of the game is truly eerie and chilling. It’s probably my favourite sequence in gaming history ever. The first time I played through it, it gave me goosebumps.
The cel-shaded look of the game gave the Great Sea a strange depth and beauty. The graphics were never lacking. From teensy little details like the ripples in the ocean, the waves of water crashing into beaches, the swaying of trees, groups of birds flying overhead, particles flowing lazily in the water and bolts of lightening flashing across the distant skies to the epic battles, the detonation of bombs, the sparks that fly around when swords collide, the graphics were always both, stunning and pleasing at the same time.
Even though they’re not striking in the typical hi-def and 3D manner, they always left our mouths hanging open and added a lot of detail to the world. Again, the underwater sequence would have been nothing compared to what it is now if it had been done in typical 3D graphics.
The dungeons in this game, as with almost everything else in it, were as good as they came. The simple logic and thinking that was required to solve each puzzle, the skill and precision that is needed to string all your attacks together to kill your enemies, and the strategies, patience and skill that was necessary for us to defeat all bosses of the game was simply awesome, and even after you finished the game more than twice, or thrice, or whatever, you still marvelled at the sheer hard work that had been put in to crafting this game.
The bosses of this game are also something no gamer, casual or hardcore, Zelda lover or hater, Nintendo fanboy or basher, would want to miss. Every boss, all equally exhilarating, was different from the last and each requires a new strategy.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is a masterpiece, a work of art. It’s up there, with the likes of Okami and Shadow of the Colossus where artistic beauty is concerned and there with Ocarina of Time and Metroid Prime where quality is concerned. Even now, when we’ve played the likes of Uncharted 2, Mass Effect 2 or Skyrim, I appreciate the beauty and quality of Wind Waker. Even after playing Skyward Sword, I think WW is the best Zelda game.