What enhancements are in store for Link's return to the Great Sea?
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD won't arrive in the States and Europe until October -- along with a new Wii U bundle to boot -- but we have yet to learn all of what has been updated since its former life on the GameCube. We know that Link can acquire a new sail that speeds up his boating, and the end-game Triforce hunt has been tweaked in some fashion, but that's about it. However, a recent IGN hands-on elaborated on past revelations while offering many new ones.
Wind Waker HD will have a Hero Mode like in Skyward Sword, which makes enemies deal more damage and prevents health restoration from anything other than potions. Hero Mode will actually be available right from the very beginning, and you can toggle between it and normal mode in the file select screen.
In the original, you had to collect eight Triforce shards by translating sea charts then fishing the baubles out of the water in order to enter the final area. This time, five of the shards can be found directly on land, while only three require a fishing expedition. As for the Swift Sail that speeds up ocean travel and even allows you to sail against the wind, it's a completely optional acquisition from Windfall Island's auction house after you clear the first dungeon.
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You can now freely explore the environment in first-person view. However, the only items you can use from this perspective are ones that put you into that view anyway. So while you can't swing your sword like in Skyrim, you can go all Rambo on enemies with your bow and arrow.
But perhaps the most oddball new feature is that Picto Box, whose pictures can be uploaded to Miiverse, will allow you to take self-photographs. Before you snap the shot, you can switch Link's expression between happy, sad, and surprised. The potential for some rather entertaining Miiverse shares is enormous.
I guess all that's left to do is wait for Nintendo to settle on a price. Certain rumors have pegged Wind Waker HD as a full $60 title, but everyone's holding on to hope that Nintendo loosens up and gives it a sensible reduced tag.