Zelda: Wind Waker HD is, surpise, Wind Waker in HD

Oh so shiny

I don’t know what I was expecting with The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. It’s.. The Wind Waker… in HD. Surprise, surprise!

The GameCube original is such a great-looking game that holds up extremely well today, and it looks even better polished up in 1080p with rounder models and softer shading. Everything about it is exactly like how you remember it.

Except for a couple of teensy but lovely differences, that is.

For the demo, we could choose to either roam Outset Island and float around a bit on the ocean, or battle the Helmaroc King in the Forsaken Fortress. Running around is the same, targeting and attacking is the same, everything. No big twists here.

With the GamePad, you can do as in Ocarina of Time 3D and sift through your inventory without having to pause the game. And with the press of a button, you can bring the action down to the GamePad for off-TV play. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be an option to display the pause menu on the main screen, but that’s a minor quibble.

You will be happy to know that you can acquire a red sail cloth that allows you travel the seas slightly faster. It’s a noticeable increase in speed, but it’s not instantaneous. I wasn’t able to leave the vicinity of Outset Island, so I couldn’t determine how much quicker the new sail is compared to the old one.

Finally, there are Tingle Bottles. You’ll find these washed up along the shores of every island or floating out in the water. These bottles contain Miiverse messages from players all over the world, and you can of course filter messages by those from friends, those containing spoilers, and so on. Miiverse integration is such a wonderful thing, and it’s even better here because of how well it is incorporated into the game’s environment.

If you are ready to return to the Great Sea, you’ll have to wait until October.

Tony Ponce