Friday, January 2, 2015

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD journal - entry three

When I first played Wind Waker, I was in middle school and had no qualms about sinking hours into the tedious process of collecting three pictographs at a time, bringing them to the Forest Haven’s Nintendo Gallery, and then fast-forwarding time via the Song of Passing to have them converted into sculpted figures one by one. While Wind Waker lacks as many real meaty sidequests as its home console predecessor Majora’s Mask offered up, the more involved sidequests that Wind Waker does have are just that – very involved, and by association, rather time-consuming. I am incredibly pleased to see that Nintendo has not only quadrupled the number of pictographs Link can store in his Picto Box at any given time, but also upped the ante on the number of figures that can be sculpted per day to a matching twelve. To some, the Nintendo Gallery might seem like a silly distraction, but I always found it to be one of the most entertaining and rewarding sidequests in Wind Waker.

Conversely, my single least favorite leg of the original Wind Waker adventure was the process of collecting all the Triforce charts, having them deciphered for an obscene sum of money, and then having to track down each Triforce shard thereafter. It was such a boring routine that really threw off the game’s pacing, especially after the revelation of Tetra being the heir to Princess Zelda’s bloodline and the search for the two new sages had significantly boosted the excitement and intensity of the narrative. Lo and behold, Nintendo also improved upon this by asking players to seek out a mere three Triforce charts, while many of the remaining Triforce Shards have been allocated to the treasure chests that previously housed their respective charts. Those few Triforce shards that still lie at the bottom of the sea are immediately visible on Tingle’s In-credible chart. This particular fetch quest feels much less a chore, as it requires approximately half the time and effort than in the original Gamecube version.

I would not say that I am quite as blown away by this updated version of Wind Waker as I was by Ocarina of Time 3D – as I previously mentioned, the character models and environments of Wind Waker HD look largely the same as before, save for better lighting and a clearer filter for the game’s presentation. Plus, even though it is two console generations removed, this HD remaster is still on a home console as opposed to a handheld. But it is certainly flying higher than I anticipated during my first journal post. As of a few hours ago, I started my dive into the Wind Temple, and as such, I would expect my review of Wind Waker HD to be posted sometime by the end of next week, as there isn’t a whole lot left ahead of me before I take on Ganondorf and finish this adventure… once again.

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