E3 2013: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD Impressions
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker is polarizing opinions again, 10 years after its original release. We went hands-on with the HD remake of Wind Waker this week at E3 and it’s again going to cause some commotion.
Wind Waker HD’s most obvious change is the visuals. The shaders and the lighting all look amazing and the games art style looks spectacularly crisp and stunning in 1080p. It also runs amazingly smooth, proof that this game will possibly remain timeless in its design.
Nearly everything has been retouched here – the textures, the plants, the characters models, enemies and the even the puffs of smoke. It’s a remaster, Nintendo do these with class. There are still items left outstanding, but it’s likely they’ll be fixed before the game is out later this year.
Playing the game on the GamePad feels weird for a GameCube veteran such as myself but it doesn’t take long for it to all fall back into place. The addition of the inventory to the touch screen means you can switch out items to the item buttons easily and without fuss . The game also gains the gyroscopic motion controls for ranged weapons and the binoculars like we saw in Ocarina of Time 3D.
We were offered two demos to play through. The Island Stroll demo starts on Outset Island, the starting point for the game. However, you can see the King of Red Lions boat, Aryll is on watch still and the cutscene to rescue Tetra is plays. Again, this is just the demo, Nintendo didn’t go and mess up or change the opening of the game.
The other playthrough was the Helmaroc King Battle, a boss battle I could not remember at all (but this is basically the bird who stole Aryll). This battle did allow me to use the gyroscope controls, which is why it was likely included on the showroom floor.
The games new Tingle Bottle feature was also available for players to try out. Although not really connected to Miiverse at E3, it does allows people to drop bottles in the ocean and it will appear in another players game. You can even attach screenshots.
We were also given the chance to ask Eiji Aonuma, Zelda series producer one question about the game. We asked if it was possible that Nintendo were going to implement a ‘hard mode’ or change the game for people who have played it before.
Before we give you the answer, we also asked Nintendo staff on hand if the game would be changed at all – for example, the Triforce quest at the end being tweaked or the original cut dungeons restored.
The cut dungeons won’t be restored, nor will the there be hard mode but Aonuma has revealed in a developer interview that there will be ‘minute’ changes to the Triforce Quest and the pacing before the finale.
Apart from this small change the game will be exactly as it was, apart from the Tingle Bottles, updated visuals and of course the fast travel in the boat.
Which you know, is just fine by us.