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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Wii U
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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Wii U

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ESRB:

E

Developer(s):

Nintendo

Publisher(s):

Nintendo

Release Date:

9/20/2013

Genre(s):

Adventure RPG Action
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Climb aboard the King of Red Lions one more time as you join everyone’s favorite boy in green, Link on a journey to save his sister and tame the winds.

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Wii U

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100

The Wind Waker is crisp and energetic, spirited and soulful, just a little bit wayward - and it hasn't aged a day.
90

I whiled dozens of hours away on the great ocean in the original GameCube release, and happily spent even longer with this prettier, better-paced iteration. That Wind Waker HD only needs a few minor tweaks to feel fully modern proves its lasting appeal — and to capture a feeling of adventure, like a kid in a world of endless possibility.
90

It’s incredibly telling that all Wind Waker needs is an HD spit-shine to belong in 2013. No game is released in a vacuum, but the greatest games are fun no matter when you play them. This re-release puts Wind Waker in that column, right along classics like Super Mario Bros. and Pac-Man. It’s an incredible game. Play it!
94

Whenever fans discuss the Zelda series, much like with Final Fantasy, divergent opinions abound. Some prefer the darker tone of Twilight Princess, while others enjoy the whimsical retro trappings of A Link to the Past. We can probably all agree, however, that just about every Zelda game is worth playing (man, those Phillips CD-i games just scream quality, don't they). The Wind Waker has always been a worthy entry in the series, and this new version is more gorgeous and accessible than ever. Is it the best Zelda game ever? Your mileage will vary depending on how much you enjoy the game's art style and somewhat uneven pacing, but its flaws are so minor that I can't regard Wind Waker HD with anything short of adulation.
85

Indeed, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker suffers from some archaic mechanics, its fundamentals not having aged quite so gracefully as its aesthetics. Its unwieldiness and occasional sluggish pace can, in fact, grow temporarily infuriating. However, the streamlined menu system and map access go some way toward making up for any setbacks, while the unmistakable Wind Waker charisma ensures you won't ever stay mad at it for long.
90

Wind Waker HD is truly the definitive version of this slightly troubled, slightly misunderstood, but nonetheless classic Zelda game. If you skipped Wind Waker the first time around, now is the perfect time to finally give it a try. If you played Wind Waker before but, like me, were disillusioned and put off, the HD remake on Wii U is the perfect opportunity to revisit it. In either case, I have a feeling you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
80

Wind Waker was never the greatest of the Zelda franchise, and nothing in this HD remaster makes it worthy enough to best the likes of Ocarina of Time or Link to the Past. But it does clean up some of the messier parts, while beautifying everything else that is well worth revisiting. To someone who never played Wind Waker the first time around, Wind Waker HD will be a joy. Anyone who has played it will enjoy the updated visuals and the chance to relive the charming tale of the Hero of Wind. But for anyone yet to pick up a Wii U, Wind Waker HD just isn’t enough on its own to help the tough sell that the Wii U is at the moment. It’s no system seller, but instead an excellent addition to the existing Wii U owner’s library—whether you’ve played it already or not.
92

Every change Nintendo has made to this game is smart and serves a purpose, and I envy anyone that gets to experience The Wind Waker for the first time via this remake. It takes everything that made the original a classic and greatly improves on its visuals and quality of play. If you’re a fan of classic remakes, you can’t ask for much more.
98

As a returning fan, I couldn’t have asked for much of a better treatment. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD holds up as a marvelous game full of unique and wonderful surprises that remind me why it’s the best of the 3D Zeldas. If you’ve never braved this amazing seafaring adventure, the Wii U version offers the definitive way to experience a story that’s both charming and elegant.
100

Wind Waker HD is proof that the 3D Zelda formula peaked on the GameCube and has yet to truly be improved upon. While players wait for a new Legend of Zelda that utilizes all the special abilities of the Wii U, this HD remake is the best version of the best Zelda game to date. And here’s hoping that returning to Wind Waker gave Nintendo the inspiration to one day top it.
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