The Wind Waker HD Goes Gyroscopic - Preview

By Noah Glaser, June 17, 2013
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Earlier this year, Nintendo provided us with more details of their new, high-definition The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker game for the Wii U. Many fans were hoping for a new HD Zelda, but a remake of the GameCube's classic feel-good game is all that we were offered at the time.

At E3, I got a chance to spent some time on the game, and as I would hope and expect, the game plays and feels just like the original Wind Waker. The only change is that the game looks much better. In fact, it looks really good and provides a fantastic feeling of nostalgic memories. For those who have yet to play this game, The Wind Waker HD will be a great Wii U release. For those, like me, who have already played the game, it will most likely only be bought by the hardcore Zelda fans looking to dust off an older classic.

Nintendo had 2 areas up for demonstration at E3. The first begins right where Link began his quest almost 11 years ago: Outset Island. To fill the need of truly highlighting the new inventory features, Nintendo provide Link with several items from his arsenal at the start of the game, but outside of that, nothing has changed as far as the demo is concerned. The hard-to-find 100 Rupees are still hidden under Link's home, Aryll is still on-top of the watch tower, and life goes on per usual on the palm tree filled island of Outset.

Elsewhere, there are a few changes to the game that should be pointed out. First of all, many of Link's items can be controlled through the GamePad's gyroscope ability. This feature makes aiming and item-use easier than ever (very much like in Ocarina of Time 3D). Another addition to the game is what Nintendo are calling "Tingle Bottles." These bottles, which are found washed up on the shores of islands, are filled with notes from other Miiverse users. The bottles are essentially just a new way for Nintendo to take advantage of their growing Miiverse network.

As well as having gyroscopic item control, the GamePad enables touchscreen item management, Wind Waker wand control, and button mapping. It also allows for full off-television support on the GamePad screen. If you prefer non-touch screen controls, traditional options are still available.

The second area available to play at E3 was the Helmaroc King boss fight. This demo really allowed the game's new control options to shine. Aiming your clawshot with gyroscopic controls felt intuitive and much more natural. This demo also allowed for a wider use of items and display of the graphics. Everything in The Wind Waker HD runs smoothly and beautifully.

Overall Nintendo has ported over one of the GameCube's best titles to the Wii U. Not much has changed, and that is a good thing. The addition of spectacular graphics and new control options may be all that is being offered, but The Wind Waker HD is still a lot of fun. As a huge Zelda fan I am looking forward to sailing the Great Sea once again this October.

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