By yami4ct 3 Comments
This is one I think is going to surprise people, my favorite Zelda game is Wind Waker. I'll admit, I have't finished EVERY Zelda. I've still yet to finish Zelda 2 or track down Link's Awakening, but I doubt those would top Wind Waker in my book. Why do I like Wind Waker so much? One word, style. The game exudes it in every way. It makes the best out of what it's given, and I think that thought really shows.
Wind Waker is still the Zelda game I can return to nowadays between new releases. Twilight Princess looks dull to me now, and the recent handheld games only hold my attention through one play through. The variety the game has to offer in both visuals and game design really draws me in. For some reason, the treasure hunting in this game hooks me way more than the collectables in any other Zelda title. Having a map showing me where to go draws me into the game much better than just having to run around searching every corner for the next heart container, as in any other Zelda. The combat is simple, yet fluid and interesting. I don't mind having to cut through waves and waves of enemies, as I can parry and vary my tactics to make things more interesting. I also don't have the stress on my wrist Twilight Princess caused after a few hours of game time.
The next thing that ensures I can come back to the game in the foreseeable future is the art style. Art style is what can make a game age well or poorly, and Wind Waker still looks good because of it's cartoonish style. In fact, I'd wager Wind Waker will never look dated, from a visual standpoint, as you can't really improve the look with a higher fidelity graphics chip. Twilight Princess already looks dated to me now, but I can still play Wind Waker without the game feeling like it was from 6 years ago.
The game is not without its problems, though, and some of those problems are quite serious. Before you get the song that summons the tornado, travel between islands is hell. Even afterward you still have to find your way to your destination from wherever the whirlwind drops you up. Boating seems cool at first, but gets really monotonous quickly. I kind of wish they would have added an upgrade system for your boat to make things at least a tad bit more interesting. It wouldn't have fixed the problem completely, but it would have helped. The other problem I have is the stupid triforce fetch quest near the end of the game. That series of events is really arbitrary and just serves to artificially increase the game's length. I usually play up to that point before quitting. I don't really feel the need to get all the way to the end again. I still enjoy the journey up to that point so much, I can ignore the other flaws and I feel those flaws are much more minor than the flaws of some of the series other recent entries.