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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (PG)

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
PARENT GAMING RATINGS
Game Score A
Content Score B
Difficulty Normal
POSITIVE / NEGATIVE
+ Beautiful graphics
+ Traditional Zelda puzzles to solve
+ Massive oceanic overworld
- Too short
- Too easy
SKILLS USED
Reflexes
Yes mark (PG)
Logic
Yes mark (PG)
Literacy
Yes mark (PG)
Mathematics
No mark (PG)
Creativity
No mark (PG)
Social
No mark (PG)
OTHER INFORMATION
ESRB Rating Everyone (E)
Genre Action
Adventure
# of Players 1 Player
Online Play None
Developer Nintendo
Publisher Nintendo
Available for GameCube
Contents: The Game | Skills Used | Releases | Similar Games | External Links

The Game

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is the first GameCube Zelda title. Before its release, the game's graphics caused much controversy among the series's fans. The controversy dissipated upon release of the game, as major reviewers rated the game highly.


Graphics Style

The game uses a mix of cel-shading and realistic effects to create a unique look. While the standard cartoon-like lighting is used, the developers did not include the black outlines found in other cel-shaded games. Effects found in non-cartoony games are used, most notably bump-mapping. Unlike most cel-shaded games, The Wind Waker utilizes different shaders for different objects. For example, characters like Link are shaded with a standard cel-shader, while buildings and landforms are shaded with a more subtle, almost realistic-type shader, helping to smooth out blocky models while also keeping the style seamless.

Quality

This game has been said to be overflowing with polish, and things such as the surprisingly advanced physics engine, high-quality collision detection, and highly refined controls support this. Because this is a GameCube game, there are a few bad textures, but overall, the textures are of a very high quality. However, the quality becomes lower in the last parts of the game, where a large and annoying fetch quest is required to finish the game. Even throughout the other parts of the game, there are signs of unfinished areas, and two whole dungeons were cut out of the game. Despite this, the game is still lauded today as one of the best games ever made.

Content

Despite the cartoony exterior, The Wind Waker plays like any other Zelda game. The main character, Link, is a 9-year-old boy who happens to be skilled with the sword. Combat is achieved through the sword. Many enemies are more humorous than scary, but there are a few scary moments throughout the game. Link sometimes is injured in ways that are, although bloodless, rather harsh. At the very end of the game, Link kills the main villain in a particularly gruesome way. The game also hides surprisingly mature themes. The entire game world is what remains of a prosperous civilization after an apocalyptic flood. The last remaining vestiges of this civilization are visited by Link, and at the end, a particularly tragic and complex event happens (that this article will not spoil). Overall, this game is OK for children, although it is recommended only for children 10 and up, despite the E rating.

Skills Used

This game is rather easy for a Zelda game. Reflexes, Logic, and Reading are all used. All dialogue is in the form of text, and a few advanced words are used, necessitating at least a basic grasp of reading English. Reflexes are required to execute certain moves, and Logic is required to solve puzzles, both required and optional.

Releases

  • Japanese Release - Unlike most games, the original version of The Wind Waker is markedly different from versions released in other countries.
  • American and European Release - The American and European release of the game contains an easier version of the fetch quest mentioned in the Quality section.

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