Review by imagine606
"Exactly What a Remake Should Be"
Generally, when I review a remake I review it as a new game. I just feel that a game should be reviewed for what it really is, without hype or expectations thrown in. Those are things that I feel dilute way too many reviews. With this one it doesn't even matter. I gave Ocarina of Time 3D a 10/10 because that game was already my favorite game ever, and I felt that the changes made were better for the game. I felt that it was plenty better with the changes made. The better graphics, the 3D effect, the better interface (which in itself made the game much better), and the faster text while dealing with dialogue, which at times could be a bit annoying in the original versions. If I were to judge it totally based on what was better and the changes that could be made, I would have probably given it a 9. However, it would be stupid of me to say that a better version of a game that was already a 10 wasn't a 10.
Well, this is a game that gets the 10 based on it already being a great game made even better (I think I gave it a 9 initially, but after playing it around 7-10 times it had become a 10 for me). I mean, you take a game that's a high 9/10, and make it better, then you obviously have a 10. So that made this score easy for me. However, as a remake this is also a 10. I had my issues with the original version, as much as I loved it, and almost every issue I had with the game was addressed in this remake. Even down to that, while I wasn't upset that this game was being remade, I thought other games would have been better choices at the time this was announced. As I played this, I began to see the true vision of remaking this game, since it's clear that Nintendo felt that there was just so much more that could be improved without totally changing the essence of the game. Going with that, some of the changes that I would have liked to see made would have been ones that would have hurt the essence of major parts of the game. I'm going to go over the game differently than usual. Since they could be a major reason for people to buy the game, or in my case, buy the entire system, I'm going to highlight all of the changes in the following paragraphs.
The first change I'm going to go over is a very small change, but one that was noticeable, so it clearly wasn't a wasted change. This was that the wallet you start with in the game has 500 rupees, which is a clear step up over the original one in the Gamecube version, which was either 200 or 300 rupees, I honestly can't remember. Either way, it's a noticeable amount. However, once you upgrade your wallet you go to 1,000, and then to 5,000 like the original. However, this at least doesn't discourage me from picking up larger rupees early in the game (since everyone knows they'll be needed later in the original).
The next one I want to go over is the new interface. Like with Ocarina of Time 3D on the 3DS, there were changes made to the interface that greatly changed the game. When using the normal Wii U controller you can make item changes without stopping the game. Like with OoT 3D's increased amount of items throughout the game, this hugely improves the flow of the game. On top of that, when you're sailing, instead of assigning the Wind Waker (the Wind Waker actually never is equipped, it always can be used in the alternate way), bombs, or grappling hook a slot, they're automatically assigned an other slot, so you can still equip things like the boomerang, bow, and hookshot. This was one of the biggest changes in the game to me.
Going on with another change, of course, is the graphics. Now, this is something that everyone knew about and everything, but it also solved a major problem I had with the original. The original kind of felt very flat as you kept playing. However, in this remake, you don't just feel like you're playing a game in style of early South Park. You really can feel yourself moving, there's actual depth. What also helps that is that the entire ocean is supposedly loaded at once. This means that there are fewer instances of islands just popping up on the screen like they would in the original version. Anyway, everything in this version looks so much better than it did in the original, from just the overall views you get to the subtle improvements on character models. A great example is the Molgera battle. The sand in that battle looks amazing. It's not like Uncharted 3, it's in a completely different way, but it still looks great in a way that fits in great with the art style.
The next change I'm going to go over is with the scenes when you perform certain actions. First off, when you use items like the grappling hook, the scenes are sped up. When you see it wrapping around a piece of wood sticking out, it wraps up at about double the speed that it did in the original. This goes further though. The first time you play a song you see the whole series of scenes you'd see in the original. However, after that first time they cut out the scenes. With the Wind's Requiem, or just to warp, it goes much quicker when you don't have to see the song played over again and then see a whole scene about it. When warping you just play the song, choose your location, and then it shows you warping.
Taking it a step further, and probably the most welcome change for me, is the Swift Sail. This is the best thing this game could have possibly gotten. It's won in auction, and what it does is remove the need for the Wind's Requiem while at sea. Not only that, but you go close to twice as fast when sailing. I timed it myself and it was exactly twice as fast when I timed it (to the second), so instead of taking 60 seconds to go across a region, it only takes 30 seconds with the swift sail. I only needed to say what it does to really give the full impact of what this item is on the game.
Now taking a huge dip, some of the items you get after certain quests are different. You get the Deluxe PictoBox after finishing all of the photo quests from earlier in the game. You then get the joy pendant after bringing the Forest Firefly to Lenzo. Speaking of joy pendants, after getting 41 joy pendants, you don't get the the mask (can't remember the name off the top of my head right now) that lets you see the life of your enemies. In order to get this, I believe you have to clear every floor of the savage labyrinth. Not sure where the heart piece is, I honestly don't bother finishing that. I finished it my first few times playing through the original, and never did bother after that.
The whole Tingle element has also changed. The whole Gameboy Advance thing is out, and instead of the Tingle Tuner you just have the Tingle Bottle. I disabled this, but pretty much it's a way for players to send messages or photos to other players. Since I didn't bother, I really don't know how much this changed the game, but at the same time I never used the Tingle Tuner either, so for me there really wasn't a change. On top of that, in order to buy the sail, you need to first rescue Tingle. This helped me in that I didn't get the Tingle chart until late the first time I played through the original. It would have saved me about an hour of confusion that I had felt 10 years ago.
The music has noticeably changed. It's clearly a much higher quality. It's not a massive change, but it is a very clear change. Also, with the sound coming from the controller, it adds a stereo effect that is pretty cool as well.
If the game is too easy for you, like it really is for me, as I feel the original is the easiest game in the series, you can start with hero mode. This is just a higher difficulty level, which, to me was more fun. I am not someone that normally likes a game that's hard, as I play games for leisure, not for bragging rights or anything like that, but just for enjoyment during my leisure time. I highly recommend this to anyone who thought the original was too easy.
The last change that actually happened in this version that I'll go over (I'm sure I'm missing some), would be the Triforce Quest. This was possibly the most tedious part of the original version of the game. It's not totally gone from this version, but there are only 3 charts that you get. In place of those charts, when you reach those points you just get the actual shards in this version. It's still something that takes up some time, but it's not nearly as much of a pain having to salvage those 5 extra treasures.
Now, the changes I would have liked that did not happen are all based on the dungeons. The Wind Temple is still very much the same. I still really don't like the Wind Temple, but it's there, it's fairly short still though, which is a positive as well. Also, you get to ditch Makar for most of it as well still, so that much is very good too. Along with that, both the Wind and Earth temples still don't have a lot of character to them, which was another problem I had. They didn't add much to them as far as character to them goes. Lastly with those, as I made reference to already, both the Wind and Earth Temples are still escort temples. I don't like escort missions, but you still have to drag both Makar and Medli around in those temples. The last change that didn't happen is that the whole Triforce quest is still there instead of an extra temple or something like that being added. While it's improved still, I would have rather had a temple or something like that instead of going around and finding the pieces of the triforce. Still, if you look at those changes, most of them would have changed a lot of the essence of the game, so it's not a tragedy that those changes were not made.
The bottom line is that the changes that I thought really had to be made were made. This cut out a lot of unnecessary extra time on the game. It's still a game that takes a long time if you want to get everything, as it still took me about 26 hours, as someone who knows where to go at all times, but a lot of the extra fluff time was taken out of the game. This is how a remake really should be done, and the game is so much more enjoyable with the changes that have been made. This was done as close to perfectly as a remake could possibly be done.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 10/03/13
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (US, 09/20/13)
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