Five Things The Wind Waker Remake Needs To Make Me Buy It

I woke up early yesterday morning. Reached for my phone, checked the site, saw the news that Wind Waker was being remade for the Wii U, laughed, thought it was a dream then went back to sleep. It's only a couple of hours later, when I woke up again and noticed it was still there, that I realised the news was true.

Cue celebrations. See, of all the thousands of video games I've played in my life, Wind Waker is my absolute favourite. Hands down. I like it so much, in fact, that I could initially excuse Nintendo's cynical re-release policy and actually consider buying it.

Then I had a cup of tea, a sit down and a quick think about it, and realised, no, it wouldn't be that easy. The copy of Wind Waker I've got on my shelf still works in my GameCube, and still to this day looks amazing. The copy I run on the Dolphin emulator on my PC looks even better. Why, then, would I care about another version coming out, when the versions I've got work just fine?

I won't. Well, not unless the new version makes a little effort, and does at least some stuff like this:

  • Video Options - The biggest problem this project faces is that, unlike most other HD remakes, the original doesn't need the "improvement". The beauty of Wind Waker's art style is that it's about as timeless as a video game can be. The clean lines and bold colours still look great in SD, and if you're playing on PC, there aren't muddy textures ruining your eyeballs like there are on other older titles.

    So the addition of fancy lighting, bloom, saturation and shadow effects looks... weird. A bit much. So it'll be great (though I admit, given the developer also unlikely) if you could turn them off. I mean, compare the image below with the one above. The top image — running on the Dolplin emulator for the PC — is better in just about every way.

  • Tingle Tuner - You'd be forgiven for having forgotten about this, but the original GameCube version boasted GBA connectivity courtesy of the Tingle Tuner. This let a second player take control of a low-res version of Tingle on the GBA's screen, able to do things like spot hidden items.

    This is so perfect for the Wii U pad's screen it's not even funny. And would be a great chance for most players to experience something even the majority of Wind Waker veterans never got a chance to try out.

  • Camera - One of my favourite diversions in Wind Waker is the photography minigame, where snaps of the game's characters can be exchanged for small virtual action figures. It's a fun game, but on GameCube the first-person controls were always a little janky. Again, putting this on the GamePad is a must.
  • Extra Content - The original version of the game shipped with a few rooms and areas in the code that weren't accessible in the main game. It'd be neat to have some of these — at least those where possible — slipped into the main game.
  • Wind Waker - The way you selected notes always felt a little weird. The Wii U supports Wii Remotes, so... can we just wave one of those around in the air instead?
  • Before you even say it, yes, this kind of nitpicking is a little absurd. This is the kind of project I should be all over. I'd be as close to the target market as Nintendo would hope for. Yet here I am and all I can do is complain. But then, what else should they expect? Part of the reason this game is still so beloved is that it still looks so damn good, removing the need for an HD remake. So if Nintendo wants this to be as relevant as, say, the recent Ocarina 3D re-release — a game that was in need of a makeover — it's going to need to work a little harder.

    Of course, aside from the brief introduction yesterday we know almost nothing about the game other than what we saw. So for all we know, Nintendo could already be planning on including some/all of that. In which case... well, carry on, Nintendo, carry on.


    Comments

      I had the Tingle Tuner. It SUUUUCCCCKKKEEEDDDDDD and wasn't fun for anyone to play. Animal Crossing was a bit better, but the person on the islands interactions dind't affect the gamecube, there wasn't any real 'linking' at all.

        The only reason I even know that the Tingle Tuner exists is because speedrunners like CosmoWright use it.

        It seemed like a weird gimmick but it really does seem like a perfect use of the Wii U without making any dramatic changes to the game.

        Maybe I am thinking of the DS version, but could you not pick up fruit that was worth more than what your town originally had?

          The fruit was worth more, there was a magical fish worth something like 10000 bells that could only be caught on that island as well i think, you chould make 15k a day by visiting the island once a day.

        I used it all the time - but you are right it was such a painful integration that I'd hope would be fixed through the Wii U.

        The Tingle Tuner was in a rough spot. If you make it a significant addition to the game you alienate the majority of your audience. However if you do what they did the bonus content wasn't worth the effort of plugging it in (or the $30 cable). I think I used it two, maybe three times to check out what it was, but that's about it.
        If they bring the Tingle Tuner in on the Wii U pad they need to overhaul the entire thing and make it fun to use.

      When I compare both pictures. I like the bottom more. That's the style of Wind Waker.

        Yeah was gonna say the same thing. While the top image looks good, Luke needs his eyes checked if he thinks it looks better than the bottom image.

        The second image as strange as it seems, is the closest to how i remember Wind Waker, the graphics have the right feel to them, they feel tropical just as the original Wind Waker's did the first time i played it.

        Yeah, the new environments especially the bolder lighting and higher quality textures are a big step up. Where it falls down is the lack of cel shading on the characters which makes them look like creepy plasticine models.

        I disagree. I don't think the examples used above are the best, but look at some of the other dolphin screenshots, especially with Link in them. The lighting and style is the same as the original, it just has a better resolution. The excessive bloom effects just look ugly to me, and takes away from the whole art style, especially where the characters are concerned.

      I love people who convince themselves the screens of the remake don't look infinitely better than the Gamecube screens, even the Dolphinised one.

      The comparison is barely fair. The remake looks so so so much better it isn't even funny.

      It barely counts as subjective. It's almost objectively better.

      When I saw that top image I was completely uninterested in a remake. Then I scroll down... That place looks magical.

      I'm sure whatever the Zelda team at Nintendo decide will be perfect, they've rarely disappointed before. well... maybe with the DS games they were pretty.. urggh..

      Last edited 25/01/13 12:02 pm

        The DS games shat all over windwaker.
        Not really hard to do tho mind you.

        Last edited 25/01/13 12:29 pm

          ... but... Wind Waker was the best game in the franchise. The DS ones kinda' sucked...

            ".. but... Wind Waker was the WORST game in the franchise."

            fixed

              The trolls here really don't even try anymore, do they?

                Not a troll, i honestly believe its THE worst zelda game ever made, and im a massive zelda fan, played EVERYONE ever made, i played through Zelda 3 the first time in japanese.
                Windwaker was just not a good game, it looked like crap, it played like crap, worst controls/camera and it wasn't even half as entertaining as any of the others.

                Last edited 25/01/13 7:33 pm

                  My apologies for the mistake. That being said, correcting somebody's OPINION on a game doesn't really sell your case as to not being one.

                  While you certainly have the right to an opinion, and to disagree with somebody else's opinion, you'll find that more people are inclined to agree with Distantdrop and Finalizer than you (and not specifically because of the way you approached it). The majority of Zelda fans found the DS games to be somewhere inbetween bad and utterly average (my opinion personally sits inbetween those two, leaning towards utterly average), while Wind Walker, while polarising with those who wanted a next-gen looking game, is said by most to have a unique (and arguably gorgeous) art style, play quite solidly, had a control scheme that worked quite well (particularly when you start comparing it to the inaccuracy that came with both Wii's Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword) and was extremely entertaining. Sure, it certainly wasn't perfect (and no Zelda game has been), and there are certainly things that could be done to improve the game (having to constantly play a song to change the wind direction got a bit on the nose, and the lack of dungeons was a bit disappointing), but it objectively (and personally) is far from being the worst Zelda game (and that's not even counting the CD-i games).

      This is silly. A virtual console release in Widescreen will do (at a reasonable price). Why re-make a game that was already good? Make something new for f's sake.
      I'm sick on Zelda anyway. Wind Waker and Majoras Mask where probably the last great Zelda games. There is a bad culture at Nintendo, and development has become lazy the last decade.
      I hope the Wii U fails, Nintendo becomes a software ONLY developer, and a new team begin work on an epic Zelda for Playstation and Xbox - WITHOUT Miyamoto.

      Last edited 25/01/13 12:06 pm

        Why not remake a game that will look amazing on our modern tv's AND make a new game? Because that is exactly what Nintendo said they were going to do. I don't see what the problem is.
        Oh and don't hopeful of Nintendo ever making games for other consoles, even if Wii U doesn't sell a single more console they are going to be perfectly fine.

        You didn't even the video did you? They said they were making a new zelda, but to tide us over they are releasing this.

          Absolutely right, i "didn't even" the video :P

        No, Nintendo is the only company left that should be making game consoles, once/if they are gone, game quality on all platforms will decline. Even if you hate their games, please always wish for their existence as the other companies do not care for gaming as their primary business

      The original game has aged well, especially when dolphinised, but the screens of this HD remake look fantastic.

      While I'd gladly take a graphically updated but otherwise unchanged version of the original game, I hope they use this opportunity to add a couple more dungeons because that's all the game was lacking.

      I'm confused. How could the picture on top be superior? The polygons are much more noticeable and the colours are a bit on the bland side.
      Just to be sure if we are seeing the same thing; the picture at the bottom is the one with waves and the top one is without waves.

        I really can't see how people think the new one looks better. I personally find it looks terrible, but I might be a bit bias, since Wind Waker is the best looking game I've ever seen...

      I honestly don't think this game needs a remake. Releasing it in HD is almost a slap in the face to the original, which was renowned for having absolutely amazing graphics, in a completely different way to practically all other games.

      With Ocarina of time, the graphic style of the game isn't really notable... It's not one of the reasons the game is considered great. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say that the graphical side of Ocarina is amazing.

      But with Wind Waker, Nintendo is essentially saying that the game's look is outdated and needs to be updated... But isn't Wind Waker a timeless game because the graphics are timeless?

        I plugged my gamecube into my 55 inch LCD tv and everything looks awful. I couldn't find my copy of WW but I have no reason to doubt that it is similar. No matter the artstyle, the images are going to be stretched and skewed with a decent modern tv.

        Maybe I made this up in my mind, but in the Nintendo Direct video they said the HD version was possible because of the timeless look of Wind Waker.. You can't take OoT and HD it, expecting it to look amazing. But as evident in the Dolphin screen, you can take Wind Waker and make it look a tonne crisper by HDifying it -because of the timeless artistic style-.

        But like I said, maybe I made up my own commentary for the video and you are on to something.

      I've got an option I can't live without - THE ABILITY TO REVERSE THE X-AXIS ON THE CAMERA.
      Instead of pushing left to look right, as if you have physical control over the camera's positioning in relation to your avatar, it'll make you push right to see what's on your right.
      It's completely counter-intuitive and won't fly with modern gamers.
      On the topic of the remake, though? I'm all over it. I don't care what people's attitudes are in regards to Nintendo's supposed "more of the same" philosophy - Wind Waker is excellent and a shinier, prettier version of it can only be a good thing. And having played it many times before, I'll know to pick up all those Triforce shards as I go.

        Oh God yes! Every time I've gone back to play it I've had to go through the annoying process of readjusting to that. Then after I'm finished I have to retrain myself back to normal games. This X 100

      Majoras Mask Full remake with current gen graphics and new quests and puzzles and story

      Nintendo you are sitting on a cash cow make it happen.

      TOODLES!

        Majoras Mask doesn't NEED new quests, puzzles or... A new story? The game has tonnes of side quests, I'm not sure about puzzles, and the story was amazing!

      Number 6 on the list of things that this game needs to make me buy it: for it to be on Xbox 360

        I wrote my comment below this without reading any of the others, then looked up only to see you had written basically the same thing. I played Zelda games on SNES, N64, Gameboy and they were awesome, played WW on my cousin's Gamecube, but every Nintendo platform since the 64 has been about as worthwhile as reading an angsty teenage blog. Wind Waker was good and the HD remake will be sweet, but Zelda will never be enough on its own to make me buy a crappy Nintendo Console.

        Oh how they bragged when they released the Wii U about how it was 'more powerful than current gen consoles', the new Xbox and PS4 will come out and be 10x as powerful straight off the bat. So the Wii U is better than consoles that have been out for seven years... big whoop, you'd bloody well hope so.

          Having owned and adored every Nintendo console up to the GameCube I appreciate your agreement. I did eventually buy a wii for my kids and they enjoy it occasionally but it's so outdated. I'd buy Wind Waker on the Xbox through their superior marketplace and play it on the better controller while party chatting with friends. But I'm not hooking a Nintendo up to the main TV in the living room.

          I'm not being cynical or dismissive. I genuinely mean it, it buy it on XBL in a heart beat cause Nintendo's hardware feels like cheap toys nowadays.

            Get your hand off my brain. I'd buy Ocarina or Time, Majora's Mask or Wind Waker in a heartbeat on XBL. They're missing out on a huge potential market, they would make millions, but the whole idea behind exclusives is to con people into buying that particular console (they all do it and it's such a shame).

            I appreciate that Nintendo is aimed at a younger/more casual market but that doesn't mean their hardware has to suck, that argument is a real cop out. In terms of hardware Nintendo is about a generation behind other consoles and, I don't know, 10 years behind PC's. It'd be nice if they'd pull their finger out and release something capable of playing serious games, I don't believe they are up to the challenge. PS has Move and Xbox has kinect, but they still have decent hardware.

            Many devs just skip the Wii/Wii U all together because of its limitations and that's a real shame too.

              For a long time I've wanted Nintendo to be a 3rd party developer.

                That'd probably be the best solution. Or they could just stop the exclusives and release all their games on other platforms, which will never happen.

      One thing The Wind Waker needs to make me buy it: come out on any platform that doesn't completely blow/isn't owned by Nintendo.

      I think the way WW looks is far superior to what it was. Even the dolphin version.

      Seems to me that all they're doing is going back to the style of the beta version of WW that we saw at Spaceworld. The completed game looked different to what it first looked like:

      Beta Wind Waker:
      http://www.n-sider.com/games/screens-gcnpre-zeldawind02.jpg

      Remake:
      http://gengame.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/WiiU_ZeldaWindWaker_Scrn09.jpg

      How the hell is the emulated version better than the new HD look :\. what utter crap.

        I have to say that it was fun when my friend used the gba to play tingle.

      All I want is better draw distance......but I agree with everything else here.
      I want it to look the same, but better....like they did with the OOT remake.
      All that bloom in the recent screenshots is a bit much imo, take that away though and it will look like WW.

      More dungeons Please! I really loved this game but I was disappointed by the lack of dungeons in the original release. ***SPOILER*** I hated the fact that there was no dungeon for the 3rd pearl. It would have been awesome if Jabun had swallowed it, or if there was a temple on his island. I also didn't like the scavenger hunt for the triforce pieces.

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