Final Thoughts on Windwaker

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD:

I think the word “amazing” about sums up the entire Windwaker experience. The big three — Zelda, Link, Ganon — are all very interesting characters in their own respect, and as I’ve said before, the art style lends itself to the amount of expression that can be conveyed in the cutscenes.

The transitions between dungeon to dungeon were pretty seamless, and the puzzles were just right as far as difficulty goes. Throw in a bit of go-fetch (Triforce Shards), and you have everything that made the older Zelda games so interesting, and a bit more.

What impressed me the most, however, was the final encounter, with the big three duking it out in a vicious 2v1 romp vs Ganondorf. I also found myself surprisingly sympathetic towards Ganondorf and his reasons for wanting to obtain the Triforce, and considering that Windwaker’s Ganondorf is the same that Link defeated in Ocarina of Time, that was a definite eye-opener. It seems that Ganondorf’s rage either had subsided over the many years or the time spent waiting had made him more patient and calculating than before. I really can’t see Twilight Princess topping this one in my book. The Link is so unlikeable … so bland. Zelda and Ganon will definitely have to make up for his shortcoming, unless there’s a twist I’ve yet to encounter.

The only gripes I have about the game are the lack of changeable camera axes and a few irritating platforming quirks (the engine is really picky about what ledges Link can grab while he’s in mid-air). The latter is bothersome for the first few dungeons, but quickly becomes moot as the dungeons begin emphasizing correct use of your tools and weapons.

One more down for the Gamecube backlog. Metroid: Prime next?

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