Best of ND 2013: Round Table: The Wind Waker, or A Link Between Worlds?

The staff weighs in on the legendary debate!

By Nintendojo Staff. Posted 12/28/2013 12:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

Sam Stewart

Because Zelda game releases are usually so few and far between each new game is like a gamer holiday. With two Zelda games releasing in the same year, and only two months apart, it’s becoming very difficult to contain my excitement. Both will undoubtedly be among my favorites of 2013, but when it comes down to it I’m more excited for A Link Between Worlds, simply because it’s an all new game.

The Wind Waker‘s new HD polish looks amazing, but it looked good when I excitedly played it for the first time back in 2003 as well. I’m going to enjoy sailing the Great Sea again, but there’s nothing new for me to see. All of its secrets have been unearthed (or un-ocean’d?).

A Link Between Worlds is bound to be chock full of new enemies, dungeons, items, abilities, and story. It’s been a long time since there has been a proper top-down Zelda game (I would say Flagship’s The Minish Cap was the last one), and I’m sure we will see plenty of new ideas in A Link Between Worlds. There have been some concerns that A Link Between Worlds will just be retreading the same ground as A Link to the Past, but anyone who has played that legendary game knows that isn’t a bad thing. Even though it is set in the same world, I know Eiji Aonuma and his team will create an awesome new game that can stand on its own. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s on the 3DS, my favorite current generation system.

Jason Strong

Let me start by expressing my absolute confidence that both Wind Waker HD and A Link Between Worlds are going to be fantastic experiences. I’ve played Wind Waker before so I can already personally attest to its gorgeous visuals, engrossing story, and endearing characters. A Link Between Worlds, meanwhile looks to be built upon the same fantastic foundation laid by it’s predecessor A Link to the Past over twenty years ago; a game viewed by many, myself included, as one of the greatest of all time. As the classic 1986 film Highlander stated, however, “There can be only one!”, and so I must declare the victor in this battle of gaming titans to be Wind Waker HD.

Returning to Wind Waker will be, for me, like returning to the pages of a beloved book from my childhood. Instead of an old worn out volume with boogers on the pages and a drawing of Batman in the back, however, I’ll be getting a flawlessly reproduced hardcover edition with a fresh coat of paint, improved user interface, and faster sailing! I can’t wait to revisit forgotten caverns, get reacquainted with old friends, and be overwhelmed yet again by every note of its perfectly composed soundtrack.

When I returned to Hyrule in the 3DS version of Ocarina of Time I was surprised at how well the game had held up; often finding myself declaring out loud to no one in particular, “This is amazing!” I expect nothing less from this remake of another classic Zelda title, and I look forward to throwing myself into its powerful clutches with no concern for my own health or well being.

My only regret is that I’ll be waiting for the physical copy as I just couldn’t resist that limited edition Ganondorf figurine!

Marc Deschamps

I’m sure Jason isn’t the only one tempted to grab The Wind Waker just for that Ganondorf figure. That’s a pretty awesome exclusive. I think I’m going to have to hold off on this one for a little bit, though. It’s going to kill me to do so, but this season is just jam packed with good looking games. I might be waiting on Christmas, sadly. It’s a shame, too. The Wind Waker was always one of my favorite Zelda titles, and I’m really happy to hear the Triforce quest has been streamlined a bit. That segment drove me crazy back in high school.

A Link Between Worlds looks beautiful but… I never even finished A Link to the Past. Heck, I’ve barely played it! Like Andrew, I always kind of sucked at top-down Zelda titles. Maybe it’s because my first Zelda experience was The Adventure of Link, but I couldn’t really get into the series until Ocarina of Time. And even then it took me a year to actually give it a chance! This year, I finally finished my first top-down Zelda game ever: Minish Cap. It was a lot of fun, but it was a very different kind of game than I was used to. I’m not in too big a hurry to jump into another top down Zelda experience, just yet.

Wind Waker gets the nod from me, but I’ll definitely keep my eyes on A Link Between Worlds.

Robin Wilde

I always have a problem when I write about Zelda– namely, I’m always accused of sidelining the 2D games. That’s not an accusation without merit, and I do accept that I don’t always give love to A Link to the Past etc. quite as much as I should. But hey, I liked Minish Cap and Four Swords Adventures!

Realistically, I’m going to get both games. I love Zelda and frankly I’m very much looking forward to them both, even if A Link to the Past wasn’t my thing. That said, Wind Waker HD still wins out in terms of my excitement level. Playing through the game now, it’s striking how well the visual style, derided as kiddy at the time, has aged. There are a huge variety of sidequests, collectibles, and challenges (like the Nintendo Gallery) to keep players occupied and I think it’ll definitely be a welcome addition even if it is old.

Not that I think A Link Between Worlds will be bad– far from it. If it follows in the vein of The Minish Cap then we’re in line for a charming adventure filled with quirky characters, great music taking place in a small but well-packed world. Frankly, it’s just a good time to be a fan.

Now that you’ve read our discussion, it’s your turn to have your say! Be sure to cast a vote in our poll if you haven’t already, and leave your thoughts in the comments!

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One Response to “Best of ND 2013: Round Table: The Wind Waker, or A Link Between Worlds?”

  • 1245 points
    lukas85 says...

    yeah it’s hard to choose, but as cool as the new zelda is i don’t think it reaches the level of awesomeness of the wind waker hd, granted, i haven’t beaten a link between worlds yet, so my opinion ay change, , i’ll be back to this post once i finished both games.

    Thumb up 1

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