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Here's Why The Legend Of Zelda: Wind Waker Is Still Worth Playing In 2020

Upon release, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was host to fairly mixed reception. After all, it was more than tough to follow up the venerated The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. However, as hesitant as some may have been, Nintendo is a talented developer, to say the last. And while it didn't quite live up to the expectation of some, The Wind Waker absolutely holds up among the plethora of Zelda games. Above all, it is still a game undoubtedly worth any gamer's time in 2020.


The Wind Waker's story, part of the "Downfall Timeline" in the Zelda timeline, begins with Link partaking in a celebration on Outset Island. While celebrating, a giant bird disrupts everything by dropping Tetra, a pirate, onto the island and abducts Link's sister. Thus begins Link's journey to find his sister, Aryll.

What ensues is classic Legend of Zelda. Link confronts the evil Ganon in a battle that Link loses terribly, and Link must compensate by exploring temples to upgrade his abilities and the Master Sword. The game comes to a very satisfying conclusion after one of the series' most compelling journeys to date.

The game still looks and feels great

At the time of the game's launch, The Wind Waker's art style was widely disliked. However, nearly two decades after its release (and nearly one decade after its remaster), the graphics hold up remarkably well when compared to other releases of the time. With a unique cel-shaded look that can be seen in games of other genres like Borderlands, The Wind Waker paved a path for presentation, featuring an ageless art style.


The Wind Waker is also as exciting as any Zelda game where its dungeons are concerned. Located on multiple islands, these deep, winding locales maintain their challenge through and through. Each one requires the use of Link's iconic toolset and concludes with a memorable boss fight.

The tools and combat also put up a fight against the greatest Zelda titles. Breath of the Wild was, so to speak, a breath of fresh air, turning combat on its head with insanely challenging boss fights and mini-bases. But even in The Wind Waker, you have combat mechanics refined to a tee, and they're far more reliable than the motion controls that would follow in Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword.

Many years later, it's still worth a playthrough

There are some valid criticisms that remain an issue in 2020, including the game's sailing system. To go from island to island, you must travel by boat, which wouldn't be an issue if either the islands weren't so far apart or the boat were a bit faster. Fortunately, the Wii U version sort of amended this issue with an optional sail that speeds up the boat. However, those who stick with the Gamecube iteration are in for an unfortunate slog in terms of travel between islands.


The Wind Waker has its naysayers, but the game remains a worthwhile play in 2020, especially for Zelda series completionists. While many of its mechanics may be refinements of iconic Zelda gameplay, The Wind Waker was nonetheless Nintendo's first attempt at rocking the proverbial boat. Nearly two decades later, it remains one of the most memorable entries within the constantly-transforming Legend of Zelda franchise, and is certainly worth a playthrough in 2020.