The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Fab remake of classic game shines on Wii U.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Themes of courage, heroism, honor, duty, and bravery abound in this traditional fantasy adventure. Violence plays a prominent role in conflict resolution but it's generally quite cartoonish and sometimes even humorous.

Positive role models

Young Link makes a pretty good role model. He only fights when he needs to, and he's always willing to lend a hand to his neighbors and friends, whether that means cutting some grass or rounding up pigs. Plus, he's a devoted brother who risks his life to save his sister.

Ease of play

In-game tutorials teach players all of Link's moves and usually provide time for players to practice before they need to use them. However, younger players should know that some of the fights get a bit hairy, and the puzzles can take a while to figure out. To help kids, special "Tingle" bottles found within the game provide hints written by other players for that particular area. Players looking for a real challenge, meanwhile, can switch on Hero Mode whenever they like, which makes battles much more difficult. It can also be switched back off.

Violence

Players use traditional weapons, including a sword, a boomerang, a bow, and a shield, to fight cartoonish enemies, such as slimes, various types of goblins, bats, skeletons, and armored creatures. There's no red blood, but some enemies leak a bit of green liquid when struck. All simply disappear in a puff of smoke once defeated.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is part of Nintendo's popular Zelda franchise, which includes plenty of merchandise outside the game -- including toys and stuffed animals -- to tempt young fans.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Minor privacy and safety concerns. This game connects to Nintendo's Miiverse for Wii U, where kids can find user-generated content (messages, drawings) left by other players. This feature can be switched off by parents.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD is a cartoonish action game with a bit of light role-playing thrown in. The game's hero, Link, is a young boy who enjoys helping those in need and is particularly concerned with rescuing his little sister from some evil kidnappers. Players use weapons including a sword and a shield to fight a variety of fantastical creatures -- including goblins, skeletons, and bats -- who fall to the ground and disappear in colorful plumes of smoke once defeated.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • strategy
  • logic

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Beautifully rendered art and instantly intuitive controls ought to grab most kids' attention quickly and fully. It feels almost like you're playing a cartoon.

Learning Approach

Puzzles are incorporated into each area and require players to use a mixture of common sense, lateral thinking, and game experience to figure out how to bypass obstacles.

Support

Instructions are provided in-game. Special "Tingle" bottles within the game allow players to send and receive hints and helpful messages to and from each other via Nintendo's Miiverse community.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • solving puzzles
  • strategy
  • logic

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively

Kids can learn about strategy, puzzle solving, how to help others, and the strength of family bonds in this colorful and upbeat action/adventure game. Players will need to figure out effective tactics when fighting enemies and use logic to solve puzzles within the environment. They also have the ability to craft helpful hints and messages that they can send off for other players to find. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD's contextual conundrums and ability to let players help players make it an engaging learning adventure.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

What's it about?

Not a fresh Zelda adventure but rather a remake of a decade-old GameCube classic, THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER HD puts players in the green suit and pointy cap of a young boy who has come of hero's age. Tragedy strikes on his birthday when, shortly after learning how to use a sword and a shield, his sister is kidnapped by a giant bird. In hopes of finding her, Link decides to hitch a ride on a passing pirate ship. From there, he adventures far and wide to islands around the ocean, growing ever closer to the source of the evil that took his sister. Along the way he finds and equips himself with better and stronger weapons and items and learns new abilities, all the while fighting goblins and skeletons, helping people in need, and solving plenty of contextual puzzles so he can keep moving forward.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD isn't just a prettied-up, high-definition version of the game that came out in 2002. Nintendo's designers tweaked several key elements in an effort to create a better and more modern gaming experience. For example, you can now purchase an item called the Swift Sail that makes sailing from one location to another a much speedier process than in the original game. Also, the GamePad controller is put to use in several interesting ways, from offering an easy-to-reference map and inventory guide to providing a quick way to remap frequently used items to primary buttons. The screen can even be used to play the game away from the TV. Finally, a new Hero Mode, which can be switched on and off whenever you like, gives experienced players seeking a greater challenge a way to make battles much more difficult.

Whether these changes are enough to make older players who have sunk dozens of hours into the original game feel the need to play again is debatable. Still, Nintendo does a great job of modernizing a classic game and making it relevant to a fresh generation of younger gamers, many of whom weren't even born when The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker first came out.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in games. What criteria does your family use to determine whether a game is too violent for you and your siblings? Do you think the judgments are fair?

  • Families also can discuss gender roles in games. Why do you think the Legend of Zelda games don't put kids in control of Zelda, but instead a boy named Link must usually save the titular princess? Do you think many boys would refuse to play a game in which they controlled a female hero?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii U
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:October 6, 2013
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Adventures, Great boy role models
ESRB rating:E10+ for Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence (Nintendo Wii U)

This review of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written byCommonSenseReviewer October 7, 2013
 

Wind Waker HD is an excellent atmospheric action-puzzle game, as it was 10 years ago

Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was released a little over 10 years ago on the Nintendo Gamecube, and is now on the Wii U in high definition. The graphical update is significant and it is one of the best looking games of the year, but the core game itself has stayed the same. You play as Link, a boy hero who saves Princess Zelda from the evil Ganon. In doing so, the player must explore 7 different dungeons, each with logical puzzles that will require thought and enemies to conquer in sword fights. Each dungeon has an entirely different atmosphere, and it's incredibly immersive, especially with it's HD visuals. There is some mild violence, but it is cartoonish (not realistic in the slightest) and there is no blood. This game improves the flaws over the original Wind Waker by allowing the player to sail the sea faster (wasting less time) and an overly demanding quest near the end (which has been notorious for causing a lot of frustration) is cut in half. In the end, Wind Waker is one of the better games of the Zelda series and for all it's merits, this HD re-make deserves your attention. Strongly recommended, especially for kids.
Kid, 9 years old December 7, 2013
 

AWESOME

Get it. Just get it. The controller is great for tiny hands, but it does get hard at some points of the game. Sometimes it even stumped me! I also have to say just because it is cartoony does not mean it is bad!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 8 years old October 6, 2013
 

Zelda is FINE

Zelda is fine for 6 year olds. It has not very graphic violence, and all of my fiends have it.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence

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