The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker uses a clever mixture of 3D graphics and 2D graphics (almost ‘cel’ style graphics) to create a fantastic fantasy world, with detailed, animated 3D characters, enemies and environments. Yes, Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask were 3D Zelda adventures too, but the N64 was nowhere near a match for the GameCube‘s graphical power, so the level of finesse and detail in the models and animations in this game is so much better.
Gameplay-wise: it is pretty much like every other Zelda game. Basically: dungeon crawling interspersed with children’s storytelling. But all done in such a way as to make every minute of play enjoyable.
What makes this particular Zelda game unique and memorable is the ‘sailing’ aspect of the gameplay. Giving you a boat, and setting you out to sea. And when you first get your sail, and can actually set out for the high seas, it is something of a thrill. Still.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is a stand-out title on the Nintendo GameCube. Something that Nintendo obviously put a lot of effort into. And it shows.