Zelda: Wind Waker.
Link's latest adventure previewed with Movies, Artwork and Screenshots

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker for Nintendo Gamecube (Title Screen). (c) Nintendo 2003

Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Preview

19th March 2003

Preview - Released for the Nintendo GameCube: 24th March 2003 in US, 3rd May 2003 in Europe.

So the world has seen Shigeru Miyamoto's latest masterpiece, and is it good or what?!  With 560,000 pre-orders 9 days before its stateside release, LOZ:WW is set to come racing out of the traps as the fastest selling game ever - shattering records set by Vice City for the PS2. The gaming world spilt coffee all down the front of its shirt when the first cel-shaded screenshots were released almost a year ago. One half screamed heresy and vile murder that the big N had foregone the a realistic rendering style. Another half quietly murmured "Hmmmm, it actually looks quite good." And any leftovers probably (wisely) said "Has anyone actually played this thing? You know, gameplay is actually more important than graphical style." But these voices were drowned out.

Shigsy seems to have carried over Link's fighting style from Super Smash Bros & SSB Melee to this latest episode of the Zelda saga. But the straightforward slash, charge and spin moves from Zelda's 1 and 3 (A Link to the Past) are present and Zelda purists will love Nintendo for that alone.

The timing of this release is more crucial than the big N could have imagined. Nintendo faces a GameCube sales plummet in Europe; several UK retailers have announced NGC price cuts and bargain bundles that, less than one year after release, reek of a clearout sale. Luckily enough, Nintendo's gaming and financial roots go deep though, and GameCube failure will far from rule out future gaming machines from the Japanese video game masters. Already, one video game giant SEGA has abandoned the console market altogether, now reduced to a games company, albeit one of the best around. Nintendo will not end up like this, as the GameBoy series of handhelds looks set to keep the company's factories busy for a good few years yet. But it has constantly lost ground in the battle for under-TV floor space since it's peak in the late 80s and early 90s. The Nintendo NES (Facmicom) system was by far the best selling 8-bit console. The SNES (Super Famicom) did well in the West against SEGA's Genesis (Megadrive) with honours roughly even in global sales. As 3D consoles arrived, Nintendo was desperately late introducing the N64, especially here in Europe and faced an uphill struggle to compete with Sony's massively popular Playstation. A struggle in which it failed. Now Nintendo's flagship machine is only the third best seller out of a market of 3, a position to which the Big N are not accustomed.

The GameCube's sales, despite an initial flurry have been surpassed by those of Microsoft's X-Box and lapped several times by those of Sony's Playstation 2. Link now has his toughest task by far on his hands, not just the future of Hyrule, not the rescue of Zelda, but the salvation no less of the Nintendo GameCube itself.

 

...preview movies:

Zelda: Wind Waker Movie No.1 - Windows Media / 1,634KB.

Zelda: Wind Waker Movie No.2 - Windows Media / 1,794KB.

Zelda: Wind Waker Move No.3 - Windows Media / 1,339KB.

You will need Windows Media Player to watch these videos, all are encoded at 256kbps for medium quality.

...screenshots:

Zelda: Wind Waker Artwork Gallery. Feast your eyes on these beautiful snippets of Zelda artwork.

Zelda: Wind Waker Screenshot Gallery. We have nearly 100 screenshots of LOZ:WW for you!

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