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