Batman: Arkham Origins DLC cancelled on Wii U

In the latest bad news to hit Wii U owners, Warner Bros have today said they are cancelling all the planned Wii U DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins.

In a statement, Warner Bros say, “Based on demand for DLC content on the system, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has made the decision to remove its offering of the upcoming all-new story campaign for Wii U.” Those who have stumped up the cash for the Season Pass will be fully refunded.

It’s the  latest in a long line of bad news for the struggling console. Earlier this week there were murmurings of Watch_Dogs being cancelled on the system, something which has yet to be confirmed or denied.

Dragonball Z: Battle of Z

We’re not going to lie, at Gamestyle we know of Dragonball, but our knowledge is that is exists and that is about it. So jumping into Dragonball Z: Battle of Z was done pretty much blindly. Literally not knowing what to expect, we came out of it rather impressed to the point where we’re eager to find out more about the Anime itself.

However, back to the game, what you have here is an arena battle game, that has plenty of focus on the action. You control one of the characters from the popular anime series and battle your way through various missions.

There is a story behind this all, which may well make sense to fans of Dragonball Z, but to those coming in from outside, it may not be easy to follow, but essentially each mission has an intro and uses the basic outline of plots around Dragonball Z to allow missions to be set up. Honestly, we were left a little lost with what any of the plot really meant, but that doesn’t mean you cannot have a good time with the game.

Each mission is a decent sized arena, controlling one of four players from a party in the single player mode, you need to defeat all the enemies that appear, including a few different bosses, the further you progress, the more difficult the battle become. Playing is pretty simple too, with controls for flying and running, different types of attacks, modifiers for those attacks and various unique specials for each character.

Everything is fast and frantic and it can be a little overwhelming at first, but you will get used to the mechanics fairly quickly and feel you are more in control of things than when you first start. It is the little touches that you need to grasp, such as being able to command your party to perform in a certain way, such as going all out and attacking everything they see.

The issue is, that missions don’t really flow in a way that explain things properly. You will need to feel your way around a little as the hint boxes that do appear are filled with references to the world of Dragonball Z, which again for newcomers won’t make sense, but do for fans. It is an issue, but one that can be overcome a few missions down the line.

As you complete missions you are rewarded with XP and cards which can be used to upgrade your character. The cards you earn have various categories and will improve things like defences, attack, health, speed, specials and more. Some cards can 0nly be used once you reach a certain level and they can be split across your party. It requires a bit of thinking and planning to work out how to divide up your earned cards and on whom, as whilst possible to bulk up your own character, you can leave the other three members of the party weak, which can make missions all the more difficult.

This isn’t immediately obvious though and again it takes some feeling around before you get a decent grasp of how this best works. As you can also buy Premium cards from Premium Points earned through battle, which supposedly give you even greater benefits, over the card earned through the battle themselves. It again has a bit of an assumption that the player is familiar with the series and doesn’t exactly help the newcomer.

It isn’t just a single player experience though and outside the main missions, there are the options for a co-op mode, which allows you to team up with friends to take on missions and also a battle mode which is as it says, a way to just jump in and do battle. The battle mode is great fun and has various modes attached to it, with the kind of variation you’d expect from an established FPS.

You have standard 4v4 battles where you simply have to beat the opponents more than they beat you, score based 4v4 where you battle to reach a score count before the opposition a free for all mode, where teams are out the window and it is every man for himself and also Dragonball Grab, which see teams battle to get the 7 Dragonballs around the level, similar to a capture the flag type affair.

The netcode works really well on the Vita and is actually a hell of a lot of fun. Unlike online modes for other genres, you actually feel like you can compete, learning the controls and mechanics in the single player and using what you have learned for online. Even on the very first play you don’t feel too overwhelmed, or that you are wasting your time trying to compete, it is fantastically balanced.

One main criticism is that perhaps the game is a little too easy, at least early on. Of all the missions played we were able to pick up an SS rank, even on levels we weren’t particularly sure on what we were doing. However they do get a bit more challenging later on, where you will fail on occasions, but again it seemed to be fail or get a top rank, there didn’t seem to be anything in between.

What this game has done though as mentioned at the start, is peak our interest, we want to find out more about Dragonball Z, from previous games to the Anime itself. One thing we did pick up on, is how good the visuals for the game are when compared to the Anime, it is a faithful representation and feels like an extension of what exists, rather than a cheap cash-in based on the licence. Something that not every licensed game has been able to do.

What really impresses is the amount of content available, even after a good few hours of play, it doesn’t feel like you have scratched the surface, each level will take between ten and twenty minutes and never feels like you are grinding or repeating what you are doing too much. It provide a very well put together game which is very hard to put down once you start playing.

Dragonball Z: Battle of Z is a decent game, that anyone can dive into, but it is one aimed at fans first and foremost. Fans will lap it up, but there is room for the newcomer, as long as they are willing to take their time to buy into it and learn more about the Dragonball Z world.

Final Fantasy 14 comes to PS4 on 14th April

Final Fantasy 14, the MMO that got brought back from the brink of death is now heading to the PS4. The best news being, if you’re already playing the game on PS3, transferring to the new console is absolutely free.

The beta begins 22nd February and anyone can play. Pre-ordering will also gain you an Early Access weekend going from 11th-13th April and two in-game items (Mog Cap and Cait Sith Doll Minion).

Here’s the launch trailer:

Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn is PS4 bound on the 14th April. First 30 days are free, following this the price is £7.69 per month.

Borderlands 2 Review

There’s nothing quite as subjective as comedy and the characters of Borderlands 2 will either irritate or please, sometimes even both in equal measure. From the weird rap nonsense of Tiny Tina to the cackling, evil tones of Handsome Jack, Borderlands 2 is built on a bizarre world that relies on how much you enjoy its colourful cast of characters. And for us, we definitely loved our time with these crazy people.

While a continuation of the story seen in Borderlands, it’s not imperative that you have played it in order to understand the story. The sequel being most welcoming for newcomers giving the player four new characters to control, the commando Axton, the siren Maya, the gunzerker Salvador and the assassin Zer0. All four of these being Vault Hunters, new to the planet of Pandora who have found themselves in a trap set by the games villain Handsome Jack. Once escaping said trap they team up with Claptrap in order to help bring down Jack and stop him from using the vault for his own nefarious means. There are also the returning characters, including the original Vault Hunters from the first game, and the more secondary characters like Dr Zed and cosplay favourite Moxxxi. Each coming with their own selection of missions and comedic moments. A smile was definitely raised when invitations to Claptrap’s party had to be handed out, none of who chose to attend, cue awkward dancing and hanging around for a couple of minutes while bad music plays.

The framework of Borderlands 2 is close to the original, with loot being grabbed, missions being collected and a whole host of creatures and soldiers standing between you and Handsome Jack. It’s neither an update nor a revolution of the mechanics, more an evolution. The FPS gameplay still remains largely unchanged. Shooting feels great with the amount of guns at your disposal staggering. From sniper rifles to shotguns, each weapon has a specific manufacture that comes with their own strengths. With some giving specific damage types, such as corrosive and fire, with some guns even exploding when they’ve ran dry.   This also carrying into the grenade types and shields. The way you approach each combat situation largely depending on what weapons you have equipped, making each battle somewhat tactical, especially when certain enemy types are weaker to certain elements. Coming up against a robot? Then give corrosive weaponry a try. It’s one of the most satisfying shooters in some time.

Then there’s the added ability each character comes equipped with. The commando Axton for instance is able to drop a turret once the skill is fully charged. This then can be levelled up once you gain experience points, as well as the usual shields, health and weapon damage. With plenty of side missions available there’s plenty of opportunity to raise your characters level, with each mission handily letting you know whether this is a too tough for you at your current ability or merely a walk in the park.

Of course, much like the original the game really comes alive in multiplayer. Joining your friends for missions is a delight and works really well. But that’s not to say it lives and dies on its online multiplayer. Even in single player the game is a blast with an absolute ton of content, the world of Pandora being a massive place with variety far outweighing that of its predecessor. From large desert lands that can be traversed by vehicle, ice covered mountains, all the way to luscious green fields and towering structures, there’s plenty to see and do. Made even more impressive with the vibrant Borderlands art style. A cartoony world, with a visceral edge, as limbs fly and heads explode. The only issue with the graphics being the texture pop-in. An issue that plagues far too many games, as it takes a number of seconds before all the textures finally appear.

What the original Borderlands did so well has been grabbed and near perfected with this sequel. The comedy may be hit and miss, but it thrives on its shooting and loot grabbing. Many hours of fun will await you in Pandora.

Dead Rising Collection arrives on Xbox 360 in March

Following hot on the footsteps of the Fable Collection announcement, Capcom have today announced that Dead Rising will be getting it’s own collection on the Xbox 360. Companies are clearly trying to get every last drop out of the last gen consoles as they possibly can.

The Collection contains Dead Rising 1, 2, Case West, Case Zero and Off the Record. The Dead Rising series is favourite with many people and this collection definately gives you your moneys worth.

The Dead Rising Collection hits Europe on the 7th March.

The Last Of Us: Left Behind Trailer

What better way to celebrate Valentines Day than a post-apocalyptic, zombie infested world? That’s what Naughty Dog thinks anyway with the impending release of The Last Of Us: Left Behind.

This new DLC story set before the events of the main game see’s Ellie team up with new character Riley. Well, “new” to those who’ve only played the game, Riley actually first appeared in the Dark Horse comic The Last Of Us: American Dreams.

With little over three weeks away we have a trailer (opening cinematic) for the DLC, showcasing the relationship between Ellie and Riley.

The Last Of Us: Left Behind is out 14th February. And look for our review shortly thereafter.

OlliOlli Review

There are few games that you can both love and hate at the same time. Games such as Super Meat Boy and Trials do just that, add to that list OlliOlli a skateboarding game that is so much more. 

The to aforementioned games are ones that will test your patience and reaction skills to the limit. Forcing you to be at your limits the entire time you play. With Super Meat Boy it is about pixel perfect reactions, whereas Trials is all about taking perfect lines and judging your positioning to perfection. OlliOlli is somewhat of a mix of the two.

You basic goal is to get the best possible score at the end of each run, performing various well known tricks from the skateboarding world. Added to that are various goals that can be completed, such as collecting items, performing certain tricks, getting set score combos, no grinding an entire level, not hitting the ground in an entire level, not grinding at all while hitting a set score, plus much, much more besides.

Unlike other games the controls aren’t natural and easy to grasp from the start, instead it requires you to relearn everything you know about skateboarding games. Tricks are performed entirely on the left stick, but there isn’t a jump button as such, you ollie by initiating a trick on the left stick. You do use the x button however and that is for landing, hit it just right and you’ll get a bonus perfect score. Mis-time the landing and you can ruin an entire run, or at the very least blow a combo.

It can be very daunting to start with, it doesn’t feel right to hit a button to plan a landing, nor does it feel right to perform an entire trick list on the left stick alone. However this is a game about challenging your credentials as a gamer, to adapt and master something new and OlliOllu does this to absolute perfection.

Early levels are simple enough and whilst not easing you into the game, they do give you time to get used to the control system, even if you won’t master it until mush later on in the game. The first time you nail a proper combo feels uplifting, as you hit a flip trick followed by a grind and a perfect landing, you think you have the game in hand.

However, it isn’t as simple as that, as the further you progress, the more complex the levels become, the line between getting a solid score and failing becomes ever smaller. What you think you know already, you find you don’t know at all. All of a sudden levels require pixel perfect timing, making sure you start a trick at the perfect moment, to land that grind, before landing on a flat surface, That flat suface gives you but a fraction of a second to then perform the next trick. Don’t get that timing perfect and you will faceplant…and trust us, you will faceplant a lot. A Lot!

Play this in public and you will look like a crazy person, you may well find the men in white coats escorting you away. Why? Because the average person will find it more than a little odd, that you are screaming and swearing at a small bit of black plastic. They will find it even stranger when you start laughing uncontrollably like a maniac when something does go your way. But that is the effect the game will have, much like Trials and Super Meat Boy. Those games though could only be played in the relative privacy of your own home. On the Vita, you do risk being outside in public, on a bus, in a fast food establishment or in the loo at work… yeah, that might cause a bit of grief if the boss hears those noises coming from the restroom.

It does that rewarding frustration right, you know that when things go wrong, it may well be your fault and you know you can get it right next time, or the time after that, well maybe the time after that? Luckily, it has the instant restart ability, where you aren’t waiting for a loading screen, you fail, you start, you fail, you start, you fail…well you get the idea.

Each level has a set of standard goals and also pro goals. For those who can get through all of those will get hit with a set of Rad goals, which will test you abilities even further, pushing your skills all the way to the limit and beyond. If you don’t hit perfect grinds and landing, you fail. You literally need to be perfect all the way through and that is far from easy. We promise you that after a decent session, your hands will hurt, you know this, but still you will go back for more.

Aside from the main levels, you can also take on Spots. Where you must take on much smaller levels and grind to get the best possible score. Hit the ground and it is over. You can however go back again and again, taking your new found skills to try and get a better score. These are but a mere distraction, a fun distraction though.

What is brilliant though and something that appears to be coming more of a thing in gaming, is the daily challenge, or Daily Grind as it is known here. Each day a new level is produced and everyone in the world gets access to this same level for 24 hours. The idea is to go and get the best possible score and be at the top of the leaderboards.

What can often be the issue with leaderboards on score attack games, it that someone somewhere will find an exploit that means they will pretty much top it all the time. What OlliOlli does is pretty clever though, you can practice a level as many times as you want, learn the best line, find a way to get the best possible score. However, you get but one chance to post a score to the leaderboards. That’s it, one chance. Make a mistake after a few seconds, that’s it, game over, you have posted your score and that is it, no do overs. It’s brilliant, as it levels the playing field, you could get lucky and post a huge score one day, but the next time out mistime a landing and blow that days effort. Whilst initially sounding a bit frustrating, it works really well and if anything makes you more determined to go back day after day to do better.

By having simple graphics on a 2D plane means you can see clearly what you should be doing, you aren’t distracted by a camera needing to be in the right place at the right time, there is no chance of a run being ruined as you struggle to see where you are landing, or where you should be doing next. They aren’t bad graphics by any stretch of the imagination, the visuals are stunning as is the music, seemingly hitting your subconscious and aiding your focus.

The only issue with the game, and it is a minor gripe, is that the leaderboards aren’t all that intuitive. They do show you who is at number one, they also tell you where you sit in the world rankings, but there is no way to see how you compare to your friends. It really is missing that ability. Being able to get proper bragging rights would have just been the cherry on the icing on the cake.

You will be frustrated, you will swear more than you have at any point in your life before, but you will have one amazing sense of accomplishment when you complete goals and levels. OlliOlli is one amazing game, it is an instant classic. If you own a Vita, you need to pick this up right away.

Fable Trilogy Coming Next Month

It has been announced that the Fable Trilogy is to be released for Xbox 360 on 7th February.

The Trilogy contains Fable 2 and 3, as well as Anniversary, which is the upcoming remake of the first Fable game. The Fable 1 remake also being released as a standalone product on the same day. It was first spotted on the Xbox Live Marketplace which says, “the games in this bundle are available as individual downloads in the Xbox Games marketplace and are exactly the same”, meaning don’t expect any further enhancements.

The first two games in the series being critically acclaimed, and rightly so, only let down slightly by the usual Peter Molyneux over-selling where there’s no way it could live up to the hype and ambition. Fable 3 fared less better, but was still an enjoyable adventure. If you’ve yet to experience the series then this will definitely be worth checking out.

Lionhead have stated that they will be sharing more details on Anniversary and the Trilogy pack soon.

Super Mario 3D World Review

Nintendo are masters of their craft. Even with a series that has seemingly been around since the dawn of time, they still manage to amaze, astound, and create a sense of wonder that takes you back to your childhood years. All of these feelings come thick and fast with Super Mario 3D World. The time to own a Wii U is now.

Following the Super Mario Bros 2 rules, the playable characters are Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad, each having a different feel to their jumping. Following the initial character selection you’re treated to a charming little cut scene showing Bowser once again cause havoc and kidnap a bunch of fairy-like creatures called Sprixies. It’s nothing if not predictable, but then you don’t exactly play Mario games for their intricate plot.

Starting off as very reminiscent of Super Mario 3D Land, the best Mario game on the 3DS, levels are fully 3D, but still have that element of 2D about them. Able to walk around in a full 3D space, the majority of levels do still have a clear beginning and end, as opposed to the more exploration focus of a Mario 64 or Galaxy. The levels themselves are nothing but a joy, with not a single blemish in the many worlds you’ll explore. They may follow the familiar pattern of old (Ice, desert, fire etc.), but they do enough different with each level that you won’t care. From the short, but sweet Mario Kart throwback to the water slide dinosaur ride, each one will produce a smile on even the most jaded gamer’s face. It also helps that the game looks absolutely gorgeous. Who needs next-gen?

Mario and co do have a new suit to add to their already impressive arsenal, in the form of the cat suit. A lot has already been said about it, as it’s really hard to miss with cat Mario adorning the box and, for some reason, being one of the things pushed by Nintendo. Despite its weird and a little disturbing aesthetic, it does add to the experience. Giving the player the ability to climb up walls for a short time and a couple of new attacks, the wall climbing being the most important element, as it will be needed a lot when it comes to finding the hidden items across each level. It is a little disturbing though as while wearing the suit Mario will be running around on all fours and making cat noises. The fact that somewhere there was a 58 year old man in a recording booth making cat sounds into a microphone is a little disconcerting.

Aside from creepy cat suits there is also the addition of a cherry power up that clones the character. The more cherry power ups collected, the more clones created. Much like the cat suit there are levels built well around this feature, and that’s really what sets Mario 3D World apart from other games. Everything has a purpose, it’s a master-class in design that few companies are able to create. While, much like Nintendo’s other recent offering A Link Between Worlds, 3D World has one foot firmly rooted in the past while still exploring new ideas and gameplay tricks. There is a definite nostalgia in each world, with levels inspired by other games in the series, while classic themes are played and enemies re-appear.

The features of the Wii U are utilised, albeit sparingly. Firstly, after each level you’re able to post messages to the Mii-verse, it can be anything from helpful advice to your general opinion on the level, or maybe a terrible joke which was seen all too often. There are even stamps that can be found in each level depicting characters in the Mario universe that can be used in each message. It’s a simple system that has its charm. On top of this there also a few areas where the touch screen comes into play. Just simple pressing the block to make It move situations that thankfully don’t get too complex, as anyone whose held a Wii-U gamepad will attest, multi-tasking can be a challenging thing, especially when pinpoint jumping precision will be required.

What starts off as almost a walk in the park soon becomes a surprising challenge, with the latter worlds costing many a life. The challenge mostly coming from collecting the three stars hidden across each level, most being in hard to reach places that require platforming finesse. And once the final boss is defeated, it’s certainly not over yet as a further challenge rears its head.

A mastery of games design, Super Mario 3D World shows that Nintendo are still on top of their game. Blending the old and the new into platforming gold, this is everything we could’ve wanted and more. The reason to own a Wii U has arrived.

King Oddball Review

King Oddball from 10tons developers of the competent Sparkle, comes to PS Vita. Another of their iOS games to make the jump.

Upon initial inspection, it appears to be another Angry Birds clone, but it does try to differentiate itself with a different approach to the tried and tested gameplay mechanics.

Unlike Angry Birds, King Oddball seems to rely less on luck and a lot more on planning and proper puzzle mechanics. With Angry Birds you can aim the same shot time and time again, only to achieve different results, the layout of the levels can mean it is difficult to know where your aim is going.

Here though it is different, the levels are single screen, no scrolling across to access the layout, it is all there on screen. You control King Oddball from the top center of the screen and by using his long tongue, you fling rocks at the ‘enemy’ which consist of tanks, choppers, soldiers, etc.

It uses a swinging mechanic to launch the rocks, with a simple tap of the screen. The rock must then hit the items on the screen with the objective being to clear the level of enemy targets. It is fairly standard stuff, but it does work, you do feel in control of what is happening. Fail a level and you can go back and take another approach. You know what actions will work and what won’t.

You start with three rocks, but you can earn bonus efforts in numerous ways, such as getting combos, or hitting King Oddball in the head. Working out a strategy to earn extra rocks becomes vital in later levels, as clearing with three becomes impossible, but that does add to the depth of the mechanics somewhat.

There a tons of levels to play, consisting of the basic levels, followed by specialist levels, that require you to complete levels with a single rock, or detonate all the grenades, collect the diamonds, etc. Whilst finishing the standard levels may only take a few hours, the extra content will really challenge you.

What is interesting is that the game does away with any type of scoring system, there is no star for completing levels, no value to how much of a level you clear. It is simply, pass or fail. Initially it seems a bit odd, but in all honesty it is kind of refreshing, you clear a level and move on, it is as simple as that. There is no real need to retread older levels, which is perfectly fine.

It isn’t a game that particularly stands out in terms of visuals either, it isn’t a bad looking game, but neither does the art style set it apart. It has a simplicity about it that works for what it needs to do.

It isn’t a game with much substance, it isn’t one that will eat all your time, but it is a fun little time waster for when you have a spare five minutes. It won’t take up much space on the memory card either, coming in at a very low 23MB, it can sit there on the card for as long as you have levels to complete. It’s not an essential purchase, but you could do a hell of a lot worse and you will have some good times with an interesting take on a tiered genre.

Rambo: The Video Game Gets New Trailer

Announced back in 2011, it’s been a long while coming, but we’re now getting closer to the release of  another John Rambo massacre.

A new trailer has been released, which you can see below.

Let’s be honest, it may not appear to be the most sophisticated of games, but if this captures the utter bloodshed and insanity of the third and fourth Rambo films then it should be fun. Hopefully.

Rambo: The Video Game arrives  on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Currently no release date has been set in stone, but Amazon have the game listed as a late February release. That’s the best we got.

Ubisoft Announce Far Cry Wild Expedition

London, UK — January 9th 2014 — Ubisoft announced today that to celebrate the 10-year Anniversary of the Far Cry® franchise, a complete compilation called Far Cry The Wild Expedition including Far Cry ClassicFar Cry 2Far Cry 3 andFar Cry 3: Blood Dragon will be released in the UK. The compilation will be available on February 14th, 2014 in the UK for the Sony PlayStation®3 Computer Entertainment System, Xbox®360 and PC for £29.99.

In addition to the release of this retail compilation, Far Cry Classic will be available on February 12th as a standalone downloadable title for the Xbox LIVE Arcade and the Sony PlayStation Network at the price of £7.99.

Each Far Cry game included in the The Wild Expedition compilation offers a unique storyline and setting that will keep gamers engaged for hours as they experience the expansive open world beauty, original narrative and the memorable characters all combined with classic Far Cry FPS gameplay.

Far Cry Classic – Far Cry Classic is the premiere and ultimate console version of the very first Far Cry game. Take the role of charter boat captain, Jack Carver, who finds himself hunted by an unrelenting team of highly trained mercenaries in this nature-gone-wrong FPS adventure. This HD revamp features stunningly realistic foliage, real-time day and night cycles, drivable underwater and flying vehicles which you can commandeer, and more…

Far Cry 2 – Caught between two rival factions in war-torn Africa, you are stricken with malaria and forced to make deals with corrupt warlords on both sides of the conflict in order to hunt down your mark – The Jackal.  This version includes the full single-player campaign and Multiplayer.

Far Cry 3 – Beyond the reach of civilization lies a lawless island ruled by violence and human suffering.  This is where you find yourself stranded, caught in a bloody conflict between psychotic warlords and indigenous rebels, where your only escape is through drugs or the muzzle of a gun.  Includes the full single-player campaign, Multiplayer, and Co-op modes.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon – The year is 2007.  It is the future.  You are Sergeant Rex Colt: Mark IV Cyber Commando.  Earth has been ravaged by a nuclear war, which erupted in the 90s. Get the girl, kill the bad guys and save the world.  Includes the full single-player campaign.  “Packed with entertaining action and hysterical writing, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is an ‘80s-inspired blast.” – Kevin VanOrd, Gamespot.

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The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD

It’s clear that no other Zelda game from years gone by would look this good in glorious HD. Originally released on the Gamecube, Wind Waker had something of a rocky time at first. A complete revamp of the graphical style, it was met with scorn, ridicule and general hatred from the more vocal of Zelda’s fans. It was an amusing and downright sad turn of events. Those who were able to overlook this ‘kiddy’ aesthetic were then treated to one of the best games in the series. An opinion that remains unchanged ten years later.

Once again the story of Link battling the forces of evil who hope to obtain the Triforce, what Wind Waker lacks in an original setup it makes up for on this new land you’re able to explore. Gone are the green fields and high mountains of Hyrule, and in its place is the Great Sea. A massive ocean populated by a number of islands you’re able to traverse and explore. Riding along Hyrule Field on Epona may have been a great moment in Ocarina of Time, but there’s something even better about Wind Waker and travelling around the sea on your boat The King of Red Lions. Just travelling along the ocean and seeing the islands in the distance get closer and closer before you arrive makes this on par with any other open-world game. The only scar on this otherwise beautiful moment being the disappointingly high amount of pop-up you’ll encounter. Not to mention the occasional framerate hiccups that occurs when the action heats up. Seeing as this is, at its heart, a Gamecube game makes it disappointing that technically it’s not on par with its graphical enhancements.

More than just a straight up port, Nintendo has put in some effort in ironing out the issues people had with the original. Some animations have been improved, getting hit no longer sends you flying off your boat and there is now a new, faster sail where the wind is always behind you. Meaning there’s no more need to use the Wind Waker to change wind direction constantly. That is if you find this new sail. Instead of being given to you as part of the main quest, it’s found during a side mission, something that can easily be missed. Which is surprising considering this was one of the main improvements that people seemed to really get behind.

Aside from the gameplay enhancements control has been seamlessly translated over to the gamepad. The second screen essentially acting as a pause menu where you can access your items or the map. Dragging each item to a button in order to equip. First person items also being able to be controlled using motion control if you so choose.

Wind Waker is probably one of the few Zelda games where the overworld is more interesting to explore than the dungeons are to conquer. That’s not to say the dungeons are bad, far from it, it’s just that each square of the wide world holds so many secrets that the main story becomes secondary to exploration. With each new item becomes a whole new way of finding hidden areas, usually containing heart pieces or treasure charts. The charts revealing hidden items on the sea floor that can be pulled up to your boat. While dungeons may feel like they’re taking a backseat, they still offer enjoyable moments. They may not revolutionise the design (if you’ve played a Zelda game before most of the puzzles will feel familiar), but they are still fun to explore and offer a decent challenge.

The wonderful world of Wind Waker is probably why the latter section of the game was never really an issue. Without spoiling, it requires a lot of travelling across the Great Sea. Obviously aware that this was people’s least favourite part of the game, Nintendo have now streamlined this section of the game, taking less time than it did before. This could be considered a welcome addition or not, depending on your opinion of the original.

Wind Waker HD may not be the Wii U debut fans were hoping for, many people possibly would’ve preferred an all new adventure. But what it does show is that nobody makes games quite like Nintendo. After ten years Wind Waker is still as magical as it was when it was first released. The Wii U is all of a sudden looking like a console worth considering.