Zelda fans that have been hesitant to jump on the Wii U bandwagon may feel compelled to snap up the console as the heralded release of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker quickly approaches. Coupled with an unexpected price drop and a bundle that includes a 32 gig system and a code for a no-added cost download of the game from Nintendo’s E-marketplace, the Wind Waker Bundle has the potential to lure in at least a few Wii U hold outs with its debut in the E-store on September 20, 2013. Gamers preferring to purchase a physical copy will only have to wait until October 4th to buy it in stores.
The Wii U that will come with the bundle will be a special edition of the deluxe console in black with the game pad bearing a golden Hyrule crest and other symbols. The bundle will also include a digital copy of the Hyrule HIstoria- a compendium of The Legend of Zelda history previously published as a collectible illustrated book. A Wii U Bundle will also be available for the purists, containing Nintendoland at the same lower price, but with only half as much awesome. The physical copy of the game is being bundled with a Ganondorf special edition figurine, but good luck finding one. The Zelda fans have already preordered them into oblivion.
The new version of the beloved GameCube classic promises to address several gamer detested issues plaguing the original version, as well as adding some convenient new features. The Wii U version promises a new sail that will dramatically reduce in-game travel time. Players of the original game spent much of their game play pointing their ship in one direction, staring into a sea of blue pixels and hoping to strike land. The faster travel will make gameplay smoother and more congruent.
The new version of the game also delighted fans of the previous version by announcing a skip-able prologue. The infamous Wind Waker prologue takes players through a detailed history of Link and Zelda’s previous adventure in the Ocarina of Time to provide a backstory for this new adventure. The entire deal takes around three and a half minutes and is now entirely avoidable. The other cut scenes are not, however; maybe next time? The game can also be played solely on the gamepad- a feature not available on all Wii U games. This TV-freeing feature was a big selling point of the Wii U in the beginning, but has not influenced many to take the plunge.
Critics of Nintendo will argue that a digital version of a collectible book is of little value as is a digital version of a collectible game, but really it is the console that will make the sales here. This product is smartly being marketed toward a different demographic. It is not for children who spend time fake farming crops and befriending villages, it is for their parents. It is a system to feed the Zelda nerd in all of us: to take us back and let us apologize for tossing out that old GameCube, because we thought the next system would be better.
– Mallary Thompson