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‘The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker’ brings back the memories, only shinier

Zelda-WW-33I generally stay away from personal narratives when it comes to game previews, but The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker remake merits an exception. The Legend of Zelda titles are games that have a sense of innocence and joy. They often depict violence, but it is always portrayed like a fairy tale. Even while the stories are complex, the themes are simple and timeless. 

When The Wind Waker was released in 2003 (in America; it hit Japan the year earlier), it came during a particularly rough patch in my life. The details don’t matter. It wasn’t a “eating from a trashcan” bad time, or anything like it. It was just a rough time, and The Wind Waker actually was a game that I needed. Call it the right game at the right time, but it mattered, and it stuck. It was soothing, peaceful. It calmed me and brought a smile to my face during a time when those pleasures were rare.  

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Because of that, the HD remake was one of the first playable titles I bee-lined for at Nintendo during E3. And while the nostalgia can never fully recreate the original experience, I’m happy to report that it holds up. And now, someone else having a crappy time can experience this Zelda classic for themselves, now with 60fps.


Zelda-Wind-Waker-HD-09Cel-HD. When the game was originally released, it was met with a lot of skepticism. The cel-shaded graphics were derided as a departure for the series. The cartoony nature of the game rubbed some people the wrong way, and others saw it as a way to make the game more kid friendly at the cost of the aging fans of the series. They missed out.

The story takes place in a Hyrule covered in water, with only a few sections of land jutting out above the oceans. You can explore the entire world. There are secrets to be found, and a land to discover. It is charming and has a childlike innocence, but also plenty of twists. The cel-shading adds a humor throughout, and Link is endearing. It was a great game when released, and a great game today.


zeldaww120613 (9)GameCube meet GamePad. The original controller was unique, but it doesn’t take much to map it to the GamePad. All the buttons are there, and the touchscreen adds a new layer to it. With the touch capabilities, you can now drag items from your inventory to the buttons displayed. Once you enter for the button you want, it is mapped to that button. It makes it easy to switch things on the fly, and creates plenty of opportunities. The game was originally designed without it, though, so it just adds to the gameplay, although more as a convenience than a necessity.

You can also use the GamePad to physically move in order to move the camera. The touchscreen also changes the way you conduct music, an important feature in the game. The sailing has also been improved to make travel faster as well. It’s all little things, but it is an improvement.


WiiU_ZeldaWW_scrn01_E3The Legend of Graphics. The presentation is what the remake is all about. The cel-shading actually holds up fairly well, since it was based on art design instead of powerful graphics. The remake just makes things look crisper. The rough edges are gone, and the 60fps make the game move with more confidence.

It may not be enough to win people over that disliked the original, but it may make the game more palatable to people that skipped it but are looking for a Wii U game to try out. In fact, with the anemic Wii U library, this game skyrockets to the top of the list of best Wii U games.


If you missed it the first time, or if you have the time to replay the fairly lengthy game, then the HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is easily among the best games available for the Wii U. And if you are having a rough time, it will be there for you , just like it was for me. 

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Don’t expect Zelda’s $70 price to become the new Switch standard, says Nintendo
Link looks at his hand in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be Nintendo's first Switch game to be priced at $70. News that Tears of the Kingdom, a sequel to one of the bestselling and most critically acclaimed titles on the system, will have an increased price compared to its predecessor came as a surprise over three-and-a-half years after its announcement. It also raised questions about what the future of pricing for Nintendo games will be, especially as Sony, Microsoft, and third-party publishers all upped the cost of their new games in recent years. 
While Nintendo will release Tears of Kingdom at $70, a spokesperson for the company tells Digital Trends that this will not always be the case for its first-party games going forward. 
"No," the spokesperson said when Digital Trends asked if this is a new standard. "We determine the suggested retail price for any Nintendo product on a case-by-case basis." 
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Official Trailer #2
To get more insight into the price shift, I spoke to Omdia Principal Analyst George Jijiashvili, who explains what has caused the price of games to go up in recent years and how Tears of the Kingdom demonstrates that Nintendo will "remain flexible about first-party title pricing." Ultimately, Nintendo fans are finally starting to feel the impact of inflation that's been sweeping across the game industry, even if it's only "on a case-by-case basis" for now.
The price is right
Nintendo claims that not every one of its significant first-party game will be $70, and we can actually already see that in action. Preorders just went live for Pikmin 4, which launches on July 21, after Tears of the Kingdom, and it only costs $60. Still, Zelda's price tag indicates that going forward, Nintendo will at least consider raising the price of its most anticipated games to $70. But why start with Tears of the Kingdom?  
When asked why it chose Tears of the Kingdom as its first $70 Nintendo Switch game, a Nintendo spokesperson simply reiterated that the company will "determine the suggested retail price for any Nintendo product on a case-by-case basis." Still, it's a surprising choice for Nintendo to make that pricing change to just one exclusive game almost six years into the Switch's life span. Jijiashvili thinks the choice to do this with Tears of the Kingdom was a pretty apparent one for Nintendo, although it won't apply to everything going forward.
"If you are going to make a game $70, it's going to be the follow-up to one of your most critically acclaimed and bestselling games ever," Jijiashvili tells Digital Trends. "I don’t think that this means that $70 will become the standard price for all major Nintendo releases. It's worth noting that Metroid Prime Remastered is priced at $40. It's clear that Nintendo will remain flexible about first-party title pricing."

It makes basic financial sense for Nintendo to ask for a little bit more for a game it knows will be one of the biggest releases of 2023. But what factors in the game industry and world's economy at large caused Nintendo to make this decision? 
Priced Out
For more than a decade, people got comfortable with AAA video games being priced at $60. Of course, there were occasional exceptions to this rule, but it was seen as an industry standard until the dawn of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Publisher 2K was one of the first to announce a price increase, and companies like EA, Sony, and Microsoft have all followed suit. Jijiashvili chalks this up to inflation-related pressure on game publishers.
"The games industry has already been experiencing a lot of inflationary pressure," he explains. "AAA games are much more expensive to make now than they used to be, but prices have actually been declining in inflation-adjusted terms -- if prices had risen with inflation since 1990, they would now be over $90. On top of that, we’ve had a big burst of general inflation, meaning that publishers are looking at big increases in everything from salaries to tools. It’s going to be really hard for most publishers to avoid passing on all those extra costs at some point."
Jijiashvili provided us with a graphic created by Omdia that "shows what the typical price points for each generation would look like if you adjusted for inflation." As you can see, the inflation-adjusted prices are only exponentially growing, and the big game pricing shifts the graph highlights were all technically not even enough to keep up with inflation when they happened. 

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It’s official: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will cost $70
the legend of zelda tears kingdom price switch tloz totk screen 32

Nintendo confirmed that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will cost $70 at launch following its appearance at today's Nintendo Direct.

A press release for the February 8 Nintendo Direct confirmed as such after the price briefly got listed early on Nintendo's website the night before the event. The game will also get a $130 Collector's Edition that includes an artbook, Steelbook case, Iconart steel poster, and four pins in addition to a physical copy of Tears of the Kingdom.

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Everything announced at the February 2023 Nintendo Direct
Samus Aran stands tall in Metroid Prime Remastered.

Nintendo is the king of digital video game showcases, and the company jump-started its 2023 with another great show. This February 2023 Nintendo Direct gave us our best look at The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom yet, highlighted upcoming Nintendo Switch exclusives like Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, and Pikmin 4, and featured the shocking reveal and shadow drop of Metroid Prime Remastered. On top of all that, we learned thattwo new platforms are coming to Nintendo Switch Online.

We now have a clear idea of the Nintendo Switch's game lineup through the summer, so there's no doubt that this Nintendo Direct featured lots of notable announcements. As it can be hard to keep track of it all, we've recapped everything Nintendo announced during the February 2023 Nintendo Direct right here.

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