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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    With my girlfriend we started to play good ole Zelda games.
    We played "Ocarina of Time" for N64, and I had a blast, great game, great story, great characters.
    We played "Majora's Mask" for N64, and it was awesome, possibly better than OoT, with interesting mechanics and a compelling story.

    Then we moved to "Wind Waker" for Gamecube. We read enthusiastic reviews, and were thrilled to start playing.
    Initially we were awed by the graphics. Cell shading is just so good, and the world seemed open and mysterious.
    Then we began sailing.

    tl;dr, we found the game graphically enjoyable, but incredibily boring, with dull, uninteresting characters, an unbearably slow pace and a world that promised a lot, but delivered very little. What did we miss?

    The full rant is spoilered for length.
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    Pirates seem...okay, it's not really clear why these pirates follow this Miss Tetra, who's clearly a tsundere, but let's carry on, pirates are always fun.

    We approach the Forsaken Fortress, interesting stealth phase - although somewhat misplaced in terms of game sequences (you give me the sword and you immediately take it away from me???). Then Windfall, apparently lots going on here, although everybody seems "difficult" to talk to, either trying very hard to be a "fun and cool character" or being just passive-aggressive in their disinterest towards us. Besides, it's clear that a lot of quests will have to wait until we get better items. Oookay, not too much to do on this island then. Let's leave.

    Dragon Roost Island and Cavern are a bit odd. You would expect a society of flying critters to live in an open and ample place, while instead they live in a grotto? Oh well, it doesn't really matter, we breeze through it (this game seems somewhat easy. Hm.) and off to the next destination.

    We decide to explore a little bit, and things start to go wrong. Sailing is boring. The sense of freedom is soon replaced by the tedious wait to move between essentially empty sectors. The sequence of operations becomes straightforward and loses all interest: change the wind, wait for the boat to go from A to B, give the bait to the fish, that gives random informations, check to see if there's something on the single island, leave. The island themselves, initially seemingly interesting and cool, proved to be all the same, with very little characterization and stuff going on on them. We were excited to find the Fairy Islands, but totally disappointed when the first three fairies gave us...larger wallets??? Fairies used to give magic and power, and now they just enable to carry more rupees???

    Speaking of rupees...what should I spend them onto??? We seriously couldn't understand what to buy: apart from bait, everything else was freely available by hacking at trees and grass. Granted, Zelda games never placed the accent on having rupees, but then what would have been an important part of the game and the pirating/sailing trope - namely treasure hunting - becomes just a tedious search for a useless commodity. Oh wow, we found another purple rupee in the sunken treasure chest. So thrill. Much fun. Very interest. Let's add them to the other 4500 rupees we already have.

    Ultimately, after the Tower of the Gods, we started seeing the game more as a chore than as actual fun. Going around was BORING. "Exploration" was a gamble hidden behind a time sink wall, with the risk that one could waste a lot of time and end up with NOTHING happening, which incidentally it's what happened to us: at a certain point we realized we had wasted 30 minutes going around, saying to ourselves "Maybe on the next island we'll find something cool", without ANYTHING going on. Islands were all the same, and anything we would find on them, we could find elsewhere. We stopped caring for treasures, it's just rupees, we have tons of them and we don't know what to do with them.

    We decided to finish the story mode, but we realized we didn't really care for any of the characters. Like, none of them. We didn't feel any attachment for any of them. And why would be? Any interaction with any of them was brief and meaningless, and even though that effing talking boat kept telling us how brave we were and how many perils we had gone through, we felt that nothing had really happened. It's at that point that we realized that we were very close to the end of the game, and that the only thing left was essentially what everybody considered a long, time-wasting, game of "fetch" to get thre Triforce.

    We decided to stop, and never touch the game again. What a waste of time, and what a pity, so many potentialities, wasted.
    What did we miss? Are we the only ones feeling that the game is unbearably slow, promising a lot but ultimately being and empty world dotted by uninteresting island, each one separated by minutes and minutes of meaningless sailing?
    Last edited by Cicciograna; 2020-01-21 at 11:01 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    I agree with you mostly, the game is too easy, slow, and repetitive for me to ever want to repay it. I don't regret playing it, I love the aesthetics and the story is charming (& dark at points), and to be honest, they did do a good job catching the feeling of sailing the open seas.

    Which is the problem, sailing is boring, and later in the game, when you just want to go somewhere specific to do something, taking five to ten minutes just doesn't respect your time. And you rarely get any payoff for exploring. Usually barren rocks with maybe rupees or a heart piece, things you don't really need. Same thing with dredging up sunken treasure.

    I'm not sure about your complaint with the NPC's, it's standard Zelda fare (for better or for worse). Personality-wise, this is my favourite version of Ganondorf, particularly the final fight with him (this doesn't count as spoilers).

    You just missed the game's money sink: the Triforce Quest involves paying Tingle 398 rupees per chart to decode it so you can find the Triforce piece; that's 3184 rupees total. This quest just kills the game's momentum, especially since you need the hookshot from the penultimate dungeon to get most of them, so you can't even have been slowly collecting them throughout the main story.

    I believe reading somewhere a long time ago that the developers had to rush the game to meet a deadline. A dungeon or two were cut, so the Triforce Quest was designed as filler to pad the game's length.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    Quote Originally Posted by Floogal View Post
    I agree with you mostly, the game is too easy, slow, and repetitive for me to ever want to repay it. I don't regret playing it, I love the aesthetics and the story is charming (& dark at points), and to be honest, they did do a good job catching the feeling of sailing the open seas.

    Which is the problem, sailing is boring, and later in the game, when you just want to go somewhere specific to do something, taking five to ten minutes just doesn't respect your time. And you rarely get any payoff for exploring. Usually barren rocks with maybe rupees or a heart piece, things you don't really need. Same thing with dredging up sunken treasure.

    I'm not sure about your complaint with the NPC's, it's standard Zelda fare (for better or for worse). Personality-wise, this is my favourite version of Ganondorf, particularly the final fight with him (this doesn't count as spoilers).

    You just missed the game's money sink: the Triforce Quest involves paying Tingle 398 rupees per chart to decode it so you can find the Triforce piece; that's 3184 rupees total. This quest just kills the game's momentum, especially since you need the hookshot from the penultimate dungeon to get most of them, so you can't even have been slowly collecting them throughout the main story.

    I believe reading somewhere a long time ago that the developers had to rush the game to meet a deadline. A dungeon or two were cut, so the Triforce Quest was designed as filler to pad the game's length.
    Its worth pointing out that the remake for the Wii-U substantially cut down on the Triforce Quest length, dropping the number of pieces and generally streamlining the process of obtaining it.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    Pretty close to my thoughts on the manner. Mind you, I didn't like the graphics, but found the sailing tolerable, though I did only a little bit of exploration. My big problem was the stupid Triforce Quest which was an utter drag and I simply could not be bothered to finish it.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    This was my favorite LoZ game. I loved the massive open environment and slower pacing, sometimes I would just sail for hours finding all the sea towers and clearing them. Il

    I thought the sailing was great, but I did want an autopilot on it so you could do more stuff while the ship was moving. Also missing out on using the big pirate ship as a fast travel system was a miss.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    Your description fit my own feeling about WW pretty accurately. It's for those reasons I find Breath of the Wild so much better.

    BOTW essentially does the same thing as Wind Waker by giving you a massive empty space to explore. The difference is that physically traversing the empty tracts of Hyrule's lands feels mpre tactile and dynamic. It sucks piloting a boat second-hand. It feels great controlling Link directly.

    BOTW's story is practically non-existent much like Wind Waker. Yes yes, I know WW has some deeper themes about letting go but they're not that profound or all that nuanced. Ultimately I found WW minute-to-minute interactions as shallow as any other Zelda.

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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    Couldn't disagree more. For one thing, no area of the map is empty; there's always something there. For another, WInd Waker is one of the few games with a proper money sink in the Auction House and Magic Armor (in the original you'll need to buy lots of magicpotions, and in the remake it just eats your gold directly).

    I quite enjoyed the combat, and look askance at the game being too easy. Not that it isn't very easy, but you just finished playing Ocarina a while ago and that game is dead simple, as are ALL Zelda games. Majora's Mask is a bit more brutal, but not too much so in the mandatory areas.

    Wind Waker brings the focus back on exploration rather than dungeon delving, though does provide some quite good dungeons to round things out. It's my favorite Zelda, tied with Majora's Mask, though I'm sure I'd like Breath of the Wild if I ever played it.

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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    I take issue with the framing of this thread. It is not an unpopular opinion at all. In fact, it is the consensus view about Windwaker, as can been seen even in this thread. It has been the consensus on every discussion about this game ever since it came out. There has never been a time when it was really an "unpopular opinion". And clickbaity titles like this really grind my gears.

    That said, I enjoyed Wind Waker, with my favorite part being the sailing and exploration. Then again, I was a fun of Mass Effect 1's Mako sections, so I'm definitely atypical in that regard.
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  9. - Top - End - #9
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    Quote Originally Posted by Floogal View Post
    I'm not sure about your complaint with the NPC's, it's standard Zelda fare (for better or for worse).
    I don't know, I felt attached to almost all the characters in the previous two games, starting with Saria (whom could be contacted with a dedicated ocarina song!), proceeding with the various characters in the Hyrule Castle, Impa, even the Gerudos; specifically, knowing that Ganondorf was indeed a Gerudo gave me a much deeper insight into them.
    Then, in MM, all the character you interact with while wearing the masks have their raison d'etre, and talking to them is always insightful, even if they just crack jokes or don't provide meaningful advancement to the plot. Even Tingle was always an enjoyable character to meet!

    In WW? Should I feel attachment to Aryll, whom I see for...two minutes? For the grandmother, whom likewise is left behind almost immediately? For Miss Tetra, who literally doesn't do ANYTHING except providing a mean of transportation? The relationship with Tetra is patricularly pretentious, because the game forces her into the role of a guide for a while, then hints to a tsundere-ish attitude that she has towards Link...for some reason. She's depicted as the spunky, brave pirate captain, but ultimately what does she do? At the end of the day, even with her, the interaction is short and meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Floogal View Post
    You just missed the game's money sink: the Triforce Quest involves paying Tingle 398 rupees per chart to decode it so you can find the Triforce piece; that's 3184 rupees total. This quest just kills the game's momentum, especially since you need the hookshot from the penultimate dungeon to get most of them, so you can't even have been slowly collecting them throughout the main story.
    Glad to have stopped before getting to this point, then, all of this sounds horrible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    This was my favorite LoZ game. I loved the massive open environment and slower pacing, sometimes I would just sail for hours finding all the sea towers and clearing them. Il

    I thought the sailing was great, but I did want an autopilot on it so you could do more stuff while the ship was moving. Also missing out on using the big pirate ship as a fast travel system was a miss.
    Fair enough, maybe simply I wasn't the intended target for a game like this, and maybe I need a faster pace to feel entertained.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Couldn't disagree more. For one thing, no area of the map is empty; there's always something there.
    I am sorry, we probably have a wildly different perception of "emptiness". When I started playing, the huge universe looked like a boon to me, a vast expanse of sea, many islands around, a blessing. Having deperately loved "Sid Meier's Pirates" in all the forms of this videogame, from the relaxed, laid back Amiga version to the swashbuckling remake on modern PC's, I thought that sailing on the sea of the Wind Waker map would have been a great experience. Boy, was I wrong.
    There are 49 sectors in the world, each one sized "7000 x 7000" in whatever units the game uses, doesn't really matter. What matters is that those 7000 x 7000 are essentially empty, because the two levels of zoom show that all the islands are enclosed into 200 x 200 squares: even assuming that the 200 x 200 squares were completely filled, the ratio between "land" and "sea" in each sector would be at most 8E-4, or 0.08% if you prefer. And this, of course, is the best case scenario, in which each island fills up those 200 x 200 units, whereas the vast majority of them is just a speck in the sea.

    The islands themselves are unassuming pieces of rock with barely anything useful on them. Again, we probably have different preferences about what to find in games, but I find way more appealing a smaller number of better fleshed out locations, with a history, characters, and features, in which I can spend a sizable amount of time, rather than a motley assortment of small landmarks whose visit takes two minutes at best, and that at the end of the day all provide the same kind of resources, be them hearts or rupees.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    For another, WInd Waker is one of the few games with a proper money sink in the Auction House and Magic Armor (in the original you'll need to buy lots of magicpotions, and in the remake it just eats your gold directly).
    Ah, the Auction House. I didn't spend enough time to fully appreciate it, but I am happy I didn't do that. I went to check online to see what I could get from it, and I see that the prizes are:
    • a Joy Pendant: for the love of my life, I couldn't understand what the heck was with this thing. No explanation whatsoever, no use for it, and note, I played essentially up to past half of the game. I am reading now that it is mandatory to have 20 of them, and when I stopped playing I had 19 of them, 19 items which were functionally useless up to that moment, but that for some reason Link was collecting. I would have probably passed the item in the auction. Meh.
    • A piece of heart: a commodity which is easily found elsewhere. Always useful, mind, because it's always good to find new life, but ultimately a boring result.
    • Two treasure maps, pointing respectively to other rupees and another piece of heart.

    AND THAT'S IT. After winning these FOUR items the auctions are over. That's the "proper money sink" of the Auction, which was by itself easily won by bidding in the last 15 seconds or so high enough to dazzle all the other participants.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    I quite enjoyed the combat, and look askance at the game being too easy. Not that it isn't very easy, but you just finished playing Ocarina a while ago and that game is dead simple, as are ALL Zelda games. Majora's Mask is a bit more brutal, but not too much so in the mandatory areas.
    Combat was okay, but in general it is easy in every Zelda game.
    OoT is more linear, but not more simple: I had to resort to walkthrough in a couple of points, because I didn't know where to go in the dungeon. Note, this is frustrating, but the level of challenge is definitely higher than the one posed by WW.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rynjin View Post
    Wind Waker brings the focus back on exploration rather than dungeon delving, though does provide some quite good dungeons to round things out. It's my favorite Zelda, tied with Majora's Mask, though I'm sure I'd like Breath of the Wild if I ever played it.
    Exploration of a world where only the 0.08% of the real estate is meaningful, with the rest being empty sea to traverse with a rather slow boat. Moving through Hyrule never seemed a chore, and the Goron form made rolling through Termina Field a fun activity in and by itself: sailing with the red boat was just slow and didn't offer any variety except for the changes in weather, and day and night.
    The dungeons were too easy, too linear, certainly a nice change of pace compared to the rest of the game, but that's only because the rest of the game rang as dull and slow to me. They were absolutely inferior to the ones featured in OoT and MM, by extension, by difficulty of the riddles, by the options available and, at least to me, by "soul".
    Don't get me wrong, I respect your opinion, and if you like the game I'm happy for you, let's just agree to disagree: to me, it was a waste of time that in the end sounded like a chore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Narkis View Post
    I take issue with the framing of this thread. It is not an unpopular opinion at all. In fact, it is the consensus view about Windwaker, as can been seen even in this thread. It has been the consensus on every discussion about this game ever since it came out. There has never been a time when it was really an "unpopular opinion". And clickbaity titles like this really grind my gears..
    I considered it an unpopular opinion because before starting to play I checked a lot of lists like "The best Zelda games" and in almost all of them this game is among the first 5 of them, many times even considered better than OoT and MM. So YMMV, but after my excursus through the various rankings of the Zelda games, considering it a boring game was definitely an unpopular opinion.

    EDIT: when I search for "best Zelda game" on Google, this is what I get, in order, no exclusions. (I get other stuff, of course, but I limited myself to the first results)

    After reading this list, I would say that The Wind Waker is considered, in fact, one of the BEST Zelda games, and certainly on par with OoT and MM. So yeah, "a boring game" is definitely an unpopular opinion.
    Last edited by Cicciograna; 2020-01-21 at 07:55 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    I remember finishing Wind Waker, liking it but finding it a bit short and wanting a dungeon or two more to it. And I also remember at the time I'd try replaying it through the thing you get after beating the game once, but then, well, when I got back to the stealth portion, it, er... Well, you described that portion accurately. Just kinda reminded me of the things I wanted less of, and with it right up front of the game, just turned me off the second playthrough. Yeah, I'll say no harm no foul if anyone finds it boring or fun.

    On the other hand, I'll never understand the love for Majora's Mask.
    "Okay, so I'm going to quick draw and dual wield these one-pound caltrops as improvised weapons..."
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    "Oh, hey, look! Blue Eyes Black Lotus!" "Wait what, do you sacrifice a mana to the... Does it like, summon a... What would that card even do!?" "Oh, it's got a four-energy attack. Completely unviable in actual play, so don't worry about it."

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    Quote Originally Posted by Cicciograna View Post
    tl;dr, we found the game graphically enjoyable, but incredibily boring, with dull, uninteresting characters, an unbearably slow pace and a world that promised a lot, but delivered very little. What did we miss?
    [/SPOILER]
    1-The ending. I agree there's plenty of slow moments in the middle, but the finish line is really damn good, which leaves a much better taste in the mouth if you complete the game rather than if you left it midway. Although yeah there are plenty of slow moments in between, but sometimes it's not the journey that matters but the end goal. Gandonorf's final speeches are pretty epic:
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    "Do you sleep still? Wait! Do not be so hasty, boy... I can see this girl's dreams... Oceans... Oceans... Oceans... Oceans... Oceans as far as the eye can see. They are vast seas... None can swim across them... They yield no fish to catch... What did the King of Hyrule say?... That the gods sealed Hyrule away? And they left behind people who would one day awaken Hyrule? How ridiculous... So many pathetic creatures, scattered across a handful of islands, drifting on this sea like fallen leaves on a forgotten pool... What they can possibly hope to achieve? Don't you see? All of you... Your gods destroyed you!"

    "My country lay within a vast desert. When the sun rose into the sky, a burning wind punished my lands, searing the world. And when the moon climbed into the dark of night, a frigid gale pierced our homes. No matter when it came, the wind carried the same thing... Death. But the winds that blew across the green fields of Hyrule brought something other than suffering and ruin. I coveted that wind, I suppose."




    2-The fancy physics system. Particularly popular among the speedrunning community. You can actually travel between islands in a matter of seconds. Whitout the boat! You can fly. While at zero hearts!
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    "You know, Durkon, I built this planet up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was a snarl. All the other gods said we were daft to build a planet over a snarl, but I built it all the same, just to show then. It got eaten by the snarl...

    ...so we built a five millionth, three hundreth, twenty first one. That one burned down, fell over, then got eaten by the snarl, but the five millionth, three hundreth, and twenty second one stayed up! Or at least, it has been until now."

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Unpopular opinion: "Zelda - The Wind Waker" is boring

    Windwaker is probably the least challenging Zelda game. Until BotW, it was the most open-world Zelda game. In a lot of ways, it's more similar to BotW than other games in the franchise, where the main appeal is just discovering things to do in the world, rather than adventuring.

    If you don't like exploring the world it has for its own sake, then you'd probably not like it much. In my view, at the time it had enough diversity of activity and rewards that I felt it was fine, but I'm not sure it would hold up to modern standards. Mind you, I liked the nearly-endless Triforce treasure hunt at the end of the game. Apparently I'm one of the few who did. It makes sense as an artistic choice, providing a driving force behind the main appeal of the game, casual exploration.

    Characters are Zelda-standard. Majora's Mask has the best NPC interactions for the franchise, all others are pretty much the same, where they just exist as static props to propel the story. Interesting NPCs aren't important for the franchise. I do like Tetra more than most versions of Zelda, though. Except when she gets put in a classic dress and becomes a prop only later on in the game. It almost sounds like a parody, if it weren't the expected standard of female characters in heroic stories. (What's even the point of that? The Hero is like 8 years old in this game!)

    But the story, the idea that there is no hero of destiny and this iteration of the hero is a self-made one through determination instead of birthright is good. Not that the driving appeal of the game(s) is ever or has ever been its story, but in my book Windwaker has the best overall story. And I still like it a lot for that reason.
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