The latest "Wind Waker HD" screenshots (viewable in the slideshow) were released by Nintendo via All Games Beta, showing off the game's high-definition look. Nintendo also confirmed the Gamecube classic will indeed feature a new difficulty mode, which was originally spotted on the game's retail listing by Wii U Daily. Anyone who played "Skyward Sword" on the Wii will be familiar with Hero Mode and how it increases enemy damage and reduces health restoration. What sets Hero Mode in "Wind Waker HD" apart from "Skyword Sword," however, is its availability from the start and turning it on or off at the pause menu.
A surprising new feature for "Wind Waker HD" is the ability to play from a first-person perspective (which is what Shigeru Miyamoto wanted to do in "Ocarina of Time," as revealed in Iwata Asks), taken from US Gamer's demo impression.
I switch over to Link's bow and arrow and took careful aim in the first-person view by tilting the Wii U Game Pad just so and started taking out enemies from across the room. And then I noticed that Link now has a newly acquired ability to move while in first-person mode rather than being limited to panning around. So I stayed in first-person mode, plinking bad guys from a distance and shooting them again when they recovered. . . .
What really struck me is not that Wind Waker works as an FPS but rather that it works damn well. Speaking as someone who's spent 150 hours or so firing enchanted bolts into bandit hordes in Skyrim, I found Link's enhanced archery skills to be every bit as second-nature as his dynamic swordplay.
IGN also played the "Wind Waker HD" demo and discovered numerous improvements from the original release. For starters, the Triforce quest near the game's end no longer requires you to find and decipher maps leading to the Triforce pieces. Instead. only three Triforce pieces need their maps translated by Tingle, while the remaining five can be swiftly picked up at no cost. Secondly, Link can now use the Picto Box to take "selfies" with various expressions and share them on Miiverse. Finally, the Swift Swail upgrade that allows for faster boat travel is available at the auction house after players complete the first dungeon.
"The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD" will arrive worldwide in October, with a Wii U bundle on the way.