I have always had a special love for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It is my favorite entry in my favorite series in video games, a hobby I've always considered my favorite pastime. Needless to say, I was not going to pass up on buying a limited edition Prima guide for The Wind Waker HD, it itself a fantastic remake that truly is the definitive version of that classic, and a masterpiece even by modern standards. I already own several collector guides for other Zelda games, and anyone who owns one knows that these CE guides are the real deal, and this one is no exception.
The guide is organized very well. There's a "How To Play" section at the beginning, perfect for newcomers to the game and perhaps even the Zelda series in general. It is written very well and should get people up to speed quickly on the basics of the game. Following this is an "Equipment and Items" section that also complements the "basics" section well. I don't recommend looking at it if you're brand new to the game, as it goes over ALL items, including ones majorly important to the plot.
Next up is a "Characters and Enemies" section that is, rather strange. Every character, boss, and enemy gets a picture and little description. The descriptions are nice. What is strange is that each picture is of the character models of the characters from the "Nintendo Gallery," an in-game museum featuring shiny, toy-like sculptures you gain from undertaking the "deluxe picto-box" quest. It's always cool to have a "characters" section, but to gave traditional screenshots or official artwork of major characters replaced by these weird pictures is kind of bizarre and, given that the official art and graphics of the characters in-game are so fantastic, disappointing. Ah well.
Next up is the meat n' potatoes of the guide and all that matters, the walkthrough. The original The Wind Waker Prima strategy guide was thorough and very well written. This guide is much the same way, even more so, actually, at almost double the length of the old guide (this guide is a whopping 352 pages, the old one was only about 190). If you're wondering if getting this guide is really worth it or better to get the old WW's guide, it's definitely a good idea to get this version. Why? Because The Wind Waker HD has some substantial changes to its main quest, such as in the infamous Tri-Force quest, that are pretty different. Thankfully, this guide rises to the occasion in covering everything in the remake. It's super thorough, perfect for completionists like myself, and is organized in such a way that, as soon as a quest, item, collectable, you-name-it, becomes available, the guide tackles how to complete it. The writing itself is pleasing enough to read.
Next up comes the "Islands of the Great Sea" sections. The overworld in The Wind Waker is a massive sea divided into a grid totaling 49 squares. The world in WW is full of islands, and much in the classical Zelda tradition, there are tons of potential for exploration filled with collectables. This section covers, in great depth, all content to be found in each of these 49 squares in the grid. It's fantastic.
Finally, there's the "Legendary Checklist" section. Think of this as a handy-dandy appendix of sorts. It's a very useful, quick resources for finding anything ranging from all quest items, songs, pieces of heart, treasure charts,great fairy locations, you name it. This is a fantastic feature of the guide. So that's the actual content of the guide, all top-notch.
The overall lay-out of the guide is decently pleasing. The format is clean and intuitive to navigate, although I do miss the "sacred" motif of their guides for Twilight Princess or Spirit Tracks. Here it's just white with Wind Waker-type markings in a teal color. Needless to say, it's quite different from past precedents for Prima Zelda guides. The book is filled with great-looking screenshots from The Wind Waker HD. This is good because the game itself looks fantastic and the high printing quality conveys that fairly well. There's also official art for WWHD and the original WW sprinkled a bit throughout the guide. Overall, pretty good. My only complaint about the layout of the guide is that I think it could have really done better with bigger sized official/concept art and a lot more of it. Compared to the excellent, beautiful Spirit Tracks guide, this WWHD guide doesn't do nearly as well in that regard. The Collector's Edition is beautiful. The golden gilded pages and highlights contrast very nicely against the sea foam green of the cover. It really lends this feeling of a historical tome to the guide, and feels like a great companion to the game. Great job Prima.
To be honest, I usually buy guides for adventure games such as The Legend of Zelda or Õkami, and I am really glad I bought this one. I like it so much, in fact, that I'm planning on buying another one for my baby sister, with whom I have always shared lovely memories playing of The Wind Waker, when she was a toddler and I was a young teen. So if you're a gamer with a heart container for The Wind Waker and want to dive into the new HD remake, or you know a Zelda fan in your life, I'd say getting this guide is a no-brainer. You won't regret. Thanks for reading. Toodles.