Nintendo certainly don't like to do things by half. One of the more surprising announcements in their most recent straight-to-the-internet-press-conference, Nintendo Direct, was that not one, but two Zelda games would be making their way to the Wii U in the near future - and at least one of them will launch this year.
The first, and also the furthest from release, is an all new Zelda game, that will apparently be based on the demo we saw at last year's mega convention, E3. However, from the few snippets of information that were shared, it sounds like this Zelda may be markedly different to those that have come before. The game's producer, Eiji Anouma, said that although he wouldn't be able to share any footage of the game with us, he could reveal a few hints about the direction the next game will be taking. While it promises to offer the same blend of adventure as previous Zelda games, with huge dungeons, and an epic storyline to discover, the currently untitled game will also look to strike out in a different direction, by rethinking the conventions of what a Zelda game is, such as that you always have to "play by yourself", and "complete dungeons in a specific order". Sounding like it could lead to a more free-form, and potentially even co-op Zelda, it sounds like the Wii U's Zelda will be a very exciting prospect indeed - even if it is still a way away.
The second Zelda game revealed, however, will thankfully be with us a little bit sooner. Due in the Autumn of this year, the Wii U is set to get an HD remake of the Gamecube's Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. In our opinion, the single greatest Zelda game so far, Wind Waker blended some gorgeous, cartoon-style cel shaded graphics with the staples of every Zelda game so far - a huge world to explore, dungeons to conquer, puzzles to solve, a story that kept you playing, and dozens of other nice little touches that made the game really feel special. One of the best parts about it was the incredible sense of freedom you had - able to jump, at any time, into your talking Dragon Boat and set off on a voyage, you could sail pretty much wherever you wanted too - and who knew what you might find. A new island, some sunken treasure, a whirlpool with a giant enemy, or perhaps even an annoying man with an abnormally large nose called Beedle who tries to sell you things from his boat. Luckily for you, you can whip out a cannon at the press of a button to blast Beedle away - and although you can't sink it, the cannonballs will make his ship start to smoke, in another nice little touch. Added together with the ability to control the wind thanks to your magic conductor's baton (this game's equivalent of the Ocarina), and you had a recipe for a very special game indeed.
However, while we're incredibly excited to get our hands on a game we have incredibly fond memories of, we have to admit, we are a little bit disappointed with how the game currently looks. On the Gamecube, one of the things that made it really stand out was how incredibly bright and colourful everything was - deep reds, bright blues, rich greens, you name it. Now, thanks to a strange filter, the Wind Waker looks a lot more washed out than it used to, with a more pasteley tone compared to the vibrant shades of before. Whether or not that changes before the game launches remains to be seen, but either way - whether you've never played a Zelda game before or you're a seasoned veteran of the series, if you like a good adventure, Wind Waker HD is one to keep your eye on. We certainly will be.