I didn't actually play Wind Waker until 2007. This was five years after its release, but it still felt like a new game to me then. I had taken a bit of a hiatus from gaming while I was in college. But in 2007 I got back into gaming - hard - and haven't looked back since. Anyway, for my birthday that year my wife got me a Gamecube (which had been my console of choice before the hiatus) along with a stack of new games. But Wind Waker took precedence to everything else. I was obsessed with this beautiful new cell shaded Zelda adventure.
I've played and replayed the game many times over the years since. It's become one of my absolute Zelda games of all time. I'm not really sure about ranking, but let's just say that this, Breath Of The Wild and A Link To The Past would constitute my Top 3.
So when I finally got around to picking up a Wii U, the HD port of Wind Waker was the first game I bought for it. There was just no question of which game I'd want to test out this new (to me) console. Incidentally, it's a great time to be a Wii U collector right now. I don't think anybody's caught on yet, but you can get the good stuff for cheap. I grabbed Wind Waker (reminder: one of the best games ever made) for like fifteen bucks.
Anyway, it's been sitting on my shelf for months now. It was comforting to know it was there, ready to be played when I needed it.
Which brings us to now. My wife gave birth a couple of weeks ago and accordingly, our lives have changed completely. Gone are the nightly gaming binges. Which is fine. I had my years of staying up too late for Zelda. Now I'm staying up too late for my baby.
I took a couple of weeks off of work to spend time with my wife and our new addition. And in those two weeks I found very little time to even think about playing games. Instead, any lulls seemed like a good time for sleeping.
But one afternoon while my girls both napped, I found a quiet couple hours to play SOMETHING. And it dawned on me: what better game than Wind Waker? Those soft cell shaded visuals. The calming sea. An innocent child take on Link. The comfort of a game I've played so many times before. It was perfect.
And so I played through that same little island opening that I have so many times before. I hopped on a pirate ship and snuck around a fortress inside a barrel. I got a boat and bought a sail and went off on an adventure. Wind Waker never lets me down. It's just such a charming game.
I played through the first major dungeon - the one with all the lava and the big centipede boss at the end. To be honest, this is all like riding a bike. It's familiar in the most comforting sense. Given how limited my gaming time will be in the near future, it could take me months to actually finish this game. But that's fine. I'm in no rush. I don't even know if I'll stick with it right now. Really, all I needed was those few hours.