Nintendo's work on The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD has produced a gorgeous product. The company has taken the GameCube game from a decade ago and given it a modern high definition polish, but how does it compare to the original game? Websites across the Internet have taken it upon themselves to put together side-by-side comparison images and videos showcasing Wind Waker before and after its HD makeover. Zelda Informer's take offers a technical explanation of the conversion as well. Here's a sample:
Outside of being populated properly, we get a good look at Link's character and is full standing shadow (which is about as realistic in its shading as you'll find in a game). The buildings are now taller instead of flattening out in widescreen, and the most obvious difference is, again, the vibrancy of the world around you. It does seem we may have lost those "gusts of wind" you can see on the right in the sky, but they may have found other ways to show which way the wind is blowing - such as having the clouds move dynamically depending on wind direction. I can't stress this enough, but everything really does feel more alive. While you can see some bloom/blur effects in the background, it all feels natural. I know that to me, things in the distance always appear blurry until you get closer. I also feel Link's slightly-altered character model fits much better in this world. His older model just doesn't do the new vibrant world justice.
Then there's Ninten2TV's video comparison that matches some of Nintendo's preview video with the same portions of the GameCube version. It's easier to see the altered character models here, as the Wii U edition's characters are less squat and more refined in addition to color and texture changes. The Zelda team clearly spent some time and energy making this new version of Wind Waker look as good as it can. I don't want to see the Wii U library flooded with high definition GameCube conversions, but if this is the kind of effort that Nintendo is willing to exert on reworking its titles, I can think of a few other games I wouldn't mind returning in HD.