With HD remakes and remasters crowding the recent gaming market, Nintendo has continued to set their HD re-releases apart with significant enhancements to graphics and gameplay. One example of this fact was Wind Waker HD, which not only proved what Nintendo can do with an HD remake, but also what the Wii U was capable of technically. With this in mind, gaming group Digital Foundry recently put WWHD to the test, releasing an in-depth performance analysis of the game.

Digital Foundry offers in-depth technical analysis of various games and gaming hardware for Eurogamer. In their analysis of Wind Waker HD, the team first focuses on the enhancements the game made to the Gamecube original. Compared to the original, the 1080p Wind Waker HD makes improvements in “everything from lighting to textures” and makes use of “new lighting techniques and higher resolution texture work.” Digital Foundry gives an in-depth explanation of the lighting methods the game utilizes, including real-time light sourcing, high dynamic range lighting, color depth, and global shadow maps. The analysis does a great job of explaining what these technical elements are and how they influence the game’s graphical quality.

The team not only tests Wind Waker HD‘s graphics and resolution, but they also examine the remaster’s frame rate. They explain that:

“…if this remaster has one problem, it’s the frame-rate. While the majority of our time with the game produces a stable 30fps, as with the original, there are sequences where frame-rate drops are very noticeable. It’s an issue that typically crops ups once a multitude of alpha effects are drawn, be it from your boat’s cannon-fire, or when approaching certain islands. The impact of these dips is underscored by the fact Wind Waker HD’s frame-rate is actually tied to its game speed, meaning 20fps lurches equate to slower, more sluggish gameplay. Such drops are, thankfully, momentary but do detract a bit from the game’s polish – not a deal breaker by any means, but disappointing given the GameCube release runs free of any such problems.”

While these moments of lower frame-rate are isolated to certain intensive game moments, they still show the Wii U’s limitations in overall performance. Regardless of these limitations, Digital Foundry concludes that that “Wind Waker HD is still a success story and one of the better HD remasters on the market today” and proves what could be achieved with future Nintendo HD remakes.

What do you make of the analysis? What HD remakes should Nintendo develop in the future? Let us know!

Source: Digital Foundry (Eurogamer)

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