Nintendo tends to make use of various art styles with the Zelda games. We’ve seen approaches that have been realistic, cel-shaded, and even impressionistic.
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker most definitely introduced the biggest change in the series. No one saw the cartoon-like visuals coming, and the style initially caused quite the uproar. It’s in part due to Wind Waker’s original reception that it seems as though Nintendo will be more cautious with art styles in future Zeldas.
Eiji Aonuma, speaking with GamesTM this month, said the development team “will be a bit more careful in the future” with regard to the visual direction of Zelda entries. That being said, Aonuma would be willing “to break new ground again” if an approach was created that would appeal to the developers and players.
Aonuma told the magazine:
“We encountered an awful lot of problems from the drastic leap we took with Wind Waker. I think we will be a bit more careful in the future, but if we find a new approach that not just the developers, but also the users would enjoy then I think we will want to break new ground again. But we haven’t found such an approach yet.”
Thanks to joclo for sending this our way.