Jigsaw Review: The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Collector’s Puzzle #3

Disclosure: Puzzle purchased by VGBlogger.com for review purposes.

Buy From: Amazon, GameStop, Entertainment Earth, or ThinkGeek at MSRP $10.99.

Now up to its third installment, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker puzzle series from USAopoly has become by far my favorite collectible set of jigsaws going right now. Trust me, you absolutely must buy the whole collection. Like right now. Go. Go. GO! Well…at least hang around for the rest of my review first, if you’d be so kind.

Like the previous puzzles in the series, this one consists of 550 pieces that interlock to form a majestic 18″ x 24″ replication of one of the stained glass windows from the game. Wind Waker‘s expressive, toon-shaded aesthetic is displayed in full glory once again, in an image showing a stoic-faced Link on one knee, holding his sword horizontally across his shield, with a Triforce at the bottom, a sword and shield signia at the top, and a colorful mosaic of glass panels scattered, arched, and framed against a golden tapestry backdrop. This third puzzle is simpler and a lot less busy than the previous two, but it’s visually arresting all the same. The crisp detail and vibrant colors are truly jaw-dropping.

Jigsaw puzzle-solvers of all skill levels should be able to find solace here, as the overall difficulty couldn’t be any easier without completely changing the configuration to a lesser quantity of pieces cut in a jumbo size. I completed the puzzle, from tearing open the shrink wrap to sorting the box to placing the last piece, in a few leisurely sessions over two days, but if I really wanted to I probably could have finished in a single sitting. The cut shapes are all pretty basic and easy to pair up, and I don’t think there is even one piece in the whole box that is one solid color. The white arches and black border lines between the panes form clear guidelines that make figuring out the correct orientation a breeze. Even the surrounding gold backdrop has a visual texturing and color gradient to help with aligning the edge pieces.

A small detail that I greatly appreciate is how the puzzle image has no logo branding. This is similar to the second puzzle in the series, however the first puzzle did have a small Wind Waker logo in the top-left corner. I didn’t really pay attention to it at the time that I originally put that puzzle together a couple years ago, but two puzzles later I notice it more and increasingly approve of USAopoly’s decision to ditch the logo. The pictures are so lovely that they deserve to stand alone, free of unnecessary brand awareness mucking up the artistic purity. The only text marking is a tiny Nintendo company trademark printed vertically up the side of the bottom-right corner, spanning no more than a few pieces.

One ding against the collector’s value, however, is a glaring error with the packaging. On the back of the box, the puzzle description states that it depicts “the epic battle between Link and the Helmaroc King,” which, of course, is an errant copy and paste of the description from the first puzzle in the Wind Waker series. From the USAopoly site, this puzzle’s back-of-box description should actually say that it “shows Link ready for battle.” A minor error, yes, but an error nonetheless. I’m not sure if this is a widespread typo across all the packaging or if it was limited to a specific printing, but it exists on mine. Hopefully this is something that gets corrected in future shipments, to appease nitpicky OCD collectors such as myself.

If only I had the wall space, I’d frame and hang these Wind Waker stained glass puzzles together and turn my office gaming geek cave into a cathedral to the game’s whimsical cartoon beauty. For now I’m left to stacking the boxes into a makeshift jigsaw Triforce, kind of like this:

Buy From: Amazon, GameStop, Entertainment Earth, or ThinkGeek at MSRP $10.99.

Disclosure: Puzzle purchased by VGBlogger.com for review purposes.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!