Other than the cel-shaded graphics, the biggest departure here is Waker's immense ocean that covers all of Hyrule. The overworld is almost nonexistent and most of your time will be spent sailing from place to place on a talking boat. It's cool for the first five hours or so, but even when you can use the element-harnessing Wind Waker baton to teleport anywhere on the map you spend too much time manning the sails. Blech.
Further adding to this sense of "filler" gameplay are the relative lack of major dungeons and astonishingly long fetch quest near the end of the game. Rather than unload a new, creative labyrinth to trek through you have to sail the globe (…again) searching for broken Triforce shards. Um … how about some Zelda sprinkled in with the deep-sea diving game? Cutting through the waves, sea-spray in your hair is nice and all, but we want more swordy, puzzly memories.