After conquering the Adventure Map, I went on to the Great Sea Map and actually just now completed the whole thing. 100% - all A Ranks, all weapons, costumes, Heart Containers, Heart Pieces, Gold Skulltulas and Fairy Clothing. You get all Level 2 weapons here and one costume for every single character in the game, which is nice. It went very smoothly and I suppose that this is the easiest map of the game. It's also not as big as the normal Adventure Map - the Great Sea Map has 7 rows and 14 columns, which makes 98 battles altogether.
There's also a very clear path through the whole thing. Your goal is in the center with the Tower of the Gods and you start right at the north of it on Windfall Island. Then you circle all your way over the map clockwise, to Dragon Roost Island, over Forest Haven and so on. The entire first half of the map is a green zone, which means you get very little Experience here, but you'll face little to no resistance. There are only seven blue squares and two red squares in the center, which adds to the fact that this really is supposed to be the easiest map.
At first it looked like the map wants to troll you with item cards. You start surrounded by costumes, but you can't get any of them, because you don't have any item cards yet. But this situation clears pretty quickly, there's even a path around Dragon Roost Island, where every mission gives you the required item card for the next. And very rarely I had to go out of my way to get the necessary item cards, which feels really nice after the first Adventure Map kept asking you for Digging Mitts and other things you don't have, which can be quite annoying.
There are some missions with Master Quest-ish rules like "Don't Get Hit!", "Double Damage" and "No Item Attacks", but you can avoid these for the most part and use item cards to temporarily disable the rules. "Don't Get Hit!" missions usually are a real pain, but I didn't have to endure it even once.
There's a big amount of "Defeat x00 enemies in 10 minutes!" missions on this map, usually 400 K.O.s, and in the past I always hated these missions, especially when you had to use certain characters for the rewards. But here you can always chose a 2nd character and I was able to easily beat all these missions with Cia, where her C2 makes the job really easy. Even the dreaded "Defeat 1000 enemies in 10 minutes!" was a total joke here. I just stayed in the northwest corner and kept killing all the spawning enemies there (which is different from the Wii U missions, where enemies would usually spawn in different spots). Around 500 K.O.s a Magic Transport Trooper appeared in the center, where the other enemies had spawned, and one single fairy explosion did the rest in an instant. The fairies also make the "Rack up your K.O. count" missions and the K.O. competitions ridiculously easy, because you simply can keep using the fairy nukes all over the place. (I'll make a separate post about the fairy companions soon.)
Anyway, the map made good use of all the new troops, stages and stage variants. They actually used the available stage variants all the time, instead of the original versions, and there even are two more variants that didn't get featured in Legend Mode: a night time version of the Gerudo Desert and some weird red sky version of the Twilight Field. At least the night time version of the Gerudo Desert could have been featured in Legend Mode, though. It would have been a nice fit for the new scenario, where Lana and Tetra meet in the desert. This scenario doesn't have any pre-rendered cutscenes, so the new stage variant could have been used here and it's a shame that it didn't.
But this was it. Looks like they made stage variants for exactly half of the original stages. I would have liked a night time version of Skyloft as well, because I always enjoyed Skyloft at night. It could have been used in Cia's campaign and I certainly would have preferred this over the new Twilight Field, which just looks weird and wrong (they simply used the skybox of the Palace of Twilight for the field and it looks like nothing in the games).
I also enjoyed the Great Sea in 8-Bit, it was pretty neat and sometimes surprisingly accurate together with the missions. For example the dungeon battle for the Dragon Roost Cavern actually has you fighting Volga and Gohma in Eldin Caves, while you get both the Lvl2 Wind Waker and a Wind Waker item card as the rewards. Pretty neat. It was similar with the Forbidden Woods, though you did get the Map here, instead of a Boomerang item card... Earth and Wind Temple battles both also use the Earth and Wind Temple stage, of course, where the Wind Temple even gives you a Hookshot item card. Though Forsaken Fortress and Tower of the Gods got split over two screens and are pretty weird, e.g. they used a King Dodongo for the Forsaken Fortress stage, instead of the Helmaroc King. But besides this I thought that the map was fleshed out very well.
Well, that's it for my impressions on the Great Sea Map. The Master Quest Map will be next, which I hopefully will be able to finish, before the Master Wind Waker Map gets released. And I also want to talk about "My Fairy" soon, because this is a very interesting feature.