Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
Solid control scheme that ideally shows what the Wiimote can
do, wonderful graphics, largest Zelda game with the best
Zelda plot to ever grace a console, amazing and deep game
play, and most of all this game is just very fun.
The only complaint at all is that money is a joke...a very
over two years ago that Nintendo first announced there was
going to be a final chance for Zelda to grace the GCN.
However, it didn't take long for the delays to kick in. Then
it didn't take much longer for further delays to be
announced as the game shifted from being a GCN exclusive to
being a Wii launch title with a later GCN release.
when this type of behavior occurs, the games seem to become
less appetizing with time. For example, the idea of playing
as Link while waving a remote control shaped controller
through the air was enough to make many fans think of
another case of Wind Waker (in which the visuals served as a
major turn off for supposedly avid Zelda fans).
end, Zelda finally came out last month, and...this month.
Ok. It came out for the Wii a month ago and the GCN release
did follow a month later. So, the real question remains; is
this a great Zelda game, or does the supposed limitations
(read: non-HD visuals) hurt the game or is it still Zelda at
it's heart? Also, does the Wiimote add anything, or is it
of this game does follow many of the usual Zelda trademarks.
Princess Zelda is in trouble. Link, who is just an outsider
to the big city life of Hyrule castle (the location of
Zelda's throne...for those new to the series), is about to
embark on a normal and minor quest for his home town, but it
will soon turn into an epic quest to stop the forces of evil
and to restore peace to all of Hyrule...while saving the
girl, of course.
this is where most Zelda games stop. There is a supposed
Hyrule timeline (or ten...depends on who you ask), but most
games in the franchise can be seen as completely stand-along
games. That is not quite the case in Twilight Princess. In
fact, this game takes place (depending on who you ask)
somewhere between a few decades and a hundred years after
the events of Ocarina of Time (the N-64 classic that first
brough Zelda to the third dimension).
been at peace for many years (decades or a century...) since
Gannon, the master of all that is evil to Hyrule, was
stopped by Link. Gannon was sealed away by the Sages of
Hyrule, and order was restored. However, as the times
passed, a new threat recently emerged. A dimension that's
opposite, yet tied in to Hyrule, has broken into this
peaceful world. This would be the Twilight Realm. A home to
the Twili, a race of people who's descendants were banished
from Zelda for committing great crimes against Hyrule. In
particular, the king of the Twili has come into Hyrule and
has taken control of the kingdom.
other end of this world is Link (or you can enter whatever
name you want), a young man who is seen as a role model to
the children of Ordon, his home hamlet. He is a normal and
everyday sort of person in a small and sleepy village.
However, one day the children of Ordon are kidnapped by evil
goblin-like creatures. So, naturally, Link steps in to be
the hero. However, it doesn't take long for the forces of
evil to expand into more than just goblin like
marauders...the evil of the Twili appears.
Twilight infests the world, all people are turned into
spirits, with the exception of Link. Due to heroic powers in
his veins, he is instead turned into a fierce and powerful
wolf. He also meets up with Minda; a small and bitter little
impish creature of the Twilight. Whether he wants to or not,
Link is thrust into a quest to cooperate with Minda to save
the world from the king of Twilight and to restore balance
to the two different realms.
end, this is the deepest plot to ever touch a Zelda game.
While the plot is still lacking in some details, characters
do evolve, plot twists occur, and for once it will not just
be the game play that keeps bringing you back for more. Most
of all, this is a great continuation of the Ocarina of Time
plot, as you get to see what happened after that Link's
victory over Gannon.
plays almost identically to Ocarina of Time or Wind Waker.
In other words, it's another example of 3D adventuring at
it's best...well, except for a few camera issues.
off, you still have the basic breakdown of the game. You
will spend time in villages, vast open world locations
(forests, plains, lakes, and mountains), and the meat of the
game still occurs in large and unique dungeons. Towns will
give you a chance to learn of what you must do next, play a
few mini games, and to restock your supplies with your
over-abundance of rupies (money). The open areas, like
plains and the like, will still be your main travel pathways
to reach your next goal, while still offering some side
events and diversions. Then you will explore dungeons, while
solving puzzles and battles beasts (both great and small) in
order to accomplish each of your main story quests.
previous Zelda games have offered a fair number of unique
and challenging puzzles, Twilight Princess does tone down
the challenges of dungeon exploration a bit. On one hand,
the puzzles are farther between, and on the other hand, they
are usually a bit easier (with a couple of exceptions). The
only real challenges in dungeon puzzles are found in trying
to find the big key, that is needed to open the final area
of each dungeon. Beyond that, most puzzles will either cause
no problems, or you'll be kicking yourself for neglecting a
simple solution and trying too hard on a simple problem.
This, in itself, is not a problem. While these puzzles are
less challenging, they are still addictively fun to
accomplish (especially in the first dungeon...one word for
the meat of the game is found in battles. Each dungeon will
have plenty of unique and interesting creatures to battle.
Each set will bring into play a different set of skills and
strategies to defeat them. While early enemies typically
rely on simply swinging your sword, later ones will make you
think about defense and how to overcome their solid
require, of course, new items and skills as the game
progresses. While you start the game with a sword, you soon
will add a shield, boomerang, bow, slingshot, bombs, and all
of the typical Zelda toys. Also, a couple of new tools are
introduced in Twilight Princess that really give a nice
addition to the series. Most noticeable of these is the top
spinner. Basically, it's a top (like the old fashioned toy)
that Link can ride around on to clear certain obstacles.
This is in addition to a series of hidden skills and
techniques that will allow Link to kill enemies quicker with
importantly of all, the bosses of each dungeon are still
big, impressive, and fun to challenge. The only downside is
that these bosses can become predictable...like past Zelda
games, each boss will require creative uses of the tool you
find in a dungeon and will take approximately three hits to
kill. However, there is enough fun to be found in these
bosses and enough of a wow factor from their sizes and
visual characteristics to make them incredibly fun to fight.
game will still cover the Zelda staples of needing to find a
series of items (no longer are they triforce pieces) that
each boss guards. However, you still have the classic
mini-games to keep you entertained in the meantime. These
include games using flight skills, bow skills, bombing
skills (the combination of bombs and arrows, first usable in
Link's Awakening, are back), and some nice chances to fish.
You'll also still have Epona (Link's horse, first seen in
Ocarina of Time) to ride for quicker travel and for some
unique missions and battles (jousting, anyone?).
new change to this game is the wolf form that Link will use
for half of the game. While a wolf, you lack your basic
defense (shield) and you assortment of toys. However, you
get a few unique attacks, and increased land speed, and some
fun abilities. These include being able to track by scent,
dig for treasures and hidden areas, and the ability to climb
large obstacles with the help of Minda (who plays the role
of Navi from Ocarina...but with less annoying of
part of this game that is different is the Wii controls. You
have the sounds of sword swinging, bow firing, and the
familiar notes of finding treasure coming from your hand.
Also, you have some fun new control formats to get used to.
While it may seem unusual to swing your hand to swing your
sword, it soon become second nature and makes it hard to go
back to the old controller methods of previous Zelda games.
controls that require motion come down to a few main areas.
You swing the Wiimote to swing your sword, the nunchuk to do
a spin attack, and various motions (like thrusts) to pull
off sword and shield trusts. You also can use the Wiimote to
throw objects and bombs (but the A button does a better
job). However, the best uses of the Wiimote come in the
firing of projectiles (aim like with a light gun) and
fishing. In fact, fishing is a blast as you hold the Wiimote
like a rod, and use the nunchuk to reel in your catch. Yes,
you'll look like a spaz...but you won't care.
the controls are intuitive, responsive (with a few
exceptions...like a shield bash can often times result in a
spin attack if you get too carried away with your
movements), and very easy to learn.
Twilight Princess does a great job at building off of the
Zelda staples. It may seem very familiar to begin with, but
it will end with a very rewarding and worthwhile experience.
Plus, with 40+ hours of things to do, this game is more
worth the price of admission than any Zelda game
before...and that's saying a lot.
visuals in Twilight Princess seem to be a major point of
contention within reviews. It all comes down to one
main "issue" with the Wii; the Wii is not HD, so obviously,
neither would be Zelda.
you get over the fact that this game is specifically
designed to run on last gen hardware (it is a GCN game at
heart) and the fact that it's not HD ready, then you can get
to the meat of the visuals. That is also when you
start to see how fan-freakin-tasktic this game looks.
It may not be HD, but it is still a damned sight better
looking that the last several Zelda games (ok...a hell of a
lot better than any Zelda game ever before...except the
Space World video from nearly a decade ago).
visuals, more than anything, are great because they look
right for the game and for the settings. When you're
in the Twilight infested areas, the game is great at
supplying the classic "dark and stormy night" feeling.
When you're in the normal Hyrule fields, the game feels epic
and alive, like all past Zelda games. When you enter a
dungeon, you feel, from the visuals, what the theme of that
dungeon is meant to be (mountain, manor, temple,
graveyard...it all comes through).
all, when the game is really being appreciated in live
action, the game just feels smooth and uncomplicated.
The visuals all do come through in a very interpretable way,
and the motion is smooth and always a pleasure to behold.
In reality, there may be two ways of looking at the visuals,
but the side that's obsessed with HD just needs to get over
it already; the game looks amazing no matter what generation
you think the game belongs to.
again, this comes down to technology. If you're used
to using an optical cable to deliver the best in cutting
edge sounds, then you're in the wrong place. I don't
just mean you shouldn't be playing Zelda...I mean you
shouldn't be playing Nintendo. You could say that
you've outgrown Nintendo...but it's more that you and
Nintendo both outgrew each other.
you're ready to enjoy the game without the overly complex
modern console audio and video technologies complicating
things, then you'll enjoy what you hear. The sound
track, besides one very annoying song (the Sky City theme)
is very Zelda-esque. In other words, it's epic and
memorable. There's also a nice blending of some of the
old Zelda musical scores with a nice touch of some new
obvious feature of the sound from this game, however, will
be from the speaker in your hand. Once you've
calibrated the volume on your Wiimote (by default, it will
probably sound like shit by just being too loud for it's own
good), the Wiimote speaker adds a lot to the party.
Many of the classic Zelda staple sounds (the tone you hear
when you discover a secret, the "ching" of picking up rupies,
the metallic sounds of your blade being unsheathed or swung,
and many others) will be coming from that little speaker.
While the sound quality on the Wiimote speaker is not the
best, assuming the volume is set at the right level, it's a
nice little added feature.
other side of the sound system, the other sound effects are
the same quality you'd expect from any other Zelda game.
While some of the technology going into this can seem a
little dated, the actual effect is far greater than the sum
of it's parts.
all, there is almost nothing to say about this game's voice
acting. Thankfully, Nintendo has kept up the tradition
of not including voice acting. Afterall, after so many
decades of not hearing Link, the last thing we need is to
have the illusion crash down around us. Also, while
there is Minda occasionally shouting for your attention, you
definitely don't have anything as annoying and unbearable as
the infamous Navi "HEY!" of Ocarina of Time.
game is actually a GCN game that just premiered first on the
Wii. Yes, the visuals are not HD. Yes, the sound
cannot be true surround sound. Most of all...Yes, this
visuals and the sound, which could be seen as the weakest
part of this game, are absolute non-issues. They could
be of higher quality if the game was released on the 360 or
PS3 (or the Wii was HD), but that's not an issue when this
game is able to carry over the feel of Zelda and continue
giving us gamers exactly what we would expect from this epic
franchise. Additionally, the use of the new Wii
controls and the addition of a few new abilities (from
spinner to wolf form) gives this game an edge over the past
Zelda entries. Most of all, Twilight Princess offers
something we've never seen in this level from a Zelda game
before; an epic and involved plot...not just a backstory.
all that this game brings that we haven't seen from any
other Zelda, plus so many features that still invoke that
classic sense of nostalgia,
I have to give Twilight Princess a 10 out of 10.
True, some things could have been slightly better...but then
again again it just wouldn't be Nintendo with HD and voice
acting...now would it?