Review: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
At this point, my Wii game library is comprised of only 4 games (including Wii Sports). I’ve saved the best game for last–The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
There are so many things to say about this game and most of you probably know everything about it. But, for those that don’t, I’ll try to give a comprehensive review anyway. I’ll try not to mention names or anything to spoil the game.
Twilight Princess starts out with everyone’s favorite pointy-eared hero: Link (or whatever you happen to call him). You start in a small village and progress through the game as most other games. Link is asked to deliver something to Hyrule Castle. Like most Zelda games, the story usually starts small and builds as you progress the game. This Zelda adventure is no different. The scope of the game, as far as you know in the beginning, is to deliver an item and save your friends. Isn’t it amazing how Link always gets himself into trouble after that? Anyways, after about 15 hours into the game, you start to see the BIG picture. The story balloons into the whole battle of good v. evil as you go on.
The story is absolutely amazing and is just as enjoyable playing through a second time. I haven’t beaten the game twice yet, but I’ve picked up on some things that make a lot more sense now. The story and characters really make Twilight Princess a true masterpiece. There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the game. Some things you expect to happen don’t and others….well, you’ll see. Overall, the story immerses you even more so than the controls.
The gameplay in Twilight Princess is the pinnacle of puzzle-solving and adventure games. There is nothing more rewarding than going through a dungeon only to get stuck, then miraculously figure out the solution. I can remember at least 2 or 3 times when I stumbled upon a solution to a puzzle. Afterwards, I thought to myself: “There is no way I would’ve figured that out had I not been swinging my sword or shooting something.” Another great thing is how the game builds upon itself for more challenging obstacles. Trust me, it doesn’t get easier as you go along. I thought I had seen every possible type of puzzle since I’ve played all the games, but there are quite a few that had me stumped in the later levels. The gameplay is fun and engrossing the more you play. The controls complement the gameplay very well.
The controls, for the Wii version anyway, are very unique. The sword and other weapons like the bow are controlled with the Wiimote, while other movements are controlled using the nunchuk. The controls are very precise and create a very vivid interaction with objects and enemies around you. The accuracy of the Wiimote for aiming is pristine. I’ve never played anything that was more responsive and downright fun to use.
The ability to transform into a wolf is an amazing addition and adds new gameplay experiences to the Zelda series. Controlling the wolf has its advantages over being human. For one, wolf Link can run faster than human Link. There are also some other distinct advantages/disadvantages of each form, but some are probably spoilers. The game really needs to be played in order to fully experience everything.
Visuals: Wow, just wow! Nintendo always said that once we played games on the Wii, we would say WOW. They weren’t kidding when they were talking about Zelda. The visuals are the best that the Gamecube could do and it looks beautiful on the Wii in 16:9 widescreen. Environments are lush and the animations of the characters/enemies are beautiful. There is plenty of areas and situations that you’ll literally gasp when you see them.
Gameplay: The gameplay of any Zelda game is revolutionary. Ever since the Ocarina of Time ushered in the 3D adventure series, Zelda has continued to innovate in new ways. The ability to change into a wolf adds an amazing dynamic. Wolf Link adds a totally different gameplay experience throughout the game. So, to recap, there are two big ways to play the game–as Link or as Wolf Link.
Replay Value: The replay value of Twilight Princess is mainly to say you’ve done everything. And believe me, there is A LOT to do in Twilight Princess. There are so many minigames and secret areas with new treasures. The world itself is enough to bring one back to play again. It’s almost as expansive as Wind Waker, except it’s mostly comprised of land. I’m already working through the game for a second time, and I’m still loving every minute.
Wii Innovations: The innovation using the Wiimote/nunchuk is a bit limited, even for a Zelda game. I won’t say the controls are “tacked on”, because that’s simply asinine to say. The game was originally developed for the Gamecube and it’s easy to see that. However, in no way do the controls feel “tacked on”. Throughout the game you’ll come across areas where the controls will falter a bit, but for what it sets out to accomplish; Twilight Princess succeeds in every facet.
Verdict: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a masterpiece for both the Wii and Gamecube. It shows what is possible in the world of Hyrule. Twilight Princess is only a taste of what to expect from the next Zelda title to grace the Wii. We’ve been told that the new Zelda game will venture away from the formula a little bit, but that’s just what the Wii was made for. If you own a Wii, Twlight Princess should be in your collection–’nuff said.