The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess had a lot to live up to. Since the release of Ocarina of Time, people wanted a game that was just as good, a feat that was nearly impossible. Nintendo gave them The Wind Waker, and while that is a fantastic game, it didn’t quite satisfy; fans wanted an adult Link, they wanted a darker, more mature game. When Twilight Princess was first shown, people had heart attacks. Was this the Zelda game they were waiting for, a game like Ocarina of Time? The answer to that question, is yes… and no.
Twilight Princess was 4 years in development, and for good reason. The task of raising the bar that Ocarina had set would be an extremely difficult task. In some ways they succeeded but in others they failed. The story focuses on a young farm boy, Link, who attempts to stop the “Twilight Realm” from engulfing Hyrule. The game takes place hundreds of years after Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. The story starts with Link as a simple farm hand, when monsters from the Twilight Realm appear and carry off some of the villages children. Link pursues them and is carried into the Twilight Realm and transformed into a wolf. This is where the story starts to unravel and I’m not going to spoil it for you.
Link, as a wolf? I know what your thinking, what the hell. It’s alot cooler than it sounds. The game is split up into two sections for the first half of the game, Wolf-Link sections and Human Link sections. The Wolf sections mostly involve getting you to the next temple which you will complete as Human Link. I’m not going to lie to you, the Wolf sections aren’t great. They don’t take away a lot from the game but the game would be better without them. They can be tedious and frustrating, and it’s always some stupid task you have to perform, like kill 12 glowing bugs. Wolf Link is an okay character, he has no sword and fairly weak attacks. But there’s a cool tracking mode, where you can sniff people out and it shows their scent on the screen in like a mist trail. It’s pretty awesome.
See that “thing” riding on Link’s back in the above picture? That’s Midna. Your sidekick, and she’s plays a huge part in the story. She’s fairly cool, being able to pull off some wicked attacks, plus she treats Link like crap sometimes, but in a funny way. Basically she want’s you to defeat the Twilight King, and save the Twilight Princess. No prizes for guessing who that is.
The controls are pretty wicked, waggle the Wii-mote to slash your sword. It works surprisingly well and becomes a six sense later on in the game, you may even find yourself doing a spin attack in your bedroom. The functionality of the Wii-mote becomes clear later on, when you obtain items like the Gale Boomerang, the Hookshot and Bow. Using the Wii-mote to point works extremely well, giving you fine tuned accuracy without the need of lock on. Eventually you’ll be able to whip out the bow and take out enemies without even thinking where your aiming. The main point is, the new controls work, and there’s no going back.
There’s so much to do in Twilight Princess, side quests and mini-games are littered around Hyrule, and as always you’ll have fun searching out every nook and cranny of the region, looking for its secrets. The scope of the game is huge, and you can play it however you want. There’s even a place in Hyrule completely dedicated to catching fish. The world is full of puzzles and places to explore. Take the time to do so.
Even though Twilight Princess was released 2 years ago as a launch title for the Wii, it can still compare to Wii titles being released today. This is most evident in the visuals. Artistically, the game is jaw dropping, technically it’s still damn great looking. Link looks better than he ever has and the enemy and character detail is extremely good, if the game had been released 2 years later it could look better, but not by much. Hyrule looks almost real, the towns, forests and dungeons all ooze atmosphere and you can’t help but be swallowed up by the Zelda universe.
As you would expect, the music in Twilight Princess makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Once again the music in a Zelda game is nothing short of spectacular. You’ve got all your classic tunes, with a few new ones. You even get a few revamped old ones, nostalgia is a beautiful thing. The only downside is most of the tunes are MIDI, and not orchestrated, they still sound great though. Link is once again the strong silent type, unable to string together a simple sentence, only able to grunt and yell. However, Nintendo need to realize that while keeping Link mute is all well and good, giving voice actors to the rest of Hyrule and beyond wouldn’t be such a bad thing, I’m getting tired of reading text when i could be listening.
When you aren’t exploring or increasing your heart count you may be in one of the many dungeons scattered throughout the game. Luckily these provide a significant challenge and huge variety, with some very memorable boss battles. Some old school Zelda fans may recognize the places where these dungeons are set, and i’m not going to spoil anything but i can tell you one thing; the most annoying dungeon in Ocarina is the most annoying dungeon in Twilight Princess. Figure that one out.
Overall I would rank The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in the top three 3d Zelda games, alongside Ocarina and Wind Waker. This game is definitely one you are going to remember, and you’ll get 40 hours+ out of it, more if you do all the side quests. It also stands up as one of the best launch titles of all time, alongside Mario 64. Zelda fans will love this, it increases the difficulty over the Wind Waker as well, it’s not an easy ride, and even a Zelda veteran like me got a fair share of Game Over screens. Twilight Princess is another game that all Wii owners must buy, or at least play. The legend continued, and it did not disappoint.
Adult Link never looked so great.
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With the new waggle controls, Hyrule is more immersive than ever.
MIDI tunes disappoint, but get the job done fantastically.
With 40+ hours of gameplay, it won't disappoint.
One of the best Zelda games out there, a Wii classic.