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Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess Review 231

Posted by Zonk
from the hey-listen dept.
In talking about perfection in games, there are very few names that deserve that kind of accolade. If the business situation demands it, once great titles may need to be compromised in the name of the bottom line. Even great gaming franchises experience bumps in the road or unexpected problems. Many players considered Wind Waker a letdown; too much ocean, not enough story. Now that Link is back on dry land, he has found his feet again. The Legend of Zelda is gaming at its pure best. Created by a man who enjoyed walking in the woods and exploring the caves near his childhood home, Zelda captures the fun, the excitement, the danger that every game dreams of delivering. For most gamers, the adventures of Link and the story of Zelda have never failed to deliver. The latest chapter in the cyclic Legend, Twilight Princess, had the fate of not only Hyrule but a brand-new gaming platform resting on its shoulders. It has - almost unreasonably well - borne up under the pressure. Link saves himself and the princess from the darkness of evil, and the Wii from the darkness of financial misfortune. Read on for my impressions of the latest chapter in gaming's greatest dynasty - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
  • Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Publisher/Developer: Nintendo
  • System: Wii (GameCube)
When I was trying to think about what I enjoyed the most about this game, what I came up with surprised me. It's not the amazing controls. It's not the story, or the realistic graphics, the sound design or the dungeon puzzles. It's the fact that, for the first six hours or so of the game you think it's 'just' going to be another Zelda game. Twilight Princess opens with some fairly standard elements. Elfin boy, lives in the forest, helps his neighbors, yadda yadda, bad thing happens, boy is the guy fortold in legend, etc, etc, oh he's a wolf that's neat, kill the bad guys, yeah, yeah. It's not bad, to be sure. It's ... well, it's Ocarina of Time. You're moving around, doing puzzles, advancing the plot, and enjoying the control scheme. If the first several hours of the game were indicative of the overall experience, I would have walked away satisfied but not overly impressed.

They go by fairly quickly during this extended introduction period, but there are hints of the differences to come early in the game. The twilight creature Midna, who sort of 'adopts' Link in his wolfen form, is unusually cynical for a Zelda title. She has an honestly funny sense of humor, and seems to delight in manipulating events towards some goal we're not privvy to. Zelda herself is distant and remorseful, the art style of the twilight world is very distinctive - the game has a serious tone from the get-go.

What begins to happen, as you pass beyond the introductory period and move into the game proper, is that you stop crawling. You start running. After the long tutorial, your legs stretch out and before you know it you're looking around at a game that demands your continued movement. The element that shifts Twilight Princess beyond Ocarina is the sheer momentum that the game builds as it hurtles forward through the story. There's so much to see, so much to do, that the game stops being 'another Zelda' and becomes Zelda in its purest form. There are references throughout the game to other chapters in the series, and you begin to realize that you aren't just playing some schmo here: you are playing with the Hero of Legend.

The gravitas which sinks that idea in is echoed in every element of the game. Link isn't the hero foretold by the marketing department when they dreamed up this game's ad campaign. Link is a hero, and you know it. You've been there, in other times and other places, helping other Links to complete the quests that made those Links into legends. When you pick up the boomerang, or the bow and arrow, it's not just another item upgrade. These are the tools of a hero, going all the way back to snagging that boomerang off of a dead moblin in the first dungeon of the very first game.

That may sound overly dramatic, but it's something that has to be experienced to be believed. The Wiimote control scheme is the first stepping stone. The fear Zelda fans expressed when it was announced you were going to have to waggle to swing your sword was palpable. They needn't have worried; holding your hands apart in your lap, destroying your enemies with a quick flick of the wrist, is the most natural thing in the world. Most impressively, you'll even find there are a few 'Wii Sports' moments in the game. There is no in-game need for you to do a completely elaborate overhand slash into the boss's weak point ... but it's a hell of a lot of fun. The control scheme turns the spin attack into a regular part of your routine, too. With no need for charging up, a simple gesture with your nunchuck hand sends mobs of enemies to their doom.

The controls fit seamlessly with other traditional Zelda elements, as well. Complex themed dungeons and brain-breaking puzzles litter the game. Each holds not only the simple pleasures of tackling room after room of enemies and traps, but pits you against a mini-boss and a end-boss for each labyrinth. The bosses further the game's seriousness, pitting you against devious creatures which require unique strategies to put down. Likewise, puzzles are likely to force you to utilize every tool you've been taught and every item you've been given to overcome them. Even if you have to spend twenty or thirty minutes staring at one puzzle element, you'll always get it eventually. Twilight Princess has no cheap tricks or unfair moments; solving a puzzle is always a cause for celebration, not for throwing your Wiimote.

It's the Wiimote, of course, that makes these bosses and puzzles work so well. Aiming for targets with the boomerang or bow and arrows is just a matter of pointing. Because all of the buttons (A, B, C, Z) are so close together, and so distinctly placed on the two parts of the controller, performing quick presses with any of them is just a matter of reacting. There's never a need to think 'Which one is B, now?' You just know.

The slow buildup at the start of the game is what makes that possible. Your thorough grounding in the 'basics of Twilight Princess' leaves you well-prepared for the unpredictability of the later portions of the game. You'll bounce back and forth between light and darkness, freeing portions of Hyrule as a wolf, and then returning to the light to exterminate the twilight beasts with your sword and shield. In the twilight realm, Midna rides atop your furry back, while in the light she hides within your own shadow. In both realms, she offers advice whenever she feels it's appropriate, as well as hints as to what to do next. Once you've begun defeating shadow creatures, she'll offer you teleportation services across Hyrule as well. It's a truly great experience, to have the option to bop across Hyrule or make your way via more conventional means.

The game's teleportation service, and the availability of Link's horse Epona throughout the majority of the storyline are just more pieces of the well-made path the designers have laid down: Even though this title is in the neighborhood of 70 hours of content, there are no wasted moments. As good as Final Fantasy XII is, the need to grind levels means that some portions of your quest are, ultimately, forgettable. Twilight Princess is just the opposite. You'll never find yourself unable to do something you shouldn't be able to. Traveling between dungeons, you'll find hidden niches of goodies, new heart containers, even mini-dungeons that make you suspect every boulder and bush of containing an unseen realm. If you see something you can't reach you can move on without frustration; you'll get back to it eventually.

Whatever that unattainable object is, chances are you can see it from quite a ways away. Despite the (relatively) underpowered nature of the Wii, Twilight Princess is a very, very beautiful game. To an eye used to the slickness of the 360 or PS3, some portions of the games textures can certainly appear muddy and dull. The difference in image quality between AV cables and component cables is also quite striking; unartistically abstract portions of the game pop to life with the increase in visual quality. What the game lacks in graphical power, though, is more than made up for by the sheer amount and precision of the graphics. Zelda's huge environment is lovingly laid out, with every portion of the world having received careful attention. Places like Hyrule Castle, Death Mountain, and Kakariko Village are instantly recognizable, but look quite different from previous incarnations. The game's audio needs no qualifiers. I've been a fan of the music in Zelda games since the original 8-bit theme kept me up at night. This title's score is equal parts tradition and originality. The twilight realm, especially, moves the horizon of the game's musical landscape. Twisted, vaguely mechanical sounds are now a part of the instrumental selections, and the game's use of music to build mood is carefully laid down. Both visually and auditorally, Twilight Princess is a feast.

The game is not flawless, of course. If you don't like adventure games, or the Zelda series, there is nothing here that will change your perspective. Likewise, while I don't think the extreme visual style of Wind Waker would have been appropriate here, I wouldn't have objected to some slightly more stylized graphical elements. Titles like Okami and Final Fantasy XII have proven what you can get out of an aging console if you focus on style over realism; it might have been interesting to see what such a marriage could reap with a Zelda title.

These are minor, minor quibbles. Zelda is nothing less that the most precisely crafted adventure game of the last several years. Twilight Princess may be the finest adventure game ever made, for the simple reason than it encompasses the entire possibility range that the genre offers. Every single gameplay element you could think to see in an adventure game is here, and many novel and interesting new pieces besides. As you move forward through the game you're constantly challenged with new ideas, new items, new puzzles, new gameplay elements; what you are actually doing within the game never stands still. If boredom can be defined as repetition, you will be hard pressed to point at any section of the title and call it boring.

The path the designers have laid down leads from the last generation to the next. They've built this game on series traditions, and fitted the stones into place with the tools of their 'new gen' console. The highest praise I can think to give to a game is to say that it is fun. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an awful, awful lot of fun. Not only is it a reason to buy a Wii, it's proof that despite all of our doubts, despite the fears that they'd gone crazy-nutso with this 'waggling' thing, they really know what they're doing. Truly, perhaps, the best part of this whole scenario is the date on the calendar. This was a launch title. If they can so finely craft the entertainment experience of a Wii title this early in the console's life, one can only hope that future titles will be able to build on the lessons of Twilight Princess. Zelda won't be the best game on the system. Down the line, I look foward to more memorable, physically involving, and deeply moving experiences on Nintendo's little white box.
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Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess Review

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  • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:55PM (#17150790) Homepage Journal
    Has anyone reviewed the gamecube version? I realize that the wii is the more inexpensive of the new consoles, but it is still outside my price range. I'm interested in hearing how the game is without all the waving and what not. Will this be like having a 3-d movie but no glasses for those of us still on the cube?
    • by Guppy06 (410832) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @02:58PM (#17150852)
      The GameCube version doesn't come out until Wednesday or so. My guess is they didn't want it cannibalizing into Wii sales. Personally, I'll probably be getting the GCN version simply because I can't find a Wii to play on.
      • because I can't find a Wii to play on.

        Chuckle.. heheh.. sorry..

        Anyways Nintendo has been shipping out a new batch of Wii's almost every week. You might have to wait till after Christmas, but you might not either. The local stores that are carrying it have been getting used to this, and can generally by now tell you when they expect their next shipment in.
        • by TheJorge (713680)
          I've heard from a number of stores (this may be regional to the Houston area) that there's a big shipment scheduled for December 18th. I was mostly asking about Wiimotes after mine was hurled into a brick wall during some tennis, but I understood this day to be a big one for all the Wii stuff (consoles and games included)
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:00PM (#17150870) Homepage Journal
      I'm interested in hearing how the game is without all the waving and what not. Will this be like having a 3-d movie but no glasses for those of us still on the cube?

      Twilight Princess was originally developed for the cube, then ported to the Wii late in development. So it's likely that the controls will not feel unnatural to anyone who's played Ocarina of Time.
      • Twilight Princess was originally developed for the cube, then ported to the Wii late in development. So it's likely that the controls will not feel unnatural to anyone who's played Ocarina of Time.

        Ocarina of Time is at least a seven year old N64 game, not a gamecube game.
        • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:42PM (#17151638) Homepage Journal
          Ocarina of Time is at least a seven year old N64 game, not a gamecube game.

          Twilight Princess is more of a direct descendent of OoT than of Wind Waker. While those who played Wind Waker loved the game, it was met with some rather critical reactions from Zelda fans. So Nintendo went back to the tried and true formula established in OoT to produce a new, yet traditional Zelda for the Gamecube. Unfortunately, development took a LONG time. (A couple of years, in fact.) By the time they were ready to release, they decided to just delay the game and release it for the Wii.
          • by 7Prime (871679) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @04:02PM (#17151986) Homepage Journal

            I dunno if I would agree that everyone who played Wind Waker loved it. Most of us got over the "but it looks like it's for little kids" bullshit, the artistic style was the least of my worries (as well as most other people who finally played it, that I've talked with), but the "huge boring ocean" does really cut into the enjoyment factor quite a bit, it turns what could have been an "excellent little game" into a "excellent but extremely flawed little game".

            Twilight Princess is neither flawed nor little, though. Sure, the OoT references are many, and the traditional dungeon progression is back, but it's not OoT for the sheer reasons that the story is about 10x as deep, the atmosphere is darker than Majora's Mask (my previous favorite in the series), and its character portrayal could go give a contemporary Final Fantasy a run for its money, any day of the week... not typical for Zelda.

            I now understand that when Nintendo was talking about making Zelda a more mature game, they weren't talking about adding gore or death or sexual references, they weren't talking about making Link into the 15-year-old male's teen idol... they were talking about making the whole experience more sophisiticated, for lack of a better term, and I think they outdid themselves in this regard.

            Unfortunately, it's holding at 11th best game at GameRankings.com, when OoT has always remained #1... strangely, however, almost everyone who pits it against OoT agrees that it is a far superior game, so I don't know how they get off with that. I think TP is even more gutsy, breaking away from its traditionally 2-dimensonal (story and character-wise) roots, then OoT was for its time.

            • ...finished. After I figured out you had to sail your ass all over the place to find the pieces of the triforce I snapped, and quit playing. My daughter always asked me to play 'link' and was very upset I refused too. She's quite in love watching me play Twilight Princess though. Running commentary from a five year old on 'you didn't do that right' or 'no don't do that as a wolf do it as link' is rather fun for a bit.

              The new control scheme is second nature to me, and the six or eight hours straight do
              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by PixelCat (58491)
                Good grief, the sailing wasn't that bad. They put teleporters all over the place so you don't have to sail for ages. Admittedly, access to them comes later than you'd like, but it generally doesn't take more than a minute or so, and probably less, to sail across any given grid on the map.
            • I loved OoT and MM, but hated WW. I simply could not get past the fact that you spent a huge amount of time sailing around. It was dull. TP on the other hand is fantastic. I'm only about 18 hours in, but can not wait to see more.
            • by Chris Burke (6130)
              Most of us got over the "but it looks like it's for little kids" bullshit, the artistic style was the least of my worries (as well as most other people who finally played it, that I've talked with), but the "huge boring ocean" does really cut into the enjoyment factor quite a bit

              Since I'm an adult who loves animation, I loved the style since it's is basically a perfect interactive cartoon.

              The "huge boring ocean", though, was terrible. It was in fact big and boring, it added little to the game, even just ch
            • by Chris Burke (6130)
              Oh, forgot to reply to this:

              Unfortunately, it's holding at 11th best game at GameRankings.com, when OoT has always remained #1... strangely, however, almost everyone who pits it against OoT agrees that it is a far superior game, so I don't know how they get off with that.

              Gamerankings goes off of review scores, and the majority of reviews for OoT were shortly after it came out. So at the time it came out OoT got better reviews than TWP is getting today.

              I think this is perfectly legitimate. OoT is a great g
        • by Abreu (173023)
          I think he meant "A Link to the Past" ...no wait!
    • by kinglink (195330)
      It'll be the best looking cube game or a good looking wii game (I hope). either way it will look good.

      Gameplay is about the same, the only difference is how you move the aiming reticule, and how you attack (press a button, wiggle the controller)

      All in all it's the same review, and easily worth the price. I say that with out playing the cube game, but knowing it's a faithful port.
    • by Zonk (12082) * on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:18PM (#17151190) Homepage Journal
      1up doesn't have its GameCube review up yet, but there is a fairly extensive preview [1up.com] of the game on that system.

      I honestly can't imagine playing it without the Wiimote, though. Slashy slashy!
    • The Gamecube version hasn't been released yet...it's due to come out on the 12th of this month in the US. However, that said...some things are known about it. The GC version has a more traditional control scheme. I've played the Wii version, and using the Wii-mote to swing the sword works really well. The sword swings are not 1:1 though...basically moving the Wii-mote in any direction just equates to a button press...this will work just as well using a button on the GC controller. However, the spin att
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Morgon (27979)
        Actually, I initially had problems with the shield bash, as well... however, I eventually learned (by chance) that it's the same as Wii Sports - It's not just what you do, but *how* you do it.

        For example, I was having terrible trouble putting in the golf portion of Wii Sports. My stepfather (a non-gamer, but a golfer), noticed how I was trying to use the same motion for driving as I was for putting. The Wii seems to be more contextually aware than you would think.

        In any case, digression aside, I found that
  • All said and done... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by casualsax3 (875131) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:01PM (#17150892)
    ... I think I liked Okami better.

    http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/920500.asp [gamerankings.com]

    I thought Zelda was *very* good, but I think the controls turned out a bit... awkward, for lack of a better word. I think they worked quite well, but it never felt really natural. Also, it's honestly time for some voice acting Zelda. All in all a fantastic game though!

    • by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:10PM (#17151044) Journal
      Why is it time for voice acting?

      Text works perfectly fine and you don't have to deal with crappy dubbing as it crosses the ocean. Just use your imagination and you have all the voice acting you want.
      • I agree. I actually am glad I don't have to hear more craptacular voice acting. The way they did it, conveys the emotions without overwhelming you with boring dialog that you'd just end up skipping anyways.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I agree. I actually am glad I don't have to hear more craptacular voice acting.

          They'd also have to come up with some dialogue for Link on the first place. He never says anything - we just fill it in. They'd have to do a spectacular job of that, and it would have to be better than anything the player could have imagined Link saying. It's a tall order.
      • by nuzak (959558) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:28PM (#17151334) Journal
        Because Shodan wouldn't be nearly as creepy nor is Irenicus nearly as cold-blooded if they were just text. Bad voice acting can ruin a game, but it's no reason to not even try.

        But this is an adventure gaming genre where "Magic sword east. Good luck!" tends to be considered the height of exposition. So the bar isn't particularly high after all.
      • Dubbing? Who the hell said anything about dubbing, you heretic? Foreign games should NEVER be dubbed. Subtitles are the only way to do it right.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)
          One of my favorite subtitled games is Panzer Dragoon Saga. However, it's not subbed because it's translated from Japanese. It's subbed because it's in a made-up language that's very similar to Japanese, and it's subbed in English here, and in Japanese in Japan AFAIK. Personally I thought that was a neat approach, but not every game can have its own made-up language...
    • by Thansal (999464)
      Okami is one of the main reasons I will be buying a PS2 some time afet I buy my Wii.
      • by Fozzyuw (950608)
        Okami is one of the main reasons I will be buying a PS2 some time afet I buy my Wii.

        Guitar Hero I/II and God of War should be your other 2 reasons to buy a PS2. =)

        Cheers,
        Fozzy

        • You misspelled Shadows of the Colossus. ;)
          • by Fozzyuw (950608)
            You misspelled Shadows of the Colossus. ;)

            lol, actually, I've not tried that one yet, but I'm looking forward to doing it. I just have to finish Zelda on the Wii first. =) But I'm told it's pretty awesome!

          • by Thansal (999464)
            That is the game that involves scrambling around (climbing them and such) giant friken badies, right?

            I saw a little bit aobut it when it was first anounced then it went compleatly under my radar for some reason. So I am assuming that it came out and is awsome?

            (w00t for more reasons to buy a PS2)
        • by Thansal (999464)
          my god! you must be a mind reader! Go get that million dollar reward, as those are exactly the reasons why! (hehehe)

          Yup, lots of awsome games on the PS2, and that is ignoring the new ones!
  • I have to say that I agree with your opinion of this game. When I first purchased my Wii, this was the one additional game that I purchased and I've been very pleased. Fortunately, my wife isn't interested in adventure games -- or else we'd be fighting over game time.
  • 480 resolution? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Leto-II (1509) <slashdot.4.tobye@nospAM.spamgourmet.com> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:07PM (#17150990)
    Where are these high-res (relatively speaking) images coming from, since the Wii only produces 480p?
    • Re:480 resolution? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Erwos (553607) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:11PM (#17151064)
      These images look _remarkably_ like the screenshots that have been floating around for months - screenshots that look _far_ nicer than the in-game screenshots taken by other reviews.

      How about snapping your own, Zonk? Or at least making note that Nintendo basically handed these out?
      • by kalirion (728907)
        I think Pic #1 and #4 look authentic for the resolution. The rest ... don't.
      • Re:480 resolution? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Zonk (12082) * on Thursday December 07, 2006 @04:47PM (#17152896) Homepage Journal
        I get all of the images for the Slashdot videogame reviews from GameTab [gametab.com], which hosts the buckets and buckets of promo screenshots that game companies put out. I'm not actually on that many PR lists, so I use this resource to ensure there are shinies on our game reviews.

        I agree with the implication you're making: Twilight Princess did *not* look that good on my TV. But, it didn't look half bad either. I just got the component cables for the Wii the other day, and on my set (which does up to 1080i), it looks really really nice. I'd rather have slightly nicer-than-the-real thing images than nothing at all, which is what my choice was here.

        The request you're making, that I take my own screenshots, is something that I'd very much like to do myself. However, I'm just not set up for such a thing here. See, the first step along that path would be to hook a PC up to my home entertainment setup. As I have a.) a wife and b.) no spare PCs lying around, that plan pretty much stalls out before it even leaves the hanger. :)
    • by Tadrith (557354)
      I was thinking the same thing, actually. I mean, I know things look less pixelated on my computer screen because I'm not stretching the image to fit my television's resolution, but still.

      To be completely honest, The Twilight Princess is an ugly game. Before you flame me -- I loved the game. Dearly. It's one of the best games I've ever played, and certainly one of the best in the entire series. The artists responsible for all of the game's graphics did a fantastic job. The problem, for the most part, is that
  • by bananaendian (928499) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:08PM (#17150998) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only one with visions of attachments like these [tinypic.com] developing to the extreme. The sex industry only has to copy THX-1138 and make millions!
    • by Shados (741919)
      Ok, that just owns.

      That being said, there are already games announced/in development with ideas of such attachments. Since the Wiimote itself can do most of the things one might need, you just need the attachment to make it more immersive, thus making said attachments incredibly cheap (as opposed to, let say, Light Gun games of old that required a full fledged light gun to be bundled in in many cases, etc).

      So expect to see them semi-frequently.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Five Bucks! (769277)
      Oh shit...

      All this talk a about snapping wrist-straps and broken TVs; and you think it's a good idea to put pointy ends on the wiimote?!

      Won't somebody please think of the eyes!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Incadenza (560402)
      Attachments will always be used in ways not imagened by the manufacturer, as the Rez trance pack [gamegirladvance.com] proofed. Not wii, not wireless, but fully functional.
  • by donut1005 (982510) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:09PM (#17151018)
    I posted this in the Two Weeks of Wii thread, but this seems more appropriate here.

    I'll admit. If I look in the mirror I might just see a Nintendo flavored Kool-Aid mustache.

    But...

    I am all for the new innovation the Wiimote offers, but after playing Zelda TP for about 20 hours, I really don't think its integration with the Wii is anything special. I understand it was originally a GameCube game, but even as great as the game is, I think it still is a GameCube game for the Wii. Where with Wii Sports the movements of the players mimic what you do, with Zelda you just shake the Wiimote when you want Link to strike with his sword. I noticed in the E3 vids showing gameplay of Mario Galaxy (or whatever its called) you shake the Wiimote to do a superwarp or superjump. That struck me as weird, like it wasn't an instinctive motion. Why can't you just map that to a button? Did you need to put the motion sensitivity in there somewhere so sword equals jiggle the Wiimote, THERE YOU GO? If the motion can be replaced by a button, I don't see it causing excitement. I see a lot of developers thinking "How can we incorporate the wiggle?" I hope soon enough they figure out how this new interface really works. Hopefully Trauma Center and Elebits can be used for a future template on why there is motion sensitivity in the first place!
    • by Jeffrey Baker (6191) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:21PM (#17151240)
      Some elements of TP really do use the motion sensing to good effect, I think. The aiming of the slingshot, bow, and grapple are not that interesting, since the same thing can be accomplished using the analog stick. But Link's shield attack is invoked by jabbing the nunchuk, which is pretty intuitive, and the stab is done by stabbing with the Wiimote. And you reel in your fish by reeling on the nunchuk. Overall I thought the control scheme was pretty good.

      But I still think the best part of the Wii controller is that I can use what amounts to a Gamecube controller cut in half. I don't have to sit with my hands cramped together.
    • by modeless (978411)
      What bugs me the most about the sword controls is that if Link's sword is put away, swinging the Wiimote doesn't even attack. It merely causes Link to unsheathe his sword. When that interface was a button, it wasn't too annoying, but when I swing the Wiimote I want Link to swing his sword, dangit! It's also much more annoying now when you enter an area where Link refuses to attack, and you swing the Wiimote wildly to no effect. It really reminds you that you're not swinging a sword in an epic adventure;
  • by Hackie_Chan (678203) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:13PM (#17151106)
    The game is not flawless, of course....I don't think the extreme visual style of Wind Waker would have been appropriate here, I wouldn't have objected to some slightly more stylized graphical elements. Titles like Okami and Final Fantasy XII have proven what you can get out of an aging console if you focus on style over realism; it might have been interesting to see what such a marriage could reap with a Zelda title.

    Wow. You're not the first one to say that. It's funny how Nintendo were completely lambasted for making the Wind Maker cell shaded so they decided to take Twilight Princess in the art direction that the fans wanted. And now they're criticized to making the game too dark and gritty?

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
    • by Zonk (12082) * on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:22PM (#17151256) Homepage Journal
      I actually *loved* Wind Waker's look. What I didn't like was that it was rushed out the door to meet with the demands of Nintendo's corporate strategy. It (almost) felt like the over-compensated with Twilight Princess. Wind Waker is short, and kind of spartan, while Twilight Princess is just *so much game* that it can feel a little overwhelming at parts.

      As for Princess's look, I just think that the art style they used in the twilight realm was infinitely more interesting than the off-the-shelf fantasy feel of the light world. I'm like most gamers: I like seeing new stuff. More newness in the visual style would have just been even more icing on an already delicious cake.
      • by Chris Burke (6130)
        I actually *loved* Wind Waker's look. What I didn't like was that it was rushed out the door to meet with the demands of Nintendo's corporate strategy.

        Yeah, WW's style was great. It was a nearly perfect rendering of an interactive cartoon. I thought it looked good at first, but when I first saw the Moblins in Ganondorf's castle I was blown away.

        Like you, the obvious length-padding the game received due to being rushed is my only major complaint -- but a major one it is. Unlike every other Zelda, I haven'
      • I love WindWaker's art, too. It's got some beautiful things in it. Playing it, I feel like I'm actually controlling a cartoon movie. Not a CGI movie, an old-school painted cels cartoon. That is awesome.

        I don't have a Wii and haven't seen TP in person, but I prefer the WW art from what I've seen. TP just doesn't look very colorful, and Zelda feels like it should be colorful (unless a lack of color is signifying something, like a dark world). Not that I'm saying it should look like WW, but like you say they

    • The game is not flawless, of course....I don't think the extreme visual style of Wind Waker would have been appropriate here, I wouldn't have objected to some slightly more stylized graphical elements. Titles like Okami and Final Fantasy XII have proven what you can get out of an aging console if you focus on style over realism; it might have been interesting to see what such a marriage could reap with a Zelda title. Wow. You're not the first one to say that. It's funny how Nintendo were completely lambas

    • No, he says that the visual style of Wind Waker wouldn't have been appropriate for this game, but he would have liked some flair in the visual style. That's not a contradiction.
  • Americans are supposed to be leaders in creativeness and innovation but some of the recent products, like the wii or the Prius, from Japan are simply amazing. The Nintendo Wii is an extremely creative and innovative product. By comparison, the xbox 360 (from an allegedly free-to-innovate american company) already looks like a dinosaur.
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:32PM (#17151408)
    "For most gamers, the adventures of Link and the story of Zelda have never failed to deliver."

    Only because most gamers were spared the horror of playing one of the two CD-i Zelda games. I picked up a refurb CD-i dirt cheap for the time ($100 w/the MPEG cart) for the 7th Guest and decided to try out the Mask of Gamelion (sp?) while I was at it. Not only was that easily the worst game I've ever played (and I've played ET for the 2600), I was dumb enough to pay $35 for it. That is one scenario where the "adventures of Link and the story of Zelda" SERIOUSLY failed to deliver.
    • How's 7th Guest on CDI? Does the MPEG hardware make the video any more attractive than the PC version? How is the game controlled? How many discs is it on?
      • by Tim Browse (9263)

        I'll save you the time - 7th Guest will be shite on whatever platform it's ported to, because it's a shite game. It's basically a gauche video remake of Gyles Brandeth's Big Book of Puzzles.

        The third (or fourth)? time I entered a new room, and the carpet slid away revealing a chequered tile pattern and yet another freaking chess puzzle, I groaned in pain.

        Just a terrible, terrible game. Buy a book of puzzles and save yourself 30 units of local currency.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tarlus (1000874)
      The CD-i games don't count as part of the Zelda series. They were disowned by Nintendo from the very start. They are 3rd party titles, and were made with absolutely no involvement from N.

      The only reason that Philips was able to crap out (not one, but) three games with Zelda in the title is due to a rather messy breakup between Nintendo and Philips that left them with temporary legal rights to some of Nintendo's properties.

      So really, they are games with "Zelda" in the title, but they are non-canon and are ad
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by elrous0 (869638) *
        So really, they are games with "Zelda" in the title, but they are non-canon and are adventures/stories that happen to have Link and Zelda, but are not really the adventures/stories OF Link and Zelda.

        You can call us "heretics" all you like. But we have just as much right to define the Zelda canon as you do! And we say the holy CD-i titles are just as sacred as the rest!

        -Eric

        • by Chris Burke (6130)
          You can call us "heretics" all you like. But we have just as much right to define the Zelda canon as you do! And we say the holy CD-i titles are just as sacred as the rest!

          Oh I will gladly call you a heretic, ye who worships false works of blasphemy against His Holiness Miyamoto -- who designeth forever and ever. As far as your right to define Zelda canon, me and my mob of Deku Stick and Red Candle wielding faithful disagree. Let the lynching begin. Mario be praised!
    • if i'm not mistaken, it was also one scenario where they were written and produced by someone other than nintendo. some sort of wierd licensing deal with phillips iirc.
    • There was no such thing as the CD-i, and obviously then there could not have been such a thing as CD-i Zelda games.

      Stop spreading your evil lies, heretic!

      You're just as dangerous as those sinners who claim that the Wachowskis made not just one, but two sequels to The Matrix. Burn the lot of ya, I say!
  • I have a Wii, I have Twilight Princess, but I am not a Zelda fanboy (I only played the first Zelda and Majora's Mask).

    This game is good, but it is not the best game ever made. Period. All these fanboy reviews that say the game is the second coming are seriously blinded by the (Nintendo) label on the front. Furthermore, the main problems with it aren't the ones that all the fanboys talk about.

    The main problems are these:
    1. Awkward camera control. There are times when you get some awkward camera

  • Does the same version of the game play on both GC and Wii, or do you have to buy it twice as you upgrade your hardware?

    Any differences in game play, aside from the new Wii controller?

  • Controls (Score:3, Informative)

    by alphaseven (540122) on Thursday December 07, 2006 @03:46PM (#17151720)
    I have a problem with how the controls work in that I feel they're inconsistent and overcomplicated. For instance there are three different sub-screens you can go to, one for your map and two different inventory screens. For the first inventory screen you press A to exit but the other inventory screen and map screen you press B to exit. The A button can attack with a sword but with a lantern it puts it out, you use B to swing a lantern. And to refill a lantern you have to go to one of the inventory screens, map a jar of lantern oil to the d-pad, exit the screen by pressing A (not B which is used to exit the other screens) then press the d-pad which usually swaps an item to your B button but in this case uses a jar, but when I want to refill a jar I have to equip it with the d-pad then press B. I think it would have been better if the game filled your lantern automatically or you did it in the equipment screen. Another problem I have is that sometimes you have to hold down the A button to push/pull objects but sometimes you press A to grab and press A again to let go.
    • by jskiff (746548)
      I'd mod you up if I had the points. You're talking about my single best grip with TP: control inconsistency. I can't remember how many times I've pressed A instead of B on the menu screen simply due to different screens using different options to "accept" changes. I think the graphics look fine, even on a 57" TV. They're not as good as 360, of course, but stylistically they are amazing. In-game controls are great. I've loved using the Wiimote. But the menus are awful.
    • Agreed. It doesn't kill the game, but it does irritate me. A minor problem in the end though.
  • My major problem with the game was actually its story. So much in the beginning seemed to foreshadow something really great; I thought, "this story is really going to go somewhere. It's going to turn around and have some great revelation and some 'lesson to be learned' in the end."

    Well, when I was still thinking that in the latter third of the game, when it still seemed to be "setting up for something great," I realized that it really would be just another Zelda story. Pretty good as far as games go, but no
    • by Maul (83993)
      I think the story was very good, but Nintendo clearly writes the story of Zelda games to fit with the gameplay, first and foremost This causes some weird inconsistancies the Zelda series storyline as a whole.
  • The last Zelda game I played before buying my Wii was the orginal Legend of Zelda for the NES. I cannot even recall if I finished the game.

    I lucked out and picked up a Wii at my local Best Buy the Sunday after Thanksgiving. From there I walked next door the to the Wal-Mart and purchased TP.

    I am only about 6 hours into the game, and I have to admit, it is a lot of fun. I am an offical 'Geezer Gamer', and I liked the fact that the controls were very easy to learn, and The game play is made to ramp up your
  • Left-hande control (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Can any left-handers comment on how playable the game is with the Wii Remote, especially swordsmanship? Can it be played left-handed in a natural way, or do you need to retrain yourself to play right-handed?
  • by RyoShin (610051) <tukaro.gmail@com> on Thursday December 07, 2006 @04:40PM (#17152754) Homepage Journal
    I beat Twilight Princess for myself this past Monday. The game is completely awesome, but not without it's gripes. I pretty much agree with the positives that Zonk listed, so I won't bother listing those again. Instead, I'll touch on some negatives I found that I didn't see listed.

    First, the battle camera- it's like it actually got worse from Wind Waker. When using Z-targeting, the camera tends to slowly circle Link and his locked-on foe. As it does so, the directions changes in relation to the analog stick, so if I'm trying to do a forward slash I might wind up doing a side jump. This is annoying, especially when I need to be able to look straight on.

    Second was movements with the Nunchuck. Perhaps I just need more practice, but actually doing a Shield-Knock (or whatever it is called) was rather annoying. More often than not I wound up doing a Spin Slash instead. And, speaking of the Spin Slash, the movements I had to make with the Nunchuck never seemed completely constant- sometimes a little shake was enough, sometimes I'd have to flail my arms to get it to work.

    Finally, I am saddened that a lot of the additions in Wind Waker weren't included in Twilight Princess. First, the ability to use the weapons of enemies. Even if they'd been less effective, it would have been fun to pick up one of the ginormous swords of the new (and much bad-ass) Iron Knuckles. Second, I kind of liked the whole picture collection thing, though there are lots of other collecting to do in TP to make up for that. Finally, the ending.

    -----(SPOILERS AHEAD! SCROLL FAST!)-----







    After finally defeating Ganondorf (following one fun as hell horseback fight), you kind of stand there with Zelda, and the Light Spirits bring back Midna in her true form. She says a witty line, and then credits. To me, this seems like the least cohesive of all Zelda endings, even worse than Ocarina of Time. Yes, in the middle of the credits we have a scene where she goes back to Twili and destorys the mirror on her way out, but still- what happened to Ganondorf? Did he completely die? Was he just defeated enough to be sent back into the Light/Dark World? These are really only necessary if you're trying to fit into continuity, but still... I feel like the ending was severly lacking.







    ------------(END SPOILERS!)-------------

    And then they don't even give us some sort of New Story+. Granted, I still have 30 hours of content to go through for this initial game, but you don't even get to save at the end and unlock some nifty little things. WW allowed you the use of your normal clothes, an extra heart, being able to understand the Guardian beasts (which was well worth it) and the Photo box early on after initially beating the game.

    For all that though, it was still a great game. A lot of the new items were great, too. The Ball & Chain is fun as hell, the Spinner adds new gameplay elements, and the double hookshot is also nifty keen. My $50 was definately not wasted.
  • The review seems to assume that you already know a lot about Zelda. I don't--I have never played one of the games. I get the idea that there is a lot of story here, ok, but what is the GAMEPLAY like? Is most of my time spent in combat or in puzzles? Is combat action, turn-based, or a hybrid? Do I have a party or do I work alone? First or third person view? Is there an hour of reading before the game actually starts, like in a lot of the Japanese RPGs I have looked at? How do I manage inventory? What's the s
  • Not only is it a reason to buy a Wii, it's proof that despite all of our doubts, despite the fears that they'd gone crazy-nutso with this 'waggling' thing, they really know what they're doing.

    Twilight Princess is coming out for the GameCube as well, right? In fact it was originally developed for the GC, so theoretically it should control as good or better compared to the Wii version. So why would I pay $250 for a new Wii when I can just play the game on the GC I already own?

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