Review by Luke_the_Duke15

"Quite simply, one of the best Zelda games."

I know a lot of you out there don't like Ocarina of Time, however if I had to choose between Ocarina of Time and this game, it would be the longest decision I've ever made so far in my life. From the moment I started the game to the moment I saw the "The End" screen I enjoyed it all the way through. It's almost flawless, and is, no doubt, worth the money and time to buy and play.

Story 10/10
I felt the story in this Zelda game was very strong. It starts out where you see the ending to another day in Link's life. Link's given the job to deliver a special gift to Hyrule Castle by his close friend, Rusl. So you live as Link for a few days. The day Link is supposed to leave, one of his close friends, Ilia, sees that his horse, Epona, has hurt her leg. She blames Link, then takes Epona to a spring, When Link gets Epona back the plot kicks in. The kids in the village are kidnapped and Link runs ro save them only to find the rest of Hyrule is covered in a blanket of twilight. He gets pulled into the twilight and is transformed into a wolf. He meets a being of the twilight called Midna, who helps him save Hyrule. Link then must go and get rid of the twilight covering Hyrule. The story is always interesting and there are no dull parts as well as no plot holes.

Gameplay 9/10
The gameplay is divided up into two parts: Link and Wolf.

Link 10/10
Playing as human Link is anything you'd want it to be. You explore Hyrule so you can find ways to progress the story and find dungeons. Unlike other Zelda games, I felt there was a lot more stuff you could, and have do outside of dungeons. This is a good thing because it increases the length of the game. The dungeons are just awesome. Like other Zelda dungeons, you explore them and search for items and keys to progress through the dungeon and eventually make your way to the boss. Each dungeon has it's own central puzzle that is considerably larger than every other puzzle. They generally stretch across the entire dungeon or most of it. The puzzles can range from swinging across a giant chasm, forming a key to open up a door, trying to open up a grate that can't be opened with a key or a button, or to find a statue and bring it to where it belongs. All of the puzzles are extremely satisfying to solve. The bosses in the dungeons could have been a lot harder. They were pathetically easy. The actual fights are grand, however they just weren't difficult. Combat as human Link is great. You get hidden skills over the course of the game. They make the combat more interesting and most of them are required to progress through the game. The AI of some enemies is crap. You can be standing right in front of them adn they won't attack. They will run towards you and then they'll stop on a dime and look around aimlessly. The items are grand. Nintendo brings back old items, like the hook/clawshot and the bow and arrow, as well as introducing new items. The only problem I have with the items is that some of them are rarely used outside of their dungeon.

Wolf 8/10
The gameplay as the wolf early on is pretty... bland. You play as wolf link whenever you're in twilight. To get rid of the twilight, you have to kill 16 dark insects and collect the light inside of them to cut through the twilight. It may seem exciting at first, but it quickly gets repetitive. The good thing is this isn't really make up that much of the gameplay. Remember when I said the combat as human Link was great? I wish I could say the same for combat as wolf Link. The first problem arises when you can barely control where the wolf pounces when you attack, which can cause you to miss even if you're locked on to the enemy. Another problem is that there isn't a lot of variety in the wolf's attacks. You can't influence how he attacks with the control stick and the only combo is repeatedly pressing the "B" button. You can do a harder pounce by pressing the "A" button while locked on to and enemy, however I wouldn't call this more efficient because it knocks the enemy back and it takes about 5 seconds for it to get back up and you can't hit it when it's on the ground. Obviously you can't use items as wolf Link so this makes gameplay as the wolf have a lot less variety. There aren't as many puzzles when you're playing as wolf Link and you don't fight any real bosses (however I think that's a good thing showing how annoying the combat is).

Graphics 9/10
The graphics are superb. The character models have a very slight "cartoony" sense. There was a great amount of detail put into the environment. The only thing I didn't like was that some textures in the environment look absolutely awful. If they ere on the Nintendo 64 they would still look pretty bad. The good thing is there are only a few textures like this. I like the "gritty" type of graphics more than cel-shading (even though cel-shading is timeless), and because of this it feels more like Zelda because the world seems so real.

Sound/Music 10/10
The music in the game is mind-blowing. Every piece fits the environment and the mood of the situation and is quite catchy. There are old favorites like the Zelda's Lullaby to new ones like Midna's theme and the Twilight theme. The only song that isn't good id the twilight them, however you don't have to listen to it often enough for it to get annoying. The sound effects in the game are wonderful. Link's grunts sound real, Epona's neighing sounds like you're right next to her, and enemy cries actually sound like they're preparing for battle or dying in agony.

Replayability 8/10
You can do sidequests like killing Poes and collecting their souls, or collecting Golden Bugs. There's much more for you to do too. You can also just replay the game all together. It's just as fun the second time as it is the first.

Gameplay time 10/10
For the experienced player it takes at least 20 hours to beat without any sidequests. With sidequests, add on 6-10 hours. That's only for the experienced player though. Multiply that by 1.5 or 2 and you'll get an idea for how long it takes on a first play-through.

This game is clearly one of the best Zelda games and all throughout the game you know your playing a real Zelda game. This is what Zelda should be and what it's about. It's no wonder the game's only dropped in price by $20 in the 3 years it's been out. I really can't understand why some people don't like the game. They're clearly entitled to their own opinion, but the game is wonderful in every aspect. It far exceeded my expectations.

Do not skip this gem. Buy it. If you feel you're still unsure, rent it. But I have to say that the game is worth the $40 and I enjoyed every single minute for him.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 03/08/10

Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (US, 12/11/06)

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