The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Review by gizzardgulpe
"Another overhyped game that makes me sad..."
When I heard that a realistic, darker, more engrossing, "adultish" Zelda was being produced, I almost messed myself. I was so excited because I've been a huge fan of the series since the very first game when I was just a toddler, unable to understand the game at all. I watched my older brother play and beat the game, and I was hooked from then on to be a zelda fan, and a real life adventurous type.
Then I played Link to the Past, and man, It was a revolution to me. You could talk to people, you could wander around dungeons forever, bombing walls and finding secrets, and you could doot doo you way along with the music all day. So memorable.
Next for me was Ocarina of Time. 3D Link! Real sword fighting! I didn't think I'd even get it for Christmas that year, but I begged, and to my surprise and happiness, I had Ocarina of Time. I didn't put it down for days. It was revolutionary, the music was fantastic (although I missed the original theme song, I still loved the music). Everything was great about it I thought, and still do.
Majora's mask and Windwaker came and went, both with a share of disappointments and complements. In some ways, Majora's mask is the best Zelda game to me, and in some ways, the worst. The same with Windwaker.
I couldn't get my hands on a Wii, but I happened upon Twilight Princess in Walmart one day and bought it on a whim (for my brother's birthday present actually), deciding not to wait for a Wii.
He put it in, very excited, I sat and watched. I was just impressed. The artistic direction, the vivid, colorful characters.... Ah, I loved it. So what if the camera started making me nauseous and my brother's playing made me frustrated...
Anyway, long story a bit shorter, I got some time in, and 27ish hours later, I beat Twilight Princess.
I'm not so impressed anymore...
Here are the categories, the good and the bad.
Certainly well done. The artistic stylings couldn't be better, and the cube just can't really create some of the effects they were looking for I would think, but it's fine. My biggest complaint is Link's running animation. He looks like a skinny gorilla.
The Music is the best in a Zelda game I've heard to date, in my opinion. Many of the songs are heavily rearranged medleys from past games, but some themes are all new. I think it was a great balance of old and new, and I smiled every time I entered a new area and heard the music.
The sound effects are run of the mill. The Mailman makes me laugh every time I hear his sounds, but that's it for uniquity. Sword swings are unchanged... the clawshot is just the hookshot sound... You get the idea, nothing changed. The sound that chimes when you pick up a rupee changed, but only ever so slightly. many would not notice.
More grown up yes... fully realized? Nope. There isn't a single character in the game with depth... scratch that... three characters have depth. But their development is scattered wildly about the course of the game. Also, most of the development occurs in the first half of the game. Then it just sort of stops. That only occurs with two of the three characters, but whatever. The point is, this game successfully created some of the most potentially beautiful, colorful, enjoyable characters, but they just didn't get enough screen time. One character named Telma... She is so awesome, but after your little side quest with her, you talk to her and she only says the same one line. No new optional side quest, no backstory, nothing! It was very frustrating to me, a writer, gamer, and philosopher, to see someone like that fade into non-existence.
Probably, my biggest story-related beef is in how badly things are conveyed. Since no one talks, it's all in text, so you can't hear tone of voice. I don't mind text, cause it's like reading a cool book. Still, without the voices, cutscenes are really chopped up and I hardly understood what happened on more than one occasion. For those that have played it, when you beat the third dungeon, a lot of important stuff happened. When it was said and done, I didn't know what had disappeared or died or lived or gone on to be newly discovered. It just happened, and there was just a sort of... textual silence that would have been more dramatic and understandable if it had been spoken. I'm sure it could have been portrayed better with text, and I wish they would have actually put more effort into it. It could have been more dramatic and loveable if they did.
I can't hold it in any longer, the camera is a serious step down from Ocarina, and almost on par with Windwaker. L targeting becomes a nuisance in some situations because enemies either surround you, or the walls are in too close. You have four options in camera positioning basically. You can L Target, walk around without messing with the C stick, push down on the C stick to make it zoom out (barely) or be in first person view. You are never allowed to run toward the camera, which would be nice to see some of the landscapes, but no. It distracted me, but I could live with it.
Then, even with the badish camera, the game was way too easy. I'm fairly confident I can beat this game with three hearts without dying without using a fairy or potion. Yes, in the first few hours of playing, it seems like you wish you had more hearts, but that's mostly because you don't have much to use in your arsenal of weapons. As you get more sword skills and things like the bow and arrow, you won't have a problem. I can live with this, but there is no second run through hard difficulty, no secret name screen difficulty change, it's just stuck on super easy mode.
You use the slingshot 3 times.... Huh?
You use the Clawshot everywhere.... huh?
The Horse is useless halfway through the game. You just warp everywhere at that point. It's another underdeveloped idea in the game. Same with Wolf Link. He has three ablities, and never learns new ones. The extent of Wolf Links abilities being put to use is something like digging your way under a wall once to advance in a dungeon. Once. Well, okay, you have to sniff out scents 4 times in the game. Still not impressed. Give him like a super jump ability that doesn't require a prompt from Midna, or extra sharp claws, or wolf armor, I don't care! something please...
Let's see what else can I complain about...
Oh yeah, no third sword, no mirror shield or similar, and the armors leave much to be desired.
Rupees are easy to come by, and you only spend them two or three times (optional of course). Also, bottles are too easy to find, also, completely unnecessary.
So, I know I have a lot of bad to say about it, but really, it's a very enjoyable game. Maybe it's just cause I'm such a fan of the series that I don't give it a lower score, but I dunno. I think it's a game worth buying because it really does take a long time to beat, and you are never uninterested (maybe you'll be bored for the first hour or two, but maybe not). If I have turned you off, at least rent it and see for yourself how it stacks up.
Ocarina of Time's better? No.
Equal? mmm... in some people's eyes. not mine.
Distant intelligent cousin? Yes.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/07
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