Review by chunkyliver1204
"Greatest game ev-- no, greatest <i>creation</i> ever!!!"
I'm currently playing through this game for a second time as I'm writing this. After I beat it for the first time, proudly without a guide I might add (this is only my second completed Zelda, so...), I tried playing other games. I couldn't. This game just seemed so unbelievably perfect compared to all the other games I own (Resident Evil 4, Tales of Symphonia, need I say more?) that I couldn't pick them up. I can't play any other game anymore without comparing to this game. This game's ruined my life... in a good way.
For the first time, this franchise has proven it could tell a damn fine story.
You'll start off as Link in a small village of Ordona province. You'll start off doing somewhat simple tasks just to progress through to the actual story (which could take nearly an hour for first-timers). Don't worry, it's only a very fun introduction. Afterwards, one of your admirers, Talo, begins chasing after a monkey that has been causing mischief in the village. Talo AND the monkey end up getting captured and you must save them.
Once you've accomplished that, you'll begin your attempt at your real goal: to take Rusl's place in going to Hyrule for business that year. Rusl is the town's greatest swordsman (actually, the only one besides Link). Although, Ilia, your childhood friend and who Link really has feelings for, sees a wound on his horse, Epona. She takes her to the healing spring, and while you and Colin arrive, a great ogre thing on a giant boar comes and kidnaps Ilia and Colin. You'll later find out that all the children have been captured. This leads you to the twilight realm.
When Link arrives there, he'll transform into a really cool looking wolf. From there on, he'll meet allies like Midna (who acts as your fairy as in Ocarina of Time) and of course, the Princess Zelda.
The story itself really revolves around who is controlling the twilight realm and why they want it taking over the light world (it shouldn't exactly be a surprise to find out who it is). There are many twists in the story, and one wonderfully choreographed cut-scene that entirely uses symbolism to express the story being told, so don't act all confused when Link turns evil and then sees Ilia flying all around him, and even attempt to attack him.
The little things involved in the world of Hyrule like side quests are really quite lengthy, as they'll take you most of the game to complete. Collecting bugs for a really weird Princess Agitha, and collecting Poes' souls for a greedy man named Jovani.
Zelda is known for it's fantastic puzzles and it exceeds all of them in this one with wow factor.
Game Play: 10/10
Ah, yes, the core of all Zelda games: the dungeons. Easily some of the most fun, and well designed dungeons of any game I've ever played. You'll be walking on ceilings, controlling water levels (ala water temple in Ocarina of Time, but this time around, you'll be rotating gears and wheels to get to previous unaccessible areas), and even help monkeys, yes, monkeys. The dungeons are great fun to do, and consist of a sub-boss and a final boss (or whatever the last boss of the dungeon would be called). Each sub-boss will give you access to the weapon or tool you need to finish the dungeon as in every other game before it. Some of the dungeons you'll really be wondering how the developers came up with them. The Snowpeak dungeon requires you wandering around a monster infested house guided by the sweet yeti Yeta who lives with her husband Yeto to find the key to one of the shattered pieces of the twilight mirror (a nice plot twist that I've just partially ruined for you), only to be led to ingredients for Yeto's soup to make her feel better. Another great dungeon requires you to zip around a City in the Sky and fight a dragon which is a part of some of the most fun points of the game: boss fights.
The boss fights are definitely the best I've seen in a Zelda game, or almost any game for that matter. While not particularly difficult (even the final boss isn't much of a brute), the boss fights always provide a huge amount of fun. One boss even just has you pressing the "A" button at key moments to jump to different rails and is praised as one of the most exciting battles in the whole game. One thing hasn't changed: the fact that you must use your newly obtained weapon to defeat the boss. One boss even requires nearly all of your weapons that you've gotten to defeat it. The final boss has four stages for you to beat and each is radically different from the others.
The overworld of the game is almost seamless. What I mean is that there's almost no loading times (while they only last a few seconds) throughout the whole world map. The ability to warp throughout all the land about halfway through the game isn't as fun as riding Epona around the world just to see the beautiful scenery and fight enemies just for fun. Simply looking for heart containers is never dull as there are several twisting caves that house rupees, Poes, and a hear piece that are almost nostalgic to the very early games in the series. Finding the golden bugs and Poes is something to do just if your bored or if you're concentrating on completing everything. The skills you'll learn from the Golden Wolf guy with your sword look so cool against enemies or just doing them on your own, though some require an enemy.
Now, we get to one of the most famous things in Ocarina of Time, fishing... and the rest of the minigames. This game's fishing is the most fun I've had doing almost nothing in a while. It's great to reel in a fish even if it doesn't beat your record. The greatest feeling though, is catching the hardest fish to catch (which isn't exactly that hard), the Hylian Loach, the biggest and most beautiful one in my opinion. The other minigames in this game are nearly just as fun. Rollgoal is the most addictive game since Pong and is difficult and exciting at the same time. The canoe-bomb-arrow-thingy is also great fun to play, as it has you riding down a fast flowing river to blow up Chinese lantern looking things. I can't forget about snowboarding against yetis either. This game has it all.
Three words: Best. Lighting. Ever.
Just like this category's tagline, this game has the best lighting I've ever seen in a game or in real life even... well, that's kind of stretching it but.... The twilight realm of this game is the most eye popping, over saturated world you'll lay your eyes on. Sometimes I'll find myself just stopping to look at the scenery, it's that beautiful. The fishing hole would be my heaven if I had a choice. While the game's water effects aren't that well done (the waterfalls have like, zero foam and mist), they're still beautiful just to see.
The environments are so wonderfully varied and well done that it's hard to believe they could all exist in such a small world (well, not that small for a video game. The vastness in this game is just... wow). Lake Hylia is one of the most beautiful sights in the game at sunrise. Just looking out from the area south of castle town makes you just wanna kill someone for starting global warming in our world. Snowpeak and the Gerudo desert are each amazing to see in their own respects.
The pseudo-real time system in the game will make night realistically dark and morning and evening the most beautiful thing ever. If you watch the whole opening with Link riding across Hyrule field, you'll see. The characters and their design is great especially for a Zelda game. Link looks better than he ever has (both literally and polygonally) and the characters all have a cartoonish feel and yet look very real. Their faces, oh man, so expressive. It makes up for any lack of voice acting in this game. The characters' faces have so many emotions, it's just amazing that they don't pop out of the TV. Everything in the game is made to nearly perfect scale. The reason I mention that is because it kind of bothers me in, usually RPG's that houses and things are so much smaller than they should be. Not in this game. This game's graphics make you want to enter that world.
Sound is as beautiful a gift as sight.
Some of the sounds in this game would make anything seem adequate even if you couldn't see the screen. The rhythmic breathing of the Golden Wolf is spine chilling it's so beautiful. Every yelp, scream and simple squawk is just as it should sound.
The music is one of the most expressive parts of the game. The music at night is a perfect balance of almost creepy and sad at the same time. My favorite music is during the preview after the opening with Link riding across Hyrule. It's not part of the game play, but it's brilliant. Most of the good stuff plays at times I can't say because they'll ruin some of the moments. You'll know when you get there though.
I can't say enough about this game. It's just so amazing I can't even express it in words. I know I've said this in other reviews I've written, but since this is the most recent one, this one's the real truth: this is the best game I've ever played. Period. There's no competition in my mind. It's so perfect that I literally can't get into any other game at the moment, and I'm on my second play through!. If that doesn't say how great this game is, then I don't know what to tell you.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/22/07
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