Review by SuperSmashBro13
""Overhyped"? I think not."
(Just like my Super Smash Bros. Melee review, I realized that this review is rather amateurish and unprofessional-looking. Thus, I have updated it to make it a better review.)
Many of the reviews for this game (including mine) use the word "hype" a lot (i.e., "It didn't live up to the hype," or "It was overhyped"). After carefully examining all my games (and there are many) and thinking it over, I know that Twilight Princess is actually my favorite game. I'm not sure how it's "overhyped" at all. I'm just not sure what they mean. If you're confused by all the reviews and wonder if this game really is overhyped, read this review (which you're doing now, and I thank you) to make the decision for yourself.
PLOT: 10/10. You might have heard that Twilight Princess is a "dark" game, topping even Majora's Mask in "darkness." What's "dark" mean? It means that the plot is more sinister and menacing than previous Zelda titles, which were all lighthearted and happy. The game has a more serious, mature tone to it than the children-aimed older Zelda games. That's why Twilight Princess is the first game ever in the Zelda series to be given the T rating. The plots starts off where Link is preparing to go off to Hyrule to present a gift to the royal family of Hyrule in place of someone else. The plans are quickly stopped when Link and his friends are attacked by strange creatures. Soon after, Link awakens as a wolf in a land covered in a mysterious blanket of twilight. Link soon escapes with the help of a strange imp named Midna, who is one of the enemy, regains his true form, and sets off to banish the twilight from Hyrule and stop the tyrannical, power-hungry king of the twilight. There are several plot twists thrown in to keep you on your toes--and no, I'm not about to tell you any of them. The plot's twists and turns garner it a 10 rating, as it has possibly the greatest story of any Zelda game.
About the rating for this game...I find it so sad. Not that it's rated T; au contraire, I'd have rated it T myself. The problem with it is, it's rated for animated blood. No such thing exists in this game. I was a little worried when I first picked the game up when I saw it was rated for that, but then I played it and saw that there was clearly no blood. When you hit an enemy, a red spark comes off. That's not blood. Similarly, if an enemy blocks your attack, a blue spark comes off. So, am I supposed to believe that metal shields are dripping blue blood? Of course not. Why they gave it a point off for something it didn't deserve, I don't know.
GRAPHICS: 10/10. I've heard it said that the graphics on this game are bad. For the GameCube/Wii, the graphics are outstanding. Link's clothes, and anyone else's, for that matter, are so nicely detailed you can't help but stare. Whenever Link splashes into water, his clothes get dark and damp for a bit as he drips out of the water. The metal of his shield and the shine of his sword help even further. The graphics run smoothly, and faces look realistic. The colors of the game have been intentionally dulled to give it a more realistic approach; thus, Link's tunic is no longer the unnaturally-bright green color, but has a duller shade of green instead. When in the Twilight Realm, things get funkier: Flat, black squares rise from the ground in the blurry-looking landscape. The clouds are black and white, and the air has a reddish hue to it that makes it appear thick. Such detail has been put into everything, it makes me wonder how people can think the graphics are bad at all. Another cool thing, though, is that Link no longer tries to act cool. Remember how, in Ocarina of Time, he'd shove his entire arm across his face just to wipe some milk off? Or how he'd shout and yell doing anything from opening a door to throwing an object? Link now acts like a real human being, wiping only his hand across his face after drinking something and emitting no more than a tiny grunt when throwing something.
SOUND AND MUSIC: 10/10. Likewise, some people say that the music in the game is mediocre. They are even more wrong here than they were with the graphics. The music in the game is, after I thought about it carefully, the best music of any game to date. It always sets the appropriate mood. When battling a self-igniting boss, the music becomes quick-paced and frantic as the hulking mass stomps up to you to kill you. All boss music is incredible, from the epic King Bulblin music to the treacherous Diababa music. It isn't just there; when out in Hyrule Field, the music switches to a heroic-sounding tune of determination that becomes even cooler if you're on your horse. When cradling an injured friend, the music becomes slow and sad. When in a windswept village that has nearly become a ghost town, the music becomes slow and tribal. The Death Mountain music really suits the Gorons, who are a proud race of strong, rock-eating guys. Instead of being slow and boring, the music becomes big and proud-sounding. You get the point. The music is in no way boring, annoying, or mediocre. You'll have to hear it for yourself to believe it.
Does anybody remember Link's annoying, high-pitched adult voice from Ocarina of Time, which sounded like Arnold Schwarzenegger on helium? Link's voice has finally become mature and, well, normal-sounding. He no longer shrieks as high as he can when doing anything. I was surprised when I heard Link spurring his horse on in the Twilight Princess trailers. He sounded...he sounded...normal...my dream had come true! No longer did I have to cover my ears whenever Link swung his sword! Link now sounds like a grown adult and does not shriek over everything. He emits small, barely-recognizable grunts when opening doors and throwing things, and when swinging his sword, he lets out small yells that become fiercer if the room is full of enemies.
And in case you're wondering, no, there is no voice acting in this game. There never has been and there very well might never be. There are dialogue boxes, as always, and Link does not talk at all because he is a silent protagonist.
Moving onto the various sounds of the game, they sound appropriate. When a bird-like enemies squawks, it sounds like the hoarse call of an annoying, aggressive bird enemy. Short little green minions make high-pitched grunts and yelps that give them the goofy-seeming appearances they were meant to have. (They're also not too bright.) When an explosion rockets off, it sounds just like a small explosion might. When your horse whinnies, it sounds like a real horse, and the sound of its hooves pounding on grass, rock, pavement, or whatever, is appealing.
GAMEPLAY: 10/10. Some people say Ocarina of Time was better. Again, I disagree. Ocarina of Time was a good game, but it had limits on it that were removed in Twilight Princess. For one thing, you can name Link's horse as well as Link himself, although the defaults are Link and Epona. As a few other small things, you can swing your sword while on your horse, swing it while running, and thrust it forward after getting up from a roll. Link swings his sword four times in a combo instead of three, and instead of being the same moves with the final one reversed, the sword goes in all sorts of directions before landing the final blow. A much-needed feature was the fact that you can unsheathe your sword without immediately swinging it. You also have no magic power, so spin attacks become regular attacks. And you can fish anywhere you like after getting a fishing rod. Need I go on?
In case you're new to the Zelda series, it works like this. Twilight Princess is a blend of action and puzzle-solving. There are baddies galore, but the main part of the game is dedicated to puzzle-solving. There are several dungeons across the land of Hyrule that contain important items you'll need to beat the game. You first need to make your way to these dungeons, often after doing little jobs and necessities before the way to the dungeon will open up, and then entering the dungeon, where the puzzles begin. "Puzzles" means "a room where the exit is visible but the door is locked and there appears to be no key anywhere." So, if the door was locked but there was no key, where might the key be? It could appear by defeating all the enemies in the room, stepping on a hidden switch, carrying items and setting them in place, etc.. There are several dozen rooms per dungeon. Not all of them have locked doors; some of them just have simple puzzles to solve before moving on. These puzzles range from being blatantly obvious to brain-bustingly difficult. You get a new item per dungeon (save the last two) that help you in special ways, and you must use them to defeat the dungeon's boss. The weapons may be Gale Boomerangs that create wind and spin things into position, bows that fire arrows and can be used as handy weapons, and other interesting things. Your first complaint may be that these items are all the same as ones in older Zelda titles. Fear not; about half are actually quite new and are very useful indeed.
The enemies are many and varied. They can be old-but-cooler-looking enemies from previous Zelda games, like the persistent Lizalfos and Leever, or new ones, like the little hairy, one-eyed, four-legged spiders haunting a dungeon or Stalhounds, which are skeletal dogs that appear at nighttime in Hyrule Field. Not all enemies must be defeated and some can be ignored, but pummeling them is just too fun...not to mention you can get them out of your way, since leaping Tektites are a real pain.
True to the Zelda series, there are sidequests galore. You can collect all the golden bugs to get tons of money and upgraded wallets, upgrade your quivers (the biggest one can hold 100 arrows instead of Ocarina of Time's pathetic 50) by playing games, find and kill the menacing Poes to receive rewards, and find the Pieces of Heart to gradually extend your life meter. There are even new sword techniques you can learn which will help you long the course of the game.
REPLAY VALUE: 9/10. After you beat the game here, there's a great deal of it. Collect remaining heart pieces, open up the treasure chests you forgot, upgrade your wallets and quivers and whatnot, try to break your fishing records, try to break ANY record, find more Poes to kill and take their souls, collect Golden Bugs, and explore places you haven't explored before. When that's done...start a new game and see how fast you can rip through it now that you know how to get through some puzzles.
CONTROL EASE: 10/10. The game's controls are easy to master and are very simple. On the Wii, the controls are much different, and swinging the sword involves hacking away with your Wii Remote. On the GameCube, you must resign yourself to mere buttons. The B button swings your sword, A is the "action command" that performs various uses like talking to people, opening doors, picking things up, reading signs, etc., and X and Y are buttons you can assign items to so you can use them. Z contacts Midna for help, L locks onto enemies, R performs various small functions like doing Shield Attacks once you've learned them and creating bomb arrows on the item screen, and the C-Stick moves the camera around. To switch items around, press Up or Down on the Control Pad to bring up the item screen. Press Left on the Control Pad to hide the map and press Right to bring it up. Pressing Start will bring up a screen where you can switch swords, shields, and clothes as well as check up on your progress. The only problem you should really have with the controls is getting used to bringing up the separate item screen when you're used to the old version of just pressing Start to see it.
GAME LENGTH: 10/10. The game is very long. It should take you between 20-30 hours to complete. Even now, after I have beaten the game six bajillion times, it takes me about 22 or 23 hours to get through it. That's not counting any out-of-the-way sidequests you decide to go on.
TOTAL SCORE: 69/70. That's a dang high score and one you should pay attention to.
FLAWS: I'll be honest here, the only flaw I can think of is that there is still no multiplayer mode. Some people argue that Twilight Princess is too easy, but it is no easier than Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask (which may actually be easier; I started a new game on Majora's Mask recently and happened to notice that it was particularly easy to run through). Another flaw I just thought of, though, is that calling up Midna for advice is useless because she never says anything about the room, specifically, just your general mission. Plus, she never tells you about enemies like Navi and Tatl did.
CONCLUSION: I personally don't think this game is overhyped at all, but hopefully after reading this review you can make the decision for yourself. If you're honestly that skeptical about it, rent it first. If you're not, dive into the game and fear not, because even if you do happen to think it's overhyped, it is never a bad game.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/20/07, Updated 10/09/08
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (US, 12/11/06)
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