Review by websterboy604

"A great way to send the Gamecube out in style"

Even though I only gave this an 8/10, that is not to imply that this game is not superb. On the contrary, I had hyped this game a lot before it finally found its way into my GCN. I can honestly say that I was not let down, despite some minor quibbles. In my mind, Zelda Twilight Princess is a fitting end to the Gamecube, a console that did not offer quantity like the other consoles of its generation, but rather a few superb and classic titles. Twilight Princess is one of them.

Story- Without being specific, the story in Twilight Princess is a great one, if a bit familiar. Throughout the adventure, you will meet many classic Zelda characters as well as some new ones. The plot is a bit slow in the early hours of the adventure, but it picks up towards the last few dungeons. The ending is very memorable, as is the final confrontation. While a bit derivative, the story in Twilight Princess is memorable and powerful.

Audio/video presentation- Firstly, the audio. The audio presentation in Twilight Princess is hit or miss. On the one hand, most of the music compositions are fitting and of similar caliber of those in prior 3d Zelda games. On the other hand, none of the music is orchestrated; what you're getting here is purely midi format. This drop in quality is apparent, and the next installment would do well to feature orchestrated music. The sound effects, such as Link's yells and sword slashes are spot on. There is no voice acting, and while the GCN's limited disk space may be to blame, I feel that well done voice acting would benefit this series...perhaps in the next installment. The video presentation is a great representation of the Gamecube's processing power and a great showpiece of what great art can do for a game's visual presentation. Twilight Princess is not the most stunning game from a technical perspective; sure, it runs and a steady framerate, has a great draw distance and great animations, but some of the textures are bland and jaggies are all but invisible. On the other hand, the artistic vision is grand, from the well designed characters to the locales that you will travel to. All in all, the audio/video presentation is well done but not perfect.

Gameplay- The gameplay in Twilight Princess is both familiar and new at the same time. Having played both the Wii version and the GCN version, I can honestly say that I feel the Gamecube version is better. The controls are tighter, the camera controls better...the list goes on. Those who have played past 3d Zelda games will feel right at home here. There is an overworld to explore, familiar items to collect, as well as those classic Zelda dungeons. Speaking of dungeons, there are lots of them, which is a welcome departure from the few traversed in Wind Waker. There are a few new items and abilities, and they are all welcome additions. Link's wolf form, while not too enjoyable from a combat perspective, is an interesting addition; the wolf can see and smell things Link would not be able to, and it is these abilities that make searching areas with both forms worthwhile. The quest is fairly lengthy with an abundance of sidequests. The sidequests are enjoyable, and I was compelled to do all of them...the rewards for these quests, however, are a bit lackluster. There's no Biggoron sword to be found like in Ocarina of Time.

Replay value- The replay value in Twilight Princess is fairly high. Those looking for a challenge (and the core game is very easy) can go back and do a 3 heart speed run if desired. Like most Zelda games, Twilight Princess is enjoyable enough that you may desire to play through it a few years down the road. Also, sometimes it's fun to just ride Epona around Hyrule field, seeing if perhaps you had overlooked something during your first time through the game.

All in all, Twilight Princess is a fitting end to what I feel was a great, if sparse, system. Having played both the Wii version and this one, I definitely would recommend the GCN version for sharper controls and a better camera. Twilight Princess is not the revolution I was looking for, but it certainly met my hype. It's not a reinvention, more of a refinement of the series, and that's just fine considering it was the GCN's last game. Hopefully the next console installment will be fresh and new...only time will tell.

Story-8/10
Audio-8/10
Video-9/10
Gameplay-9/10
Replay Value-8/10

Pros-
+Great, compelling story
+Great audio/video presentation
+Some great new abilities and concepts that move the series forward
+An excellent farewell to the Gamecube
+Superior to the Wii version
+Fishing...and other mini games!
+A large world full of secrets and surprises should you go looking for them

Cons-
-Little challenge
-Game gets off to a slow start...stick with it
-While fun, a bit derivative and familiar
-Midi quality music and some dated graphics
-Sidequest rewards not that great
-Combat with Link's wolf form seems a bit underdeveloped


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/11/08

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


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