Review by Calamity
"Nintendo tried innovation,... but poorly implemented it..."
Zelda Twilight Princess is the fourth 3D Zelda game. It was supposed to be similar to the first 3D Zelda and the most popular one Ocarina Of Time. Now, allow me to please state in my opinion I did not like Ocarina Of Time too much. As a matter of fact I can hardly play that game without getting incredibly bored. In general though I don't like the 3D Zelda's aside from Majora's Mask and Wind Waker. Twilight Princess was a disappointment. Especially considering how epic the game seemed from what I watched of others playing it and gameplay footage...
Graphics:10/10:As far as the Gamecube goes they are very excellent. However, on the Wii it would be above average Graphics. Since Nintendo made a Gamecube version too though, they had to tune down the Graphics overall. Characters look good and very detailed. Same with weapons/items Area designs are extremely well done. The textures are impressive. If I had to say some really Graphically impressive areas it would be the twilight realm. Good job on the Graphics Nintendo. Not good job on the Gameplay...
Gameplay:6.5/10:The Gameplay in Twilight Princess is a downgraded version of the previous 3D Zelda games. Specifically it tried to mimic Ocarina Of Time a lot. To begin with you of course play as Link the usual protagonist which is fine with me. As you begin you'll immediately notice it's a Zelda game just due to the feel. For the beginning of the game your bombarded with boring uninteresting tasks. Some being extremely boring mini-games. After about two hours of everything mentioned you finally get a sword. Begin training and...MORE SCENES!? I'm not one to complain about scenes, but Zelda is certainly no RPG and I could care less about the Storyline as a result. Finally once all the scenes are over and you get some freedom you have to play as a wolf. Perhaps where Nintendo failed the hardest at innovation.
Each Zelda has a innovation gimmick of sorts Nintendo tries. For Twilight Princess it's the wolf. Let me just tell you this is without a doubt what drove me nuts about Twilight Princess. The wolf is nothing to go nuts about. Remember the Lens Of Truth from Ocarina Of Time? It's basically you get that, but your limited from nearly every other item. Oh, but, wait! There's good news! You get Midna. She can help you reach things from far away. Isn't that awesome? Even better is you gain the ability to see scents after completing what I like to call wolf phases. Where you play a portion of the game as wolf only.
The scents are obviously nothing special and just help you discover where to go in the Twilight Realm, but in a incredibly frustrating way. To find one dungeon it took nearly a hour because of the scent often leading me to dead ends. It seemed like whenever I reached a dead end and could no longer find any other trace of the scent Nintendo was saying "HAHA! Too bad now figure out where you need to go on your own without really any clues!" So, really why is the Wolf so good everyone? It's terribly limited and simply put a gimmick. At least human Link makes you not want to contemplate suicide...
Human Link on the positive side is of course far better then "wolf Link." He has a large variety of items to use for solving puzzles and his good old trusty sword and shield. As Link you'll notice Zelda Twilight Princess plays like EVERY single other Zelda out there. You go from dungeon to dungeon solving puzzles, gaining a item from the dungeon, facing a mini boss, then facing the boss at the final room. Now, I have no problem with reusing a old formula at all, but really when compared to other entries in the series that did such good things with this formula why play a entry with a terribly flawed version of the formula? The formula is so flawed even the puzzles at times can get very boring because Nintendo didn't get very creative with some of the puzzles towards the second half of the game.
During the second half of Twilight Princess you'll be using the hookshot so many times it's not even funny. For just about every puzzle in the second half the immediate thing you'll find yourself doing is looking for any possible hookshot targets. It gets very repetitive and boring when I find myself using the same tool to solve a good amount of the second half of Twilight Princess's puzzles. Tradition is nothing wrong, but even Nintendo for the most part screwed up the combat in Twilight Princess too!
If you go into Twilight Princess excepting a good combat system prepare to be disappointed. First off during combat your still limited to mostly the same good old boring moves. Side dashing, jump attack, slashing, spin slash, jump attack and blocking. As well as parrying. Okay, so that's a lot of attacks right? Well, not really because they don't add much more strategy to battles. Link is still limited to running around using those attacks, and his items. It's not as if jump attacking makes you jump through the air sort of like flying and helps you attack a opponent in a certain way while opening up possibilities for a dodging maneuver right after pulling the attack off. The only attacks that really requires some positioning to use is the Spin Slash and Jump attack. Really though, neither requires any thought to use successfully. To make up for this Nintendo tried to improve upon the combat and add more abilities. When it comes down to it though the abilities are nothing really special as far as adding more variety and strategy to battles. Special attacks only distinguishing feature is that it requires you to press different buttons to pull off. Twilight Princess's combat wouldn't be so bad either if the A.I. wasn't terrible.
The A.I. for enemies is horrible! Enemies are often dumbfounded at the sight of link and usually do stupid things that open them for a easy kill. On the positive side, while enemy A.I. is terrible the boss A.I. is extremely good. So, normal combat will disappoint you, but the boss fights won't. As a matter of fact the boss fights is one of the best parts of Twilight Princess.
Boss fights in Twilight Princess simply put are epic. They are fun, require thinking and are epic. I must say though what really impressed me were the final battles. Twilight Princess easily boasts the most epic final battles of the series. Compared to even all other boss fights in other games the final battles fare quite well as far as epicness goes. Really though, the Gameplay is the biggest downfall of Twilight Princess. Twilight Princess just about boasts one of the worst uses of the traditional formula while trying to add innovation to it, but ultimately hurting it more. Gameplay for Zelda Twilight Princess gets a 6.5/10. Some games can be just barely excuseable for poor Gameplay if they do have a amazing Storyline. Does Zelda Twilight Princess do? Certainly not!
Storyline:4.5/10:The Storyline in Zelda Twilight Princess is nothing to get even barely excited over. This Zelda features a normal realm and the Twilight Realm. Ganon is seemingly gone, but you probably know what happens already. Link travels between the Twilight Realm and normal realm to solve the world's problem and to try to stop Zant. My main problem is the dialogue is nothing special and there is literally no character development. Each of the characters have the personality equivalent of a piece of paper. I could arguably get the same enjoyment of looking at a piece of paper then reading the characters dialogue in Twilight Princess. The game tried to add more to the Storyline, but really the Storyline still sucks. Storyline gets a 4.5/10. Just about everything mentioned so far has been poor aside from the Graphics, but the Music is Twilight Princess's other saving grace.
Music:9/10:Twilight Princess has a impressive soundtrack. Most of the songs are good and they do use a wide, but generic variety of instruments. Some problems include the dungeons have pretty boring songs or no songs at all. The Twilight Realm song gets repetitive fast. On the positive side the boss songs in the game were done very well and are probably the strongest point of the soundtrack. Music receives a 9/10 from me. Twilight Princess...How does it compare with the other entries and similar games in style overall?
Overall:6/10:Zelda Twilight Princess is mediocre. It's Gameplay uses the typical formula, but a flawed version of it. The Graphics are extremely good, but they just don't matter at all. Storyline as usual is terrible and despite Nintendo making more of a attempt to improve it the Storyline is still bad. On the positive side as well the Music was really well done. So, overall from Lord_Kefka Zelda Twilight Princess gets a 6/10. Please do yourself a favor and go play a far better entry in the series.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 12/12/08
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (US, 12/11/06)
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