Review by RageBot
"A fun game, but not flawless"
Well, what can I say? My love for the Legend of Zelda started only three years ago, with Ocarina of Time. However, having no Wii until last year, I couldn't play this game or the Wind Waker for a long time, and wanted to play them badly. I can now surely say, that this game exceeds Ocarina of Time in many ways, But it falls short of it in many other ways, and it is riddled with tiny flaws, so it is actually only the third best Zelda ever, after Ocarina of Time, and of course, the little piece of 2D perfection that is a Link to the Past. Before I'll tell you where exactly this game fails, let us begin with the regular overall review.
Let's begin with the plot. If this is your first Legend of Zelda game, know that you are Link, a boy living in the fantasy world of Hyrule. That is all you need to know for previous games. While there is a lot of fan service, especially Ocarina of Time references, they spoil no plot, because this game is not directly related to any other game on the infamous Zelda timeline. It could be anywhere, but most people agree that it is roughtly a hundred years after Ocarina of Time. This is obviously the same Hyrule, because many places are the same, or at the very least, they should be the same, but their placement is reversed. Here is the first tiny flaw, unique to the Wii version: Because the Wii is unfriendly to the left-handed, Link's strong hand was switched, and so was the whole world. The most awkward thing about it is the sun rising in the west and setting in the east.
In this game, a new one-time-only villain is introduced. It is Zant, the evil king of the Twilight Realm, planning on absorbing the entirety of Hyrule into his own realm. Your new assistant is an imp girl called Midna. While you interact with her a lot, she seldom stops your gameplay to say an advice. This is one major step forward from Ocarina of Time. You will venture into the Twilight a lot in this game, and when you are in that realm, you can no longer retain your human form. Instead, you change into a wolf. As a wolf, your attack power is halved, which sucks. You also need to collect light bugs to return the light to regions of Hyrule. While you need to do it only three times, and while those parts are rather short, they are annoying. The rest of the game is the usual Zelda dungeon-crawling and monster-slaying, only more fun because of controls bettter than ever before.
Plot grade: 8/10
The graphics are a little lacking. And yes, I know this game was originally released for the GameCube, it's still lacking. In fact, Wind Waker's graphics are way better in some aspects, and that game was released four years before Twilight Princess. So is Super Mario Sunshine. It's obvious Nintendo tried something different and failed, because usually Zelda graphics are top notch. The characters, however, are nicely shaded and proportional. Link is older this time. The one irk I have with the graphics, is the postman. Zelda games always have silly postmen, but this game takes the cake. His outfit is dorky, his walk is clumsy, funny music plays when you meet him, and his voice is ridiculous. It's as if Nintendo holds a grudge against postmen. His character is just insulting.
Graphics grade: 7/10
The music is awesome. Every place has appropriate music, and it's always perfectly orchestrated and sounds great. Another pet peeve I have with this game, is the absence of the classic Zelda overworld theme. The newer overworld themes keeps straying from the origin, except in the handheld games. No other complaints here. Congratulations. I must also praise the many fan services in the soundtrack, such as the Temple of Time theme.
Music grade: 10/10
The gameplay is also very fun. Instead of pressing a button to attack with your sword, you shake the Wiimote a little. Many might find this annoying, I don't. This feature opens up more possibilities for the B button, which this time is another item button, That's right, for the first time in Zelda history, you can equip up to four items at the same time, excluding your sword. The item you wish to use is selected with the B button, and you can equip three other items on the D-pad right, left and down buttons. When you wish to switch the active item, press the direction where you equipped it and you will be able to use it with B. the minus button is now your inventory, and the plus button serves as the start button in former games. The one and two buttons makes you view the map and minimap respectively. As a wolf, you can't use any items, instead you can use the D-pad left and right buttons to sense your surrounding (has many uses throughout the game), and the down button to dig in the ground. Fun as all hell.
Gameplay grade: 10/10
So this game is supposed to get a 9 out of 10, I miscalculated! I dropped a point. Wrong. This is where the rest of the flaws comes in. Just like the previous 3D Zelda games, there is a day to night cycle, but this time, you have no way to change day to night and vice versa. And there is a sidequest that can only be done at night. You will often come to an enemy you need to kill for this quest, and in the middle of the fight, the sun will come out and the enemy will be gone! This would have been a major flaw had the main plot been involved.
Another flaw is the number of items that barely serve any purpose outside of the dungeon where you found them. The first three dungeons have good items, and you will spend at least five hours between each dungeon, solving puzzles in the overworld. But after that, the items are quite useless, and after barely an hour, you're back to the main storyline. This would not have been a problem by itself, had it not screwed the pacing of the game.
But the most annoying thing about the game is the second-to-last dungeon, where you need to pick up an orb and carry it somewhere, hopping across platforms and dodging enemies. If an enemy attacks you, you fall off the platform, a hand grabs the orb and you need to go back to where you first found the orb. After a few tries, you will be extremely frustrated. Thankfully, there are only two orbs, and you need to carry each only three screens.
Annoyinace penalty grade: 7/10
Final grade: 8.4/10
Rent or buy? Well, this game is at least 40 hours long, so finishing it in one weekend is impossible. If you want, buy it. Make sure you have at least two hours straight every time you want to play. Invite your friends to try this game, even though there is no use to a second Wiimote in this game. And prepare to be smiten with heaps of fun!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/27/11
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (US, 12/11/06)
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