Review by DistantVoice
"To say that Zelda is getting old would be a understatement"
There's always a time when a series needs to start to change. The Zelda series is a perfect example of just that, a series that has always been the same with an exception of a couple games in the series. Nintendo, year after year has repeatedly fed us Zelda games and each time we were all always satisfied by the games Nintendo had brought to us. There always however comes a time when that old turkey sandwich of yours suddenly doesn't taste as good as back in the good old days and that's exactly what is happening to Zelda. There comes a time when after replaying the same fantasy over and over again, you start to wish for something more. Over the entire lifespan of the series, there really hasn't been much innovation. I swear that in every Zelda game that I have played, Link is always bravely marching into dungeons which really are the same dungeons we have played in the past. Heck even the villain is mostly the same through out the entire series which really makes every plot twist that Twilight Princess has to offer see able to the naked eye.
Ever since the first 3-D Zelda games came to rise, we have always praised their graphics. Back in the days people went all over at Ocarina of Time's revolutionary graphics. Now in the present however, many reviewers seem to be criticizing Twilight Princess's graphics. Let me just state that although I was not mind blown by the graphics and although they do feel slightly dated, the graphics are still pretty smooth. Hyrule is simply gorgeous in my opinion as well are other areas in the game itself.
Most of the music and themes in Twilight Princess are basically just remixes from Ocarina of Time and to say that the themes in Twilight Princess are not memorable is a understatement. I don't want to say this but out of every single theme in the game, I can only really recall two of them straight from my head. Much to my disappointment, there really weren't any astounding themes in Twilight Princess are any which I thought would win any kind of reward any time soon. The themes really are all average I suppose.
Link has had several weapons and tools to use over his journey within the past 20 years or so and back in the old Zelda games, most of Link's inventory was put to good use. Back in the old games it wasn't out of the ordinary to be using several tools and weapons through out the entire game more than once. Twilight Princess however completely fails to put any use into many of Link's inventory. A great example of this would be the spinner which in my mind really was a great tool and the spinner I'd say was put into great use in the fourth dungeon of the game but seemingly after that, you will rarely ever again find yourself in need for this tool as each spinner track aside from the fourth dungeon are far apart from one another and are incredibly scarce. Another example would be the ball and chain which Link would obtain in the fifth dungeon and almost as the same case as with the spinner, Link would only excessively utilize the ball and chain in the fifth dungeon and then rarely have a need for it anymore. In both cases, there were two very unique tools, both with high potential but both were flushed down the drain after their uses. Aside from those two tools, the rest are basically tools which are the same as other tools in the past, just with a different name. A perfect example would be the clawshot which itself is a renamed version of the hookshot. Another example would be the gale boomerang which itself you guessed is a renamed version of the boomerang, the only different being that the gale boomerang leaves a windy trail behind itself.
The dungeons themselves are mostly based off of Ocarina of Time dungeons. Common, do we really have to have a dungeon based off of a forest that's called the Forest Temple which itself has the same name with the Forest Temple of Ocarina of Time? The differences between these two temples are huge so I still remain confused as to why they decided to use the same name for both. The rest of the dungeons in the game however are quite interesting and each always has their own catch. The dungeon designs neither are special nor are they particularly bad.
When we play Zelda, most of us probably don't expect a fantastic plot nor do we expect a horrible plot. What I can say however is that Twilight Princess's main weakness is its plot. As to start out with it, Link like always is raised in some village in the forest and is a farmer. After training us how to herd some goats and all that, Link's friends are suddenly assaulted for a unknown reason and from then on the plot never completely recovers itself. Heck the plot never completely explains as to why Link's friends were attacked which really is a huge let down. The rest of the plot really isn't any good as the only few major plot twists in the game are incredibly unsurprising, the last which is completely expected. Everything in the plot in short is confusing, boring and all of the events in the game feels forced upon itself like a set of dominoes.
Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker may not have the greatest character development in history but at least they do have some sort of development of the character. In Ocarina of Time, you could feel a connection between Zelda as your childhood friend and you could also feel in the intense hate between Link and Ganondorf. In Wind Waker you could feel a connection between Link and Tetra and you could feel emotion in a set of plot twists which would effect both of them. In Twilight Princess however, the only developed character is Midna but in a world which severely lacks other interesting characters, Midna quite literally stuck to herself and anything she does to interact with the other characters really isn't all that emotional. The two iconic characters Zelda and Ganondorf both play a less than stellar role in Twilight Princess. Zelda herself is simply just there to move on the plot as the game doesn't really take the time to develop her enough. Ganondorf himself really is only there just for the sake of being there. He is only in Twilight Princess because it's a Zelda game. Really lame isn't it? I was expecting for the two to at least play a powerful role but both could have been completely removed from the game and I still wouldn't even notice.
If Twilight Princess fails in all categories, we'd expect for it to succeed in gameplay but just as with the other categories, Twilight Princess fails remarkably. Really, the only good thing about the combat system in Twilight Princess is that it's flashy. Since most 3-D Zelda games are simply hack and slash games when it comes to combat, Twilight Princess tries to improve on it by adding several hidden sword skills which Link may learn through out his journey. Sure, all of these sword skills are flashy and fun to perform but a few of them just are completely pathetic. Take for example the Mortal Draw. To perform this sword attack, you would have to get very close to a foe without a sword in hand and wait until you can actually perform the attack. Sure, some foes are too slow to strike you before you use it but for the rest, you would be slashed to the ground if you would try to perform the sword skill.
Another terrible flaw is the rupee system and for long the rupee has been Hyrule's currency. In some games such as Ocarina of Time, the rupee system is just completely perfect with only minor flaws. In some games it actually takes some effort to obtain a large amount of rupees but Twilight Princess is over saturated with rupees. There are so many treasure chests in the game that are filled with rupees that too often do I find myself having to place the rupees back in the treasure chests just because my wallet can't hold anymore rupees. There also isn't a bank in Twilight Princess like there was in Majoras Mask so you will have to come by those same treasure chests again when your wallet isn't filled so that you can obtain the rupees.
Twilight Princess is perhaps the most difficult game which I have played but of course many other players believe this to be a easy game so it changes from person to person. One thing that is undeniable however is that Twilight Princess is the longest Zelda game if you compare Twilight Princess speed runs with other Zelda game speed runs.
I seriously believe that the Zelda series needs to evolve. Way too often these days have we been playing the same exact journey with only a different excuse as to why we are on the same quest. Way too often have we been running around collecting basically the same items which are only labeled differently. Way too often have we been presented the same game just with a different title. Twilight Princess in my opinion is evidence that the Zelda series needs to change and it needs it badly.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 06/08/11
Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (US, 12/11/06)
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