Review by Megaman1981

"The princess is in the house baby!"

Nintendo has usually released a big time game when launching a new system. Whether it is Super Mario Bros. from the NES, Super Mario World for the SNES, or Super Mario 64 from the N64, Nintendo has made sure to have that killer amp for gamers to push and shove in order to buy the new system. However, there really wasn't a big time game available when the Gamecube hit the market in 2001. Sure Luigi's Mansion was fun as was Super Monkey Ball, but Zelda, Mario, and Metroid were nowhere to be seen. When Nintendo announced the Wii earlier this year, they made sure to have a killer amp available at the Wii's launch. Since Mario's new game won't be released till next spring, Nintendo reworked The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess from the Gamecube in order to get us a Zelda game for the Wii's launch.

The Legend of Zelda series had quite a bit of drama during the Gamecube's lifespan. First, at Spaceworld in 2000, a new video showing Link in an epic battle against Ganondorf made fanboys swoon. Then in 2001, they turned the game into a cel-shaded game. Many people complained about this, but the game sold millions, with an Ocarina of Time/Master Quest bonus disk given out as well. A few years went by and we were given the Collector's Edition and Four Sword Adventures. However, everyone still wanted a Zelda game with a mature Link with the graphics shown at Spaceworld in 2000. Finally, two years ago The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was announced showing a more grown-up Link and stealing the big finale at that particular E3. The game went threw massive delays, including the Wii version being released first, but the wait was well worth it. This is a Zelda game that gives Ocarina of Time a serious run for its money. Whether you get the Wii version or the Gamecube version, you won't be disappointed.

Gameplay is by far the most important aspect of any video game to me. That is what makes the Zelda series so popular to both me and gamers everywhere. The gameplay is always top notch. I don't ever remember a Zelda game that was difficult to play. Well, Ocarina of Time was the first Zelda game to be made in 3D and in my opinion, the first 3D game done right. Nintendo however is very smart. They knew that the N64 Zelda games had some of the best control for any 3D game ever made. For the Wind Waker, they decided to keep the same control setup that made Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask so successful. They have also followed the same pattern for the Twilight Princess, but with a different set up to take advantage of the Wii Remote. Much like the Z button in the N64 Zelda games, the Z button on the nunchuck controller is used to lock on to your enemies. This way none of the enemies that you ever fight will ever disappear from your view. They will always stay right in front of Link, and that is very important in any 3D game. The ability to fight enemies without worrying about the camera. You can also manually adjust the camera by pressing the C button on the nunchuck.

What also makes the gameplay awesome is the way the controller is setup. Obviously the Wii Remote is much different than let's say, the Gamecube controller. First off the Wii Remote connects to the nunchuck. As I said before, the nunchuck has the Z and C buttons, but also as a joystick which is used to move and control Link. The Wii Remote is a blast to use. A lot of people including me thought that doing all of those crazy moves with the Wii Remote would make you tired and be very annoying. That is not the case! A simple flick of the Wii Remote makes Link swing his sword. Pretty darn simple. You don't have to swing like a madman; a little flick is all that is needed.

The Zelda series has always been about Link having several weapons to help him on his quest. This time the D-pad is used for Link's sub weapons in the game. Any weapon can be assigned to left, right or down on the D-pad. The up button on the D-pad is only used to talk to Midna. Once you pick which weapon you want, it is then assigned to the B button. Press it, aim, and fire away. The minus button toggles the item screen, while the plus button toggles the collection screen where you can save your game among other things. The 1 and 2 buttons are used to view the map, and toggles the mini game map off and on respectively. Another feature is that when Link is engulfed by the Twilight realm, he is transformed into a wolf. This adds a completely different aspect to the game. When Link is turned into a wolf, he will be guided by Midna, a strange creature that stays with Link. The game is also a lot harder than Wind Waker, but not that tough either. Don't be afraid of using the Wii Remote, it isn't that hard.

The story is bit different than past Zelda games. Sure, the game does start out very peacefully as usual, but eventually trouble strikes. Notice the word eventually. The first few hours of the game are spent in the sunny fields of southern Hyrule in Link's hometown doing very different jobs than in previous Zelda games like herding goats while riding Epona, or even trying to catch a fish so you can convince a stray cat to go home. Not everything is happy cakes and flowers though. Ganondorf is back, and Hyrule is about to be engulfed by the Twilight realm. Link has to save Hyrule and maybe even stop a kidnapping or two as well.

Graphically speaking, the game looks so much better than Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask, and even the Spaceworld 2000 footage as well. I won't compare the Wind Waker's graphics because they were a different art style. The game looks just like the Gamecube version. Each environment is so detailed, from the sunny fields of Hyrule, to the dark Goron Mines. Go ahead, take a dip into the water; you will see just how beautiful the graphics are. All of the music in the game is also fantastic, nothing new to the Zelda series.

Replay value is threw the roof. First off, the game is very long. Expect to invest about 40-50 hours in the game. Seriously, my first hour was spent just herding goats and fishing. It takes a good hour in just to get your sword, when you got it within about 5 minutes in Ocarina of Time. The game also features 9 dungeons in addition to the usual side quests and collecting heart pieces.

This is it folks, the game everyone has wanted since 2000, and haven't stopped talking about for over two years has now arrived. Play it, please! The ultimate question to ask…..which version do you get? That depends on a few things. First off, if you really love Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Wind Waker, and don't want to try something new, then get the Gamecube version. However, if you want to try something new and innovative then get the Wii version. Actually, I decided to get both versions! I got the Gamecube version because that was the system the game was built for and had classic Zelda controls, but I also wanted to try the innovative Wii version as well. For those people who say it is a waste of money, think of this. Both versions yes have the same story, but the controls are totally different. Also looking at the Wii version compared to the Gamecube version is like looking threw a mirror. For those of you that don't know, in the Wii version everything is the complete opposite of the Gamecube version. An example would be at the end of the Forest Temple near the boss door. In the Gamecube version, you can smash a pot on the left to grab a fairy. In the Wii version the pot is on the right. Everything is like that; completely flipped around when comparing the Wii version to the Gamecube version, so the game will feel different believe me. Whether it is on the Gamecube or Wii, this game is a must buy.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/20/06, Updated 12/20/06


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