Review by 47pik

"Blades Will Bleed"

Here it is. The famous Twilight Princess. One of the, if not THE, most hyped games of this generation. Or next generation depending on your point of view. Yes, this Zelda has been on a long journey, but after a nearly 4 year development, across 2 systems, and a 1 year delay, but it is finally here. This game is truly worthy of the series. Zelda.

Twilight Princess was first unveiled at E3 '04 for the GCN, under the name "The Legend of Zelda (Working Title)", and shocked the showgoers. As the audience saw Link many cried with joy. Afterwards a few screens were shown, but nothing much was said until GDC '05, when another trailer was shown. A few months later at E3 '05 the most famous trailer was shown, and blew away the viewers with Link's transformation into a wolf. The game's name was also revealed. Twilight Princess. Needless to say the Twilight Princess board here on GameFAQS went into overdrive. Hell, I created my account just to share my opinions on that board. But the community went into an uproar at news of a delay into 2006. And thus started the infamous Zelda info drought. In the midst of the chaos, many rumors spread about the game being switched to the, then known as, Revolution. Finally 1 whole year later at E3 '06, we received some info. Mainly that Twilight Princess was now on both GCN and, the now known as, Wii. And in November, 1 year after the original release date, the Zelda epic, Twilight Princess was released.

STORY 7.9/10

This chapter in the Zelda legend takes place sometime between Ocarina of Time, and Wind Waker, and stars a new Link. This young man lives an average life as a ranch hand, but when his village becomes endangered, he gets sucked into a position where he must fill the legendary hero's shoes to save the entire kingdom from a spreading mass of shadow, the Twilight Realm, which is engulfing Hyrule slowly but steadily. While it seems basic, there are many surprise twists, and it has a astonishingly compelling story, involving Link, Zelda, Zant, Midna, and eternal foe Ganondorf. Twilight contains easily the best story yet in a Zelda game. A nice surprise indeed.

GAMEPLAY 9.4/10

It's Zelda with some new stuff. 'Nuf said. That should do it for just about everybody out there, but if it doesn't, I will go into detail. If that is good enough for you, please feel free to go on to the next section.

Twilight Princess builds on the classic Zelda formula of crossing the overworld, getting to a dungeon, which you navigate to find a new item, which you will use to fight the boss, most of which are FRIGGIN COOL this time around. There aren't that many new items to the series, but there are some, and even some improvements on existing ones (I'm looking at YOU hookshot). The dungeons are quite good, but some of the later ones (which I will not state for the purpose of not leaking spoilers), well, aren't. Bosses are great, the most fun ever in the series, and you'll do all kinds of cool things to fight them. Unfortunately they are all easy. Even the last one. I'll give you an example from early in the game. Grab onto the boss's back with an item, and hang on as it moves around wildly trying to get you off, and you slash it with your sword repeatedly. It's damned cool.

And of course there is the wolf. Rawr. Link can go feral and tear through enemies, and while its cool, its not that effective. Link is better off with a sword. The wolf also really only has 2 moves other than the basic attack. A spin attack and some weird dash move, neither of which work well.

Human Link on the other hand has TONS of moves. From a spin attack (that IS effective), to a instant kill, you'll gain many moves. They are all taught to you by the ancient hero, and his golden wolf. It's just too bad that I didn't tend to use most of them.

As for side quests and other collectibles, there's lots. Golden Bugs (20 in all I believe), Poe Souls (60 in all), and Heart Pieces (Now 5 to a heart). There are other side quests that involve playing minigames such as delivering water to a Goron, or having to shoot targets in Kakariko Village.

As I said before, classic Zelda with a few new twists. 'Nuf said.

GRAPHICS 7.3/10

The least important part of any game as any true gamer will tell you. But Twilight Princess is pretty good in this department. Which is astonishing considering its barely using the Wii potential, as it's running on a GCN engine. The GCN and Wii versions look exactly the same. Which is as it should be. GCN owners would feel shafted, and goodness knows they've been shafted enough already. Still this is the best of the best of the GCN. Which doesn't actually give us a very high score on a next gen console. Fortunately for Twilight Princess, it has an amazing art direction. Its absolutely fantastic. Characters are great, each area is great, everything seems drenched in wonderful design. I cannot describe this enough. You have to play it to understand.

CONTROLS 8.6/10

The big thing about moving Twilight Princess to the Wii was the addition of motion controls. And they are well implemented in the game, though I do think they could have been better, had the game been originally intended for the Wii. You swing the sword with the remote, which sounds tiring but actually is not. This is pretty cool at first, but later on you will cease to notice it. Where the Wii remote does improve gameplay is in the spin attack, which is so easy to pull off you almost feel sorry for the poor moblins. Just shake the Nunchuk from side to side. The other great enhancement is the pinpoint aiming for projectile weapons. Its so great to snipe enemies from a distance with such accuracy. It just feels badass. Point. Shoot. Enemy dies. My only qualms with the control setup are that sometimes you will shield bash instead of spin attack, or vice versa, and that fishing is, one, hard, and two, tiring.

Not bad implementation for a game that had the controls tacked on.

AUDIO 6.1/10

This was very disappointing. Very. We did not get fully orchestrated music. At all. It was all MIDI's. Nor very good ones. The overworld theme is horribly forgetful. Every day as the sun rises it begins great, the same as OoT, and you like you're about to hear an epic heroic theme. Then it suddenly cuts off and changes to some boring song that doesn't suit the intro at all. Seriously WTF Nintendo? That's not to say all tracks are this bad. They're not. The title screen theme, I am especially fond of. The Hyrule Castle theme is fantastically remixed as well. But the rest ranges from mediocre to just plain bad.

The sound is also less than par. The Wiimote speaker mangles things sometimes. What did they do to my beloved Zelda "correct" chime? The first time I heard it I almost cried. I'm not kidding. Otherwise its decent. Average.

And now for the controversial one. Voice Acting. Now I was totally against VA completely before this game. Zelda just didn't need it. I was wrong. Twilight Princess brings the Zelda franchise to a more cinematic level, and the lack of VA is almost painful at times. Now let me make this clear. Link should NEVER TALK. EVER. End of story. But the others should all have it. There is no reason they shouldn't. It's not a nicety. Lack of VA actually detracts from this game. Not all games need VA. But this one does.

RENT OR BUY

Total no-brainer. Buy it. Love it.

PROS AND CONS

+ Gameplay is fantastic
+ Nice Story
+ Controls decent
+ Artistically brilliant
+ Competent technical graphics
+ Its ZELDA

- Music leaves LOTS to be desired
- My poor chime... *cries*. R.I.P. any sound that came from the speaker
- Needs VA
- Bosses are easy
- Later dungeons are LAME

FINAL COMMENTS

Ultimately this game suffered from the inevitable ugly side of the hype machine. People expected too much from the game. They wanted something to be like OoT, but better. Which it is. Yet it comes out, and everybody says it's OoT 1.5. That's what you asked for that's what you get. If it had been different it would have joined the ranks of Zelda II, Majora's Mask, and Wind Waker as generally disliked Zelda's because they were too different. This is the reality that Zelda fans are hypocrites.

In my opinion this is not the best Zelda ever, because I LOVE me some Majora's Mask. However it is a very solid second.

Play the game and be enlightened.

9.7/10. A great score, for a great game.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/12/07


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