Review by Megaman1981

Reviewed: 12/13/06 | Updated: 12/18/06

There is nothing better than a nice afternoon ride on your horse Epona in the sunny fields of southern Hyrule.

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.

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. Much like the Z button in the N64 Zelda games, the L button on the Gamecube 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.

What also makes the gameplay awesome is the way the controller is setup. The Zelda series has always been about Link having several weapons to help him on his quest. Once again, the X, Z, and Y buttons are used for Link's sub weapons in the game. The control setup using Link's sub weapons are well done, although the Z button is only used to talk to Midna. 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.

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. 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! I chose to get the Gamecube version only because while it may be cool to play the game on the Wii, swinging the remote and the nunchuck to use your sword, slingshot, and other weapons might get very tiring. Beware though; I have heard that there is a limited print run for the Gamecube version. Whether this is true or not I don’t know, but either way, whether it is on the Gamecube or Wii, this game is a must buy.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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