Review by zeldafan2689

"Great, but not perfect"

It has been a long wait for Twilight Princess, very long. I'm sure a lot of you can remember the first time you saw Link riding through Hyrule Field back in May 2004. The Zelda fan base has been through a lot really; the game being delayed and also being moved onto the Nintendo Wii as well as the anticipation that comes with waiting for any Zelda title. But it's finally here my friends and it is great. It is not, however, perfect. Let's delve into why that is.

Twilight Princess uses the same basic control scheme as past 3-D Zelda's. The B-button is used to attack with your sword while you can have two other items mapped to the X and Y buttons. Your interaction button is A as usual and targeting is done with the L button. Shielding is done automatically this go around, Link will raise his shield when an enemy is targeted. Up on the D-pad opens the item selection menu and right on the D-pad allows you toggle between map options. The Start button opens up a Status menu where you switch Link's armor, view quest items, read letters you have received, etc. When playing as wolf the controls are fairly similar. You still use B to attack and A to interact. The Y button allows you to dig and the X button is used take advantage of Link's newfound senses.

Ultimately, the Game Cube version plays and feels like its predecessors. Is that a problem? No, it is a really fun game to play and I have never had so much fun defeating enemies. The horse game play feels great and playing as a wolf does not feel bad either. Most of the items Link will receive have been past Zelda titles but they have a new twist to them that does enough to make them seem new but familiar. You will traverse through dungeons to collect most of these items and then use them to defeat the dungeon's boss. All of the bosses are huge and seem very epic but are, unfortunately, really easy.

Nintendo has done some interesting things this time around with the story. The beginning is much like any other Zelda title. You begin in a small village named Ordon and you have been given a quest to deliver a gift to Hyrule Castle. When Link is ready to leave disaster befalls Ordon. His friends are kidnapped and carried off past a strange black wall. When Link approaches the wall a being from on the other side pulls Link into the Twilight Realm where he then turns into a wolf for the first time. From there you will learn why the Twilight Realm exists and that it must be stopped from spreading. The story keeps the beginning and middle interesting but the ending feels a bit disappointing. It really is a Zelda that is good when one does not try to fit in with the rest of the series.

I don't know if Nintendo hired some new people or not but they learned how make good cinematic scenes this time around and graphically speaking this is the best Zelda yet, even though, I still hold a special place in heart for The Wind Waker. Everything is detailed nicely but some textures look a bit rough. It is hard to notice those things unless you're looking for them though so no worries there. The frame rate holds up nicely as well at 30 FPS. The art direction of the Twilight Princess is amazing and the Twilight Realm looks really cool. Everything sounds fairly nice and it's satisfying to hear your sword slash an enemy. The music is pretty good as well, there are new tunes mixed in with some older ones that have been revamped. Twilight Princess supports Dolby Pro Logic II and Progressive Scan.

This is huge game to be honest and the first time you walk into Hyrule Field you will be shocked. I beat the game in about thirty-five hours but going through and collecting every single item could boost it into the forty to fifty-hour range. When I beat the game I immediately felt like starting a new file just to go through it all again.

I can happily recommend this game to everyone. If you haven't moved onto the Nintendo Wii yet and want one last go with your Game Cube then pick up Twilight Princess. The game play is solid but it is fairly easy and the story is nice up until the ending. I'm amazed what Nintendo managed to do graphically with this game and I cannot wait to see how the next one will look. Music and sound effects fall into the normal to great stage. You'll spend a lot of time with this game, at least somewhere from thirty to thirty-five hours and that's longer than most games. The minor faults keep the game from getting a perfect score.


Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 12/18/06

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