Review by Afrocious

"Wasn't what it was hyped up to be (being a Zelda game and all) but still good."

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

*This review can only be used by Gametrailers and GameFAQs.*

I hadn't been into the gaming news in a while, but one day before Christmas, I strolled into Wal Mart. I went by the Electronics department and saw Twilight Princess behind the glass case. I was expecting the game to come out once the new year started, but instead of waiting that long, I bought it with my remaining fifty dollars. I drove home, eager to play it.

I don't regret buying the game and I know I'm not selling it anytime soon, though the fact that the thought went through my head tells that the this Zelda game isn't what it could've been.

Story - - - - -

The story is simple to understand. You play as Link, a goat-herder who's idolized by the kids of his small village. The kids are kidnapped by monsters and Link goes after them. He encounters a strange portal that seems to glow with darkness. Link is pulled in by a insidious, dark creature and is turned into a wolf. He wakes up in a strange prison where he meets the main character of the game, Midna - a sarcastic, somewhat impatient imp who loves taunting link. From there, the story proceeds. Link finds out about a mysterious force called the Twilight Realm swallowing up Hyrule and he has to enter them to save his lands.

You'll enjoy the story for the most part. Some characters play a more major role than others, but they're all colorful as well as emotional (if they're meant to be.) They're not the problem. Definitely not, except for one maybe.

The major flaw about the story is the final pieces of it. If you've played more than three or four Zelda games, you'll be able to predict how the story will end up. With the series, you never had a problem with the story since the adventure was fun all the way to the end, but Twilight Princess plays with you. You're given a great story until you hit the final hours. Everything falls to ruin. The final boss, while fun, shouldn't have even been in the game.

Perhaps Nintendo was afraid of making a new Zelda story like Majora's Mask? Whatever the case, the story was great until the last hours.

Gameplay - - - - -

The gameplay is the same as the previous titles. You assign items to the X and Y buttons. This time; however, you can only talk to Midna with the Z button. You'll have to play with this new set up for about a half-hour to realize it's fine. She'll be able to give you advice, and later on, teleport you and transform you into a wolf at your will.

The major change of Zelda gameplay is controlling Wolf Link. He's pretty easy to use, though it's nothing special. Wolf Link is basically the same as regular Link except he can't use items, can enter scent mode (which helps in finding Poes around Hyrule), dig, howl, and walk over tightropes. You hit B to attack as usual, holding it charges an energy link around him. Letting it go will cause Wolf Link to maul any enemy in the field at one time. You'll use this ability to solve puzzles throughout the game.

Returning from Wind Waker are the special moves you can do with your sword called hidden skills. There are seven in all and about three or four are almost needed through the game. You obtain them by finding a special stone (they look like gossip stones from previous Zelda titles.) Approaching them as a wolf and howling at them. You'll unlock a minigame where you'll have to repeat an old Zelda melody given to you by a golden wolf. Once you do so, the wolf will go to a certain area in Hyrule. Conveniently, you can see it's location on a map. Encounter the wolf as regular Link and you'll visit a mysterious knight who teaches you the new ability. Finding the skills are fun, but as mentioned earlier, some aren't needed. The game isn't hard enough for them.

Running around Hyrule on foot is pointless. You're given a horse (named Epona by default) and you can ride her almost everywhere in the fields. You can swing your sword and use nearly all your items while riding horseback. Some parts of the game require you to kill a mini-boss on the field riding a boar with a gang of enemies alongside him. These parts of the game are intense and its fun knocking enemies off their rides with the sword or getting a headshot with a bow, but Epona becomes useless for around ten whole hours once you're able to teleport. Teleporting is a more efficient traveling method and using Epona is fun. You don't have to teleport everywhere, but why cross fields for five minutes when you can teleport in five seconds? This makes getting to dungeons easier, killing the time between them.

The dungeons are great and some take after ones in previous Zelda games. They're also a bit harder to get through. You'll feel like an idiot once you figured out you can do "this with this item" or "this can go here if you walk there." The dungeons aren't too hard or too simple and a satisfying boss battle lies within them. The boss fights in Twilight Princess are truly epic-looking. Link will have to jump on their backs, stab their eyes, and sometimes, jump from wall to wall just to smack a boss's head. Like the dungeons themselves, the bosses aren't hard, but not easy. Just fun.

You'll do a number of collecting quests in Twilight Princess. In order to gain access to some places as regular Link, you'll have to hunt down peculiar bugs and gain Tears of Light to return to the Deities (your first motive for going to dungeons). You also have your standard pieces of heart (now five pieces create a new heart, not four) and shiny bugs for a strange little girl. You may have a desire to find all 24 of her bugs. The reward is great, but not needed in the way a secret weapon might be. You can upgrade your bomb bags, wallet, and quiver as well as find new and optional clothes for link. None are needed except for their first upgrades. You can get through the game without getting much of the optional stuff, compared to Ocarina of Time at least where not getting the upgrades made the game a bit harder. Along with that, some quest items become useless and are replaced with better versions, such as the slingshot - once you get the Hero's Bow (and you get it early) you'll never have a reason to use the slingshot again. You'll upgrade your sword once, but you'll have the option of using the original, though there isn't a point to it.

Graphics - - - - -

Twilight Princess is beautiful - from the night and day of Hyrule, to the bleak environment of the Twilight Realms. You can tell what's what and see their details, the character designs are great, and the cutscenes are stunning.

Sound/Music - - - - -

You have your basic sound effects. You never notice them, which is a good thing since you never hear anyone saying how realistic a bomb sounds. A bomb sounds like a bomb and Epona neighs like a horse. If it was bad, you'd notice it.

Same goes for the music. You have your basic Zelda theme. Everything else isn't memorable, yet not bad.

Overview - - - - -

Twilight Princess is a great game with its flaws. Buy it. You won't regret it since its still very fun in certain areas. You'll be disappointed for a few things, but in the end, you'll have a good time.

The end sequence is great, by the way.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/16/07

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