Review by phoenix85044

"Best Zelda game yet? Unlikely."

NOTE: This will have some spoilers.

After many years of waiting and waiting, with teasers and trailers all over the web, Nintendo finally decided to furry up production and finish the game. Still, with the whole world playing this game, did it really live up to the hype or was it even a great Zelda game? Many have thought so. But what did this one gamer think?

Graphics: The game looks good. Nothing more to say about that. My personal feelings are that as long as the game doesn't make you wish you were blind, it's fine. As I tend to play lots of SNES and NES games (yes, I'm an old-school gamer), this game's graphics were wonderful. 10/10

Sound and Music: Many have complained about this department. The quality is sub-par compared to orchestrated soundtracks and whatnot and so many people complain about voice acting. As I said before, as an old school gamer, quality of presentation generally isn't that important. Midi quality is still very good, some of the best, although not excellent. Many of the tunes are remixes from older games, but aren't all Zelda games the same? The few new songs are quite wonderful and addictive (Midna's Desperate Hour for the massive, massive win). And finally, I'm glad there's no voice acting. It's not because Link would suddenly have an individual voice separate from what we expect of him to speak, but because English voice actors in general are very bad (points at all the cartoons on Warner Brothers and almost all dubbed anime). Granted, videogame voice acting is usually a bit better, but I'd still rather just read. 9/10

Story: It's bad. But it's a Zelda game, so it's naturally bad. Look for a certain number of something in the first half, and then look for a certain number of second things in the second half. That is the mold of most Zelda games, just search for these things in dungeons. TP is no different. I will say a saving grace for this game, though. Midna is an amazing character. For all the crap the story is, Midna is wonderfully developed and most complex character in Zelda history. In fact, she's one of the best characters I've seen in games in a long time. Still, overall, it's pretty bad. The one thing that truly saves this department is that Nintendo gave us the option of skipping most of the story, something I wish I could do in the previous 3D Zelda games. 4/10

Controls: Fluid and smooth, as most Zelda games are. It plays very similar to WW, as it has a modified engine from that game. Combat in general is very fun, with Link's huge repertoire of swordsplay. However, general movement such as running and jumping feel a bit awkward. They're close to WW, which I had definite problems with. Truthfully, general movement feels slow and unresponsive, especially compared to the N64 games. However, controls are still very good. 9/10

Inventory: A very cool inventory. They made some fun new items, although they mostly are rehashes of older models (Ball and Chain=Megaton Hammer, Clawshot=Hookshot). Still, a new inventory means new puzzles and that's always welcome. My only beef is that you almost never use the items outside the dungeon, like most 3D Zelda games were. I really wanted to use my Spinner more often. And that truthfully stops this department from greatness. 7/10

Dungeon Design: Linear is the only way to describe it. With the possible exceptions of Level 3 and 7, all the dungeons are straight forward chugs. It's really quite evident by the fact that you never have more than one key in your inventory at a time except for a few rare occasions. Instead of labyrinthine dungeons, Nintendo gave us some cool puzzles, although very easy puzzles, which really stops this game from becoming overly dull and boring. I personally want more maze-like dungeons, but I'm okay with puzzle-thons, usually. I also have this beef with being unable to break the linearity if dungeon order. 6/10

Difficulty and Enemies: The true failure for this game. No Zelda game is really all that hard, but the 3D games have all utterly failed in this department, with the exception of MM, which only slightly failed. TP takes the easiness to a new level. Enemies are easily killed, rarely attack you, and when they do attack you, they inflict next to no damage. Bosses are even worse. Sure, they're big and cool and fun to fight, but they almost never hit you unless you made some egregious error and then you can easily take them done with a few slashes of the sword. Then again, boss fights were all gimmicks to use the dungeon items, anyways. Darknuts and the Cave of Ordeals actually provide some challenge, though. 2/10

Fun Factor and Replay: This is the biggest section in terms of personal preference. For how much of this game I have bashed already, much like my bashing of LttP, I still think this game is ridiculously fun to play. I beat twice in a row nonstop, and when I get my Gamecube again, I'll probably sit down and beat this game a few more times in a row. A truly addictive game. Despite having few sidequests, the main game is fun enough for me to forgive this problem. 9/10

Graphics: 10/10
Sound and Music: 9/10
Story: 4/10
Controls: 9/10
Inventory 7/10
Dungeon Design: 6/10
Difficulty and Enemies: 2/10
Fun Factor and Replay: 9/10

A straight averaging gives this game exactly a 7/10. However, as an avid Zelda gamer who grew up on the original LoZ, I tend to want labyrinthine dungeons and have the freedom to explore wherever I want, breaking linearity as I please. Also, the difficulty is just sickeningly terrible. And I believe these are the two most important aspects of Zelda games, along with fun factor.

6/10 overall. This score may be cruel for someone who absolutely loves this game, but this is how harshly I grade all videogames.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 01/30/07

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