Review by vallunge
My problem is probably nostalgia...
Twilight Princess was one of the most hyped up games in Nintendo's history. Six year development, two year delay, and a massive E3 demo. Not only did Twilight Princess have a lot to live up to just because of the delays, but it also had Ocarina of Time to contend with. People were expecting it, willing it to match Zelda's first 3D game. In my only personal opinion, it came close, but didn't quite live up to Ocarina of Time's standards. Therefore, I gave it a 9.
Graphics and Gameplay: 10
Ever since Nintendo released the first Twilight Princess trailer, people were massively overexcited about the graphics, especially after what most people see as a graphical dissapointment with Wind Waker's cel shaded, cartoon style rendering. Twilight Princess is the most realistic Zelda game to date. It was in this area that it shined over Ocarina of Time. First, there's the equestrian aspects of the game. In Ocarina of Time, Epona just kind of floated along with some legs moving underneath. Twilight Princess's Epona has actual horse-like movements. There are also massive improvements on Link's movements and the looks of various items in the games. First off, the Master Sword in Ocarina of Time struck me as a really short sword for its purpose. In Twilight Princess, the Master Sword has the looks to go with its name. On an even better note, Link's nose isn't freakishly long in Twilight Princess
Then there's the gameplay. Link has better controls than he did in Ocarina of Time. I for one, love the fact that you don't stop to fully swing your sword when you draw it. That was always annoying for me in Ocarina of Time. You wasted time swinging your sword when all you really wanted was to have it at the ready to go stab Bongo-Bongo in the eye. The items are also much easier to use, making up for a couple of Ocarina of Time's flaws. However, my all time favorite addition is Link's ability to use almost every weapon in his arsenal on horseback. In fact, some of Twilight Princess's most important fights are on horseback. Twice you joust a giant Bulblin in a life or death king of the hill match on a bridge. Yay swordy.,
Don't get me wrong, eight is a good score. I loved the dungeons, they were challenging and aesthetically pleasing, especially the Temple of Time. There were a whopping NINE dungeons, the same number as in Ocarina of Time. However, for some bizarre reason, instead of getting longer and longer, like in Ocarina of Time, they got shorter and shorter. The final dungeon, Hyrule Castle, was the shortest in the game. Keep in mind, though, that fact does not apply directly, as the Arbiter's Grounds dungeon was the longest in the game. It is a relative fact, though, and one I wish they would have fixed in the massive two year delay for the game. I would know. I was on the waiting list.
Musical Score: 10
The Legend of Zelda has always been known for its excellent music. Twilight Princess is no exception. The music fits the mood of the environment. The Forest Temple's music is a jungle like theme, Hyrule Field has a bery upbeat tune, the Arbiter's Grounds has a very creepy, Shadow Temple-esque theme, and so on. The battles with Ganondorf had their own unique themes. There was the classic Ganon-esque organ and piano in the first fight, a sort of ritual chanting music for the second fight, and a heavily drum based theme for the final one on one duel. All in all, awesome.
Final Score: 9
All in all, Twilight Princess gets a nine out of ten from me. It was an awesome game, and it proved that the Zelda series is still going strong. But I don't think it was a perfect game. I also don't think it quite measured up to Ocarina of Time. Of course, that's probably because of nostalgia, and the fact that Ocarina of Time was the first 3D Zelda game, making it a pioneering game. So you can take me completely seriously if you want, but for younger gamers, I'd reccomend that you take my reviews that compare stuff to Ocarina of Time with a grain of salt. Every Zelda game since Ocarina of Time has been in some way damaged for me by my own nostalgia. So don't take me too seriously.
Twilight Princess was an excellent game, through and through. The graphics were excellent. The music was excellent. The dungeons were great, aside from the shortness of some of them. Some enemies got complete makeovers. The ReDeads, for example, now look more like Gibdos with swords now. The gameplay was astounding, building on the 3D formula that served Shigeru Miyamoto since Ocarina of Time. Even Link's voice was improved. It sounded less like cheesy grunting and shouting and more like someone fighting for his life. I'd heartily recommend this game even to my worst enemy. Even he doesn't deserve to miss out on the Twilight Princess experience.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (US, 12/11/06)
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