Review by ThePenguin56

"The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Fetch Quest"

In the vast world of The Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess is the most frequently debated upon. Some claim the game to be better than the seemingly unbeatable Ocarina of Time, while others bash the game as being the worst Zelda game. In reality Twilight Princess sits somewhere between these two benchmarks – it's a good game that's dented by a couple infuriating flaws.

Twilight Princess' storyline is one of the darker in the series. The typically peaceful land of Hyrule is shrouded in evil and twilight by a mysterious, unnamed source. A teenaged Link, growing up in the mild-mannered Ordon Village, is called upon to travel to Hyrule Castle with a gift from the people of the village. As he's preparing to set out, our protagonist is ambushed by strange, misshapen creatures of twilight; he's dragged beyond the wall of twilight and turned into a blue-eyed beast. Characters in Twilight Princess are some of the most emotional and well-developed in the series, creating an interesting and intriguing story throughout. It's also one of the darker titles; bits of gameplay while under the shroud of twilight are quite honestly frightening. Twilight Princess takes a very cinematic approach as well, creating a movie-like experience.

Flaws begin to occur when gameplay comes into consideration. Much of the game feels like a chore and the overwhelming majority of the first half of the game consists of fetch quests. They don't vary either in this situation – you're literally doing the same thing, differing only in location. Pair the saturation of fetch quests with an overworld the size of a legitimate planet and you've got something deadly. Twilight Princess will have you parading around quite a bit, as several quests take place over multiple locations. This is fixed somewhat by the inclusion of portals, but these portals are in fixed locations and there's still quite a bit of travelling to do. Several items in the game are genuinely useless; even Epona, your noble steed. She's made greatly obsolete by aforementioned portals and feels like a very rushed inclusion in the game. Items like the slingshot – practically replaced directly after you obtain it – and the horse call – obtained near the end of the game and used to summon a rarely used method of travel – join the horse in the category of useless. Twilight Princess is also painfully linear. There's literally one way to complete the game and next to nothing to do off of the beaten path. On the bright side for Twilight Princess' gameplay, its nine dungeons are very well-designed for the most part, and puzzles are fairly difficult and really require logic. Nintendo was pretty creative with the new items, including the Spiderman-like experience of the double clawshot and the Dominion Rod's statue-possessing abilities. Controls are also simple, easy to learn, and rarely faulty. All in all though, Twilight Princess' gameplay experience is terribly circumcised by a plethora of fetch quests and items with limited use.

Graphics are Twilight Princess' greatest downfall. In short, they're average at best. Environments like Hyrule field lack detail and rock formations are nearly uniform and horribly misshapen. Human faces are silly-looking and disfigured, as the eyes of many are on the lower half of the face, giving the effect of a ‘five-head'. I'd go so far as to say some backgrounds were created with Microsoft Paint. There are positive points, though, as lighting and shadowing affects are nearly flawless and facial expressions are captured well despite the mangled appearance of the character's face. In summary, the atmosphere of the area is captured very well and environments are very vibrant, but everything seems to be very sloppily shaped, giving the impression that the game's graphical specialists created the overworld during a massive earthquake.

Sound in Twilight Princess is what we've come to expect from the Zelda series. Music is absolutely amazing, particularly in dungeons, with themes like City in the Sky and Snowpeak Ruins administering goosebumps. Simply put, the music in Twilight Princess borders on flawless, and few games out there top it. Sound effects are fairly unremarkable, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. Few sound effects are annoying, and they're toned down to the point that they make little to no affect on gameplay.

Twilight Princess is a game that you'll get around 45 hours of play time on – it's very long and deep. Due to the fact that it's very linear, though, and the beginning of the game is so laden with fetch quests, you might not be enticed to play this again after beating it once. Challenge in the game varies from painfully easy to appropriately challenging, and overall it's one of the Zelda series' easier titles. Twilight Princess is without doubt worth renting at the least, but if you're looking for a fetch-quest-free game that you'll play a thousand times over, look elsewhere.

STORY: 9/10
SOUND: 10/10
OVERALL: 7.3/10

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 07/21/11

Game Release: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (US, 12/11/06)

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