An excellent start to the Wii lineup and a fun game overall.
selbie wrote this review on .
Set a few decades after the events of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the game begins with Link residing in Ordon Village, working as a ranch hand. He is abruptly attacked by a group of monsters who kidnap his friends. While in pursuit, he is pulled into alternate world called the Twilight Realm and is transformed into a wolf. This sets up the fundamental structure of how the gameplay is set out for the rest of the game and is an excellent introduction to the story and gameplay.
The situation with Hyrule this time is that the nefarious ruler of the Twilight Realm, Zant, is trying to bathe Hyrule in perpetual twilight. Once imprisoned in this abstract reality, Link is befriended by a childish imp named Midna who becomes his faithful sidekick and a pivotal character to the story. She replaces the role of Navi and gives you helpful tips and generally aids you in your adventuring.
Once you've scratched the surface of the game you will find that this Zelda is easily the largest one ever and you will easily spend around 50-60 hours purely on the main quest. Not only will it take you a while to complete, you will also find that the physical content and environments in Twilight Princess are utterly expansive, with Hyrule Field literally stretching for miles and miles. Thankfully the robust travel and warping systems keep you from losing your interest too quickly.
Progression is basically defined by where you are in the game and how many unlocked doors you've opened. In addition, the stunning variety of different items and manoeuvres you receive help make the game more and more entertaining as you progress. Gameplay is divided into two parts. In the normal realm you play as human Link and in the twilight realm you play as the wolf. The only real difference is that in the twilight realm everything is shrouded in darkness, the humans are ghosts, and the monsters take on a very creepy and peculiar appearance. Eventually you gain the ability to change back and forth between wolf and human form which adds another element to challenges within the game.
The big topic of any Wii game is obviously the Wii remote and Zelda blends the motion control seamlessly into the game mechanics. Don't expect to become tired while playing because most of the time you can rest your arms on your lap while making simple flicking motions with your wrist. Pointing the remote at the screen to aim your bow or hookshot is extremely accurate and shows how well a good FPS will fare with the Wii's controller.
At times though you do wish the enemies were a little harder and the boss fights are pretty straightforward. Of course, in keeping with a common tradition with recent Zelda games, there is an excellent fishing minigame where you could easily spend hours of gameplay entirely devoted to sitting in a boat searching for the ultimate catch of the day. You are also guaranteed to end up with a sore arm from reeling in fish using the remote (one of the few energy intensive tasks in the game).
Twilight Princess uses a highly modified version of the Wind Waker engine and so the graphics frequently take on a Gamecube appearance. However, the creative styling of the game easily overshadows this minor issue. The character animations and facial expressions allow for an astounding array of emotions to be portrayed and help you connect with each of the characters in the game. What Nintendo have done here with such limited resources is nothing short of astounding and shows how pure graphics does not determine the entertainment value of a game (yet again!). Another minor issue with the Twilight Princess is its underwhelming sound. While the game does sound great, the use of midi files gives an emaciated feel to what could be a truly epic soundtrack, especially considering the capacity of the new disk format. Nintendo could have easily included higher fidelity sounds to further enhance many of the humbling and awe-inspiring moments that you encounter throughout the journey.
The boss battles are ultimately the biggest let down in the game. You come face-to-face with some of the coolest bosses of any game around, yet the bare sound and simplified, hold-your-hand difficulty takes away from what could have been the next Ocarina of Time.
While The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess has a few stumbling blocks, you cannot use these minor faults to downplay the titanic experience that is presented here. To create a game this large and yet have so little faults with which to criticise it is amazing. It gives you everything you expected in a Zelda game and then throws in a few things you didn't expect either. So if you have a Wii and want another great game to add to the collection then pick up this one because you are guaranteed a great experience. Now get fishing!!