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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review
genre: Action Adventure
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Nov 19, 06 (released)
|» All About The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on ActionTrip|
Nintendo has built a house based on franchises. When someone buys a Nintendo console, they know that they will be seeing the same familiar faces appear in their games, as have appeared in Nintendo titles for the past twenty years. Mario has been a hot property since he was Jumpman, and everyone has wanted to have sex with Samus since they first realized that it was a chick underneath that big sexy suit of armor. But this article isn't about Mario or Samus, this article is about that green-clothed, elf-eared, sword-wielding bad ass, Link and his royal lady, Zelda. (You wanted to have sex with Link since you first laid eyes on him. -Ed)
That cool hairdo never gets messed up, does it?
I think it's best to stay off the road.
Legend of Zelda is probably the Nintendo franchise that garners the most critical praise. And while the premise of the title has stayed relatively the same over the years, there's always something new to be had. A few new changes to gameplay, and some updates to the franchise to keep it fresh. Everyone who loves Nintendo gets pumped about Zelda. When I heard about Twilight Princess, I got so excited that I got drunk, went to the local Zoo, and attempted to sexually liberate a Rhinoceros. When my bones mended and R.P. Horns McGuffin forgave me for my mistake, I was still piss-my-pants excited about Zelda.
But on the other hand, EA keeps pumping out Madden games, charging the full price for what is essentially a roster update each year, and many people take issue with that. So how does Nintendo continue to keep releasing the same damn Zelda game for twenty years and not get accused of milking the consumer while EA is demonized for its attempts to siphon a few extra bucks from our pockets every time the chance presents itself?
Nintendo has continued to push the Zelda series forwards by leaps and bounds, and also proves why other gaming companies, particularly other console manufacturers, should be running scared of the Japanese giant. Nintendo knows that it is about gaming first, and that if you can continue to innovate, people will want to buy your titles. While Bill Gates has said that he thinks that the current Wii-Fever will burn off, I'm of the mind to disagree. If the company can keep pumping out new and fun ideas for the same damn characters for twenty years, then it is not entirely out of reach for them to come up with new gameplay concepts with their Wii-mote, that fantastic little wand of gaming delight. Oh, I would be very afraid, Microsoft. Nintendo doesn't have to rely on superior hardware to create a great game experience, they're going to come up with ideas that most people (especially their competitors) will never see coming.
That being said, let's get into why Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is worth buying and helps justify the small investment required to attain a Wii. If you're a virgin to the series, Legend of Zelda titles are almost all about the same thing. The Princess of Hyrule, Zelda, is in trouble from some magical entity or another, and a young boy classically named Link is going to have to bail her out of said trouble. How? Why by going around from dungeon to dungeon, solving puzzles, collecting various items and abilities, mastering said items and abilities, and beating the shit out of everything evil looking in his path with a trusty sword and shield. Of course, in Twilight Princess, things are a bit more complicated than that. Not only will you be playing the part of Link, but occasionally you will also be transformed into a wolf, and be sent exploring the Twilight to wake up the sacred light spirits that have been screwed over by the same evil powers threatening Zelda. Thus the gameplay really breaks down into three parts.
When you're in your boy state, you're Link, the classic hero. You get all kinds of goodies to help you on your quest. From a horse named Epona which you can ride around on and get into fantastic horse-back based combat with (and is certainly a lot quicker and more exciting to get around on than that bloody sailboat from Wind Waker), to a bow and arrow that is remarkably easy to aim with accuracy through the Wii-mote, to a bad ass sword, which is swung by, hey, just swinging the Wii-mote. Of course, these are only really related to combat, unlike other items like the Iron Boots, which in one dungeon, allow you to walk on walls and ceilings after certain magnets have been turned on in the level. While half of the game is fighting and conflict, another large part of the game, the part that gets you through dungeons, is puzzle solving. Many objects will simply give you new options in the various puzzles to help you move through. All of the skills that the game can teach you will be used at some point or another to help you along in your quest. Not only does these keep gameplay fresh and exciting throughout the game, as new features are constantly being added, but it also makes each Zelda game different and unique, as you don't get the same set of items in this game as you would in any other Zelda game.
The second part of gameplay is your time spent in the Twilight as a wolf. Being a wolf is a bit different, as you don't have items. You fight just the same way, largely by swinging the Wii-mote, but seeing as you don't have opposable thumbs or the ability to walk upright; shooting a bow becomes just a wee bit impossible. However, you do get a fantastic set of wolf senses, which allow you to see creatures, people and objects that would otherwise be invisible, and to pick up on the smells of certain characters, which allows you to track them. You also are blessed with the ability to dig as a wolf, which gets you into otherwise unreachable areas and find objects hidden below the ground. These interludes into the Twilight are a nice change of pace from the regular game, and are a lot of fun, as you'll be solving puzzles in a totally new way. This is probably the biggest difference (apart from the Wii-mote) between this Zelda and past Zelda's, and it isn't without merit, and there is a good time to be had in the process.
And lastly, it wouldn't be a Zelda game if it lacked Mini-games. There's a lot to explore in Hyrule, and plenty of fascinating, albeit whacked-out characters to be found. I think that my favorite thus far has to be the mailman, a goofy looking guy in short shorts that always happens to be running around the world, panting heavily, oblivious to outside events, with a gigantic sign sticking out of his back, delivering letters to people. Oh, if only mail aroused me so, I would work for the US Postal Service. If the main quest is getting you down, you can stop and go fishing for a while, or simply run around and try to find any of the bizarre activities the game has set up for you. There's a lot to find here apart from combat and puzzles, and it makes me weep to think that I will probably never get a 100% complete on this huge and varied game.
It's freaking Zelda! This title stays true to the series, and offers a long, varied and wonderful gameplay experience for all.
The game shows that the Wii isn't the PS3, so don't expect it to look that good.