Video Game Reviews

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Nintendo Wii

Summary:

“In the kingdom of Hyrule, Link is a regular young teen living his everyday life in the small village of Ordon, that is until one night his village is attacked and his friends are kidnapped… while pursuing their assailants he ends up being taken into a mysterious “Twilight” world, where he is somehow transformed into a wolf and imprisoned… trapped, alone and helpless in this new world, his only hope is an enigmatic character called Midna who offers to help him escape…”

Continuing the long line of Zelda games, this is a 3D Action/Adventure game where you explore the vast world of Hyrule in your quest to save the princess and the world as a whole from being destroyed by evil forces. The weaponry you collect along the way is often critical to your ability to progress further as they often unlock new ways to explore areas within dungeons and also allow you to explore new areas on the World map in order to complete sub-quest missions, find hidden areas, etc.

Initially planned for release on the Nintendo Gamecube, the game was delayed in order to be released on the Nintendo Wii shortly after its launch. While being the same game as the one released for the Nintendo Gamecube, the whole game is actually mirrored in order to make Link right handed instead of left handed (to reflect you holding the Wii-mote in your right hand for your sword and the Nunchuck in your left hand for your shield).

Your character Link actually has two forms; as a wolf he has limited combat skills but has special skills such as heightened senses, agility, digging and the ability to talk to other animals, while his human form is able to fight using the full range of weaponry and items he has on hand, while also being able to climb and navigate certain areas much more effectively. Note that the other characters in the game will react very differently to you depending on which form they see you in, which can sometimes make a huge difference when trying to find certain items or hidden areas…

Pros:

- The overall style and atmosphere of the game comes across well, with the graphical style pleasing on the eye (even if it is a Gamecube port)

- The musical theme is impressive enough and again adds to the gaming experience, the sound effects coming from the Wii-mote whenever you attack, use items, find secrets or solve a puzzle are a nice touch too

- The gameplay is immersive and varied, with several side quests, game modes (e.g. regular combat & exploration, fishing, horse-back combat, archery, etc), collectables and exploration/puzzle elements to keep you coming back for more

- The Wii-mote controls and actions are easy enough to pull off and well explained; several small tutorials built into the game, on screen prompts and cursors for aiming ensure that most of the time you won’t get frustrated by being unable to perform certain actions at the right time

- The Wolf and Human Link forms are varied and add to the gameplay, with notable differences in their control styles opening up different ways to approach dungeons and hidden areas

- The available weaponry and collectables are easy to use, equip and manage, as well as being varied in their effects and usable throughout the game (i.e. they’re not just limited to the area you find them in)

- If you’re into fishing the fishing game will probably keep you entertained for a fair while; using your Wii-mote and Nunchuck is a fairly comfortable experience as well

- You play as a wolf… and he meeps! (Well in theory, there’s no voice acting so it’s all speculative)

Cons:

- Early on in the game you can find yourself dying repeatedly unless you’re careful with the few hearts you start the game with, which for younger and/or newer gamers could make things very frustrating at first...

- Inversely later on you’ll might find yourself rarely dying… mainly because even when fighting more powerful enemies, you will only receive relatively small damage compared to other games in the series, which considering you can have up to 20 hearts, 4 recovery potions and various other items on hand to boost your defence can make things a little too easy, especially for veterans of the series…

- Finding every secret and hidden item on your own will be difficult and there’s no in-game checklist to help you focus your efforts on areas which you haven’t explored fully, if you want to get 100% you’ll probably need to get a guide from somewhere, at least to allow you to keep tabs accurately of what you have and haven’t done…

- Finding enough money to buy the items you need at times can be a little tedious, although there are plenty of hidden areas to find to boost your savings quickly if you can find them…

- Some voice acting would have been a nice touch, unless of course they would have used the same actors as in the cartoon series or the CD-I games from the 80s, in which case we can count our blessing that they kept the dialogue text based…

- If you’re not used to it, the motion of swinging the Wii-mote around in order to attack can get physically tiring at times, especially in certain areas where you need to take on a lot of skilled enemies at the same time…

- Younger gamers may feel a little uneasy from the darker elements of the story and overall theme of the game, but then again it is rated as a 12+ game

Similar Games:

- The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker (Nintendo Gamecube)

- The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass (Nintendo DS)

- No More Heroes (Nintendo Wii)

- Okami (Playstation 2 / Nintendo Wii)

Overall:

Personally I’ve always been a fan of the series, with “A Link to the Past” on the Super Nintendo and “Ocarina of Time” on the N64 being my favourites, and it should be noted that while “Twilight Princess” has taken a lot of gameplay elements and structure from these games, it does so very well and ensure that in the end you have one gaming experience that is highly enjoyable and varied throughout without losing any momentum in the process.

We may have seen it all done time and time again by Nintendo before, but sometimes more of the same isn’t a bad thing, especially when it’s all put together so well and so comprehensively.

Final Score: 10/10

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________


BACK