The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was the first Zelda and adventure game that I played. Even though I played other Zelda games before, this was the only Zelda game that I played and beaten. It came out all the way back in 2006 for the Nintendo Wii, and later for the Nintendo Game-Cube in 2007. At first, this game was intended to be a Game-Cube title; but due to the console’s ending lifespan and the coming of the Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was pushed to the Nintendo Wii first and later ported on to the Nintendo Game-Cube.

Being the successor to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (which was also a Nintendo Game-Cube title) and the spiritual successor to Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess had many people hyped up for it back at E3 in 2004. Since I was still a little kid at the time, I never knew nor purchased this game until 2012. And this was all thanks to the trophies of Twilight Princess in Super Smash Bros. Brawl that I got the year before. Although obvious yet unimportant, I do in fact have the Nintendo Selects re-release and not the original copy on the Nintendo Wii.

Upon getting the game, I thought it was going to be a much different experience than Mario games (which I played the most and owned at the time). Because I was new to the adventure genre and Zelda franchise in general, I struggled with alot of the challenges it gave me and often got pissed off and immediately resorted to reading a walkthrough guide. There was many ups and downs, making me wanting to go back and play some more.

Graphic

Graphically speaking, Twilight Princess doesn’t have graphics that seem impressive for a Nintendo Wii game. It was originally a Nintendo Game-Cube title, so this game will only impress those that own the Game-Cube copy. Overall, the graphics just look terrible on the Nintendo Wii, especially with the 16:9 widescreen presentation. But, if you have the separately sold HD component cable, this game gets upscaled to look just as good as a typical game on the Nintendo Wii. I do have to give Nintendo credit though, for making Twilight Princess to being the most realistic Zelda at its time when compared to other games before it.

This game runs under a resolution of 480i standard-definition, but is not in progressive scan. So unless you have the HD component cable or playing it on the Nintendo Game-Cube, you will never experience it in a native resolution of full 480p SD. As with previous Zelda games, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess runs at 30 frames per second, but for an adventure game only slightly smaller than Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto 5 (in terms of the total area) that is an impressive feat.

Textures just add to the low quality graphics of an already bad looking game on the Nintendo Wii. Everything in this game from people to buildings look blurry, low quality, and extremely pixelated and generic like in Ocarina of Time. Zooming in with the camera or backing away doesn’t make any kind of difference with the game’s bad looking textures. The only exception to the textures are background and foreground textures, whether it’s the sky, sun, water, twilight, lava, and so on. Far away objects fixed into the sky like Death Mountain also look good.

Fortunately, all of the character, enemy , and even boss models make up for the horrible graphics. Characters look great in this game, and even looks good for a Nintendo Wii game. The character models are nicely done, and imitate the game’s artwork and what most Zelda fans imagine of for any 3D Zelda game. Even the enemy models look more detailed and realistic as their overall look isn’t as pixelated or jaggy as seen in Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.

By utilizing a realistic graphical art style, the overall lighting effects deeply reflect the game’s mood and atmosphere. I won’t go too much with the plot right now, however, the lighting effects perfectly match it. This is especially true with the Twilight Realms and hours, as everything perfectly blends in with this type of lighting. That’s not to say that there’s only this type though, as certain times of the day and weather conditions can change the lighting effects as well. And yes, there are finally different weather conditions now besides sun and snow.

With the alternate realms being introduced, you can for the first time witness the black pixels flying around the air when exploring these depressing worlds, which showcases this game’s excellent particle effects. Speaking of particle effects, older effects are enhanced as well as newer effects being introduced. Coloring and shadowing enhance the realism, with shadow effects being fully used with characters and objects depending on the amount of brightness. However, what adds to the realism also decreases its appeal as most colors are restricted to green, brown, gray, blue, and white (which are colors seen in real-life and realistic video games).

maxresdefault

Music/Sound

Music is beautifully composed and fits well with the mood and atmosphere of this game. All the songs that were specifically composed for the main areas in the hub-world match them perfectly as well. There are a ton of musical genres, from country to classical, and there’s even full instrumental songs for the first time also. The music sounds good, but it does lack some variations  that were in past Zelda games, such as orchestral and vocal music.

Not much to say about the sound quality, but what I do have to say is that it’s just extremely terrible. Whenever there are multiple sounds being played simultaneously, some sounds will be drowned out by others and/or vice versa. There is also a static-like sound that can be heard in the background, something that was only heard in older video games from the 80’s to the early 90’s (though not as obvious or extreme).

Sound effects in this game are much better and more realistic than previous Zelda games. Many of the weapon sound effects are top-par, with each effect sounding just like their reality counterparts. The voicing of the characters (if many even consider it voicing) still sound like animal grunts and fighting cries, but we’ll discuss about voice acting later. The sound effects also sound realistic and high-quality as well. Also, certain sound effects can also be heard via the Wii Remote’s speaker, which is a great addition that could have been implemented better.

Controls

As being one of the first games released for the Nintendo Wii, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess had many motion and pointer-gimmicks implemented into the game. The best part about these new motion controls is that they actually work well and don’t feel too gimmicky as it may seem. But before digging that deep, let’s start with the basics. Tilting the control stick makes Link move around, pressing the C button turns on the first person camera, and the Z button allows for lock-on targeting. The d-pad allows up to 3 items being used (as well as calling up Midna for help) and the B button holds the current equipped item.

Pressing the + button will bring up the pause menu and the – button brings up the item select menu. Pressing the 1 button summons the map screen and pressing the 2 button hides the on-screen map. The A button makes Link do all sorts of commands such as rolling, pushing, talking, throwing, shooting, and the like. Later in the game, you’ll be able to warp and transform into a wolf at will by calling up Midna. The current item you’re using is with the B button, so switching to another equipped item is a simple matter of pressing a certain direction of the d-pad.  You can also unlock advanced sword techniques called hidden skills later in the game.

Motion controls is probably one of the biggest new features to Twilight Princess. Instead of using buttons to attack with the sword, you can now use the Wii Remote and repeatedly shake it to maneuver the sword’s movements. Because of this, you can also for the first time attack with your sword while running too. You can use the Nunchuk as well, but only for a single forward thrust to perform a shield attack with the shield. Even though this isn’t close to being 1:1 motion controls (as the game isn’t compatible and was made before the Wii Motion Plus), it’s still very fun to use and doesn’t put away any wrist strains nor does it feel entirely gimmicky.

Other gimmick-like controls includes pointer controls that enhanced the gaming experience even further. Simply pointing the Wii Remote on the screen shows a fairy (resembling Navi from Ocarina of Time) and is used as a cursor when using certain items, as an on-screen pointer for menu selection, or when switching to first person mode with the zoom in camera. So when using items requiring a reticle, instead of aiming with the control stick, you can now aim with the pointer instead. Not only is it much more accurate, it’s also much faster and useful in many quick-time events or situations.

The controls, both traditional and innovative, are amazing for Twilight Princess and make up for the low-quality graphics. The controls never malfunction and even the motion and pointer-controls work smoothly as well (unless you’re using the Wii Motion Plus or Wii Remote Plus). In the event that they do malfunction, simply re-calibrating it in the settings will fix it, but this almost never happens. After playing and adapting to these controls, you will never want to go back to traditional button pressing ever again (unless for Zelda games on handheld systems).

zelda-twilight-princess-hd-1-1

Plot Analysis

The story starts off around 100 years after the events of  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (and somehow after Majora’s Mask…) , so explaining the game’s plot will be a challenge because of the many flashbacks and chronologically confusing events. It begins right where Ocarina of Time left off but supposedly at the beginning of  Majora’s Mask (in which only applies to the flashbacks regarding Ganondorf). After Link goes back in time to meet Zelda, he can somehow tell her of Ganondorf’s true intentions and plans, resulting in her reporting to the king who eventually arrests him for treason against the royal family.

Upon the Ancient Sages capturing, torturing, and executing Ganondorf in Gerudo Desert, they found out that he somehow…got the Triforce of Power… and uses it to revive himself, break free from the metal chains, and murders one of the Sages. They then proceed to banish him to the Twilight Realm, which coincidentally allows him to give some of his magical powers to Zant there around 100 years later. Zant uses it to curse Midna (the chosen ruler of the realm) into an imp, so he can become the ruler. He then proceeds to transform (most of the) people into Shadows Beasts and escapes into Hyrule in order to wreck havoc there. Ganondorf sees this as an opportunity and escapes as well, but goes into hiding in Hyrule Castle after Zant invaded invaded it and took Zelda prisoner, allowing Hyrule to turn into darkness without any resistance.

Meanwhile in the present day and age, we have Link, who is a young adult and ranching apprentice living in the rural village of Ordon in this game’s plot. After meeting up with all of the villagers and herding the goats, Link wakes up the next day to rest. While doing so, Link receives some new weapons such as a slingshot and sword, plays with the children, and and chases after a monkey (that were being chased by the kids) into Faron Woods. Upon saving the monkey and Talo, Rusl tells Link about the strangeness of the woods as it is now being inhabited by monsters, while reminding him of a trip to deliver a sword and shield to Princess Zelda in Hyrule Castle within Hyrule.

The next day, Link gets scolded by his unofficial girlfriend Illia and takes Epona away for being too harsh on the horse to the Ordon Spring. Right after negotiating with her (with Collin’s explanation and help), the trio gets ambushed by King Bulblin, a herd of giant boars, and some Bulblins, knocking Link out with a wooden club and kidnapping all of the village children by firing arrows. While unconscious, a group of Shadows Beasts appear and somehow steal the last light source from Faron (the light spirit of Faron Woods), making Hyrule finally covered in complete darkness, all the while Link passes out for only 3 seconds. Link then wakes up and gives chase, but upon going to Faron Woods, he discovers a magical wall before getting sucked in by a Shadow Beast, but saved by the Triforce of Courage…and gets abducted after transforming into a wolf.

When he wakes up, Link noticed he became a wolf and got captured and imprisoned in a castle dungeon. From out of nowhere, Midna appears and befriends Link, promising to rescue the village children if Link collects the Fused Shadows which are capable of defeating Zant. They eventually escape and go into a castle tower and meet up with Zelda, who explains to Link about the fate of Hyrule. Midna warps Link back after the conversation and orders him to get a sword and shield to revive Hyrule to its “light-filled state”, but not before massacring several Shadow Beasts, getting attacked by the villagers, and collecting Tears of Light (by searching and killing dark-bugs).

Faron Woods gets revived after and Link transforms back into a human, wearing the green tunic that Link wore in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Faron tells him that he is the Hero of Time and must restore light to the other regions of Hyrule, as well as collecting all 3 Fused Shadows to save the kingdom from an apocalyptic future. The game then pauses its story here to make up for the lack of gameplay, with some smaller plot events occurring, such as when meeting up with the village children in Kakariko Village, defeating and befriending the Gorons in Death Mountain, and escorting Prince Ralis from Hyrule Castle Town to Kakariko Village.

After beating the first three dungeons, Link gets warped back to Lanayru Spring. As soon as Link turns around, he meets the one person that nobody would have ever expected to meet so early in the game: Zant. He transforms all of Hyrule back into Twilight, puts a permanent wolf curse on Link, and takes away the Fused Shadows from Midna (via telekinetic abilities). Midna begs Zant to undo the darkness and fulfills her request, in which she unknowingly was used against her and almost kills her (when Lanayru  the light-spirit rises to kill Zant but fails). Link and Midna then go meet Zelda again in Hyrule Castle to help cure Link. Midna gets healed by Zelda but seemingly vanishes from it and Link learns from her that the Master Sword in the Sacred Grove can undo his curse.

twilightprincesshd_midna.jpg

The two leave Zelda but at the expense of Hyrule Castle being enclosed in a magical pyramid-like shield. Once they reach Faron Woods, they save and meet the monkey that was seen earlier in the game, who tells them of a hidden location to the right of Forest Temple. Both eventually discover it, chase down Skull Kid, and solve probably the game’s hardest puzzle before getting the Master Sword. Link transforms back into a human, accepts the new sword and somehow wipes out the old sword. Midna keeps the magical curse so Link could transform into a wolf and warp to different portals at will.

Midna asks Link to go to a hidden location containing the Mirror of  Twilight, a giant mirror creating a portal between Hyrule and the Twilight Realm. She states this is the only way to reach and stop Zant from continuing his evil reign and empire, and to stop Midna’s curse to change herself back into human. Upon travelling to Hyrule Castle Town for clues, Link comes across a group of adults that is a resistance group against Zant. They help Link in finding and getting access to the Mirror of Twilight, located in another dungeon in Gerudo Desert.

As stupid as it may seem, Link and Midna discover that the Mirror of Twilight has been destroyed by none other than Zant. The Ancient Sages appear and tell them a little back story of Ganondorf, telling Link to find the other three remaining fragments in Snowpeak Mountain, Sacred Grove, and The City In The Sky. The story also starts to die off at this point until the very end, with the exception of meeting with each member of the resistance group at those three new locations, and when you have to do this side-mission to help restore Illia’s memory in order to access the last dungeon. Fortunately though, this is when the development and plot of the side-quests start improving.

Near the end, Link succeeds in piecing back together the shattered fragments of the Mirror of Twilight and enters the Twilight Realm and hunt down Zant once and for all. Although appearing to be a serious and corrupt villain, Zant is actually just a power hungry psychopath that lusts for power, authority, and magic. After battling him, it turns out that Zant wasn’t actually killed by the Master Sword, rather he was only mortally wounded. Midna finally retrieves the Fused Shadows, and when ant pisses her off, she ends up killing him out of her anger alone. Even she herself is astonished at this new power and decides to hunt down Ganondorf after realizing that killing Zant never stopped the imp curse.

Feeling sympathy for Zelda for selflessly helping Midna, she convinces Link to head to Hyrule Castle to save her. As they reach the castle, Midna uses the Fused Shadows to transform into a huge monster to destroy Ganondorf’s magical barrier so that they can enter. Along the way though, King Bulblin decided to challenge Link for the fourth and final time, as well as getting help from the resistance group when obtaining the boss key. After scaling five floors, Link enters the throne room and confronts Ganondorf, with Zelda somehow teleported to the middle of the Triforce statue on top of the throne after vanishing. Ganondorf talk for a bit about his philosophy and master plan before possessing Zelda and challenging Link to battle.

Link defeats Ganondorf while inside Zelda’s body after a match of electrical tennis inspired by The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Midna uses the Fused Shadows to exorcise Zelda to force Ganondorf out of her body. The pair reunites but Ganondorf suddenly transforms into Ganon (this time being a giant boar instead of a blue anthropomorphic pig monster). Link manages to defeat Ganon with the help of the Master Sword and wolf transformation. When Midna approaches Zelda, her chest starts emitting out magic to Zelda’s chest, which somehow awakens her. Zelda confesses to Midna that her soul was inside of her the whole time and felt all of the harsh experiences that Midna went through. Suddenly, Ganondorf disintegrates his monster form and transforms into a demon head to support his last moments of life.

Feeling shock and fear at the seemingly immortal Ganondorf, Midna quickly thinks fast and warps Link and Zelda outside to Hyrule Field. She then uses the Fused Shadows to transform into a monster and uses a giant spear to stop Ganondorf, but not long after an explosion erupts from the castle, revealing Ganondorf fully revived on horseback with Midna’s helmet, signifying her death and defeat. He then charges towards Link and Zelda with his horse and the magical spirit knights that he summoned. Link, angered by Midna’s death, attempts to charge as well but Zelda calms him down and warps the two to an alternate dimension.

Using her…talent of…summoning the light spirits…they appear out of nowhere and give her light arrows (without a light bow). Zelda seduces Link to help her stop Ganondorf, and he reluctantly agrees to help. The cute couple then mysteriously appears on Epona and challenges Ganondorf to a horseback battle. Link easily defeats him with the help of Zelda’s light arrows (that electrocute and paralyze Ganondorf), making Ganondorf fall down and his black horse spontaneously combust into thin air. Ganondorf then stands up taking out the sword he stole from the Ancient Sages, and challenges Link to a sword duel between good and evil.

Zelda and Epona both get isolated from the battle as Ganondorf places a magical barrier around him and Link. Link succeeds in defeating Ganondorf in one of the franchise’s most easy final boss battles, stabbing him through the chest with the Master Sword to kill him. As Ganondorf dies, he finally loses his Triforce of Power, with Zant appearing in his consciousness and somehow ends Ganondorf’s life by snapping his own neck. With Ganondorf dead and standing on his two feet somehow, Link stands there with Zelda appearing to be playing with her hair and dress as the sun sets down for the evening. Link somehow hears and sees things coming from a hill and witnesses the light spirits doing something to a shadow resembling Midna as the storm clears for a bright, sunny day.

Happy as ever, Link runs faster than running in his wolf form to confirm his hallucinations and disbelief. What is in Midna’s place is…Midna being revived back to her human form. She gets up and asks Link why he isn’t responding back…and assumes because she is too beautiful for him to say anything…even though he was mute the whole time. Link then shows the most happiest and emotional face ever seen in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and the credits appear shortly after. During those credits, the village children leave Kakariko Village and heading for Ordon Village. You can also see all of the people of Hyrule Castle Town happy, as well as the children finally reuniting with their parents (even though they could have done that a long time ago).

Off in Gerudo Desert, Link and the two princesses have a philosophical discussion in which Link doesn’t talk in at all. Midna thanks Zelda for all that she did, while Midna indirectly admits that she developed a romantic crush on Link the time they were together. She then makes a single tear fly to the Mirror of Twilight, and it effortlessly shatters it (but not before warping back to the Twilight Realm). Link and Zelda somehow travel back to Hyrule without Midna’s warping abilities in which the couple then parts ways. The castle gets rebuilt, the Master Sword returns to its pedestal, and the story finally ends.

2465632-dolphin2011042023101930.jpg

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess takes place in Hyrule around 100 years after the events of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask (at least according to Hyrule Hystoria). Nintendo does make a realistic, mature, and more darker approach to this game’s plot, mood, and atmosphere. However, this game lacks alot of character development, something that thrived in past 3D Zelda games that were not dark or serious as this one. All of the NPC’s have little to no emotion or interesting personality, nor do they have anything good to do or say when observing or talking to them. Speaking of NPC’s, there are barely any to begin with as all but the main and plot-relevant NPC’s have no personality or uniqueness to them.

Cutscenes make a return but are much more cinematic than before. They provide much more information  and detail, allowing players to understand the plot and characters more. This time around, cutscenes are also more action and scenery-based, rather than just showing conversations between people and introducing bosses or new areas. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess gets really cinematic during the beginning and the end, but also shows many flash-backs throughout the game as well (which is a great disappointment for those against cinematic cutscenes). Overall, the cutscenes look and play really well, and does a great job on showcasing the game’s excellent character models and lighting effects.

Animation in the cutscenes are good as everything looks natural, with the movement of characters much smoother and faster the more choppy animations seen in the Zelda titles for the Nintendo 64. What is terrible though are the facial expressions seen on the characters’ faces. Unlike in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess does a terrible job of facial expressions, as it’s almost unclear which emotions the characters are expressing. The only features that change when characters are expressing emotion are the eye-brows and mouth; besides that, no other facial feature changes.

Like in past Zelda games, Twilight Princess uses text boxes for dialogue in the cutscenes and character interactions. There is still no voice acting, a big shame since it would perfectly fit well with a Zelda game. Even other popular Nintendo franchises like Star-Fox has voice acting in it. Dialogue is still limited to text boxes, but at least there are grunts and cries (with the exception of Midna speaking gibberish and the only character with “voice-acting”). The script itself is top notch and matches the characters’ personalities well. Although reading is a chore, it pays off with the game’s great story.

v58Atu9

Gameplay

Twilight Princess is mainly about exploring new areas, beating dungeons and bosses, using medieval weapons, and saving Princess Zelda. You control Link the hero and protagonist of each game that has elf ears and a green dress…um, I mean green tunic. The main objective is to explore dungeons, collect items, and solve puzzles. At the end of each dungeon is a boss, with a mini-boss occupying the middle half, rewarding you with a new item upon defeating it. Along the way, you can explore towns and new geographic areas, meet new people, complete side-quests, and get new item and weapon upgrades.

Like other Zelda games, Link has to acquire a sword and shield before going to the first dungeon. You use weapons to fight enemies, explore new areas, and solve complex puzzles. Some items can be found in dungeons but other items can be acquired through plot advancement or side-quests. Lock-On Targeting is also a veteran feature, which allows you to lock on to a specific target such as an enemy or person. Once locked on, it will never leave your sight  and allows for more close range and precise attacks/interaction with the character or enemy. This mechanic is also useful for hitting with enemies with projectiles accurately when using items requiring ammunition.

Another returning mechanic is using Link’s horse Epona seen from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. By riding on Epona, players can get to far places much faster, and for the first time ever, engage in horseback  battles with enemies throughout Hyrule Field. While on horseback, Link is able to use his sword to attack, as well as other items requiring pointer controls to use. You can even drink potions to heal yourself in battle and lock on to any close targets. There are also side missions and jousting battles with King Bulbin.

The most newest and hyped feature for Twilight Princess is the wolf transformation. After entering the Twilight Realm for the first time, Link transforms into a wolf. Being a wolf allows you to have better agility and stamina, use melee combo attacks, warp to different areas via portals, dig out hidden goodies and enter underground passages, talk to animals, and interact with spirits. You can even use Midna with certain attacks, solving certain puzzles, or reaching hard-to-reach areas. Getting the Master Sword later in the game allows you to transform and warp at will. With the wolf mechanic, you can even see spirits and certain smelly odors that can be followed to trace a specific person.

Hyrule is the setting of the game, and is probably the biggest overworld yet for any video game in general. The overworld consists of Ordon Village, Faron Woods, Sacred Grove, Hyrule Field, Kakariko Village, Death Mountain, Hidden Village, Hyrule Castle Town, Hyrule Castle, Upper Zora River, Zora’s Domain, Gerudo Desert, Lake Hylia, and Snowpeak Mountain. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has areas that are linear and non-linear, which allows for some great exploration without being too confusing. There are so many new secret new areas to explore, this time specifically being several hidden caves and underground dens scattered throughout Hyrule, containing many enemies and hidden goodies. There are also much more alternate routes, as well as warp portals that add to the fun of exploring old areas with new ways of travelling.

What really brings down the exploration is that some areas are too linear, while non linear areas suffer from being too much of a barren wasteland. This is true with many areas like Hyrule Field, Gerudo Desert, Lake Hylia, Snowpeak Mountain, and Zora’s Domain. The overworld also lacks in the quantity of towns, as many overly large areas could be filled with a town such as Gerudo Desert or Snowpeak Mountain. There are also way too many bridges throughout Hyrule Field, making me wonder how bridges relate to Nintendo’s employees.

Dungeons are the most important aspect and there are a whopping ten dungeons this time around. They consist of Forest Temple, Goron Mines, Lakebed Temple, Arbiter’s Grounds, Snowpeak Ruins, Temple of Time, City In The Sky, Cave of Ordeals, Palace of Twilight, and also Hyrule Castle. All of them are wonderfully designed, look aesthetically appealing, and have many great weapons, enemies, and bosses. Unfortunately, any veteran Zelda fan and player should find these dungeons to be extremely easy and boring as a result.

lakebed-temple-twilight-princess-1024x573.jpg

Weapons is what makes Link’s collection and can somehow all fit into his tiny item pouches. They consist of the Hero’s Tunic, Zora Suit Armor, Red Magical Armor, Ordon Sword, Master Sword, Wooden Shield, Hylian Shield, Rupee Wallet, Arrow Quivers, Fused Shadows, Mirror of Twilight, Fishing Rod, Slingshot, Empty Bottle, Oil Lantern, Gale Boomerang, Iron Boots, Hero’s Bow, Hawkeye Mask, Bombs, Water Bombs, Bomblings, Claw Shots, Spinner, Ball & Chain, Dominion Rod, Sky Book, and  Bomb Bags.

The Zora Suit Armor lets you swim and breathe underwater; the Red Magical Armor protects your health at the cost of rupees, and the Fused Shadows are artifacts from the Twilight Realm that contain strong magic and evil. Oil Lantern is a lantern that can light up dark areas but run on oil; the Hawkeye Mask is essentially sniping binoculars for your Hero’s Bow; Bomblings are bombs that look like bugs and can automatically target enemies but are extremely slow. Last but not least, the Spinner is a life sized spinning top that can ride over sand and align to gears, while the Dominion Rod can control certain statues to make them move and attack.

The bosses in this game are extremely easy for any Zelda veteran players playing this game. They consist of Diababa, Fyrus, Morpheel, Stallord, Blizzeta, Gohma, Argorok, Zant, Puppet Zelda, Ganon, and finally Ganondorf himself. Each boss occupies their own dungeon and will always leave behind a Heart Container (which increases Link’s total health by 1 full heart), as well as a Fused Shadow part or Mirror of Twilight fragment except for Zant and the many transformations of Ganondorf. Bosses this time around are easy and only deal up to three hearts of total damage (even for newcomers and casual gamers) and they also don’t require a complex strategy to beat.

Side-Quests are a huge component  and make up for what the main quest lacks, and even occupies your time if all you want to do is sit back and have fun without completing the main quest. They can range from mini-games, side-missions, collectibles, errands, and so on. Overall, the side quests are very fun and interesting to do, allows players to take a break from the dungeons, increase their overall skill and inventory, and adds more replayability value. While it isn’t mandatory for beating the game, it is for 100% completion if you are trying to be a completionist for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

At first, players will be extremely limited with only a couple side quests, but as the game progresses (especially near unlocking access to Arbiter’s Grounds) it actually gets much better. There’s goat herding, arrow target practice, orb collecting, lure fishing, bombing jars, balloon popping, snow-board racing, as well as heart pieces, empty bottles, golden bugs, Poe souls, and hidden skills to collect and obtain. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg as there are even more side-quests such as Poe Soul Hunt, Spring Water Errand, Construction of Malo Mart, Bug Scavenger Hunt, 1000 Rupee Donation, and the Cave of Ordeals.

As said earlier, Twilight Princess is an extremely easy game that was meant to be targeted for teenagers and hardcore gamers alike, yet almost any person who played a Zelda game before can beat it with little to no effort. As a result, many Zelda veterans may find this game to be very boring and will not enjoy it as much as a newcomer to the Zelda franchise or a casual gamer.It is extremely easy during the prologue and first three dungeons and somehow gets even easier in the last two dungeons and epilogue.

Dungeons are typically easy with only one or two puzzles that make veteran Zelda players think for a brief moment before easily solving it. They do get more difficult later on with previous dungeon items and specific wolf puzzles being implemented when you unlock those features. It’s literally impossible to lose your way in these dungeons, especially with the on-screen map and after obtaining the compass that reveals all of the dungeon’s special and hidden goodies, terrain, rooms, doors, mini-bosses and bosses. But some are actually very fun despite being very easy and some are new to Zelda such as City In The Sky and Palace of Twilight.

The overall difficulty of the puzzles are also toned down drastically (probably to attract casual gamers and improve sales – well, for the Wii version at least). They don’t require that much thinking and usually only need one dungeon item to solve. Speaking of dungeon items, it’s really unfortunate that some puzzles that are actually fun and challenging are only seen in a particular dungeon and never seen again. This applies to some items as well such as the Spinner, Ball & Chain, Double Claw-Shot, and the Light Master Sword. All of these are great items that should have had its puzzles used to its fullest potential for a better gaming experience. What does make up for the lack of difficulty though are the missions taking place between dungeons, which are long and challenging, but some get too long and frustrating.

Twilight-Princess-HD6.jpg

Verdict

Looking back, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a fun game to play with incredible replayability value. With so much side-quests to do, players will always be occupied with something; whether it’s the mini-games, errands, side-missions, or collectibles. Plus, the over-world of Hyrule is huge, filled with many geographic areas and towns to explore in. Each area has so much to explore with its massive area, and having hidden goodies scattered throughout secret areas (caves, pits, and the like) that can only be accessed with future items also adds to the replaybaility value as well.

As with any game, Twilight Princess has its own fair share of benefits and flaws. (Bear in mind that the pros and cons are mostly determined by my opinion and experience only). Nintendo did it right with the character models and lighting effects. They also did it right with the controls, making me want to see future Zelda games implementing motion and pointer gimmicks such as The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. I also like the plot and gameplay and most of the things that I personally praise are disliked and heavily criticized by other people, making me the minority.

In general, the graphics for this game are extremely terrible, as there are older and less realistic games on the Nintendo Game-Cube that look even better such as Star Fox: Adventures and Metroid Prime. The sound quality is just downright terrible and fails to make up for the crappy looking graphics. The game is also too easy for veteran and skilled Zelda players, posing little to no challenge even for newcomers and casual gamers as well. Nintendo also tried too hard with making a realistic looking game as possible and copying too much off of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which made this game to be hated by many gamers.

My verdict for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is that it is the best 3D Zelda game to date. Although its graphics, sound quality, difficulty level, and originality is underwhelming, it makes it up with its excellent soundtrack, controls, plot, character models, lighting effects, gameplay mechanics, over-world, and the side quests. Overall, if you had to choose between this game and Skyward Sword, I would definitely choose this instead. And I recommend getting the Wii version over the Game-Cube version (unless you care about aesthetics and traditional controls, then by all means). The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess certainly deserves a good score of 7.8 out of 10.

Advertisements

One thought on “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review

How Can I Improve On This Article?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s