System: Nintendo Wii
Category: Action (Adventure)
Release Date: November 19, 2006
*Warning: SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD*
Zelda – It’s a word always associated with gaming paradise. Each magical Zelda adventure has always warped the player into an immersive world of greatness like none other. And Twilight Princess continues this pattern.
When the first Twilight Princess trailer was originally shown to the public, some people screamed while others wept with excitement. Finally, Link has grown up and he looks better than ever. After suffering through a few delays, this game has definitely proved to be one of the best games ever created.
Without giving away too many revelations, Twilight Princess stars Link as the protagonist, just like every Zelda game. Link is the center of the community, admired by all its residents. Link is asked to send a package to Hyrule. However, before he can reach that destination, he is warped into the twilight realm and morphed into a wolf. As you progress, the story unfolds and you learn about the twilight and how Hyrule was swept by this evil power.
Along the way, you’re sent to a variety of dungeons to retrieve items to advance the story. What would a Zelda game be without dungeons? Nothing. However, TP certainly has a surplus of dungeons. It has about 9, depending on what you consider to be an actual dungeon. And inside each dungeon, there are intricate puzzles that seem to be more challenging than ever. There are truly some unbelievable brainteasers that you need to solve to progress. Similar to past games, every dungeon rewards players with new items such as the gale boomerang. When you aquire these items, they are utilizied to defeat the boss of each dungeon. However, don’t think you’ll be forced to complete a dungeon right there and then. Using Oocoo Jr, you can leave and come back at a later time to explore the vast lands or participate in other minigames TP has to offer such as fishing. Also, dungeons are spread out considerably so that you’re not continuously traveling to them.
Fishing is only one of the minigames you can do – there are many other scattered throughout Hyrule
Quite early in the game, Link is transformed into a wolf due to the twilight. Some may think this spins off the typical Zelda formula. But, this new addition is something that is truly welcome. Just remember Majora’s Mask – Link was able to use masks to transform into different races. Wolf Link contrasts his human self in the sense that he’s a gentle being in his human state, but a ferocious beast when he becomes a wolf. As a wolf, you’ll be involved in even more puzzles and tough battles. Wolf Link has an arsenal of attacks – such as using Midna to trap monsters in a specific radius, and then unleashing a vicious attack in that radius. Wolf Link is also unique in respect to the fact he can sense for a particular digging zone to enter a house not available in wolf state, or to dig for extra money and hearts.
The twilight realm awaits…What you find will amaze you.
One of the new features created for Twilight Princess is the greater emphasis on horseback riding. Unlike Ocarina of Time, your horse will be available to you right from the start due to the enormous size of Hyrule. Your horse participates in miniboss battles, too. It’s not just brushed to the side and thrown in as an extra feature. Besides, just riding on Epona through Hyrule is an amazing feel in itself.
A main concern for hardcore Zelda fans was the modification of controls. Luckily, this is not a problem at all, and in fact, the controls seem to take a greater leap over those in the past. For instance, aiming with the bow isn’t much of a chore any longer and this feature can provide great entertainment because it’s very precise and accurate. You can actually get into the gameplay now. Slashing the Wiimote manipulates Link’s sword in the game. However, you don’t need extreme motions if you don’t want them – a little movement on the controller works as well.
Believe me, it won’t take long to get used to the new control scheme.
One of the major aspects of TP people seem to forget is that this was initially a game planned for the GameCube. However, the developers thought it would be better to take advantage of the Wii and the new technological features it offers. With that said, Twilight Princess does not disappoint with its visuals. People were begging for a realistic looking Zelda, and this game delivers. For instance, Link’s character model looks extremely crisp. Every character you meet has its own distinct personality made possible by its expressions and animations. The Twilight realm looks amazing with tons of particle effects and an overall feel of darkness. All of the environments presented in the game are detailed and gorgeous. In some cases, however, like in cut-scenes, things do look a bit blurry.
The music in Twilight Princess is very well done. There are many renditions of songs from Ocarina of Time, which gives this game a nostalgic feel. Many were disappointed about the lack of a complete orchestrated soundtrack. However, every song offers an inimitable tune. I do admit there seems to be a need for a musical accompaniment at some points, but overall, there is a substantial amount of pleasing music.
Twilight Princess can keep you busy for hours on end. Once you finish this adventure, I expect that most will play it again and again. I’m sure you’ll find something you didn’t fully understand before, or something you may have missed. It’s difficult to narrow down a game such as Twilight Princess in terms of the most important parts since it’s jam-packed with tantalizing gameplay. Every little detail about this game will amaze you. Nothing ever feels like a burden, and there never seems to be a time where you won’t be dazzled. It’s disappointing when you’ve reached the end since because you are left wanting more. Simply said, Twilight Princess is a masterpiece. The developers put a lot of effort into this game, and it shows – This is one of the most enjoyable games I’ve played in a long time.
Overall Score: 9.8/10