on May 20, 2011
Zelda is one of the greatest franchises in gaming and for good reason. Over the past 20 plus years some of the best adventure games around have been based on one boy (Link) trying to find and save his princess (Zelda). The Zelda games have always be known for the expansive world set in Hyrule and its long adventuring and Twilight Princess is no different. Twilight Princess may be the biggest Zelda game to date and the world is rendered in generally beautiful environments. Some of the textures can be rough but overall, even though its been out for 4.5 years now it's still a beautiful product.
Zelda, and Nintendo games in ganeral have always been about gameplay and Twilight Princess gives a great offering in this department as well. The puzzles and dungeons are excellent and the stunning boss fights will leave you breathless. There are some control flaws as you can tell motion control wasn't quite figured out yet at the time. To swing Link's sword, which is a very common action, you "waggle" the Wii remote. It's not as precise or immersing as a motion plus game like Red Steel 2 or the upcoming Skyward Sword but it gets the job done and you won't become exhausted or anything like that.
Also, some new gameplay mechanics are thrown in there. I don't want to give out any spoilers but I'll just say Link has some transformations that mix up the gameplay.
Lastly, this re-release at $20 is an excellent value. To beat the game is well over 20 hours your first time through so you're defintley getting your money's worth. Twilight Princess was a launch title on Wii and originally a Gamecube game (though it came out for Wii first) and it shows in some parts. Some Wii games look better and utlize the controller better, but this is still one of the best games on Wii and considering the console is in a bit of a drought and we're still waiting on Skyward Sword this should be a no-brainer if you've never played the game.
Edit - Of course I know Skyward Sword is out now. Pick that game up if you haven't already but if you've played through that and want more Zelda on Wii, be sure to get this one!
on January 23, 2012
With the benefit of retrospection, it's easy to assume that this game may very well be the last of a pure type of Zelda breed. Skyward Sword has come and gone, and has seemingly ushered in a new era of design ideas for future Zelda releases. That said, for those who believe that Ocarina of Time is among the greatest games of all time, this is a game for you. For just as Ocarina of Time introduced an amazing template for a "classical" 3D Zelda experience, Twilight Princess took that template design and sharpened it to an unimaginable gleam. This is an incredible game, even today still, and now that it is a "Nintendo Select," there's no better time to get into it.
The story in Twilight Princess really hearkens back to a classic Nintendo theme of duality. Much like the dual-timelines of Ocarina of Time, or the Light/Dark World of A Link to the Past, there are two dimensions at play here. Link is a young man living in the peaceful, forested Ordon providence near Hyrule, in a small village. Here he lives a peaceful life with his fellow villagers, making a living on the famous Ordon Goat Ranch. Meanwhile, the light soaked kingdom of Hyrule has been invaded by beings from another dimension called the Twilight realm, their king a creepy villain named Zant. Zant's plan is to combine his world of Shadow with Hyrule, creating a dark, twisted reality for him to control. One day, Link's life is interrupted by this chaos, and once again, a young man clad in green will take up the call of destiny and stave back the sinister darkness that has fallen over Hyrule. He will also meet a shadow imp named Midna, who seems to be untrustworthy at first, but will come to be an awesome companion throughout the quest.
It is immediately discernable while playing this game that this is a darker Zelda game than has ever come before it, with perhaps Majora's Mask being the exception. Indeed, this is a gritty story, full of dark moments and even some more violent parts for a Zelda game (but still admittedly tame by industry standards these days). As with any Zelda title, you can count on the characters being likable, compelling, and charming. The writing of all characters, minor and major, is very well done, as is their design. Midna is worth mention alone. My all-time favorite companion character in a Zelda game (We even named our puppy after her :D), not only is she helpful, but her back-story is deep and her character is so well conceived and executed, she's an absolute delight to have along on the journey. She's a real stand-out in the entire franchise and that's saying a lot! What helps make the experience so compelling is also the cinematic nature of the game. Though not quite as dynamically cinematic as newer Zelda offerings, Twilight Princess still boasts some really interesting cutscenes and story events. Yes, Twilight Princess is a great game in regards to its story and presentation.
The art/sound design in this game is also very well done. After their grand cel shading adventure in The Wind Waker, Nintendo took Twilight Princess to the extreme polar opposite, opting for a more "realistic" graphic novel-like approach for the visuals. Granted, this is a Gamecube game, albeit a gorgeous one, ported over to Wii, so don't expect HD console graphics, but even having just beat this game for the fourth time last week, the graphics in this game are still beautiful. Link looks awesome, and to see many familiar elements of the series realized in this unique, realistic fashion is awesome. The visual splendor of the Twilight Realm alone is worthy of mention. This bloom lit world is filled with really beautiful particle effects and coloring, and is a real joy to behold. Imagine the way a sunset bathes the world in a warm, piercing light that makes everything look radiant, and that's what the Twilight Realm looks like here. Very cool. The music is very well done too, as you probably already expected. Koji Kondo once again delivered. The music here ranges from haunting, creepy, atmospheric, lovely, moving, majestic, powerful, and everything in between. The only thing I wish they had done different with the music was to have some of it fully orchestrated, as the gorgeous compositions would have really benefited by it, but that is a minor gripe that only serves to further compliment the brilliance of the music itself. It really is a beautiful soundtrack.
The gameplay is where this game takes Ocarina's template, and expands upon it to new heights. Seriously, imagine Ocarina of Time, and then grow its scope and size several times. You'll be going on an epic quest across a ginormous Hyrule, exploring its massive field, its various regions, its several provinces, villages, and towns, as well as discovering its clever temples and dungeons. There's a big emphasis here on horseback riding and combat. Some story events require it. The world here is really big, it would take forever to try and run across it all on foot. This huge space is utilized very well, hiding a ton of collectibles and secrets that true fans of the exploratory aspect of the Zelda series will love. The traditional Zelda gameplay is true perfection of the adventure game genre. The controls are fantastic, the puzzles and combat are incredibly satisfying, and, as you'd expect, the temples and their special items are a real highlight. It all comes together in a way that really pays homage to Ocarina of Time, every step of the way, even while expanding the scope to previously unseen levels. Other aspects of the traditional play has been expanded on as well. Link has many new moves that really makes him feel like a true warrior swordsman. Despite the fact swings are pre-rendered and merely activate with a waggle of the wii-mote, fighting in the game feels quite satisfying.
Like I said earlier, there is a dual nature to the adventure here, and that expands beyond the story and into the gameplay aspects as well. You see, when Link encounters the Twilight Realm in Hyrule, because of his blessing by the goddesses as a true hero, he transforms into a fierce wolf instead of a mere wandering, lost spiritual flame like everyone else. This changes the nature of the gameplay quite a bit. Now you will use his sharpened senses to track scents, his teeth instead of his sword, his paws to dig in almost any spot, etc. It's enough of a change from Link's traditional gameplay to really make it stand out. This, combined with the shadow realm's genuinely warm and beautiful aesthetics and equally unique musical queues and sound design help make this game's own mark on the franchise. Later on in the adventure, you have the option to switch between normal Link and his wolf form at will, and the game design takes full advantage of this, adding yet another interesting dimension to traversing the temples.
The Legend of Zelda is a spectacular series in video games, perhaps the greatest there is. Even with the benefit of over 25 years of retrospection, Twilight Princess is a very unique game that stands out. If considered in context of Zelda's history as a whole, it is perhaps the most comprehensive, encyclopedic "classical" experience you could expect from the series, while also feeling like one of the most unique at the same time. Those may seem like mutually exclusive statements, but somehow Twilight Princess pulls them both off quite effortlessly. Skyward Sword has finally released, and greatly reinvigorated the series with massively ground-breaking changes. If it heralds a new age for the Zelda series like many believe, then Twilight Princess is the ultimate "classical" Zelda experience and a true relic of a fantastic era, and may well be for quite a while. If so, it is an excellent title that will no doubt continue to satisfy any gamer's desire for even more years to come. Now that it is a Nintendo Select title, there's no better time like the present. Buy it, adventure through the massive kingdom of Hyrule, and once again take up the mantle of chosen Hero and save the world of light.
on October 3, 2011
I've just finished playing the game and being still under euphoria, decided to write this review to share my thoughts and feelings.
The first thing I liked about this game is that the game is VERY long. It took me almost 60 hours or 2 months to finally beat the game.
The second is graphics. Knowing a bit modest graphics capability of Wii, the game is very beautiful and - the most important - mature-looking. Comparing this game's graphics to the ones of the previous Zelda titles (which I saw only on screenshots, to be honest..), this game looks almost like a movie rather than like cartoon.
The third thing is the plot. After a slow beginning, which is kinda training section, the actual game begins and after each mission newer and newer details and even shocking secrets being revealed.
The fourth is the gameplay. You can do literally everything in this game. You wouldn't just walk around and kill enemies. Not in this game =) Literally every next step you'll think what to do next. And of course the huge free-roaming game world full of interesting stuff like collectible items, puzzles, secrets and side quests.
For my shame, I never played any Zelda game before. But after this game I am sure I will. This game was the real reason for me to become a Zelda fan.
I strictly recomment this game for everyone who likes adventure genre. You will not be disappointed.
on May 25, 2011
If you are inquiring as to whether this game is good, it is phenomenal. It is a long game, and it is a beautiful game. This new $20 Nintendo Selects deal is the best video game deal I have seen in regards to this game being one of the games available for $20.
on December 9, 2012
I have to say, this is one of the best games I've played. This is the type of game that you can play for hours on end, once your hooked to the plot its hard to get away from it.
The dungeons are challenging, but after the first few you begin to realize the rhythm and how dungeons usually work. It's quite challenging if your not used to solving your own missions with such freedom that you have in this game. The characters really make you get attatched to the storyline, especially Midna. The characters help you sooo much throughout the game, and as long as you pay attention while playing through the story it's hard to get lost or forget what your supposed to be doing. The bosses are mostly tough, the enemies not so much. More of the challenge is figuring out how to kill them; once you know, it's cake. Except the Snowpeak mini-boss - I wish you luck. The type of graphics the creators used are really awesome and make the game seem less cartoony than other Zelda games, however this also makes some of the monsters WAY creepier. You have complete freedom in this game; you can rush through the story to get a good time, take breaks from dungeons, do all of the side quests, or just ride around on Epona all day, it doesn't matter. The wolf aspect is awesome and really makes this game unique to others, you'll see. I also liked how one could see a connection from Ocarina of Time to this game...
As for time, my best time was 49 hours, but I made a point to get every upgrade (bows, gold bugs, pieces of heart, ect) along the way, plus I did use guides online in a few dungeons just to keep me from pulling my hair out in a frustrating spot. If you rush through, use a guide, and don't collect everything, I wouldn't be surprized if you could beat the game in 30 hours. If you struggle though everything and do everything, it'll probobly take at least 60 hours. This game really shouldn't be meant to rush through though, enjoy it!
For the WII aspect, it doesn't get you out of your chair. All you have to do is shake the remote to do a slashing combo, so it's not a challenge to do good combos. I think this aspect alone makes the game much easier, at least easier not to die all the time.
The soundtrack is amazing, full of old tunes and new ones as well as many variations. I just love zelda music in general, such great composure and full use of an orchestra. It makes suspenseful moments drive you crazy, and emotional moments can make your heart feel heavy.
The age rating is definatley appropriate, I dont think kids should play it. Aside from the violent part because I know of way too many kids who play really violent games, the storyline is just too complicated for a kid to understand or follow.
I usually don't write reviews, and I hardly think this is the best one you'll read, but I really felt this game deserved some credit. I really enjoyed playing it and finding new things about it. It's a complete steal to get this game for $20. Thanks for reading, I really hope you decide to enjoy this game!
P.S. I know it's tempting, but DO NOT look up what happens after you defeat the final boss. Not that it will ruin the game, but it's just way better to not know what's going to happen in the last minutes and credits of the game. Please, trust me!
on December 6, 2013
Regardless of what I'm about to say, the game is still a recommended buy for Wii owners at the price it goes for now. You'll certainly get your money's worth from this title at under $20.
Now, I'm not going to do an in-depth review for this as it's been seven years since this game came out, and you can read plenty enough about the game already. Mostly I wanted to present a good counterpoint to people who are giving it 5 stars saying it's the greatest Zelda game. I certainly would disagree with that very strongly! The game is simply too linear.
The classic Zelda games met success by giving the player the ability to explore a huge world right from the outset, limited only from some areas by lack of specific items. These items were found within various dungeons, and you would not need to even complete a dungeon to move on to a new area as long as the proper items were obtained. This was the formula that made Zelda a hit because up to that point, most games were more like Super Mario Brothers where you just went in a straight line to the end of a level. Zelda was really a companion game to Super Mario Brothers in a sense, in that it offered an excellent non-linear adventure that rivaled the awesome linear adventure that you had in Mario.
Now in 2006 we oddly got to the point where Zelda Twilight Princess has somehow found itself to be the linear game that Zelda was never meant to be. The world is heavily gated by puzzles which must be solved in order. You will only get access to the world in small bits, and only get to finally explore in any meaningful sense 10+ hours into the game.
Does this make Twilight Princess a bad game? Not necessarily, but you have to consider why Nintendo has suddenly in 2013 released the most non-linear Zelda in history: A Link Between Worlds. Despite the glowing reviews you see here for Twilight Princess, the linear style of this game and Skyward Sword was absolutely something a great many players were upset about, and Nintendo addressed it in a big way. The issue here is that there's really NO reason other than the plot that you shouldn't be allowed to head out and explore the world. The game designers have built this big world, why lock it up behind hundreds of challenging puzzles just for the sake of the plot? Heck, when you become the wolf, you won't even be allowed to go back outside to places you've already been! For some reason, it yells at you for trying to leave the area once you're a wolf. Silly.
I'm taking off a second star because I felt that a lot of the puzzles had issues where you were struggling to figure out if you were actually doing it wrong or if the game just was being overly picky. A lot of times, the game was, in fact, rather picky about the precise way you were to do something. A good example is right at the start of the game where you were supposed to fish, but it was really vague about how to successfully accomplish this.
on January 25, 2013
I bought this game when I bought the Wii, back in early 2009. I played it for a couple of hours a week, maybe once in a while spending a Saturday on it. My husband and I had a race to see who could beat it first (on different save files). For the first 40 hours of gameplay or so (at my pace, a more experienced/better gamer might be faster), I found it genuinely enjoyable. The mandatory wolf phase was kind of annoying, but a lot of Zelda games have periods of greatly diminished abilities for some reason or another. The horseback riding was a lot of fun, and the first couple of quests back in Hyrule were fun. Completing the first couple of temples was very satisfying.
Eventually, though, the game got really repetitive. Every time I thought I'd made it to the final battle, I hadn't really, and I had to go do extra quests and "fetch" missions, basically repeating things I'd already done. The game has a theme of making you return to places you've already "conquered" to re-conquer them. And towards the end, there is nothing in-between large tasks, making the game-play (to me) stressful and tedious. It's as if they story-boarded this game, realized they'd have to program extra temples and kingdoms, so they just left out the story progression at the end and went straight through the major plot points to finish it out. I think that porting a game initially intended for the Game Cube over to the Wii was a disservice to the game's story (which is a crucial part of the Zelda tradition, with some game stories being admittedly more intricate than others). Either that, or they added some filler to the end to make it longer. Either way, it's infuriatingly tedious (and boring).
I feel that the game would have been better served with some ideas towards the end taken out to make the pacing more even, or with some lighter game-play interlaced with the heavy-handed quests at the end. Literally there are at least 5 major plot twists packed one after the other at the end, giving it a kind of artificially inflated feel. Which is sad, because I thought the story started out with promise, and the game-play was fun.
I really wanted to love this game. For the first 2/3 of the game and for a very promising story (that I suppose others might love all the way to the end), I'd give this game a 3.5 out of 5. It lost points for not giving the story the space that it needed. Less would have been more, and frankly more would've been more. But this was kind of disappointing and felt less like a polished entry and more like a "hey, we should move this over to the new platform to make more money." :(
on August 18, 2013
I decided to buy this game to give me something to do during football season. I am now obsessed! I havent even played a video game since I was a kid and now I remember what I enjoyed so much! This game is fun and a challenge (at least for me.) Would recommend this to anyone, you do not have be a gamer to enjoy this Zelda game!
on October 26, 2012
I regret to say I'm very new to the Zelda fandom, my first game being Ocarina of Time and downloaded to my PC. Needless to say, take this review with a grain of salt, because I don't have much expereince with the other games.
That being said, I'm quite pleased with this game. There is so much awesome that comes with it that I can't help but love it. The main character is turned into a wolf (which happens to be my favorite animal). There is extensive horseback riding. You get to battle enemies with a sword and sheild. The music is lovely and pleasent to listen to (I plan on downloading the soundtrack soon). The puzzles are challenging enough to make you think, and also intriguing to keep you playing. The storyline is great, and the characters you encounter are equally so. eriously, how can one NOT like this game? I now see why this series is hearled as a Nintendo classic in every sense of the word.
The only possible negative to this game that I can see, as stated by other reviewers, is that motion control is limited. Simply shaking the controller to swing, aiming with a slingshot, etc. However, I don't have a problem with it, and think that there is already so much crammed into the game to satisfy. And besides that, there are many combo moves that use the nunchuck and wii remote already.
My current game has been going for almost 14 hours, and I still have yet to reach the second dungeon. As someone who likes to run through and collect absolutely everything as I go, this is great. Though I must say I began to get frusrated at some of the puzzels, and resorted to a walkthrough for help. Many puzzels are tricky to figure out, and may be hard for younger players or those who have trouble with puzzels.
All in all, I love it. Well worth the money I spent on it. I'm now an official hooked fan! Now I must return to my game, which was paused just long enough for me to write this review.
on March 9, 2016
I am an ultra Zelda geek, I absolutely love everything Zelda and anything to do with Zelda. I have been waiting for this game for only two days since the day I ordered it, but it honestly felt like years. I am thrilled I finally have it in my hands, the disc is completely shiny not a scratch on it, I would hope not since it's brand-new, I am totally ready to completely lose myself in this game. Will update once I have played it.
I have made it as far as death mountain, only a small fraction compared to the whole game, but I can say I am in love with this game. The best in the Zelda series In my opinion, the graphics are amazing and the story line is longer and more complex than ocarina of time. I like how you get to do every level in regular and twilight. I have always been a Zelda fan, but wow, this game totally does it for me. It satisfies all my fantasy cravings, which never go away. I have found a new favorite game. This game resembles closely to ocarina of time, a Zelda game for N64, I like that it resembles so closely, seeing as ocarina of time was simply epic and quite possibly the best Zelda game before this one (in my opinion) I love my new game and this Zelda nerd is in heaven 🎮🛡⚔🏹❤️ I love everything about it, the scenery, the gameplay, the music. Riding Epona is nice and polished and much more realistic/difficult than ocarina of time. I like that you can use your sword while riding Epona, ocarina you could only use your bow. The feeling you get once in the twilight realm is truly surreal.. You almost feel the Erie energy all around you. This game gets 5 stars hands down. I am the type of person who can play games long after they are beaten and still enjoy them, I can say this will be my first go to game for that very reason. Bravo Nintendo, the legend of Zelda lives on ❤️