Are the new controls really that great for this game?
The newly announced Wii version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess had some of the longest lines in the Wii booth. This year’s demo featured levels completely different from last year’s E3 showing, as they were designed to show off the new Wii controls. A fishing level as well as a standard demo level was playable.
I felt that Zelda had the worst controls of any of the Wii games that I played. While not totally broken, the controls were unintuitive and often confusing. For example, unlike the demo shown at the press conference, arrows are not shot by pulling the remote from the nunchuck. Instead targeting is performed by the remote, and arrows are shot by pressing and releasing the A button. The hookshot worked in the same manner. Targeting, as most of the games shown at E3, was very sensitive. Movement was controlled with the control stick. Item switching was done by pressing the appropriate direction on the D-pad. The inventory was one of the more annoying things to activate, and the remote had to target a small icon in the corner of the screen marked inventory. The positioning of the D-pad relative to the A button makes switching between them somewhat uncomfortable. The B trigger was used for sword slashing, yet special sword moves were performed by jerking the nunchuck attachment. Overall, button assignment felt haphazard and hard to remember, being split across the two hands. It is my hope that these controls will be modified before the final release. Otherwise, I’ll probably stick to the standard controller.
The actual demo took Link through an obstacle course of sorts, allowing players to test out the various controls and items, including the newly introduced electromagnetic boots. After this, a short dungeon was presented, at the end of which players finally had a chance to battle against the Balrog-like creature shown in previous Zelda trailers. The boss battle was pretty interesting as it required players to use several techniques in sequence. First the head of the monster had to be shot by an arrow. This would stun the creature so that it wouldn’t swipe Link with its chains. Next, Link had to go behind the monster and grab his chains. However, Link isn’t strong enough to pull the chains by himself and must use the metal boots to give himself enough traction. Pulling the chains caused the enemy to fall down, after which Link had to attack his head using his sword. Once this sequence was completed twice, the demo was completed.
The graphics were no different than the GameCube game, which means that they were very nice for a GameCube game, but nothing to write home about in comparison to a next gen game. The game, as all of the other Wii games, was running in 480p widescreen mode, which is sure to please a lot of people. Nintendo still hasn’t shown us a lot of what the game will entail, mostly focusing on how the game will be played. Judging from the trailers, Twilight Princess is sure to be an amazing game. Just don’t expect the Wii controls to add too much to the experience.