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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

by Aaron Kaluszka - May 25, 2006, 9:09 am PDT
Total comments: 36

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.

Talkback

mantidorMay 25, 2006

uh oh... here we go again.

On al lighter note, I think that fishing will be great with the remote, as I said a long time before, is the only remote functionality Im excited about.

ArtimusMay 25, 2006

Further proof that people don't like having to learn anything. "It's too hard! I actually have to aim!"

Poor baby!!!!!

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMay 25, 2006

Oh boy...Zelda twilight Princess E3 demo bitching, whining and complaining..take two aaaaaaand...ACTION!

I'll be completely frank with you guys. It seems that you are willing rag on the game just because you couldn't get used to it.

I've seen Twilight Princess videos from a lot of websites. I have a 6 minute video from IGN where the player plays a LInk, goes through the dungeon and fights the boss just fine. I didn't see any awkward moments in between gameplay and the only thing I noticed that felt weird was the fairy cursor flying around.

I said it once and I'll say it again...
THE GAME WAS AN EARLY E3 DEMO THAT WAS RUNNING ON VERY EARLY WII HARDWARE. GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULLS ALREADY.

And don't give me any of the "The game has been development for over a year" bullcrap. Just because the game appeared at E3 it doesn't mean that the game is FINISHED.

The E3 was buggy? Fine. But please, don't be so quick to judge the final game, especially when even Nintendo has saying that they are still working out all the bugs from both the controller and the games, meaning that changes will be made from not till the Wii is released.

And people, I'll be honest with you...Out of ALL the games announced this generation, Zelda: Twilight Princess is perhaps the game that has recieved the most bitching, whining and complaining. Seriously, every piece of news that comes out is met with a lot of whining and complaining and you guys end up insulting Nintendo for it...

FOR GOD'S SAKE...

THE GAME WILL EVENTUALLY GET RELEASED! In fact to please people they will be releasing the classic GC version so that you can play it on the GC.

Pick which ever version, play it THEN you are allowed to bitch, because at least you have PLAYED the game...

Ian SaneMay 25, 2006

"Further proof that people don't like having to learn anything. 'It's too hard! I actually have to aim!'"

Why should anyone learn anything when they can get the same game with controls they're already used to on a console they already own?

Avinash_TyagiMay 25, 2006

Quote

"Further proof that people don't like having to learn anything. 'It's too hard! I actually have to aim!'"

Why should anyone learn anything when they can get the same game with controls they're already used to on a console they already own?


Because its more relistic to actually have to aim yourself

Ian SaneMay 25, 2006

"Because its more relistic to actually have to aim yourself"

So? Who cares about realism?

Avinash_TyagiMay 25, 2006

isn't that the point of movement based controls?

ShyGuyMay 25, 2006

I don't know if I like this Aaron guy...

Quote

Originally posted by: pap64
THE GAME WAS AN EARLY E3 DEMO THAT WAS RUNNING ON VERY EARLY WII HARDWARE. GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULLS ALREADY.


Yes, exactly. Which is why everyone here doesn't really have a right to complain about my E3 impressions. That's exactly what they were, E3 impressions. Controls aren't finalized, and if the general consensus is that there were control problems, maybe there were.

My biggest issue was that they basically faked controls during the press conference demonstration, making it look like how you'd think the new controls would work rather than how they actually did. With the exception of fishing, the game didn't really have more realistic controls, which was my point... the new controls didn't serve to provide that or even make the game easier to play. You can argue that Wii games are easier to pick up by non-gamers. However, this game is one of the ones specifically made for gamers, and Miyamoto has even said that he specifically kept the aiming difficult to provide "realism." Unless you can pull back and release the bow while you're aiming, this really doesn't provide much more realism.

I don't understand all of the defensiveness over the demo. Unless you actually played the demo, get over it. As I said, the final game will be
wonderful, but I have every right to convey my experience with what Nintendo chose to show us at E3. It's not like I'm making comments solely on some video I watched. Also, I don't think the controls would be that hard to fix, either. If they aren't going to add the realism, they just need to rethink some of the button assignments.

vuduMay 25, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: ShyGuy
I don't know if I like this Aaron guy...
I was thinking the same thing. face-icon-small-smile.gif

Who the heck is he? And why did he wait a week to post his impressions? He sucks.

mantidorMay 25, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Avinash_Tyagi
isn't that the point of movement based controls?


The point of any game or console is to have fun, people sometimes forget that realism =/=fun.

On that note I also think that realism =/= inmersion. I can get more inmersed in a Tetris game than in call of duty any day.

ShyGuyMay 25, 2006

Ah, it's Megabyte. face-icon-small-wink.gif

Anyway, I've always preferred my game previews to be objective and my reviews to be subjective. I realize this is an impression, I guess I would just prefer a preview. Hold the judgements until the game can be tested in a finished state in a proper enviroment.

My first impression of Einstein is he has goofy hair and a big nose, I guess he must be a loser.

Avinash_TyagiMay 25, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: mantidor
Quote

Originally posted by: Avinash_Tyagi
isn't that the point of movement based controls?


The point of any game or console is to have fun, people sometimes forget that realism =/=fun.

On that note I also think that realism =/= inmersion. I can get more inmersed in a Tetris game than in call of duty any day.


You have a point

Karl Castaneda #2May 25, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: ShyGuy
Ah, it's Megabyte. face-icon-small-wink.gif

Anyway, I've always preferred my game previews to be objective and my reviews to be subjective. I realize this is an impression, I guess I would just prefer a preview. Hold the judgements until the game can be tested in a finished state in a proper enviroment.

My first impression of Einstein is he has goofy hair and a big nose, I guess he must be a loser.


Well, these are demo impresisons, not Aaron's impressions of what Twilight Princess will ship as. He played the demo, so he's perfectly qualified to judge it. The game may be infinitely better, and Aaron (and Evan) knows this; so you see, this isn't so much a finalized opinion of the game as it is an opinion on what Nintendo showed at E3.

To borrow your Einstein theory, it would be like me wondering about Einstein, and you're the only person I know who's had any contact with him. If you said, "Well, based on what I've seen of him, he has a thick accent and his speech is a tad dizzying," that would be entirely accurate of what his behavior was (as you saw it), right? It wasn't your final opinion, just your impressions.

ShyGuyMay 25, 2006

I hope Ebert starts giving impressions of movies based on the trailers. face-icon-small-tongue.gif

Karl Castaneda #2May 25, 2006

HOHOHO

BANNED!

/jk

ruby_onixMay 25, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: pap64
And don't give me any of the "The game has been development for over a year" bullcrap. Just because the game appeared at E3 it doesn't mean that the game is FINISHED.

The game was FINISHED over a year ago. It didn't appear at E3. It appeared at LAST YEAR's E3.

Seriously, since Nintendo split the game into two versions, I don't see why they ever bothered to delay the GameCube one.

There's no way Nintendo is going to come out ahead after all this in my eyes, unless they re-merge the package back into one game with two discs. That would literally solve everything. But Nintendo's too cheap to ever do that.

SvevanEvan Burchfield, Staff AlumnusMay 25, 2006

ShyGuy, the movie trailer analogy does not hold up because games too have trailers. A demo for a game is a unique phenomenon: though games on the whole are far longer than most films, a game is learned and understood in its first moments. A film unfolds and is understood over its entire length. A game communicates cinematically (read: artistically) throughout the course of play, but your interaction with it starts in a basic way and advances only incrementally until the end. During E3 we get a chance to see this basic start. Rather than judge level design, depth of gameplay, story, or artistic value during a demo, we have to judge the controls, the presentation, the premise, and the fun.

We, as much as any other press outlet or blog, were invited by Nintendo to judge its rough draft. What we saw were a bunch of errors (not bugs, but deliberate mistakes). We now post these opinions in the hopes that Nintendo sees them, and gamers become concerned. Journalism is about wading through PR bull and finding the truth, then communicating it to the public. Nintendo's "Playing is Believeing" mantra held up on almost every E3 demo, except for Zelda. If you don't care what we have to say, having played the game ourselves, why read us? If you're going to argue with us about a game you haven't played, use logic and reason, not "it was buggy." Notice, pap, that not a single person on PGC has said the game was buggy. Everyone said it felt finished, it felt complete, but some believe its inherent design was improperly executed.

Of course the controls can change in the future - we aren't judging the future, only the present. If the Zelda at E3 was released today, I wouldn't buy it. I'll definitely be reevaluating the game once Wii is launched.

Quote

Originally posted by: pap64
I've seen Twilight Princess videos from a lot of websites. I have a 6 minute video from IGN where the player plays a LInk, goes through the dungeon and fights the boss just fine. I didn't see any awkward moments in between gameplay and the only thing I noticed that felt weird was the fairy cursor flying around


The second time I played the demo I was able to finish it in under five minutes. I had gotten used to the controls. They were still problematic, mainly because of the physical limitations of the Wii Controller. We're not talking about Zelda being impossible to control; rather, it was no better (and in some ways worse) than playing on GameCube, which says nothing for Nintendo's supposed "Revolution" in game control.

NinGurl69 *hugglesMay 25, 2006

oh gawd not again

EVERYONE, STOP THINKING.

~~~~~

On the flip side, JUST SOME THOUGHTS, many of your are already accustomed and SKILLED at aiming with analog sticks (INVERTED Y-axis, no less). Ask newcomers to get that thru their heads AND take into account analog sticks have sensitivity ranges, and you're still gonna find people treating it like a D-pad. New schemes mean new learning curves to ride on.

It's obvious the general scope of the game was designed for previous-generation controls. iF zELDA AIMING IS bROKEN (which i believe it is, and at the same time, not), LET reTro studios Fix it.

STOP THINKING.

Hostile CreationMay 25, 2006

"So? Who cares about realism?"

Okay. How about immersion? How about fun? Aiming is more fun than just buttons, trust me.

I'm still not sure about which version to get. I'm going to have to play it myself, everyone else obviously has no idea what they're talking about.

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusMay 25, 2006

Quote

The game was FINISHED over a year ago. It didn't appear at E3. It appeared at LAST YEAR's E3.

Seriously, since Nintendo split the game into two versions, I don't see why they ever bothered to delay the GameCube one.


How many times do I have to debunk this CRAP. They are just now tying the level design together. The game wasn't delayed because of Wii controls. Do you really think that they decided to delay their biggest money-maker for 2005 just for these slight differences? I guess if I believed that, I'd be pissed too.

I see the Wii controls as another acknowledgement that the GameCube is dead, and if they have to release Zelda this late, they decided they needed to take advantage of the new system somehow.

mantidorMay 25, 2006

I think that without wii controls, the game could be ready by summer. If the GC version wasnt affected at all in dev time by the wii version (something I really doubt) we would have to wait anyway, because Nintendo will use the wii version as a launch title and it wouldnt be convienent for them to release the GC version sooner because it would steal hype from the wii version. This really sucks for the people who have been craving for this game for such a damn long time. For someone like me who never wanted or want to try the remote functionality (except maybe the fishing) is worst.

I should get Paper Mario meanwhile, or to *gasp* invest more time into my studies face-icon-small-disgusted.gif

MaleficentOgreMay 25, 2006

goodness wow. little bein a little harsh are we guys? I like impressions being honest, makes them fell more. . .honest y'know? this just justifies me gettin it on cube is all. even though I'm buyin wii at launch I've never been a fan of port 'em ups.

TrueNerdMay 25, 2006

I really don't think the controls matter. It's Zelda. The controls won't ruin Zelda. They may take some getting used to, yes, but will they really affect things all that much? It may not be an improvement, but I don't think they'll be a step backwards. Certainly the fishing will be sweet, as will the bow and arrow aiming once we get used to it. The execution of the spin attack sounds fun as well. I'll be getting the Wii version, but I won't yell and scream at those who won't. Let's just be glad Nintendo's offering both versions and we can continue living in harmony with each other.

ruby_onixMay 25, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Bloodworth
Quote

The game was FINISHED over a year ago. It didn't appear at E3. It appeared at LAST YEAR's E3.

Seriously, since Nintendo split the game into two versions, I don't see why they ever bothered to delay the GameCube one.


How many times do I have to debunk this CRAP. They are just now tying the level design together. The game wasn't delayed because of Wii controls. Do you really think that they decided to delay their biggest money-maker for 2005 just for these slight differences? I guess if I believed that, I'd be pissed too.

I see the Wii controls as another acknowledgement that the GameCube is dead, and if they have to release Zelda this late, they decided they needed to take advantage of the new system somehow.

Isn't that where they were at nine months ago? Having spent two and a half years tweaking the Wind Waker engine, only to realize that building the levels and storyline in 3 months was the biggest flaw of Wind Waker, and that they shouldn't repeat that mistake?

So they said they were going to delay the game to build more levels. Now they've spent nine months working on something they'll never fully explain, and the most likely suspect is a new gimmick that involves major game engine tweaking, and now they've got 6 months remaining to make the levels.

I think that if the GameCube version can't take advantage of the thing that took up the bulk of the delay time, and the only reason to buy the Cube version is if you want the outdated control scheme, and the only reason to buy the Wii version is if you want a gimmick that may not have been the most natural fit for the game, then Nintendo should've just released the 3-month version of Twilight Princess on schedule (back when the Cube was less dead), and released a Wii-exclusive Directors Cut at the system's launch. That way both groups would've had valid reasons to own their respective versions, and nobody would have to ponder and choose which flaws they prefer.

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusMay 26, 2006

No, it doesn't take a team that massive to just work on controls. The reason for the delay is that they are hardcore, dead-set on making a game better than Ocarina of time, and if TP was released last year, they wouldn't have accomplished that. Don't forget, Ocarina of Time was delayed more than a year too.

GoldenPhoenixMay 26, 2006

Does anyone have any facts to back up their claims that all the time from the delay was spent on just the Wii controls? Or is it all baseless whining which seems to be a common trend now? We know for sure that there was a big graphical change for the "dark" world, why can that not be taken into account in addition to the Wii controls before people jump to conclusions on what they have been doing that whole time?

ruby_onixMay 26, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Bloodworth
No, it doesn't take a team that massive to just work on controls. The reason for the delay is that they are hardcore, dead-set on making a game better than Ocarina of time, and if TP was released last year, they wouldn't have accomplished that. Don't forget, Ocarina of Time was delayed more than a year too.

You can't just switch the control input over from two-axis analog over to multiple six-axis accelerometers balancing on a laser pointer. I'm no expert, but I'd imagine that took more game engine work than their original task of turning off the cel-shading. A number of developers are reportedly saying that they're having a hard time implementing the complexity of the Wii's controls, yet (from a technical standpoint) Aonuma's team supposedly did an exceptional job.

And IIRC, Ocarina's delay was announced on the heels of their announcement that they were changing the game's platform from the 64DD to the cart-only N64.

Quote

Originally posted by: VGrevolution
Does anyone have any facts to back up their claims that all the time from the delay was spent on just the Wii controls? Or is it all baseless whining which seems to be a common trend now? We know for sure that there was a big graphical change for the "dark" world, why can that not be taken into account in addition to the Wii controls before people jump to conclusions on what they have been doing that whole time?

The E3 version of Twilight Princess may have been running on Wii development kits. Information on that seems to be spotty. It seems that all anyone can say is that "it looked like a GameCube game". And the dev kits looked like GameCubes. Even if those improved graphics are present in the GameCube version, nobody's going to appreciate them without a frame of reference. The old graphics weren't bad. I still say they should've had the old graphics in the Cube version, and the new ones (possibly better even) in the Wii. And if that happens to be the case, then it just reinforces my "the delay was wasted on the GameCube" assessment.

As for the lack of facts, I blame Nintendo's lack of info (as always).

Here's how I see what happened.

Nintendo: We're delaying TP to add levels and fun.
Nintendo: Wiimote = Fun. You will say wow.
Fanbase: So you're delaying TP for the Wiimote?
Nintendo: No, that would be a betrayal.

Nintendo: TP = Wiimote. You will say wow.
Fanbase: WTF? Okay, I'll ignore that betrayal thing.
Fanbase: Meh. No urge to say wow. Is this what you wasted your time on?


Now, I do actually think that if Aonuma wanted more time to refine and flesh out TP that it probably wouldn't have made it out before Christmas. But they could've done it like Resident Evil 4, and brought out the GameCube version after Christmas, and then brought out the Director's Cut (assuming the PS2 version of RE4 was anything like a Director's Cut) before the next Christmas.

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusMay 26, 2006

Quote

You can't just switch the control input over from two-axis analog over to multiple six-axis accelerometers balancing on a laser pointer.


Actually, I don't think that the Zelda controls in the E3 demo were using the same level of complexity as other games. There was nothing shown that needs to take tilt into account. Using the pointer is not all that different than using an analog stick or mouse. The accelerometers are used rather basically. The most complex uses really are the sword spin and fishing.

And my earlier comment regarding the level design is based on statements made around March (published in the May issue of Nintendo Power). These comments should be proof enough that there's a lot more happening with Zelda than just adapting to a new control scheme.

Quote

development is at the point where the game's outline is very close to being nailed down. The main flow of the game is getting a few tweaks, and changes are being made to some of the many branching storylines that always make up a Zelda adventure.

...

there's a feeling that we absolutely can't "lose" to Ocarina.

...

bringing the wolf to life in the most authentic way possible has been an immense, new challenge for the Zelda team.

....

as we've had many discussions over many months, that blueprint has kept evolving.

NinGurl69 *hugglesMay 26, 2006

Zelda's the big laffo of the internet. confirmed.

LouieturkeyMay 26, 2006

Well Daniel said and backed up his statement. I'll believe that over speculation of without any proof. Nintendo always tries to make the next game in the series much better than the previous one(unlike most other companies who add one new feature and call it a new game). The dev team thought they weren't going to be able to live up to that reputation and had to delay the game to make it better. They completely revamped the style of the dark world and that alone must've taken a long amount of time to implement. On top of that, with the new look, the levels that were already created would have to be modified to work with the new look.

All I hope for is that the Wii version has both controls and I can choose which style I want to use. I'm getting a Wii version based solely on the fact that it will be the only version with progressive scan. Even if I don't have a choice with control scheme, I don't think it will be much different from the GC version based on impressions because the only things that the wiimote is used for is aiming arrows and fishing for the most part. The analog stick is still used in the same way; the attack button is still A; the defend button is still B. There is no way that control scheme took 6 months to implement and with no graphical upgrade compared to the GC version, they had to do something for those 6 months and that involved the graphical revamp and level design.

NinGurl69 *hugglesMay 26, 2006

Who the heck said the GC version WON'T have p.scan?

IceColdMay 26, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Professional 666
Who the heck said the GC version WON'T have p.scan?
Yeah, I think all first party GameCube games have progressive scan, right? I think the Wii version just has widescreen..

MaleficentOgreMay 26, 2006

wii is in widescreen 480 and cube is just progressive. that's the difference as far as I know.

ruby_onixMay 26, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Bloodworth
And my earlier comment regarding the level design is based on statements made around March (published in the May issue of Nintendo Power). These comments should be proof enough that there's a lot more happening with Zelda than just adapting to a new control scheme.

Yeah, the "month" figures I was tossing out can't be taken as fact, and there's sure to have been more stuff going on behind the scenes than just the Wiimote, but we'll never know how much of it was really "vital", and Nintendo themselves are pretty much telling us how many resources they put into the Wii version by telling us we need to pay seperately for it.

IceColdMay 26, 2006

Quote

and Nintendo themselves are pretty much telling us how many resources they put into the Wii version by telling us we need to pay seperately for it.
I don't think that's really indicative; the major reason that Nintendo did that was to sell more Wii systems. If the motion sensing capabilities were included in the GCN disc, then that wouldn't sell Wiis. GameCubes are so cheap now that if anyone didn't have it and wanted Zelda, they would just buy one and not consider a Wii. Maybe they would pop it in later on, but many wouldn't. By having a separate disc for the Wii, they will ensure that Zelda does in fact sell Wiis, as the exclusive content is only available on a Wii disc.

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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Box Art

Genre Adventure
Developer Nintendo
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Release Nov 19, 2006
PublisherNintendo
RatingTeen
jpn: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Release Dec 02, 2006
PublisherNintendo
Rating12+
eu: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Release Dec 08, 2007
PublisherNintendo
Rating12+
aus: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Release Dec 07, 2007
PublisherNintendo
RatingMature
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