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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

by Aaron Kaluszka - January 11, 2007, 11:43 pm PST
Total comments: 76

10

Dust off your GameCube and enter the fantastic world of Hyrule once again.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has been anticipated for so long, it’s hard to believe that it’s actually here. With several years of development and hype behind the game, there will inevitably be a few people who feel disappointed. However, Twilight Princess is everything Zelda fans have been waiting for, a truly expansive adventure masterpiece and a final hurrah for the little box called GameCube. Presentation, storytelling, and game mechanics all come together for a once-in-a-generation experience.

As usual, Twilight Princess tells the story of one of the legendary Links, a chosen hero from a small village tasked with saving the kingdom of Hyrule and Princess Zelda from inevitable doom. Casting a shadow over Hyrule, the Twilight Realm embodies the duality found in previous Zelda games, and it is in this realm that Link undergoes a transformation into a wolf. Early parts of the story involve an effort to eradicate the invading twilight from the land, but through various plot developments, the tale becomes much more than that.

While reminiscent of Link’s rabbit transformation in A Link to the Past, as a wolf, Link actually retains versions of many of his attacks. Though Link in human form already possesses a unique connection with wildlife, in his beast form, he gains animal senses and the ability to talk with the animals. Controls are designed to mimic the four-legged form and have advantages and disadvantages compared to Link’s human form. Some puzzles require you to switch between Link’s two forms.

Twilight Princess has a much different tone than The Wind Waker, replacing the whimsical characters and events with far darker themes and situations. Still, Nintendo does manage to retain certain critical elements such as large facial expressions, several comic moments, and even some cartoon effects and humor, which serve to expand the personality of the game.

Midna is an imp from the Twilight Realm who helps Link escape from a jail early in the game. While Link is in wolf form, she rides on his back and helps him get to hard-to-reach places. When Link is in human form, Midna hides in Link’s shadow but can be called upon for assistance. At first, Midna differs greatly from the helpful Navi, beginning the adventure offering subtle back-handed advice while giggling to herself and even deriding Link while getting him to do her bidding. Though hiding her true motives, her character develops the most in the game, and she eventually warms up to the hero.

Though Link doesn’t start out asleep as he does in many of the Zelda games, the game begins slowly, methodically introducing each new item, weapon, and skill, which allows players completely new to the series to get into the game. The first half of the game focuses on story development, while the latter half involves mostly dungeon quests. The scope of the game is huge, and while fairly linear, the game offers plenty of locales to explore. Hyrule is big enough this time around that its lands are separated into provinces.

Like many recent Nintendo games, The Wind Waker suffered from a serious lack of challenge. Twilight Princess is not significantly more difficult, but I was pleased to actually see the Game Over screen, which I never encountered in its predecessor. Players do respawn close to where they perished, rather than restarting an entire segment, which softens the consequence of dying considerably. Combat generally proceeds as in previous Zelda games with the sword as the primary weapon and L-targeting serving as an important battle mechanic. Throughout the game, Link can learn special new techniques, which make fighting a little more dynamic and dramatic. While not too difficult to take down once their weakness is discovered, the bosses are impressive creations that often require the use of a combination of different items to defeat.

It’s not just the fighting difficulty that has been cranked up. In previous games, most Zelda puzzles seemed to naturally be completed by an “I wonder what will happen if I try this" mentality. The puzzles in Twilight Princess, while still logical, are not always as obvious, which could result in players wandering around a fair amount if the environments are not meticulously examined, but none of the puzzles are actually too dastardly in design.

While The Wind Waker was also an amazing game due to its visual style and sense of fun, it was somewhat short. Twilight Princess more than addresses this problem by including more dungeons than any Zelda game since Ocarina of Time. The dungeons aren’t trivial ordeals, either. The standard block and button pushing puzzles return, but are accompanied by others that make use of new weapons such as the magnetic iron boots and Spider-man-inspired double claw shots. Classic locations such as the Forest Temple, Zora’s Domain, and Death Mountain are re-imagined, with new locations making an appearance. Hyrule Field is expansive, but traveling it on horse is not the exercise in monotony that Wind Waker’s waters were.

A downside to the game’s length is that some of it does feel a little too much like filler. There are several collect-a-thons, some required and some not, which break up the pace of an otherwise excellent experience. A good example of what to expect is that heart containers are now made up of five pieces instead of the classic four. Of course, mini-games like fishing are included for those players who specifically want to take a break from the epic adventure.

Much of the game, from the cinematic title screen to familiar areas within Hyrule, is clearly meant to evoke a next-generation Ocarina of Time. While perhaps it doesn’t possess quite the huge jump in design that Ocarina of Time did, Twilight Princess is a more than competent evolution of the series and the dedication developers put into it shows. Twilight Princess supersedes Ocarina of Time in design, and with such a superior production, it’s hard to go back. The twilight-covered Hyrule in particular provides a unique and eerie atmosphere, and the more standard locales each exude their own type of beauty that simply must be experienced to be fully appreciated.

Though not without faults, the graphics are easily some of the best on GameCube, and outclass those found in many next-gen titles. Cut-scenes are all rendered in real-time. Especially for those replaying certain sections, Nintendo has graciously included a skip button (Start) for cinema scenes. Sound is sometimes a little bland, but offers its share of solid themes, usually rearranged versions of classic Zelda music.

Of course, with the dual format GameCube and Wii release, the big question on people’s minds is which game offers the superior experience. The answer is both and neither because both games have their benefits and drawbacks. For the minority of gamers that have 16:9 televisions, the GameCube version does lack the Wii’s widescreen support, though both versions support progressive scan. However, it does include third-person camera controls, which can be adjusted with the C-stick. Item access is also a bit more convenient due to the traditional controller layout. As for the sword controls, the GameCube version is more responsive since gestures do not need to be interpreted, resulting in gameplay that feels a little bit faster. However, the trade-off is that the spin attack cannot be performed as quickly, and any weapons involving aiming are much slower with less precise targeting. Link does gain one extra crouching move while riding Epona.

The Wii version can be played in a more laid back manner due to its split controller design, but the GC version was where the original control scheme was devised and is likely to feel slightly more natural to Zelda veterans. The control schemes between the two versions are intuitive enough that players can naturally switch between the two. The sole issue to consider is that the entire game is reversed on the Wii version, meaning everything left is right and vice-versa, which can be disorienting. For the purists, Link retains his traditional left-handedness in the GameCube version.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is one of those few genre-defining games that while clearly dedicated to fans of the series, also serves as a wonderful adventure for those new to the series. Zelda revisits many of the ideas that made the Zelda series classic, but does include enough new content to make it an original and satisfying experience. In an era of shortened and simplified games, Twilight Princess stands as a testament to the benefit of high production games. As such, Twilight Princess is a game for all gamers and easily one of the greatest games ever crafted.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
10 9 9 9.5 9 10
Graphics
10

While it may not compare to some of the best next-gen graphics out there, Twilight Princess boasts some of the most gorgeous environments found on GameCube. The Twilight Realm utilizes effects more often seen on Xbox, such as bloom lighting, as well as expressing a unique almost electronic component. Other effects such as the wolf sense, as well as elemental effects such as water and lava are downright amazing for the aging system. Twilight Princess isn’t without its share of blurry textures or low polygon count models, but overall the game delivers its finely balanced realism and character in breathtaking ways.

Sound
9

In its quest to provide a more atmospheric experience, the music often becomes too ambient and has little of the character that made video game soundtracks a celebrated exposition. Songs that avoid this pitfall, such as the triumphant Hyrule Field theme, embody the true Zelda experience. It’s a little disappointing to not hear a fully orchestrated score after some earlier discussion of the possibility. While there is no true voice acting, Midna’s voice reflects her unique personality and never evokes the annoying qualities of Ocarina’s “Hey, Listen!"

Control
9

The key difference between the GameCube and Wii versions is the control scheme. Both versions have their strengths and weaknesses. Compared to the Wii version, aiming controls are sluggish. However, standard sword attacks are performed faster, item access is slightly more expedient, and the inclusion of camera control adds a small amount of convenience compared to the Wii version.

Gameplay
9.5

Twilight Princess boldly captures the classic 3D Zelda feel while adding abilities like fighting while on horseback. The wolf form alters the traditional gameplay mechanics and adds unique features like wolf sense. Zelda, while endeavoring to convey a cinematic experience is only truly successful in that regard due to its excellent gameplay. Whether it is through puzzles or simple world exploration, Twilight Princess is engaging and dynamic.

Lastability
9

The adventure is quite epic, easily spanning several dozen hours of gameplay even without completing all of the sidequests. While players probably won’t want to play it again immediately after such a lengthy adventure, the kingdom of Hyrule is large and beckons players to explore its depths.

Final
10

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is the golden capstone of GameCube titles. The only reason any GameCube owner shouldn’t have already purchased this game is if they would prefer to have the Wii version. The fact is that both versions are nearly identical and neither outclasses the other, so preferences in control or widescreen support are the only things to consider. Though Nintendo would rather players forget it existed, the GameCube version was the original envisioning of the game and offers a spectacular adventure that all gamers should experience.

Summary

Pros
  • A long, yet mostly well-balanced game
  • Excellent real-time cut-scenes
  • Expansive and beautiful world
  • Retains the classic Zelda feel while introducing new concepts and surprises
Cons
  • Over-ambient soundtrack
  • Too much item collection
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusJanuary 11, 2007

Aaron has a great point here with the music. The dungeons could use more than deep tones and clanking chimes.

KDR_11kJanuary 11, 2007

Eh, not like they had more than that in previous Zeldas (I have the OOT and MM soundtrack, most of it is just slightly above ambient noise)

Ian SaneJanuary 12, 2007

"Eh, not like they had more than that in previous Zeldas (I have the OOT and MM soundtrack, most of it is just slightly above ambient noise)"

I disagree. I could hum probably at least 80% of the Ocarina dungeon themes. If you played them for me I could probably identify which was which. I don't know the Twilight Princess dungeon themes at all.

I remember the Forest Temple in OoT has this sound in the background that sounds like a big monster sneaking up on you. The first time I heard that I freaked, assuming that something actually was sneaking up on me or that there was a big monster behind the next door. For some reason though whenever I think about what the Forest Temple looks like the Cure song The Hanging Garden pops in my head.

The music in the Shadow Temple sounded like the dead singing to you. The dungeon scared the hell out of me and the music was a big part of that.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJanuary 12, 2007

And how many times did you play Ocarina of Time?

Ian SaneJanuary 12, 2007

"And how many times did you play Ocarina of Time?"

I've only beaten it fully once. I've played it twice I guess. The N64 game and the Master Quest.

NinGurl69 *hugglesJanuary 12, 2007

Then you've got an exceptionally good memory for music and sound, indicating you're being slightly overcritical.

Or you've spent too much time in each dungeon.

My typical Ocarina dungeon play time was 3 hours, and i'd remember the music after my first play thru (nevermind i've played the game nearly ten times, n64 drought, lols)

I remember Majora's Mask dungeon music, typical time: 3 hours.

I remember Wind Waker's music only because I've played it twice and I have the soundtrack.

I'm not done with TP yet, but my average dungeon time is 2 hours sharp, and I don't clearly remember any of their themes. Maybe cuz my mind was busy zelda-ing.

CalibanJanuary 12, 2007

I love the TP dungeon ambient music, specially in the water temple with its random trombone clips.

KDR_11kJanuary 12, 2007

I wish the overworld theme was still Eternal Legend. That makes the 2d Zeldas so much better (well, that and the absense of a day and night cycle) on the overworld.

Ian SaneJanuary 12, 2007

"Then you've got an exceptionally good memory for music and sound, indicating you're being slightly overcritical."

Well I am a musician. face-icon-small-wink.gif

I typically know the music from older games more just because the music is less subtle. In the old days game music was all loud bleeps and bloops of the same volume so you noticed it more. They couldn't do ambient music then so they didn't.

There isn't anything particularly wrong with the TP dungeon music. It just isn't catchy but that doesn't really hurt the game at all.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJanuary 12, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Bloodworth
Aaron has a great point here with the music. The dungeons could use more than deep tones and clanking chimes.


I agree with him as well. Save for some select songs and the great remixes of the classic themes, I thought the soundtrack was a little too subtle and lacks the "oomph" the earlier musical scores had.

However, I see this as both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because you don't have a glaringly annoying song playing in the backgrounds, and lets you focus on the task ahead. Bad because it fails to give the dungeon the ambiance it needs.

Despite this, I think the soundtrack is an improvement over the WW soundtrack, which felt even more lacking.

GoldenPhoenixJanuary 12, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: pap64
Quote

Originally posted by: Bloodworth
Aaron has a great point here with the music. The dungeons could use more than deep tones and clanking chimes.


I agree with him as well. Save for some select songs and the great remixes of the classic themes, I thought the soundtrack was a little too subtle and lacks the "oomph" the earlier musical scores had.

However, I see this as both a good thing and a bad thing. Good because you don't have a glaringly annoying song playing in the backgrounds, and lets you focus on the task ahead. Bad because it fails to give the dungeon the ambiance it needs.

Despite this, I think the soundtrack is an improvement over the WW soundtrack, which felt even more lacking.


I agree about WW soundtracks which, even though I loved the game, felt was really lacking. Twilight Princess had some great music, though nothing to to shout about in the dungeons. I would like to know Nintendo's specific reason for toning the dungeon music down.

mantidorJanuary 12, 2007

In overall soundtrack love I have to say I like OoT the most for blending so well the ocarina tunes with the world, puzzles and events of the game, but the music in the dungeons was the most bland imo, I find more memorable the forest dungeon and the stone tower temple in MM, probably if I had the original fire temple version of OoT, I'd like it more though. Now that I notice dungeon music isn't really that memorable to begin with.

And talking about that, I can't wait for the full soundtrack of the game, the one that came with that promotion is too limited.

Ian SaneJanuary 12, 2007

If we're going to complain about music related stuff I think the musical instrument is a good topic to bring up. I loved the Ocarina. I don't care for the Wind Waker or the wolve's howl. Those aren't instruments and I don't really like the way you play the songs either. I think the N64 games nailed the instrument thing down and they should just use that method because the last two attempts don't really feel like I'm playing an instrument.

Plus Twilight Princess has the whole "I want to call Epona, oh there's none of that special plant here, guess I have to walk" routine.

The best song in TP, and the reason I was impressed by its soundtrack, is the song that plays when you first go to Hyrule Castle to meet Zelda. That song reminded me of Chrono Trigger music.

MarioJanuary 12, 2007

I loved the wolves howl, it sounded perfect. It was just a shame you couldn't use it whenever you wanted. Whoever said that TWWs soundtrack was lacking sucks, the intro / end credits music for that is the best Zelda track of all time, and it actually had memorable tunes unlike TP (Dragon Roost, Windfall, Outset), not that TPs was bad, it was often just too "epic" and not catchy enough.

mantidorJanuary 12, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Jonnyboy117
The best song in TP, and the reason I was impressed by its soundtrack, is the song that plays when you first go to Hyrule Castle to meet Zelda. That song reminded me of Chrono Trigger music.


Which song is that? isn't it just the generic theme of the twilight realm?

IceColdJanuary 12, 2007

The Fire Temple from OoT (original cartridges) was very distinct..

KDR_11kJanuary 12, 2007

Either way, needs more Eternal Legend. The 3d overworld theme sucks and is constantly interrupted by the battle music.

KlapauciusJanuary 12, 2007

Firstly, thank you for taking the time and energy to review the Gamecube version. With all the Wii hype the Gamecube version, and those of us who bought it (or intend to buy it, if you havn't yet), have been all but ignored.

Then the review. Well, I see no problem whatsoever with the music in Twilight Princess. It's as beautiful as any other Zelda, and I can't wait to import the OST as soon as its released in Japan.

I love the Gamcube version, and I'm quite happy to never play the Wii version. The controls suit me fine, and I can't imagine playing the game mirrored, and with a Wii-mote. Sections like the Sky Temple boss make me think how frustrating it would be with a Wii-mote. But then, I'm just a rubbish gamer. face-icon-small-wink.gif

Thanks for the review. It confirmed what I already knew - the Gamecube version of TP is brilliant.

sycomonkeyJanuary 13, 2007

After having beat it on the Wii I can not possibly imagine playing this game on a cube controller.... Just the pointing function alone is fantastic. I would say that it's worth it to trade in your cube version when you get a Wii, because honestly being able to point where you want to shoot arrows/slingshot/clawshot is completely worth it. Gesturing the wiimote to swing the sword is perfectly responsive and the item inventory is just about the coolest one I've ever seen in any game, so basically I would say that this review misses the mark. But that's just me.

Hostile CreationJanuary 13, 2007

One might argue that if you consciously notice the music, the composer has failed. The music in a game is meant to heighten the sense of presence in the game, not distract from it.
The only song that stand out to me now from the Zelda series are Song of Storms and the music on Mt Tamaranch in Link's Awakening. I'd just sit and listen to those sometimes. But they would have been distracting if they had been in a dungeon or something.
I love the ambience in this. Arguably games like Metroid Prime have done the ambience/enjoyability mix better, but it's good. I love the night-time field music.

IceColdJanuary 13, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: sycomonkey
After having beat it on the Wii I can not possibly imagine playing this game on a cube controller.... Just the pointing function alone is fantastic. I would say that it's worth it to trade in your cube version when you get a Wii, because honestly being able to point where you want to shoot arrows/slingshot/clawshot is completely worth it. Gesturing the wiimote to swing the sword is perfectly responsive and the item inventory is just about the coolest one I've ever seen in any game, so basically I would say that this review misses the mark. But that's just me.
After putting time into both games, I completely agree with you.. which makes me even more excited about the next Zelda.

GoldenPhoenixJanuary 13, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: IceCold
Quote

Originally posted by: sycomonkey
After having beat it on the Wii I can not possibly imagine playing this game on a cube controller.... Just the pointing function alone is fantastic. I would say that it's worth it to trade in your cube version when you get a Wii, because honestly being able to point where you want to shoot arrows/slingshot/clawshot is completely worth it. Gesturing the wiimote to swing the sword is perfectly responsive and the item inventory is just about the coolest one I've ever seen in any game, so basically I would say that this review misses the mark. But that's just me.
After putting time into both games, I completely agree with you.. which makes me even more excited about the next Zelda.


Not only do I agree with both you of you, but I think most people can agree that the next Zelda, made just for the Wii should be amazing. They already have a solid design from integrating Wii controls but the possibilities of them focusing their efforts on making it for the Wii is exciting!

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusJanuary 13, 2007

For the record, I'm very happy with the actual songs, including the overworld themes. And it's not that I mind the ambient sounds in the dungeons, I just think having more distinctive themes would be cooler. Not necessarily distracting either, but when I hear the song on a CD it should take me back to the feel of that dungeon.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJanuary 13, 2007

One other thing that keeps me away from giving TP a perfect 10 is the dungeon design.

I absolutely HATED the water temple and the sky temple. The water temple made me drop F bombs like I was a sailor (ask SB, he was there). The sky temple wasn't as annoying but did have an irritating design.

Which begs the question; WHY is the water dungeon always the most annoying dungeon in the Zelda games? The dungeon in OoT and MM were annoying as well hell, and the dungeon in TP carries on that tradition proudly.

I know they just want to make hard, challenging levels, but they really don't need to go down the aggravating path.

Outside those issues, I loved TP. The story is perhaps the best in all the Zelda games. It is also the best presented. The facial expressions added a grand level of emotion to the characters and the story.

Smoke39January 13, 2007

The water temple was the first one that I really liked. The sky temple wasn't bad. Definitely not aggrivating. Nothing in TP is very hard.

GoldenPhoenixJanuary 13, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Smoke39
The water temple was the first one that I really liked. The sky temple wasn't bad. Definitely not aggrivating. Nothing in TP is very hard.


Just to clarify the water temple is dungeon 3 right? If so it was relatively easy besides finding the big key which was hidden in a stupid place. At the moment I'm on the sky temple, and can see why some are frustrated.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJanuary 13, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: VGrevolution
Quote

Originally posted by: Smoke39
The water temple was the first one that I really liked. The sky temple wasn't bad. Definitely not aggrivating. Nothing in TP is very hard.


Just to clarify the water temple is dungeon 3 right? If so it was relatively easy besides finding the big key which was hidden in a stupid place. At the moment I'm on the sky temple, and can see why some are frustrated.


What annoyed me the most is the overall level design of the water dungeon.

It gave me a headache trying to figure where the stairs in the central room lead to, and the small water caves near the end had me and SB pulling our hair trying to figure out where the exits were.

Tedious, annoying level...

EDIT: Another thing, me and SB agreed that they should've made the wolf transformation a quick button press affair. Just in case, I KNOW that we need to press Z in order to summon Midna and transform. But what I mean is that they should've made it so that you can assign the transformation onto one button, and when you press it, you instantly transform into the wolf.

Again, I know that the time it takes to summon Midna and transform into a wolf is short, but considering that you transform a lot in the game it should've been a very quick, instant option. After a while, the process gets tedious.

KlapauciusJanuary 13, 2007

I loved the big spinning stairs, personally. It turned the whole dungeon into one big puzzle.

My favourite dungeon is the Temple of Time. Every room had puzzles, it seemed no space was wasted, and the mini-boss was so much fun. I had loads of fun with the boss too, which not only looked cool but the surprise after killing it... Haha. ^_^

Sky Temple was a challenge... I don't mind it, but I despise the boss.

I don't see your problem with the Water Temple. Dropping bombs? What were you bombing so much? X_X

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJanuary 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Klapaucius
I loved the big spinning stairs, personally. It turned the whole dungeon into one big puzzle.

My favourite dungeon is the Temple of Time. Every room had puzzles, it seemed no space was wasted, and the mini-boss was so much fun. I had loads of fun with the boss too, which not only looked cool but the surprise after killing it... Haha. ^_^

Sky Temple was a challenge... I don't mind it, but I despise the boss.

I don't see your problem with the Water Temple. Dropping bombs? What were you bombing so much? X_X


It's a matter of preference, then. Me and SB were very annoyed at the water temple, and we both agreed that the Zelda series have the tendency of creating water dungeons that are hard and annoying (the water dungeon in OoT perhaps has the most infamy). Hell, SB had already finished the game when I finally got it and even he couldn't figure out how the dungeon worked.

Not dissing anyone that loved the temple. I was just annoyed by how it was designed and it was one of the few instances in TP which made me wish it would end.

As for the bombs, if I remember correctly there were parts where you had to drop bombs in order to open passages.

Or are you talking about my F-bombs? I simply got annoyed of constantly running in circles trying to find the next room.

Vert1January 14, 2007

The water temple got really annoying because of the music that played in it. It was like Nintendo designed the music to annoy you when you got stuck. The Sky Temple music was like that too but I didn't get stuck there.

CalibanJanuary 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Klapaucius
Sky Temple was a challenge... I don't mind it, but I despise the boss.


Opposite for me, annoying dungeon but it had one of the coolest boss-battles.

Quote

Originally posted by: sycomonkey
After having beat it on the Wii I can not possibly imagine playing this game on a cube controller....


Definitely.

Quote

Originally posted by: pap64
One other thing that keeps me away from giving TP a perfect 10 is the dungeon design.

I absolutely HATED the water temple and the sky temple. The water temple made me drop F bombs like I was a sailor (ask SB, he was there). The sky temple wasn't as annoying but did have an irritating design.


I think TP had the best overall dungeon design, the dungeons were made so that we would have to use a little bit more of our brain. Kids shouldn't play TP unless they can handle such comlexity, isn't that why the game is rated T for Teen (and up), I guess not.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJanuary 14, 2007

Oh as I like to call it...the freaky chicken chorus!

Doot-doo-odoot-doot-doooo!

KlapauciusJanuary 14, 2007

Quote

Or are you talking about my F-bombs? I simply got annoyed of constantly running in circles trying to find the next room.


Hehe. I think you confused me with the "F-bombs". :P


Quote

the dungeons were made so that we would have to use a little bit more of our brain


So true, and I love it. I understand not all gamers like to get a mental workout, but for me its no fun if I don't breakdown into tears once in a while from sheer frustration - only to be overjoyed and so proud of myself when I figure it out. There's no feeling that compares to finally working out a puzzle in Zelda after an age of head-scratching. I thought over a puzzle for almost a whole day, and then when I worked it out I couldn't get home fast enough to put it into action. ^__^ Satisfying.


Did anyone else love the mini-bosses? Not any boss in particular, but the fact that so much effort had clearly gone into their design? The mini-boss in the water temple stands out to me, and the disturbing Twilight Realm giant insect thing.


As a grumble, I wish attacking the Cuccos would do more than let me control one for a bit. Pointless, that. Amusing at first, then confusing, then very dissapointing. I want to be chased by a swarm of angry birds! Or at least some pigs.

mantidorJanuary 14, 2007

I can't see how all the neat new secret skills could be any better with the remote, how could they be any more intuitive or responsive, since such moves are impossible to be 1:1 with the actions on the screen, and I don't like 1:1 controls for the sword to begin with. I actually hate the new sword controls so much that I'm even considering skipping wii Zelda which makes me sad, I can only hope the completly rebuild the controls for the game and drop the terrible idea of swinging the remote for the sword actions, but thats very unlikely. I also wish they rebuild the dungeon concept of the game for that matter, how many times are they going to follow the "find 3 items to open the way to find 4/6 items"? Even MM with its cliche-themed forest/fire/water/shadow dungeons felt more fresh. Zelda has plenty of room for new ideas without the game stop being "Zelda", and the remote can bring so much to that as well.

Aiming is better of course but that was painfully obvious since the remote unveiling, the remote is perfect for it, however I never felt the game to be difficult with the GC controller, maybe a little in the Stars game after I managed to do it in less than 40 seconds, breaking that record is hard with the cube's controller, and I guess it might be easier with the remote, but at that point in the game I didn't need to break the record anyway since I already got all the rewards the game could give you.

GoldenPhoenixJanuary 14, 2007

Anyone that complains about flicking the Wiimote to do sword moves obviously hasn't played the game on the Wii, I can see arguing it may not be as responsive as button presses, but it is far from something that is to be "hated". I understand completely why Nintendo shifted sword controls to flicking the Wiimote because the button placement is much better without having to also make room for an attack button. As it is now, things work seemlessly besides that one move that uses your shield as a weapons, besides that though GC gamepad seems like it would be confining. Nothing beats the intuitive nature of wiggling the nunchuck to do the spin attack either!

Smoke39January 14, 2007

I noticed that TP's puzzles seemed a bit more in-depth than previous Zelda games, or that there were more of them, or something. I really liked it, but they still seemed too easy to me. I guess if they were too much harder I'd've just been annoyed, but it's just that nothing in TP was a challenge at all, save for perhaps a few of the extraneous things that weren't required of you. It would've been nice if beating the game unlocked a hard mode or something. Though I suppose there is always the option of doing a limited run. I should try that sometime.

SheckyJanuary 14, 2007

The puzzles in TP were excellent. Some are easier because we've all played a Zelda title previously. Imagine playing this title as your first. Different puzzles hold up different people... a few that left me scratching my head, weren't a problem for my bro and vice versa.

Anyone saying that they didn't experience even one puzzle that took a while to figure out - by themselves - is lying.

There were a lot of challenges in TP when it came to puzzles. However, I can see if the overal challenge or difficulty was on the light side, as most brain puzzles don't leave your life in danger. When the final boss is taking away half hearts per hit, it's not intimidating. Sure I took me a life bar or two to figure out what to do, but execution thereafter is easy. 2D boss battles were usually really easy to figure out but took skill to execute, the exact opposite.

And water temples in Zelda are kind of always extra challenging. I remember the water temple in LoZ:LttP wasn't exactly a slouch.

mantidorJanuary 14, 2007

"Nothing beats the intuitive nature of wiggling the nunchuck to do the spin attack either!"

Seriously? I don't see anything intuitive in that, at least not more intuitive than pressing and holding a button, just compare it with aiming, or fishing, now that is trully intuitive, the other controls are just the same, you are asociating an action, whether is pushing a button or waggling the remote, with an action on screen.

Which isn't really my problem anyway, even if the response of the remote was perfect for the basic motions I would still not see anything fun in doing that, I can't do a parry or a helm splitter in real life with the remote, but I want them on the game and I find it incredibly fun to do them, when the game tries to read the motions perfectly but for such moves it has to break that rule it just makes the whole thing fall apart, it loses consistency, and sword fighting without those impossible but neat moves is just boring.

Blue PlantJanuary 14, 2007

Spin attacking with the nunchuk just works beautifully. Period.

IceColdJanuary 14, 2007

mantidor, you can rest assured that it doesn't tire out your wrists at all - even after hours of playing..

Quote

Seriously? I don't see anything intuitive in that, at least not more intuitive than pressing and holding a button
To do a spin attack quickly under the traditional method, you needed to spin the analogue stick in a full circle, then press B. This could just be done by wiggling the attachment, which is much easier.
Quote

Which isn't really my problem anyway, even if the response of the remote was perfect for the basic motions I would still not see anything fun in doing that, I can't do a parry or a helm splitter in real life with the remote
You can do a parry. Remember that the context sensitive button (A) is still used the same, so if Nintendo chose to, they could have you press A for the parry. You don't need motion controls for that.

Smoke39January 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Shecky
Anyone saying that they didn't experience even one puzzle that took a while to figure out - by themselves - is lying.

How long is "a while"?

SheckyJanuary 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Smoke39
Quote

Originally posted by: Shecky
Anyone saying that they didn't experience even one puzzle that took a while to figure out - by themselves - is lying.

How long is "a while"?


> 1 - 2 mins

Gets you to stop and think. A lot of people spend way more time than they think on some of these puzzles too.

Smoke39January 14, 2007

There were definitely at least a few puzzles that took me a few minutes to figure out. I guess the fact that they were a bit more engaging than usual just left me wishing they'd gone even further.

KDR_11kJanuary 14, 2007

I think so far I only had problems when I either didn't see something or lacked an item. Quite the opposite of my first Zelda game where I got stuck in the first room where you had to push a normally unmovable block.

Ian SaneJanuary 15, 2007

"Which begs the question; WHY is the water dungeon always the most annoying dungeon in the Zelda games?"

Probably because of the very nature of water. One thing one often thinks of with water is water flow so they always include all sorts of water level stuff in the water dungeon to make it unique. Personally I don't mind it as much as dungeons with large sections of the floor being untouchable as you often get with any fire or sky related dungeons.

The worst though is any dungeon that requires a lot of magic or some other consumable item so you have to load up on jars of the stuff and hope that you don't run out or that you'll find the option to refill inside.

In Twilight Princess the problem is bombs since you don't get bombs from jars or cutting grass. Never start a dungeon without a near full bomb bag.

mantidorJanuary 15, 2007

I never had a problem with bombs really, I never run out of them even before getting the expansion bags.

SheckyJanuary 15, 2007

They outright feed you bombs and arrows in dungeons that made heavy use of either.

Personally, I would have been ok if grass didn't drop arrows either (although drops from the archers would still be fine).

ArtimusJanuary 15, 2007

Am I the only one who didn't find the water temple challenging at all?

KlapauciusJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Shecky
They outright feed you bombs and arrows in dungeons that made heavy use of either.

Personally, I would have been ok if grass didn't drop arrows either (although drops from the archers would still be fine).



Indeed, not only useful but also a subtle hint at the item you'll need to solve puzzles/defeat the boss.

Arrows doesn't come from grass very often, so that's okay. It is more realistic to have no bombs from grass, after all who would leave bombs lying around in the grass? I can believe arrows might be left on rare occasions, after all Hyrule Field is teeming with arrow wielding moblins.

Ian SaneJanuary 15, 2007

"It is more realistic to have no bombs from grass, after all who would leave bombs lying around in the grass?"

But having money in every pot and clump of grass IS realistic? I think realism is flaky excuse regarding Zelda design since it seems to have a fair bit of videogame conventions that make for good game design but make no sense in the real world. Link can also take multiple hits with bladed weapons and after he dies you can just continue and he'll be alive again.

Honestly the only time it really became an issue was when I was exploring this huge cave full of ghosts that required a lot of bombing so I ran out and then discovered that I couldn't just cut grass to refill.

CalibanJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Artimus
Am I the only one who didn't find the water temple challenging at all?


You're not alone.

KDR_11kJanuary 15, 2007

It wasn't really challenging, took me a while to find the path to the master key and I think I had to talk to Midna to find out how to trigger the midboss (seriously, who'd expect camera orientation to have an effect on this?).

SheckyJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Caliban
Quote

Originally posted by: Artimus
Am I the only one who didn't find the water temple challenging at all?


You're not alone.


A lot of the dungeons were challenging, and I didn't find the water temple overly challenging. It was a bit slow paced though. Partially because I didn't know how to swim fast untill I had already finished the game (and saw someone else doing it). I also like how I took the *slow* climb up the waterfall to revisit a chest only to be greeted by chump change. Entirely my option and I don't hate the dungeon because of it.

As for the bombs in grass issue. In reality, they were trying to build an economic system for the title - aka SPEND SOME MONEY. I think they blew it a bit as everything was inflated beyond controll. As for the realism of bombs as a drop, your taking the wrong approach. Bombs are a finely crafted device and have a sole source in this game. Money on the other hand is common gem to run across. By shear example you collect 10000 worth easy in the game. Makes sense that you run across tons of it face-icon-small-smile.gif

"seriously, who'd expect camera orientation to have an effect on this?" - one of those puzzles that have been used before (OoT: Gohma) and goes with my point earlier.

Smash_BrotherJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Artimus
Am I the only one who didn't find the water temple challenging at all?


Not challenging, just irritating.

IceColdJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

"seriously, who'd expect camera orientation to have an effect on this?" - one of those puzzles that have been used before (OoT: Gohma) and goes with my point earlier.
If in doubt, look around..

mantidorJanuary 15, 2007

The camera is something that I would certainly miss in the other version, even though it only had two zoom levels instead of the completly free camera of the Wind Waker, but moving it around without having to go in first person was useful in some ocasions, not necessary of course, but I really just like to use it a lot, and without it I imagine it was harder to see where Link was looking at, a feature that was underused compared to the wind waker I guess because of the wii version, something that honestly sucks (Link discovering the secret in the private island house for me was just amazing, there were no moments like that in TP). It sucked you couldn't zoomed any closer too, or that you couldn't go into first person in castle town.

Ian SaneJanuary 15, 2007

"that you couldn't go into first person in castle town."

What the hell is up with that? I assume it's a reference to Ocarina of Time's Castle Town but that was supposedly because of hardware limitations or a deadline or something like that. I doubt it was required for the Cube/Wii hardware and I really think it's an odd reference because everyone I've ever met didn't like that about Ocarina. If I can look around whereever I want in Majora's Mask I think I should be able to do the same thing in Twilight Princess.

Did anyone here upon encountering that for the first time think "Cool! This annoying restriction is just like in Ocarina of Time"? While we're referencing lousy Zelda stuff let's make us have to hold down the reset button to save for that old school feel.

KnowsNothingJanuary 15, 2007

Zelda games need more towns.

ArbokJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Jonnyboy117
The best song in TP, and the reason I was impressed by its soundtrack, is the song that plays when you first go to Hyrule Castle to meet Zelda. That song reminded me of Chrono Trigger music.


Not ringing a bell, I'm afraid, this game really needs a full soundtrack released for it. My personal favorite cue from the game was Gerudo Dessert. Man, I would just go there to hear the tune even if I had nothing to do. Been a standard listen on my computer for awhile now too, but then I have always been a sucker for themes with a chorus. I will agree, though, that none of the dungeon music stands out in memory, sadly.

On a semi-related note, I was ecstatic when I saw Michiru Oshima's name in the credits, as she is one of my favorite composers with her "Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla" score being a personal favorite of mine. However, seems she only did the "trailer" music. Going back and seeing that trailer again, it's quite clear that it was using a full orchestra and sounds fantastic... a real shame that none of that was used in the game itself. Hopefully that makes it onto a CD sountrack someday.

SheckyJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
"that you couldn't go into first person in castle town."

What the hell is up with that? I assume it's a reference to Ocarina of Time's Castle Town but that was supposedly because of hardware limitations or a deadline or something like that. I doubt it was required for the Cube/Wii hardware and I really think it's an odd reference because everyone I've ever met didn't like that about Ocarina. If I can look around whereever I want in Majora's Mask I think I should be able to do the same thing in Twilight Princess.

Did anyone here upon encountering that for the first time think "Cool! This annoying restriction is just like in Ocarina of Time"? While we're referencing lousy Zelda stuff let's make us have to hold down the reset button to save for that old school feel.


Notice how you can never see into the next "loaded" area. Just a limitation of the engine, giving you first person access in the crowded town would look really bad if you gazed at one of those boarders and saw nothing face-icon-small-smile.gif In fact it would probably look exactly the same as when you gaze into some of the houses in K town. This is a Gamecube game remember...

KnowsNothingJanuary 15, 2007

I'm pretty sure from the South exit you can see into the Fountain Area, with people walking around and everything. The strangest part is that those are the two busiest areas of the town....

GoldenPhoenixJanuary 15, 2007

I don't miss the camera at all in Zelda: TP, the game is so well designed that camera is seldom a problem. You still get the magnificient sites even if you have to go into camera mode.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: VGrevolution
I don't miss the camera at all in Zelda: TP, the game is so well designed that camera is seldom a problem. You still get the magnificient sites even if you have to go into camera mode.


That's another thing. I felt the camera in WW was problematic. I always got some awkward angles or I couldn't find the right angle to work with. The camera is much better in TP, even if it gets stuck in some places and I get the occasional weird angles.

BloodworthDaniel Bloodworth, Staff AlumnusJanuary 15, 2007

OoT's camera couldn't be moved in Castle Town because it was pre-rendered. I have no idea why they did it in TP.

ArtimusJanuary 15, 2007

The castletown thing was REALLY odd. There was no need for the stuck perspective. Otherwise the camera was flawless and proves you do not need direct camera control in 3rd person games.

mantidorJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: KnowsNothing
I'm pretty sure from the South exit you can see into the Fountain Area, with people walking around and everything. The strangest part is that those are the two busiest areas of the town....


You can also see people moving before you even enter the town.

SheckyJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: mantidor
Quote

Originally posted by: KnowsNothing
I'm pretty sure from the South exit you can see into the Fountain Area, with people walking around and everything. The strangest part is that those are the two busiest areas of the town....


You can also see people moving before you even enter the town.


The people aren't the biggie... as for seeing into the town, they do provide some viewing overlap between areas and the fixed camera allows them to regulate how much they show.

Basically, my point is that by having loading times between the different areas, it shows that they couldn't have *all* of the castle town loaded, thus you can't exactly free look as some areas would be blank.

GoldenPhoenixJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Bloodworth
OoT's camera couldn't be moved in Castle Town because it was pre-rendered. I have no idea why they did it in TP.


That is one of the few things that bothered me about TP was the fixed angle in Castle Town, it feels awkard, like it is hiding limitations (which in itself is fine but when it FEELS like something was created to avoid problems, that is something that bothers me) within the town's graphical design.

KlapauciusJanuary 15, 2007

Quote

It sucked you couldn't zoomed any closer tooIt sucked you couldn't zoomed any closer too


Did you not find the Hawkeye? Or do you mean zooming in third person mode, in which case yeah it did suck slightly. But on thr Gamecube I have much more camera freedom so its okay.

KDR_11kJanuary 15, 2007

What the hell is up with that? I assume it's a reference to Ocarina of Time's Castle Town but that was supposedly because of hardware limitations or a deadline or something like that. I doubt it was required for the Cube/Wii hardware

Considering that there's already enough slowdown with the restrictive default view I don't want to see the framerate you get when you look across the central place.

I'm pretty sure from the South exit you can see into the Fountain Area, with people walking around and everything. The strangest part is that those are the two busiest areas of the town....

At such distances you can use low res models or sprites.

Ian SaneJanuary 16, 2007

"Basically, my point is that by having loading times between the different areas, it shows that they couldn't have *all* of the castle town loaded, thus you can't exactly free look as some areas would be blank."

That could be avoided with clever level design. In Majora's Mask Clock Town has an archway or tunnel between each of the four areas of it. Thus the town is in full 3D and you can free look without seeing blank nothingness.

KDR_11kJanuary 16, 2007

Actually I take the "low res models" bit back, the fountain has no NPCs whatsoever around it when you're in the southern sector.

mantidorJanuary 16, 2007

The number of NPC around the fountain changes throughout the day too, it was cool they had a somewhat basic schedule, although nothing beats the detailed schedule in Clock Town, probably the best town in Zelda games.

SheckyJanuary 16, 2007

It is a bit easier to give people a schedule/life when it's the same 3 days over and over face-icon-small-smile.gif

NinGurl69 *hugglesJanuary 16, 2007

Well that's better than an infinite number of days of "OH HO HO I'M SORRY, I'M NOT INTO YOUNGER MEN".

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Genre Adventure
Developer Nintendo
Players1

Worldwide Releases

na: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Release Dec 13, 2006
PublisherNintendo
RatingTeen
jpn: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Release Dec 02, 2006
PublisherNintendo
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