The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Distributed by: Nintendo
Reviewed by Frank L. Ocasio
Break out the ol' shield, dust off your flutes, wands and other magical instruments, and reclaim your Master Sword, because the wait is finally over. After years upon years of waiting, human beings can actually play The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess without being hounded by the knowledge that they would soon wake up. Zelda fans far and wide rejoice; ye olde hero of Hyrule, Link, has returned!
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess carries on the Zelda tradition of reintroducing us to Link, a youth destined to save the kingdom of Hyrule from the likes of one villain or another who's usually tied back to Ganon--the vile pig (literally) of the original Legend of Zelda for the NES. However, unlike some games, there are no real clues to where this installment falls in the massive ages of Hyrule's mythical history.
All we do know is that we follow the path of a new Link--a much newer Link. A country boy Link, who herds cattle and rides his horse through his home town of Ordon. A Link who has no intentions of ever traveling to distant lands, like the city of Hyrule, for any reason. That is, of course, until Bulblins--a crossbreed of orcs and Zelda's Moblins and Bokoblins--riding war boars tear into town and kidnap a few kids and Link's lady love, Illia.
It's not quite that simple though. When Link goes after these Bulblin bandits, he's confronted with a wall of darkness. Did the Bulblins summon it? More importantly, what is it? As Link steps in for a closer look, a monstrous hand reaches out and pulls him in the shadow. The Twilight engulfs him.
And instantly, the game is awesome. Before the Twilight, Twilight Princess is pretty slow-going. Above and beyond any other Zelda game, it has the longest exposition/training period. You meet people in town and learn how to fire your slingshot. But you carry out an entire side-quest just to get that freakin' slingshot! And then there're monkeys but no green tunics anywhere! It seems endless!
But then, the Twilight engulfs Link, you wake up in the form of a wolf, you listen to the jests of a little female imp who mocks you for not knowing how to get yourself out of the cell you've been locked in, and you remember why you love The Legend of Zelda.
Why? Because it always brings something new to the table.
Gameplay-wise, Twilight introduces playing as a wolf and navigating the Twilight with your senses and wicked sharp fangs, an awesome addition to the already awesome formula of giving video game addicts generous helpings of side-quests and mini-games with their dungeons and treasures sammich. And besides, Twilight allows you to do everything you ever thought you should've been able to do while riding your horse, Epona, including firing arrows at tailgating Bulblins and shooting your grappling hook mid-ride all suave and Dark Knight style.
Control-wise, Twilight introduces Wii-Remote controls; you swing the Wii-Remote to slash your sword and aim it to aim your ranged weapons, for example. Honestly, in an ocean of games that play more like cute little showcases of what the Wii can do, the control scheme for Twilight will actually remain a refreshing alternative to quickly tracing shapes on your screen with your Wii-mote just so you can beat Wario at it.
Storyline-wise, Twilight introduces plot events that will make you more invested in the side-characters than you ever have been in any Zelda before. And it introduces us to Zant--a villain who isn't just Ganon or Ganondorf again!
But on the note of storyline, I can't say this game does everything up all nice and fresh-like. To the contrary, the story winds up doing a wagon load of copying from The Ocarina of Time. In fact, despite the earlier hinting at awesome plot events, the story for the Twilight Princess will sometimes mimic the story for The Ocarina of Time to a T. At some points, it's nostalgic and very cool--at most points, it's down right unbearably cheap.
But even so, there will still be times when you also ask yourself, "What time is it?" and "Didn't I have a date tonight? Like, three hours ago, when I beat that one boss in the forest temple?" The game is still that ridiculously fun, although the most exciting parts are those that take place in the Twilight, largely because they're so Spring-time fresh. Even so, this doesn't mean that the rest of the game is missing any of the charm and completely addicting adventure that the entire Zelda franchise is known for, however. Like any game in the series, ye olde Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is just a damn good time and definitely a must have title for the Wii.
One last thing before I quit: Although this is a review of the Wii version of Twilight Princess, it can double as a review for the Gamecube version; they're the same game only, without the Wii Remote, the Gamecube version plays just like The Wind Waker. Oh, and the Gamecube version is completely inverted. I almost forgot about that... What does that mean? Well, in the Wii version, Link is right-handed. In the Gamecube version, he's left-handed. So that means that the mountain on Link's left on the Wii... is the mountain on his right on the Gamecube... Mmm. Yeah. A small difference that--easily overlooked.
Grading: On a Scale From 1-10, 10 Being the Best
Overall Gameplay: 10