Ratings: Graphics & Audio: 23/25, Gameplay: 23/25, Creativity 20/25, Fun 22/25
Link has a new threat called the Darkness spreading not only across his village but all across Hyrule and must find out why. Of course the end result of all these adventures will be to rescue the Twilight Princess more commonly known as Zelda. Link is back but on the new Wii console version you can insert your name and the game will use that in the dialogue that tells the tale of the new threat to Hyrule and your people.
The Wii console adds more adventure fun to the Zelda style games and you do get plenty of adventure here. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess continues the fine tradition of the Zelda story with a strong story line even though it is a bit of a rehash. The levels and over world are basically the same but on the new console they have created a new style and added twists to the general games style and gameplay. The adventures will last for more than a few hours as you conquer level after level toward the ultimate goal of defeating the big bosses and rescuing the Twilight Princess.
You start your adventuring as a lowly villager with either the name Link or you can add your own flair to the game and use yours. After some general tutorial type assignments the game jumps into the story and introduces you to some interesting characters and changes the gameplay right off the bat. For the first level they transform you into a wolf and you need to rely on a new ally to help you conquer it.
After learning the moves of your wolf form they start you in on your rescue and search for the cause of the lands sudden darkness with the help of your new friend and ally, Midna. The games style is the same as the earlier versions of Zelda with you completing puzzles and tasks to collect objects and weapons in order to make your character able to defeat the bosses of the levels. They have divided the world into what they dubbed the over world and the levels were you fight your way to the bosses and the prizes they hold.
In the first part of your adventures you are forced back and forth from your Link form to wolf form depending on what side of the darkness your on. You use your abilities as a wolf to solve some puzzles with the help of Midna. Later on in the game you will attain the ability to jump form at will which brings an even more useful resource for certain puzzle solving tasks.
The wolf form brings the advantages of jumping and being able to dig to get into areas or at buried items and using Midna’s help you can perform a super jump that she teaches the first time you meet. The wolf form also fights well but you cannot use items so being able to transform back and forth at will becomes a very handy ability.
The same Zelda style and huge array of areas and different puzzles is still there but with the new Wii console you get a really good 3D view and style to the game. This also brings some difficulties to the game as you have an inherent viewing problem at times trying to see in a particular direction. You can have objects or even yourself in the way but you do get to use a first person view to look around when needed. Other times the 3rd person perspective makes certain moves more difficult or just fighting and turning to fight someone behind you a tricky affair.
One thing that I felt like right off the bat was a landscaper or at least the boy down the block who goes around the neighborhood mowing lawns. Twilight Princess hides coins they call rupies and heart power ups in grass from the beginning of the game for you to gain rupies or regain health. You continue this rupy collecting to be able to buy things as well as earn them from the levels by fighting bosses.
The levels are often temples very reminiscent of some jungle temples at the beginning but change with the unique Zelda style as you progress further in the game. The Cloud Temple is a unique twist that you have come to expect from the Zelda tradition.
The gameplay is fun and the puzzles can be both frustrating and enjoyable but they can be solved logically even though it may take some time. I found many of them to be pretty easy but some are just complicated by the controller or views you have using the third person perspective. Of course it is helpful at times to “cheat” by using a walkthrough available form the internet to give you that little help from time to time. Most of the puzzles can be solved by simply trying various things and logically thinking about what your trying to accomplish or just trial and error.
The games bosses are not all that difficult to defeat when you come across them but they do look very good at what they’re doing. Using the newer console and your third person perspective they use this to create larger than life bosses at the ends of each temple or level for you to defeat. Most of the bosses are some type of huge creature and often are pretty easy to just stab or hack apart in some way. If you get stuck on a particular fight or even at many of the puzzles Midna can come to your rescue with a well timed hint to get you back on track.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess does not really use the controller that the Wii is synonymous for to its fullest advantage. Many times the fighting is more a matter of timing and not being able to use special moves due to the controller or Nunchuk’s control scheme. Often moves are done by mistake or in the wrong direction due to the controllers not being incorporated more or better into the gameplay. I had more of a problem with things like throwing these exploding insects correctly than killing off the larger monsters and bosses in the game.
But after some of these problems in the gameplay and difficulties the game comes out as pretty good in the end. The same Zelda style and fun is here at the heart and they have done a good job to continue the adventures and fun with Twilight Princess. The puzzles and adventuring works well with quite a variety to the logical gameplay and solving the problems put in your path usually takes a pause to think more so than fancy footwork.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess looks good graphically and I really do not see any problems as some have said with the graphics of the Wii console system. Twilight Princess has the same cartoon like graphics with quite an artistic approach and the games textures and scenes look good. The monsters and other characters all have that almost Japanese anime look to them and they have done a very good job of continuing the Zelda tradition with the entire game.
The same style and feel to the now famous game is still there and they have continued this with the great music renditions added to Twilight Princess. The game comes complete with large sound scores and the now familiar style music that you have come to expect. The voices however were decidedly missing from all the characters, there is no voice acting per say but plenty of grunting or one word iterations.
Many times when a character wanted your attention or called out they would do this more to call your attention to the text that they put on the screen for you to read. The game has no dialogue and would have been that much better for it even if they did not want to use it for your character. Throughout Twilight Princess you get a wide variety of hints, help and of course your story line from other characters but it is all in text.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will keep you busy for more than twenty five hours of gameplay. Many of the scenes have the dialogue and storyline through the text boxes so just clicking through all of them takes time. At certain points you can skip past them by using the “-” button but for much of it you have to click through to continue.
The puzzles are entertaining enough to bring plenty of value to the game and you will enjoy returning to the land of Hyrule for more fun later. One thing I enjoy about the Zelda series is it never gets too boring that a visit from time to time to conquer the game over again brings back the best fun of the games. With the Wii console you can do this on an even grander scale by downloading the previous Zelda adventures and playing them to your hearts content.
Overall the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a great adventure puzzle game and really worth it. The graphics and overall feel of the famous Zelda universe are still there and the minor problems don’t detract enough from the game to make much of a difference. I highly recommend this Zelda adventure for all those Links at heart.