Reviews// The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (review, part one in a series)

Posted 4 Dec 2006 18:00 by
Anybody who says that he or she can write a definitive review of Zelda: Twilight Princess in less than a fortnight is either (a) so far out of their mind on Red Bull that they have played for 24-hours every day or (b) fibbing through their teeth. This reviewer is neither. So when the bastard-editor-from-hell demanded a full review, I agreed to compromise and provide this interim report for the sake of the SPOnG readership. The full-time review will appear here later this week.

Once more, fellow adventurers, SPOnG ventures into the evil-ridden wilds of Hyrule to save the hell out of it!

In the beginning, god(s) created a bunch of stuff, and people. Eventually one of those people created the NES, and it was good. Then, Shigeru Miyamoto and co. created The Legend of Zelda, and it was faaan-tastic! Now, nearly 20 years later the latest instalment in the seminal franchise has been release day and date with Nintendo’s newest console. The game once again has you following a story of a stoic guy who is sort of named Link but whose name you can make whatever you want, as he saves a once great land from dark things of some sort.

Some detractors may call these games formulaic. Some may scoff at the obviously last-gen (shouldn’t it be current-gen since everything else is “Next”?) graphics. But some will see the game for what it most certainly is: an instant classic and a shining example of what made many of us fall in love with the series in the first place.

Having spent more hours on this than I do most other single-player experiences, I can safely say that I am nowhere near done. I have, however, had a fairly good experience of a good many items, killed a few bosses, and collected some tears (that’ll make sense later).

Most previous Zelda outings had our hero travelling from dungeon to dungeon, solving puzzles, fighting enemies, and using what ever their most recently acquired was to kill a boss. Side missions always existed for you to complete if you wanted, but now an entire lower tier of required missions exists, filling in and extending the time between dungeons. Fairly early on in the game you are charged with travelling through four different areas to collect stolen tears of light in order to push the invading twilight out of each area. These tasks seem to span all of the known world, but later on in the game it becomes clear that there is a great deal more map than originally assumed. To sum up: this game is big, very big.

Control
Then of course there is the Wii Remote and it’s effect on the game. Initially it takes a bit of getting used to. I often found myself reaching for the [A] button to swing rather than shaking our “motes”. After a little time playing however it becomes second nature and really adds to the experience. You could potentially be disappointed that Link doesn’t swing the sword exactly as you do, but just the act of thrusting the controller quickly and having it strike is rather satisfying.

One thing about the game that has earned it some attention are the graphics. While people had been prepared for GameCube quality for some time, a disappointed few have gone so far as claiming Twilight Princess looks bad and dull. Fiddlesticks and poppycock! In my opinion it’s a mixed bag.

There are certainly more repeating textures than those of us who have beaten Gears of War are now accustomed to, but there are also some beautifully crafted models, animations and setting that still left me in awe. Another unfortunate issue is the composite cables the come boxed with the Wii. Try as I might this writer has been unable to procure a set of component cables, and Link is, regrettably, a bit fuzzy.

Be sure to check back next week when SPOnG will post the full review to see if the game holds up through the supposed 70+ hours. Be sure to post any particular questions you want answered in the forums below beforehand.

SPOnG Score: (Interim) B

Right Thus far I am completely in love with the game. It’s certainly not without its little issues, and some will invariably accuse it of lacking innovation, but once you get rolling, it grips you and simply won’t let go. A must-have for fans and Wii owners in general.

Comments

Ditto 4 Dec 2006 18:15
1/10
That's a bit of an odd interim review; not so much on the gameplay.

In response to your request for suggestions, please can you review the Gamecube version?

There are some of us who can't afford or don't want a Wii and will be purchasing the Gamecube edition - please be the first site to comment on the GC edition!
LUPOS 4 Dec 2006 19:28
2/10
Adam M wrote:
That's a bit of an odd interim review; not so much on the gameplay.


Not intended as a full review by any means, more of a preview, impressiosn sort of thing. Final will be much lengthier and detailed.

Adam M wrote:
In response to your request for suggestions, please can you review the Gamecube version?


Would love too. If we can get a copy we'll certainly put it through it's paces... does anyone know when the GC release even is?

goes to check...

EDIT: dec-11/12 in the US (15 in UK). expect something shortly after if all goes well. (or sooner if N sees fit to send us code)
____________
more comments below our sponsor's message
billson 5 Dec 2006 01:43
3/10
cant wait for this, not long now, better than ocarina?
PistolPete 5 Dec 2006 12:25
4/10
What about Windwaker? I mean, is it better than Windwaker, because no game has ever made me peal in excitement and general awe at the beauty and 'innovation' (a tad over-used nowadays me thinks) over and over, constantly finding something else I want to drag my friends over to say 'wait, wait, watch - look, LOOK AT THAT' with a massive grin on my now childisly excited face... And I know that a lot of people complain because it looks childish etc. But christ, anything that can remind, nevermind take you back, to times that were a lot less weighed down by actually feeling guilty about playing games all day is what I want to experience...

Just remembering Link's grimace as he holds his hand up against the wind, stomping along with the comically large metal boots make me warm inside....

So the question is, will Twilight Princess make me feel like this, or leave me questioning where all the creativity went... .?
Ditto 5 Dec 2006 13:03
5/10
PistolPete wrote:
What about Windwaker? I mean, is it better than Windwaker, because no game has ever made me peal in excitement and general awe at the beauty and 'innovation' (a tad over-used nowadays me thinks) over and over, constantly finding something else I want to drag my friends over to say 'wait, wait, watch - look, LOOK AT THAT' with a massive grin on my now childisly excited face... And I know that a lot of people complain because it looks childish etc. But christ, anything that can remind, nevermind take you back, to times that were a lot less weighed down by actually feeling guilty about playing games all day is what I want to experience...

Just remembering Link's grimace as he holds his hand up against the wind, stomping along with the comically large metal boots make me warm inside....

So the question is, will Twilight Princess make me feel like this, or leave me questioning where all the creativity went... .?


A man after my own heart. Well said.
majin dboy 5 Dec 2006 13:54
6/10
Z:WW is an epic game.its diffrent and nintendo made a strong decision to go with it,what they delivered was a superb gaming experience.however Z:TP is the spiritual sequal to Z:OOT,which many would agree that it is indeed the best game ever.so will TP be better?the short answer is yes, but it is not as simple as that.for its time OOT was absoulutely masterful(still is),TP will suffer because of this,look at GS giving it 8.8 because it wasnt new enuf.TP isnt a jump from zelda on the snes to zelda on the 64,its more of an advancement on the 64 version,therefore ,yes i think it will be better but that is only to be expected due to tecnical advancements e.g. 9 temples,bigger world.its the same great formula/ideas/design advanced with the wii.

LUPOS 5 Dec 2006 17:36
7/10
This game gets more epic and awsome by the minute. Set aside a LOT of free time this holiday, you will need it.

so good.
__________
OptimusP 5 Dec 2006 18:43
8/10
If you're going to say that Zelda TP isn't new enough...then any third person game should not receive something higher then a 8.5 by default because the Zelda series have been the benchmark of third person games.

It's the series where everyone in the whole bloody industry steals it ideas, gameplaymechanics and then some from.

And there's probably no series alive that tries to keep as fresh and innovative as the zelda-series with new items and their uses in gameplay and sometimes the addition of a brand new perspective like in Majora Mask and Wind Waker and Four Swords and The Adventure of Link.

So what if TP is a spiritual succesor of OOT that is actually a 3D version of Link to the Past that's actually a spiritual successor to the first Zelda. it's the best in its genre and pushes that genre further and be undefeated untill Nintendo decides to churn out a new Zelda (please be cell-shaded again, anime cell-shaded, an adult manga cell-shaded Link...now that would be bad-ass!)
Ditto 5 Dec 2006 19:47
9/10
OptimusP wrote:

It's the series where everyone in the whole bloody industry steals it ideas, gameplaymechanics and then some from.

And there's probably no series alive that tries to keep as fresh and innovative as the zelda-series with new items and their uses in gameplay


I have to say that even if this is the case the series is starting to feel a bit dated.

I loved Link to the Past, Awakening and Wind Waker. Wind Waker felt to me like a real 3D Link to the Past with humour and character, where as OoT didn't (plus WW refined the control mechanics quite a bit).

A couple of years ago I played through Seasons, and got bored half way through Ages. Recently I bought The Minish Cap and enjoyed the intro sequence but found it impossible to get immersed in - the game was far too similar to the previous ones even with the new items.

I'm hoping that TP will be excellent, and I am looking forward to playing it. However at the same time I'm expecting to be disappointed, especially when I enevitably compare it to the Wind Waker.
PistolPete 6 Dec 2006 13:53
10/10
I'm not exactly sure you arn't at least a little blinkered here, I mean The new Zelda seems to have taken inspiration from Shadow of the Colossus; the epic landscapes etc. I know Ocarnia was out before Shadow but the massive sprawling crevices and even the horse animation at times seems to draw from Shadow, rather than creating something entirely new. (The colour textures in Shadow are also rather bland at times, but it still looks amazing, and as far as I've viewed the landscape of Zelda, it could still learn more from Shadow.)

So there's one.

You can turn into a wolf in the new Zelda can't you? And in Okami, well you play a wolf, although admittingly more extensively (see: entirely) and elaborately.

And there's two. (sorry to only draw on ps2 comparisons here, I know how anti-Sony this site is..)

I'm sure there are more, and what you're claiming then; about Zelda re-defining the genre everytime may be incorrect, certainly Ocarnia was drawn heavely from, obviously, it was a benchmark as you said. But how many games drew from Metal Gear Solid, or Resident Evil? It's the ability to refresh what has been done (bringing it back to Shadow, there's a fair chance it may never have been made without the influence, and materially, the financial backing it recieved as a consequence of producers realising the potential in that market, due to the Zelda franchise. Yet, Shadow of the Colossus is like nothing you've ever played before or anything you'll ever play again.)

Ok, I'm rambling, but my point is this; there are a lot of games out there constantly re-defining the genre, and to claim that Zelda alone raises the bar - certainly they, at one time, set the bar - is to be completely ignorant of the influence they have sponged from everyone else along the way. But I don't know how many times I have to say this - there should be no shame in taking ideas from someone else, as long as you can create enough immersion and individuality among the characters and the world they interact with to fashion an altogether original experience. And that, my friend, is what Zelda constantly does.
Posting of new comments is now locked for this page.