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Developer:
Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Wii
Release Date: November 19, 2006

by Felipe Faria Lemos




The Legend of Zelda series needs no introduction, as the vast majority of gamers know it very well. Long-time fans of the series have waited patiently for 6 years for a realistic Zelda (since that technical demonstration video shown to the public during E3 back in 2000). Now, after such a long hiatus, such a title finally is among us, ready to be explored endlessly by the avid gamers.


The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess brings the look and feel of the classic series back to the Nintendo 64 days, being quite similar to Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. It is fairly clear that the producers knew the impact those two games had in the series, and Twilight Princess is far more analogous to OOT and MM than only in its graphics department. The in-game progress is so similar to Ocarina of Time in terms of how the dungeons are divided in two different sub-groups, it will become noticeable to die-hard Ocarina of Time fans. Obviously, this particularity will not be discussed in order to avoid any spoilers.


In the graphics department, even though Twilight Princess is still clearly a last-gen title, it looks amazing. Naturally, the player will not find any high-definition gaming frenzy here. Some of the textures are rather blurry, and they become noticeable during several moments of the game. Twilight Princess is a GameCube title, and it does not have any sort of upgrade truly noticeable on the Wii. With that said, the mood, art style and direction, map design, and amount of detail more than make up for the unimpressive graphic prowess. Perhaps the main difference between the Wii and GameCube versions is the mirroring caused in the Wii version in order to Link to become right-handed.


Graphics aside, what truly makes a game brilliant is its execution and feel. This is hands down the most impressive Zelda title ever published on any system. It surpasses all of its predecessors by large and far. It will move the true fans to tears in certain moments, and awe the newcomers.


Most players will probably find it extremely difficult to put the Wii Remote down after the title screen comes up. It grasps the player in such a way you will find yourself locking your legs together to resist the temptation to take a break and go to the restroom. The Wii version is blessed with motion-sensitive controls. To swing the sword, just shake the Wii remote; to shoot an arrow just point and release, and to hit with the shield, tilt the nunchuck to the front. This control scheme works beautifully and will never get players frustrated. The only thing missing here is that the sword swipe is not sensitive to the direction you swing the Wii remote in. For example, it does not matter if you swing the remote from right to left, up, or down, Link will still cut from left to right. It is a minor detail, but definitely would look good if it was truly sensitive to the motion directions.


In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Link is a simple wrangler in a small village, given a chance to visit the vast world of Hyrule for the first time in his life. Unfortunately, it is then that the Twilight Realm reaches the border of the province he lives in. When inside this dark curse, he is transformed in a wolf, and has to be helped by a mysterious character called Midna.


The story in Twilight Princess is lengthy and full of details. This time around, a mature plot finds its way into Zelda and characters really come alive with the amount of detail devoted to their importance in the overall happenings. Differently from Majora’s Mask (which was also directed by Eiji Aonuma), Twilight Princess does not have the sense of impending doom, but, rather, the feeling of a slow-paced sadness creeps and envelopes the world little by little.


The sound in Twilight Princess is a work of art. Koji Kondo has done it again, and has created one of the most beautiful soundtracks in any game. It is a bit disappointing that the songs are still in a MIDI format, and real instruments or a complete orchestra (featured in several trailers) are nowhere to be found. Also, the complete absence of voice work in the dialogs (except for a few sound effects) is still one of the main letdowns in the sound department.


The lasting appeal of Twilight Princess is one of its main selling points. It is immense. Averaging around 50 hours (only for the main quest), it will keep players busy for a long time. There are a so many different side quests (and all of them are interesting!), it should prolong the game for another 50 hours. There are a couple of differences in Twilight Princess when compared to the other games in the series. To complete another heart container, the player now needs to find five pieces instead of the regular four. Also, a gameplay total time counter has been added to the file select screen.


At the end of the day, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will satisfy the most avid of the fans, and leave you wanting more. Although it is a very large game, chances are most of us will play it so much that it will seem like 5 hours instead of 50. It is a sad fact that such good games have to have an end, and leave all of us waiting eagerly for the next chance to control Link in another of his wonderful adventures.


Final Grade: 98%


Note from the reviewer: Do yourself a favor and play it on your own. Using guides will just detract from the true Zelda experience.




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