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Legend of Zelda - Twilight Princess Review

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hey-listen dept.


In talking about perfection in games, there are very few names that deserve that kind of accolade. If the business situation demands it, once great titles may need to be compromised in the name of the bottom line. Even great gaming franchises experience bumps in the road or unexpected problems. Many players considered Wind Waker a letdown; too much ocean, not enough story. Now that Link is back on dry land, he has found his feet again. The Legend of Zelda is gaming at its pure best. Created by a man who enjoyed walking in the woods and exploring the caves near his childhood home, Zelda captures the fun, the excitement, the danger that every game dreams of delivering. For most gamers, the adventures of Link and the story of Zelda have never failed to deliver. The latest chapter in the cyclic Legend, Twilight Princess, had the fate of not only Hyrule but a brand-new gaming platform resting on its shoulders. It has - almost unreasonably well - borne up under the pressure. Link saves himself and the princess from the darkness of evil, and the Wii from the darkness of financial misfortune. Read on for my impressions of the latest chapter in gaming's greatest dynasty - The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

  • Title: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
  • Publisher/Developer: Nintendo
  • System: Wii (GameCube)
When I was trying to think about what I enjoyed the most about this game, what I came up with surprised me. It's not the amazing controls. It's not the story, or the realistic graphics, the sound design or the dungeon puzzles. It's the fact that, for the first six hours or so of the game you think it's 'just' going to be another Zelda game. Twilight Princess opens with some fairly standard elements. Elfin boy, lives in the forest, helps his neighbors, yadda yadda, bad thing happens, boy is the guy fortold in legend, etc, etc, oh he's a wolf that's neat, kill the bad guys, yeah, yeah. It's not bad, to be sure. It's ... well, it's Ocarina of Time. You're moving around, doing puzzles, advancing the plot, and enjoying the control scheme. If the first several hours of the game were indicative of the overall experience, I would have walked away satisfied but not overly impressed.

They go by fairly quickly during this extended introduction period, but there are hints of the differences to come early in the game. The twilight creature Midna, who sort of 'adopts' Link in his wolfen form, is unusually cynical for a Zelda title. She has an honestly funny sense of humor, and seems to delight in manipulating events towards some goal we're not privvy to. Zelda herself is distant and remorseful, the art style of the twilight world is very distinctive - the game has a serious tone from the get-go.

What begins to happen, as you pass beyond the introductory period and move into the game proper, is that you stop crawling. You start running. After the long tutorial, your legs stretch out and before you know it you're looking around at a game that demands your continued movement. The element that shifts Twilight Princess beyond Ocarina is the sheer momentum that the game builds as it hurtles forward through the story. There's so much to see, so much to do, that the game stops being 'another Zelda' and becomes Zelda in its purest form. There are references throughout the game to other chapters in the series, and you begin to realize that you aren't just playing some schmo here: you are playing with the Hero of Legend.

The gravitas which sinks that idea in is echoed in every element of the game. Link isn't the hero foretold by the marketing department when they dreamed up this game's ad campaign. Link is a hero, and you know it. You've been there, in other times and other places, helping other Links to complete the quests that made those Links into legends. When you pick up the boomerang, or the bow and arrow, it's not just another item upgrade. These are the tools of a hero, going all the way back to snagging that boomerang off of a dead moblin in the first dungeon of the very first game.

That may sound overly dramatic, but it's something that has to be experienced to be believed. The Wiimote control scheme is the first stepping stone. The fear Zelda fans expressed when it was announced you were going to have to waggle to swing your sword was palpable. They needn't have worried; holding your hands apart in your lap, destroying your enemies with a quick flick of the wrist, is the most natural thing in the world. Most impressively, you'll even find there are a few 'Wii Sports' moments in the game. There is no in-game need for you to do a completely elaborate overhand slash into the boss's weak point ... but it's a hell of a lot of fun. The control scheme turns the spin attack into a regular part of your routine, too. With no need for charging up, a simple gesture with your nunchuck hand sends mobs of enemies to their doom.

The controls fit seamlessly with other traditional Zelda elements, as well. Complex themed dungeons and brain-breaking puzzles litter the game. Each holds not only the simple pleasures of tackling room after room of enemies and traps, but pits you against a mini-boss and a end-boss for each labyrinth. The bosses further the game's seriousness, pitting you against devious creatures which require unique strategies to put down. Likewise, puzzles are likely to force you to utilize every tool you've been taught and every item you've been given to overcome them. Even if you have to spend twenty or thirty minutes staring at one puzzle element, you'll always get it eventually. Twilight Princess has no cheap tricks or unfair moments; solving a puzzle is always a cause for celebration, not for throwing your Wiimote.

It's the Wiimote, of course, that makes these bosses and puzzles work so well. Aiming for targets with the boomerang or bow and arrows is just a matter of pointing. Because all of the buttons (A, B, C, Z) are so close together, and so distinctly placed on the two parts of the controller, performing quick presses with any of them is just a matter of reacting. There's never a need to think 'Which one is B, now?' You just know.

The slow buildup at the start of the game is what makes that possible. Your thorough grounding in the 'basics of Twilight Princess' leaves you well-prepared for the unpredictability of the later portions of the game. You'll bounce back and forth between light and darkness, freeing portions of Hyrule as a wolf, and then returning to the light to exterminate the twilight beasts with your sword and shield. In the twilight realm, Midna rides atop your furry back, while in the light she hides within your own shadow. In both realms, she offers advice whenever she feels it's appropriate, as well as hints as to what to do next. Once you've begun defeating shadow creatures, she'll offer you teleportation services across Hyrule as well. It's a truly great experience, to have the option to bop across Hyrule or make your way via more conventional means.

The game's teleportation service, and the availability of Link's horse Epona throughout the majority of the storyline are just more pieces of the well-made path the designers have laid down: Even though this title is in the neighborhood of 70 hours of content, there are no wasted moments. As good as Final Fantasy XII is, the need to grind levels means that some portions of your quest are, ultimately, forgettable. Twilight Princess is just the opposite. You'll never find yourself unable to do something you shouldn't be able to. Traveling between dungeons, you'll find hidden niches of goodies, new heart containers, even mini-dungeons that make you suspect every boulder and bush of containing an unseen realm. If you see something you can't reach you can move on without frustration; you'll get back to it eventually.

Whatever that unattainable object is, chances are you can see it from quite a ways away. Despite the (relatively) underpowered nature of the Wii, Twilight Princess is a very, very beautiful game. To an eye used to the slickness of the 360 or PS3, some portions of the games textures can certainly appear muddy and dull. The difference in image quality between AV cables and component cables is also quite striking; unartistically abstract portions of the game pop to life with the increase in visual quality. What the game lacks in graphical power, though, is more than made up for by the sheer amount and precision of the graphics. Zelda's huge environment is lovingly laid out, with every portion of the world having received careful attention. Places like Hyrule Castle, Death Mountain, and Kakariko Village are instantly recognizable, but look quite different from previous incarnations. The game's audio needs no qualifiers. I've been a fan of the music in Zelda games since the original 8-bit theme kept me up at night. This title's score is equal parts tradition and originality. The twilight realm, especially, moves the horizon of the game's musical landscape. Twisted, vaguely mechanical sounds are now a part of the instrumental selections, and the game's use of music to build mood is carefully laid down. Both visually and auditorally, Twilight Princess is a feast.

The game is not flawless, of course. If you don't like adventure games, or the Zelda series, there is nothing here that will change your perspective. Likewise, while I don't think the extreme visual style of Wind Waker would have been appropriate here, I wouldn't have objected to some slightly more stylized graphical elements. Titles like Okami and Final Fantasy XII have proven what you can get out of an aging console if you focus on style over realism; it might have been interesting to see what such a marriage could reap with a Zelda title.

These are minor, minor quibbles. Zelda is nothing less that the most precisely crafted adventure game of the last several years. Twilight Princess may be the finest adventure game ever made, for the simple reason than it encompasses the entire possibility range that the genre offers. Every single gameplay element you could think to see in an adventure game is here, and many novel and interesting new pieces besides. As you move forward through the game you're constantly challenged with new ideas, new items, new puzzles, new gameplay elements; what you are actually doing within the game never stands still. If boredom can be defined as repetition, you will be hard pressed to point at any section of the title and call it boring.

The path the designers have laid down leads from the last generation to the next. They've built this game on series traditions, and fitted the stones into place with the tools of their 'new gen' console. The highest praise I can think to give to a game is to say that it is fun. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an awful, awful lot of fun. Not only is it a reason to buy a Wii, it's proof that despite all of our doubts, despite the fears that they'd gone crazy-nutso with this 'waggling' thing, they really know what they're doing. Truly, perhaps, the best part of this whole scenario is the date on the calendar. This was a launch title. If they can so finely craft the entertainment experience of a Wii title this early in the console's life, one can only hope that future titles will be able to build on the lessons of Twilight Princess. Zelda won't be the best game on the system. Down the line, I look foward to more memorable, physically involving, and deeply moving experiences on Nintendo's little white box.

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Any Gamecube reviews? (5, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150790)

Has anyone reviewed the gamecube version? I realize that the wii is the more inexpensive of the new consoles, but it is still outside my price range. I'm interested in hearing how the game is without all the waving and what not. Will this be like having a 3-d movie but no glasses for those of us still on the cube?

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (4, Informative)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150852)

The GameCube version doesn't come out until Wednesday or so. My guess is they didn't want it cannibalizing into Wii sales. Personally, I'll probably be getting the GCN version simply because I can't find a Wii to play on.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150984)

because I can't find a Wii to play on.

Chuckle.. heheh.. sorry..

Anyways Nintendo has been shipping out a new batch of Wii's almost every week. You might have to wait till after Christmas, but you might not either. The local stores that are carrying it have been getting used to this, and can generally by now tell you when they expect their next shipment in.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

TheJorge (713680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151292)

I've heard from a number of stores (this may be regional to the Houston area) that there's a big shipment scheduled for December 18th. I was mostly asking about Wiimotes after mine was hurled into a brick wall during some tennis, but I understood this day to be a big one for all the Wii stuff (consoles and games included)

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

tarlos25 (1036572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150868)

The GameCube version will be out on the 12th. I'll personally be waiting until I can afford the Wii and get it then.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (2)

mqduck (232646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150952)

The GameCube version will be out on the 12th. I'll personally be waiting until I can afford the Wii and get it then.

Me, I'm a computer gamer. I spend lots of money on great PC hardware. However, there are always a few console games I really want to play. Wind Waker and the Resident Evil remakes are two of them. My plan? Wait until the Wii is out (which it is now, apparently) and buy a Gamecube on eBay. Why not? If I cared about the bestest graphics for my console, I wouldn't be buying a Nintendo anyway.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (2, Informative)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151436)

why not just get the Wii? It plays GC game natively...

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151758)

My point was the price. I'd rather spend hundreds of dollars on more RAM.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151076)

Afford, and find, a Wii you mean?

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (5, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150870)

I'm interested in hearing how the game is without all the waving and what not. Will this be like having a 3-d movie but no glasses for those of us still on the cube?

Twilight Princess was originally developed for the cube, then ported to the Wii late in development. So it's likely that the controls will not feel unnatural to anyone who's played Ocarina of Time.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151410)

Twilight Princess was originally developed for the cube, then ported to the Wii late in development. So it's likely that the controls will not feel unnatural to anyone who's played Ocarina of Time.

Ocarina of Time is at least a seven year old N64 game, not a gamecube game.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151638)

Ocarina of Time is at least a seven year old N64 game, not a gamecube game.

Twilight Princess is more of a direct descendent of OoT than of Wind Waker. While those who played Wind Waker loved the game, it was met with some rather critical reactions from Zelda fans. So Nintendo went back to the tried and true formula established in OoT to produce a new, yet traditional Zelda for the Gamecube. Unfortunately, development took a LONG time. (A couple of years, in fact.) By the time they were ready to release, they decided to just delay the game and release it for the Wii.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151728)

I think he meant "A Link to the Past" wait!

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17150888)

The game would have to be released. Or have been made available to reviewers somehow.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150994)

and don't they normally do that? i saw reviews for this on the wii before the wii was out.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

matt328 (916281) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151004)

I'll be playing this one on the cube as well, and as long as the differences are limited to the control system, I think we'll be ok. We threw the boomerang, flung arrows, and fished just fine with a controller in Ocarina, this one shouldn't be any different. I just really hope they don't try to use the Gamecube version to try to sell me a Wii.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

cmdrbuzz (681767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151386)

From what I read on Iwata asks [] , the Gamecube version is a mirror image of the Wii version, so that the sword is held in the right hand for Wii. Other than that they are the same game.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151096)

It'll be the best looking cube game or a good looking wii game (I hope). either way it will look good.

Gameplay is about the same, the only difference is how you move the aiming reticule, and how you attack (press a button, wiggle the controller)

All in all it's the same review, and easily worth the price. I say that with out playing the cube game, but knowing it's a faithful port.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (4, Informative)

Zonk (12082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151190)

1up doesn't have its GameCube review up yet, but there is a fairly extensive preview [] of the game on that system.

I honestly can't imagine playing it without the Wiimote, though. Slashy slashy!

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151746)

thanks - pretty sweet.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (1)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151290)

The Gamecube version hasn't been released's due to come out on the 12th of this month in the US. However, that said...some things are known about it. The GC version has a more traditional control scheme. I've played the Wii version, and using the Wii-mote to swing the sword works really well. The sword swings are not 1:1 though...basically moving the Wii-mote in any direction just equates to a button press...this will work just as well using a button on the GC controller. However, the spin attack and shield bash are done using the nunchuck's accelerometer, and these moves are terribly unresponsive. You're supposed to shake the nunchuck back and forth (or spin it) to get the spin attack, and jab it forward to do the shield bash. However, it seems that 90% of the time I try to shield bash Link just does a spin attack instead. You have to jab it forward really slowly, to the point of it being unnatural. If you try to shield bash in the heat of battle (without thinking about it), you'll almost always do a spin attack instead. It's not the nunchuck's fault...the accelerometer is used to great effect in the fishing parts of the game, it works REALLY well, this game has the best fishing controls I've ever used. I'm not sure why the game has so much trouble differentiating between the spin attack and shield bash. The GC controls are known...they're listed in the Wii strategy guide...hold B to spin attack, hit R while locked on to shield bash. To that end, I think that swordfighting and controlling Link in general will be better on the GC (shield bash/spin attack), but fishing is better on the Wii. The graphics are identical in both versions. They did not enhance the graphics for the Wii's a Gamecube game through and through. However, they did remove free camera from the Wii version (the GC version has free camera)...they added 16:9 anamorphic support to replace it, which is nice. Both versions support 480p. Also, they literally mirrored the entire game on the Wii, east is west and vice versa (they edited text also, changing references to west to east) to make Link right handed. This will make the geography very confusing to anyone who's played Ocarina of Time (what the map is based on). I'm personally going to play both versions, though I think I'll prefer the GC version (fishing excepted) for the reasons above.

Re:Any Gamecube reviews? (2, Informative)

Morgon (27979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151466)

Actually, I initially had problems with the shield bash, as well... however, I eventually learned (by chance) that it's the same as Wii Sports - It's not just what you do, but *how* you do it.

For example, I was having terrible trouble putting in the golf portion of Wii Sports. My stepfather (a non-gamer, but a golfer), noticed how I was trying to use the same motion for driving as I was for putting. The Wii seems to be more contextually aware than you would think.

In any case, digression aside, I found that it was more eager to register a shield bash if I actually acted like I was holding a shield. That is, hand grasping the nunchuck in a vertical position, like a shield handle. (Spatially, you'll be tilting the nunchuck back - analog stick pointed towards you instead of 'on top' as you would in normal handling).. Give that shot.

Another one! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17150830)

Who'd have thought? Another glowing review, full of hype and bias, completely ignoring any negatives aside from "if you don't like this type of game, you might not like this game." Are we still 10 years old? Must we completely polarize EVERYTHING?

Honestly, "developed by someone who walked in the woods" or whatever tells us NOTHING about this game, and only a little bit about your penchant for wood. If you can't swim, don't jump in the water. If you can't even ATTEMPT to be objective, please don't post reviews!

Re:Another one! (1)

CarnivoreMan (827905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150944)

Every sentence of a review needs to provide information directly relating to the game? I enjoy a little background information. It helps explain why things are they way they are.

Re:Another one! (0, Flamebait)

dlc3007 (570880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151122)

You really need to get laid. Maybe you'd relax more then.
Good luck with that.

Re:Another one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151218)

Haha, that's cute. No, I don't -- and a little bit of insight: Only people who can't get any themselves make that particular comment. So go fuck yourself; it might help.

Re:Another one! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151214)

Shut. Up.

Re:Another one! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151344)

"developed by someone who walked in the woods" or whatever tells us NOTHING about this game

Yes it does... it says Miyamoto.... that tells a lot

-- rev. layle

Anyone know... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17150840) old Zonk is?

Probably erroneously, I just assume all Slashdot editors are adults, but it seems odd to me for a full grown man to be such a raving fanboi of a particular gaming system. His writing style also reeks of grade school. I didn't even get though the first sentence of this thing before becoming confused by mismatched tenses, discombobulated meanings, and the odor of spoiled milk.

Re:Grandma's boy (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150980)

I always imagined him as the guy in Grandma's boy that lives with his parents and has the car bed.

Re:Grandma's boy (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151446)

I always imagined him as the guy in Grandma's boy that lives with his parents and has the car bed.

lol, all I can think of is...

"Oh Laura... Laura..."
Mom walks in: "Honey, what are you..."
"I cannot stop! I'm sorry, I can't stop!"

If you haven't seen this film, and you're a gamer, I recommend you see it (if you like screw ball comedies of the flavor of National Lampoons).


Re:Grandma's boy (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151450)

Zonk is married, so unless it was an arranged marriage...

Re:Anyone know... (1)

jspectre (102549) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151360)

roar! if we don't agree with someone's views let's rip him to shreds.

chill out guy. it's a video game review! you don't like it, move on!

Finals Suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17150880)

If it weren't for finals I would have beaten the thing by now. Oh well, only about 30 pages left to write and then I can finish the damn wonderful thing.

All said and done... (3, Interesting)

casualsax3 (875131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150892)

... I think I liked Okami better. []

I thought Zelda was *very* good, but I think the controls turned out a bit... awkward, for lack of a better word. I think they worked quite well, but it never felt really natural. Also, it's honestly time for some voice acting Zelda. All in all a fantastic game though!

Re:All said and done... (4, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151044)

Why is it time for voice acting?

Text works perfectly fine and you don't have to deal with crappy dubbing as it crosses the ocean. Just use your imagination and you have all the voice acting you want.

Re:All said and done... (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151168)

I agree. I actually am glad I don't have to hear more craptacular voice acting. The way they did it, conveys the emotions without overwhelming you with boring dialog that you'd just end up skipping anyways.

Re:All said and done... (2, Insightful)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151766)

I agree. I actually am glad I don't have to hear more craptacular voice acting.

They'd also have to come up with some dialogue for Link on the first place. He never says anything - we just fill it in. They'd have to do a spectacular job of that, and it would have to be better than anything the player could have imagined Link saying. It's a tall order.

Re:All said and done... (3, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151334)

Because Shodan wouldn't be nearly as creepy nor is Irenicus nearly as cold-blooded if they were just text. Bad voice acting can ruin a game, but it's no reason to not even try.

But this is an adventure gaming genre where "Magic sword east. Good luck!" tends to be considered the height of exposition. So the bar isn't particularly high after all.

Re:All said and done... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151442)

Dubbing? Who the hell said anything about dubbing, you heretic? Foreign games should NEVER be dubbed. Subtitles are the only way to do it right.

Re:All said and done... (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151120)

Okami is one of the main reasons I will be buying a PS2 some time afet I buy my Wii.

Re:All said and done... (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151380)

Okami is one of the main reasons I will be buying a PS2 some time afet I buy my Wii.

Guitar Hero I/II and God of War should be your other 2 reasons to buy a PS2. =)


Re:All said and done... (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151554)

You misspelled Shadows of the Colossus. ;)

Re:All said and done... (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151668)

my god! you must be a mind reader! Go get that million dollar reward, as those are exactly the reasons why! (hehehe)

Yup, lots of awsome games on the PS2, and that is ignoring the new ones!

Re:All said and done... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151208)

ugh I hope they never have voice acting in Zelda. Maybe i'm old or something but voice acting bothers me in all games. I wish more games would handle it the way Zelda does. When they added voice acting to FF it made me stop playing them.

Re:All said and done... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151504)

No, voice acting in games is terrible. It's the reason I had to play "Skies of Arcadia" with the TV set to "mute".

Re:All said and done... (1)

El Gigante de Justic (994299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151642)

Voice acting was done for a couple of Zelda games, and they are now hidden in a closet somewhere because they were so terribly bad (they were released for Phillips CD-i in the early 90s, had terrible animation and horrendous voice acting and dialogue).

In my opinion, voice-acting should never be added to a Zelda game, or at the very least, it should never be done for Link, because it will be impossible to find a voice that pleases everyone (or possibly anyone). Link never has any lines anyway, and part of the charm is that while he does have a voice (when fighting, etc) we can maybe imagine how he sounds talking without actually hearing it. I could maybe see giving Ganon a voice, but it's not really necessary.

Wind Waker did include the typical minimal voice acting, and it was done to hilarious effect, especially with the little Battleship mini-game where the guy running the shop would yell "SPLOOSH" or "KA-BOOOOM"

Where is this even being sold? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17150894)

Where is this game even widely available? Amazon sells it, but only through their third-party sellers [] ; they don't have any in stock themselves, though oddly the release date is listed as the middle of November. And that's only the Wii version, the Gamecube version isn't even in site. How did Zonk get his hands on a copy?

Re:Where is this even being sold? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151090)

He probably bought it when he bought his Wii by waiting in line. Right now the Buy it Now auctions on Ebay for Zelda are about $60-$65. Which isn't much more than the game itself.

Re:Where is this even being sold? (1)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151270)

They have them piled up on the shelves at the local Best Buy. Of course, you'll need to find the actual hardware at some other outlet.

I agree (1)

dlc3007 (570880) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150906)

I have to say that I agree with your opinion of this game. When I first purchased my Wii, this was the one additional game that I purchased and I've been very pleased. Fortunately, my wife isn't interested in adventure games -- or else we'd be fighting over game time.

wow (1)

treak007 (985345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150910)

I have always been a huge Zelda fan, but I wasn't sure if I could justify purchasing the wii just for twilight princess. Now I'll have to rethink that decision.

Re:wow (1)

operato (782224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151128)

it's on gamecube too

Re:wow (1)

treak007 (985345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151210)

Yeah, my decision also relies on the reviews of the gamecube version. But I have a feeling that it's not going to be as good as the wii version.

Re:wow (1)

operato (782224) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151254)

they're practically the same bar the controls

Re:wow (1)

treak007 (985345) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151350)

True. But also controls can make a difference between an intuitive game and a terrible game.

wow (1)

jrwr00 (1035020) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150936)

thank god i know I'm getting the game cube version this Christmas

What about the GC version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17150940)

Wiis are sold out every where and the only reason I really want one is to play Zelda. The GC version comes out this weekend should I just go ahead and get it or will I regret not having the Wii version?

480 resolution? (3, Interesting)

Leto-II (1509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150990)

Where are these high-res (relatively speaking) images coming from, since the Wii only produces 480p?

Re:480 resolution? (4, Interesting)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151064)

These images look _remarkably_ like the screenshots that have been floating around for months - screenshots that look _far_ nicer than the in-game screenshots taken by other reviews.

How about snapping your own, Zonk? Or at least making note that Nintendo basically handed these out?

Re:480 resolution? (0, Offtopic)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151356)

Don't you know? Just about every game review is already canned and shipped to the "reviewer" when they receive their version of the game. At least that's my conspiracy theory on it. Dispute it if you will, but read some of the reviews from different sites and you'll think they cut and paste the text from somewhere and changed a few words here and there.

Re:480 resolution? (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151632)

That's one theory. The other is that game reviewers have similar tastes, and are playing the same game, so it follows that their reviews would be similar.

Re:480 resolution? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151892)

I think Pic #1 and #4 look authentic for the resolution. The rest ... don't.

Re:480 resolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151136)

He said, high-res, not high def.

480: 720 x 480 pixels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151384)

480p means 720 horizontal x 480 vertical pixels.

That's what those shots look like to me, whether or not Zonk actually took them.

Re:480 resolution? (1)

Tadrith (557354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151390)

I was thinking the same thing, actually. I mean, I know things look less pixelated on my computer screen because I'm not stretching the image to fit my television's resolution, but still.

To be completely honest, The Twilight Princess is an ugly game. Before you flame me -- I loved the game. Dearly. It's one of the best games I've ever played, and certainly one of the best in the entire series. The artists responsible for all of the game's graphics did a fantastic job. The problem, for the most part, is that it just doesn't get along very well with low resolutions. It's almost as if the game was designed with a higher resolution in mind and then pushed back to what it is now.

I have the component cables for my Wii. They do make a huge difference, and every game so far - Excite Truck, even Wii Sports, looks a great deal better in 480p on my television set. I understand a lot of it is the television, and I don't have the best LCD TV in the world, but those games looked pretty good even in 480i. Zelda appears to be very blurry in 480i as compared to the other games, and in 480p the blur goes away and starts to look like a mishmash of pixels. It isn't so bad close up, but things in the distance begin to get very ugly. From a layman's perspective, it seems like everything in Zelda was rendered in high detail intended for higher resolutions and now looks worse because it is being compressed into a lower resolution.

But again, don't get me wrong, the game was fantastic. I will undoubtedly play through it again. I just wish Nintendo had given it a bit more TLC, especially after having been delayed for so long. Graphics are not everything, and a good game can overcome virtually any graphical problems provided it has a solid plot and gameplate, but they aren't something to be completely disregarded, either. There is a reason why everyone drools over finely done CG, and well done graphics make it easier to immerse yourself in the story.

This just confirms my suspcions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17150992)

...that this douchelord [] didn't play the game for more than a few hours before tapping out his poorly-written abortion of a review. Dear DigiNews: I wouldn't trust Daniel "monk" Pelfrey to review the steam off my piss.

Weirdest Wii attachments (5, Interesting)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17150998)

Am I the only one with visions of attachments like these [] developing to the extreme. The sex industry only has to copy THX-1138 and make millions!

Re:Weirdest Wii attachments (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151068)

Ok, that just owns.

That being said, there are already games announced/in development with ideas of such attachments. Since the Wiimote itself can do most of the things one might need, you just need the attachment to make it more immersive, thus making said attachments incredibly cheap (as opposed to, let say, Light Gun games of old that required a full fledged light gun to be bundled in in many cases, etc).

So expect to see them semi-frequently.

Nice work (1)

nicolastheadept (930317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151006)

Well done, Zonk. A most excellent review: one of the best I've read for anything

Re:Nice work (1)

grikdog (697841) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151306)

Yup, ditto. I almost bought a Wii after reading this. We'll see how the GC version does.

So I don't "exactly" control the sword? (5, Insightful)

donut1005 (982510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151018)

I posted this in the Two Weeks of Wii thread, but this seems more appropriate here.

I'll admit. If I look in the mirror I might just see a Nintendo flavored Kool-Aid mustache.


I am all for the new innovation the Wiimote offers, but after playing Zelda TP for about 20 hours, I really don't think its integration with the Wii is anything special. I understand it was originally a GameCube game, but even as great as the game is, I think it still is a GameCube game for the Wii. Where with Wii Sports the movements of the players mimic what you do, with Zelda you just shake the Wiimote when you want Link to strike with his sword. I noticed in the E3 vids showing gameplay of Mario Galaxy (or whatever its called) you shake the Wiimote to do a superwarp or superjump. That struck me as weird, like it wasn't an instinctive motion. Why can't you just map that to a button? Did you need to put the motion sensitivity in there somewhere so sword equals jiggle the Wiimote, THERE YOU GO? If the motion can be replaced by a button, I don't see it causing excitement. I see a lot of developers thinking "How can we incorporate the wiggle?" I hope soon enough they figure out how this new interface really works. Hopefully Trauma Center and Elebits can be used for a future template on why there is motion sensitivity in the first place!

Re:So I don't "exactly" control the sword? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151186)

Perhaps you haven't gotten far enough in the game (but in 20 hours you certainly must have?)... Once you get any of the items, such as the fishing pole, slingshot, bow&arrow, grappling hook, etc., the value add of the point&click should be obvious. To aim the bow&arrow, I certainly prefer the very instinctive pointing rather than trying to move the joystick and so on. Same of course goes for grabbling hook and the boomerang, etc.

Re:So I don't "exactly" control the sword? (4, Interesting)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151240)

Some elements of TP really do use the motion sensing to good effect, I think. The aiming of the slingshot, bow, and grapple are not that interesting, since the same thing can be accomplished using the analog stick. But Link's shield attack is invoked by jabbing the nunchuk, which is pretty intuitive, and the stab is done by stabbing with the Wiimote. And you reel in your fish by reeling on the nunchuk. Overall I thought the control scheme was pretty good.

But I still think the best part of the Wii controller is that I can use what amounts to a Gamecube controller cut in half. I don't have to sit with my hands cramped together.

auditorally? maybe you meant auditorily? (0, Offtopic)

Afecks (899057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151032)

Try aurally. []

it's ok but... (1)

BlackIcejane (1004346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151042)

I'm still playing the game and I like it cus it's Zelda but I there are somethings I do hate like the direction they give you on screen for the controls are kinda veg and hard to understand sometimes.

The worst example of this is the scene where you joust a guy and 2 second before you hit the controls of what you are supposed to do pop up and then you get hit and die.

That and the game over screen takes to long to let you get back in.

Talk about doing the impossible... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151092)

"You'll never find yourself unable to do something you shouldn't be able to."

English, mother****er. Do you speak it?

Re:Talk about doing the impossible... (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151690)

So a double negative isn't English?

Preferable? No. English? Yes.

Whatever Nintendo does they'll always be bashed... (3, Interesting)

Hackie_Chan (678203) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151106)

The game is not flawless, of course....I don't think the extreme visual style of Wind Waker would have been appropriate here, I wouldn't have objected to some slightly more stylized graphical elements. Titles like Okami and Final Fantasy XII have proven what you can get out of an aging console if you focus on style over realism; it might have been interesting to see what such a marriage could reap with a Zelda title.

Wow. You're not the first one to say that. It's funny how Nintendo were completely lambasted for making the Wind Maker cell shaded so they decided to take Twilight Princess in the art direction that the fans wanted. And now they're criticized to making the game too dark and gritty?

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Re:Whatever Nintendo does they'll always be bashed (3, Interesting)

Zonk (12082) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151256)

I actually *loved* Wind Waker's look. What I didn't like was that it was rushed out the door to meet with the demands of Nintendo's corporate strategy. It (almost) felt like the over-compensated with Twilight Princess. Wind Waker is short, and kind of spartan, while Twilight Princess is just *so much game* that it can feel a little overwhelming at parts.

As for Princess's look, I just think that the art style they used in the twilight realm was infinitely more interesting than the off-the-shelf fantasy feel of the light world. I'm like most gamers: I like seeing new stuff. More newness in the visual style would have just been even more icing on an already delicious cake.

TP not as fun as OOC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151222)

I don't own a GameCube, so I never played WindWaker. I played OOT and Majora's Mask for N64. I didn't like Majora's Mask very much, but I loved OOT. Best Zelda game I've played.

I got a Wii and TP on launch day, and I've been playing with it ever since. There are a lot of things I like better in TP than OOC, but there are a lot of things I hate about TP. I love how the Poes look and behave, and the zombies (can't think of actual name right now) models look amazing. I love the new graphics too.

But what I don't like is how you have to use grass to call Epona (and only in certain places are there grass). I hate howling songs because it sounds unbelivably stupid. What I miss from OOT is Navi. She would help you and give you information about any boss you fight. They tried to replace her somewhat with Midna, but she was nowhere nearly as helpful as Navi. Also, the `zombies' in OOC were one of the hardest mobs to fight... in TP, they are actually really easy.

My main gripes with TP is that they make the bosses too. Fucking. Easy. And they make everything else much harder to figure out/do. I think I've only had to redo a boss once (used fairies a few times, though ;).

Overall, I liked the game, but I didn't think it was nearly as fun to play as OOC. I think they spent too much time making TP look beautiful than to think about the little things that would have made it a truly awesome game.

Just my 2 cents, YMMV, yadda yadda.

A Good Read Zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151234)

Your reviews are well written and thorough, and you seem to have a long history of console gaming experience to tap into.

And from what I gather, you kinda maybe like the Wii ;)

Re:A Good Read Zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151300)

Well written???! How about that line about never being unable to do something you shouldn't be able to do? THOROUGH!?? Where does he list these 'minor, minor' (p.s. only need one minor to get your point across, zonk) errors? Where does he discuss loading times, screen resolution, difficulty, etc?


Veers away from classic Zelda (1)

jdooley (413211) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151276)

I purchased this game along with my Wii. Having played most of the previous Zelda games (NESx2, Link to the Past, Link's Awakening, OoT, Seasons, Ages, Minish Cap, Wind Waker), I have a certain idea of what I expect in a Zelda game versus say Final Fantasy games. I am currently 9 hours in to Z:TP and have been sorely disappointed. Never before has Zelda included required+very difficult mini-games (sumo training, jousting, sumo match, etc). While I enjoy the main game, and the control scheme is pretty intuitive, these mini-games make me feel like I'm playing something other than Zelda.

The Zelda scheme has always been get item, use new item to beat dungeon, use new item to get to next dungeon, repeat. All sidequests/mini-games have been optional. That's what puts all the past Zelda's in the 'epic adventure' category of games. Z:TP falls in to the classic RPG category. While both are enjoyable, they should not be confused and Nintendo should not have moved Z:TP from epic adventure to RPG.

(@&*%^ Zonk (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151312)

All you're doing is selling more Wiis to people who are not me. This does me no good at all. I've been holding off on this Zelda thing until I felt confident that the series had some staying power, and I was just about ready to pick one up. Well... thanks a lot, you selfish jerk!

Contrary... (1)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151316)

I have to disagree with some of what's been said. Firstly, and perhaps more importantly, I have NEVER been a fan of ANY Zelda game, and it is Twilight Princess that's the one game that's totally turned me around on the land of Hyrule.

Yes, Zelda games have already had beautifully composed music, and Twilight is no exception. But it was about damn time Nintendo grew up and abandoned it's AWFUL MIDI-esque synthesizers and recorded some orchestral audio. Very bad form Nintendo, this game deserved better instruments.

Regardless of whether or not this was to be a GameCube game first, the WiiMote is a totally natural way to play this game and I think it's essential to the way I've experienced the game.

This IS Zelda at it's most distilled and finest, and I finally feel like a part of the genre which so many enjoy but which I myself have had trouble adopting.

Re:Contrary... (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151708)

You're 100% correct about MIDI. In this day and age it's a reasonable expectation that a 50-hour AAA title on a next-gen console will not have 80KB worth of soundtrack.

Summary? (1)

kwieland in stl (830615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151320)

Anyone else notice the summary was about half the article? So much for snippets...

Can you imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17151352)

... what people would say if Resistance: Fall of Man for the PS3 was basically a PS2 game with some Sixaxis support? Sony would be skinned alive. Yet the Nintendo's premium launch title is basically a Gamecube game with some motion sensing strapped onto the side. Meanwhile, they're artificially sitting on the GC release in case anybody finds out that it plays almost identically on a console costing 1/2 the price. I'm sure Zelda is very good game for other reasons, but it is interesting to note the double standards at work here.

Creativity from Japan is amazing... (1, Interesting)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151366)

Americans are supposed to be leaders in creativeness and innovation but some of the recent products, like the wii or the Prius, from Japan are simply amazing. The Nintendo Wii is an extremely creative and innovative product. By comparison, the xbox 360 (from an allegedly free-to-innovate american company) already looks like a dinosaur.

Most gamers, maybe... (3, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151408)

"For most gamers, the adventures of Link and the story of Zelda have never failed to deliver."

Only because most gamers were spared the horror of playing one of the two CD-i Zelda games. I picked up a refurb CD-i dirt cheap for the time ($100 w/the MPEG cart) for the 7th Guest and decided to try out the Mask of Gamelion (sp?) while I was at it. Not only was that easily the worst game I've ever played (and I've played ET for the 2600), I was dumb enough to pay $35 for it. That is one scenario where the "adventures of Link and the story of Zelda" SERIOUSLY failed to deliver.

Re:Most gamers, maybe... (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151654)

How's 7th Guest on CDI? Does the MPEG hardware make the video any more attractive than the PC version? How is the game controlled? How many discs is it on?

Another Glowing Review *shock* (2, Informative)

PaulMorel (962396) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151512)

I have a Wii, I have Twilight Princess, but I am not a Zelda fanboy (I only played the first Zelda and Majora's Mask).

This game is good, but it is not the best game ever made. Period. All these fanboy reviews that say the game is the second coming are seriously blinded by the (Nintendo) label on the front. Furthermore, the main problems with it aren't the ones that all the fanboys talk about.

The main problems are these:
1. Awkward camera control. There are times when you get some awkward camera angles. I, for one, have stared at epona's ass through the entirety of more than one NPC conversation.
2. Awkward traditional controls. The new Wii controls work great, but the traditional control scheme can be clunky at times.
3. Sloooooooooow story. If you don't enjoy exposition, you won't like this game. The story is good ... in fact, it may be the best video game story this year, however, it develops at a snail's pace.
4. Poor graphics. The look of the game is awesome; the art design really hangs together. Nonetheless, some of the models have a very low poly count. Yeah, it's forgivable in a game with such a consistent art direction, but after playing RE4 on the cube, I have a hard time putting up with some of these models (like most of the terrain in the game).

None of these are huge issues, but they are issues. I would still give the game a 8/10, but anyone who argues that this game is the best game of the year is taking things too far.

GC and Wii (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151538)

Does the same version of the game play on both GC and Wii, or do you have to buy it twice as you upgrade your hardware?

Any differences in game play, aside from the new Wii controller?

Re:GC and Wii - Also, history in WW (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151610)

Also, do you miss any important history, or using new items, if you jump from Majora's Mask directly to TP, ignoring WW altogether?

Re:GC and Wii (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151800)

Wii can play GC discs. So if you get the GC version, you can play it on the Wii with a GC controller. (You just miss out on the Wiimote goodness)

Controls (2, Informative)

alphaseven (540122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151720)

I have a problem with how the controls work in that I feel they're inconsistent and overcomplicated. For instance there are three different sub-screens you can go to, one for your map and two different inventory screens. For the first inventory screen you press A to exit but the other inventory screen and map screen you press B to exit. The A button can attack with a sword but with a lantern it puts it out, you use B to swing a lantern. And to refill a lantern you have to go to one of the inventory screens, map a jar of lantern oil to the d-pad, exit the screen by pressing A (not B which is used to exit the other screens) then press the d-pad which usually swaps an item to your B button but in this case uses a jar, but when I want to refill a jar I have to equip it with the d-pad then press B. I think it would have been better if the game filled your lantern automatically or you did it in the equipment screen. Another problem I have is that sometimes you have to hold down the A button to push/pull objects but sometimes you press A to grab and press A again to let go.

Story (1)

sinclair44 (728189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151786)

My major problem with the game was actually its story. So much in the beginning seemed to foreshadow something really great; I thought, "this story is really going to go somewhere. It's going to turn around and have some great revelation and some 'lesson to be learned' in the end."

Well, when I was still thinking that in the latter third of the game, when it still seemed to be "setting up for something great," I realized that it really would be just another Zelda story. Pretty good as far as games go, but not great by any means.

I don't want to get into details, that would mean MAJOR spoilers which is probably inappropriate here... but there are a number of issues. So many places are so close to something that it's infuriating.

So close. (TP was still an awesome game and well worth playing, but this really, really bothers me. Probably just because the rest of the game was so great, and the story was so nearly so.)

First Zelda Game played in about 20 years... (1)

C. Alan (623148) | more than 7 years ago | (#17151926)

The last Zelda game I played before buying my Wii was the orginal Legend of Zelda for the NES. I cannot even recall if I finished the game.

I lucked out and picked up a Wii at my local Best Buy the Sunday after Thanksgiving. From there I walked next door the to the Wal-Mart and purchased TP.

I am only about 6 hours into the game, and I have to admit, it is a lot of fun. I am an offical 'Geezer Gamer', and I liked the fact that the controls were very easy to learn, and The game play is made to ramp up your skills before you have to use them.

I realy like the graphics, not only for their styling, but because they don't cause motions sickness! I can play the game for hours on end without getting motion sick. As much as I love playing HALO2 with my friends on my Xbox, I cannot play more than one hour straight without tossing my cookies. Same thing with the Marrowind Series.
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