Opinionated Review: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

It seems to me that the older I get, the more I appreciate video games. It’s only appropriate, then, that I post what I think of them here after I play each to its end, so I can express what I appreciate in each, and what I don’t. I’ll begin with my favorite one of them all: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. My review won’t cover facts, but opinions of my own. It’s written straight through, as thoughts come to me, so it’s very impromptu. I just categorized my thoughts, but these categories will no doubt fluctuate between games.

  • Controls: The controls are obviously motion, and as everyone knows, you shake to swing the sword, and you use the pointing mechanism for the bow and arrows. The complaint that the controls are dumbed down is really not true at all. I’ve played Ocarina of Time, a “hard-core” Zelda game, and it uses basically the same controls. If anything, the intuitive controls allow hard-core gamers to think quickly and get the job done. I’ve allowed some folks to play a file on my system, and the “shake” allows them to freak out and still survive. Summary: The controls benefit everyone – the hardcore Zelda fan doesn’t have so much to think about, and the casual gamers can pick up and play, at least through the first parts of the game.
  • Gameplay: This game, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is an Ocarina of Time sequel. (Wind Waker really went in a whole new direction that changed a lot of the classic gameplay. But that’s another review.) Everything from the town you start in to the boss you fight screams “Ocarina of Time”. Every time you see a reference you think “that’s just like Ocarina of Time”. But it’s only “like”; while they have similarities, they stay “similar”, and they never reach “exact”. The bad guys are all different, the world is heavily changed and expanded beyond imagination, and the… oh, yes, the graphics. Well, the game was designed for the GameCube, so it’s expected that the graphics won’t be as shiny as, say, Metroid Prime 3 (future review coming, I hope). Nevertheless, if you can use your imagination to fill out any missing polygons, you’ll find that the graphics can inspire awe at various times. Summary: The five years (or was it six?) wait was worth it. I can’t give away much, but what I can say is that they took Ocarina, and changed it in every way possible while still remaining within the general Zelda structure.
  • Story: The story was so good, and unique enough (while remaining within the Zelda framework), there were times I played the game just to find out what would happen next. Again, there are some small references here and there, but for the most part (90%, say) they got very creative. And again, I won’t say anything specific, because I hate spoilers.
  • Difficulty: Perfect. Yes, perfect. Slightly easy, but it’s really more of a story-telling game than a game with a story, in my mind. And I love a good story. The game does get more puzzly and difficult as you go, but it also seems to move quicker… like when you get older, time goes faster, you know?
  • Music: Better than average. I especially like the music for the Hyrule Field. It’s that kind of galloping, adventerous, let’s-go-get-em musical score you expect when you’re riding on a horse through open terrain. 🙂
  • Should I buy? The game is not all about thrills. It’s about working hard on a series of puzzles, and getting a monster of a reward in return. It’s about saving a kingdom with the flick of a wrist. It’s about exploring, adventure (and perhaps a feeling of independence on the side). If that’s not your thing, then this isn’t the game for you.
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