|The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess|
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Review |
Written by James Hobbs
In terms of controlling Link in his human form, the game is a bit of a mixed bag. Swinging your sword is carried out by swinging the Wii remote – however, the game only recognises
vertical or horizontal strikes, so it does feel slightly silly. Aiming projectile weapons such as the bow and arrow or the claw is far better to control however – by pointing the remote
at the screen you have pin-point accuracy over exactly where you're firing, and it's spot on. It does take a bit of getting used to however, and for the first few hours of the game the
controls do feel somewhat uncomfortable. Whilst you do eventually get used to them, I don't think it can be said that they're perfect – moving Link around is imprecise, and it's all too
easy to incorrectly judge gaps and distances and plummet. Controlling Link on horseback is also troublesome in enclosed areas, and one particular section of the game where you have
to fight off hordes of monsters whilst protecting a horse and cart is a nightmare. You do get used to it, but it doesn't excuse the shoddy controls. They don't feel updated from the previous games.
Thankfully the reams of items go some way to blanking out recognition of the failings of the control system – other than the typical Zelda weapons there's also the spinner, a ball and
chain, a dominion rod, Zora armour, and more items that help to keep the gameplay varied. The Zora armour in particular represents a significant change in the game, as it allows you
to swim underwater. However, some of the items, such as the spinner, are woefully difficult to control properly, which can make life difficult, particularly in the fight against the desert
The boss battles, whilst suitably epic, are also a mixed bag. Whilst some of the bosses require you to perform very basic and obvious actions in order to defeat them, the
boss battles that ask a little more of you, such as the Gerudo desert creature, are let down by the poor control system. The inaccuracy of the spinner may well be intentional,
but it doesn't excuse the fact that it's incredibly annoying. The somewhat erratic nature of the music also lets down many of the boss battles – some of the music is beautifully
orchestrated, and some is synthesised. Despite what some people say, you really can tell the difference, and it spoils the atmosphere. All too often I found myself wishing for
the end of the dungeon and the horribly menial and repetitive tasks contained within, and that is certainly not a good thing.
Thankfully the dungeons aren't particularly long, and once they have been beaten you can return to the main hub world. After unlocking locations you can roam about them
freely, and there's a staggering amount of personable characters to interact with. Castle Town is a vibrant, bustling hub of activity, and the peaceful Lake Hylia is
visually stunning. Despite the low-res nature of the graphics, the game manages to retain a gloriously opulent glow, and it really does look very special indeed.
Twilight Princess is a testament to the fact that good art direction is everything. The difference between the twilight realm and the realm of light is also staggering –
even the music changes when you enter Twilight, and it's incredibly effective at creating a foreboding atmosphere.
Those of you who played The Ocarina of Time on the N64 will be familiar with Link's ally, Navi. In Twilight Princess, your sidekick for most of the game is Midna,
a small creature of Twilight with powers of teleportation. As a wolf, she helps you navigate through the various dungeons, and as Link she can provide you with help
and teleport you quick across the vast environment. As a character, she is rather annoying, but she does provide an interesting dynamic to the game, and is certainly
The game takes you from dungeons underground, to mountain peaks, and even into the heavens nearer to the end of the game. The scale and size of the tale is majestic,
and each area presents you with new challenges and ideas, including sliding after a yeti on a block of ice. The repetitive, stagnant nature of many of the sections do let
the game down however – whilst many of them are consistent with the story, such as fighting Shadow beasts, it just isn't fun to actually play through. I do feel obliged
to point out that, unlike other websites, we've actually played this game properly – you can in fact save your exact position in a dungeon. Talk to the little guy that looks
like a chicken. That's all I'll say.
There's far too much to this game to cover completely in a review, and by far the best idea is to go out and buy it and experience it all for yourself. It's certainly an
experience unlike anything I've played on a console for years, and despite the flaws, it's as close to perfection as the formula will allow.
It's the best Zelda game we have, and it's absolutely epic. Recommended.