Experience The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess

In the last week I’ve been sleeping for about 12 hours, growing a BEARD and developing a bad gut from all the nightly pizza. My legs ache from the lack of movement and sun, as soon as my welcome friend is my archenemy. Although this may sound like the consequences of a bad breakup, it is actually the result of my highly anticipated and equally dreaded Zelda marathons (due to the side effects mentioned above). Sixty hours in Hyrule over the course of a week is not an easy task, and although my social life was plunging and my girlfriend called me a jerk more than once, I finally finished Twilight Princess, and Boy was worth it.

Now I can read all of your thoughts (a side effect of some medical tests I did when I was desperately looking for money for college), and I’m willing to bet that you’re all wondering whether or not Twilight Princess is the Ocarina finisher that many claimed to be. Was the throne of Okarinas overthrown? Let me tell you this: if you’re looking for a reason to invest in a Wii, look no further. Twilight Princess is incredibly epic and well done, but as brilliant as it is, it also suffers from some control issues and a lot of gameplay that follows the Zelda to-a-tee formula.

Twilight Princess will inevitably cause a feeling of déjà vu when you first launch it on the Wii menu. It sounds eerily like Ocarina of Time, and this feeling accompanies her throughout most of the epic quest of the game. Similar to Ocarina, Link starts his adventure at home in a small village that is not so different from the Kokiris and quickly visits places that Ocarina fans will immediately recognize – albeit redesigned and much more detailed than ever-with the same background music that has been slightly modified to give him the “new” feeling. The basic formula of Zelda has not been changed remotely (although this is not necessarily a bad thing), which means that most of the game is spent on finding dungeons, acquiring new weapons and using these weapons to solve increasingly difficult puzzles. In fact, you could say that Twilight Princess looks almost a bit too similar to her brother, but it’s not until much after in the game that Link’s recent adventure really takes over.

Regardless of the similarities between the two titles, Twilight Princess takes a much darker approach to the series, offering an experience similar to the light and dark worlds of Metroid Prime 2. In this final episode, twilight casts its shadow on the Earth and, of course, our hero with the pointed ears becomes the key to saving Hyrule once again. Most of the time he spends in the Land of Light, but in order to unlock most of the new territories, Link will have to turn into a wolf and team up with his girlfriend Midna to collect enough light.Parts of the Earth are returning to their original state. In its animal form, Link is essentially identical to its human self, at least in terms of action. The big differences between the two lie in the special abilities of the wolf.

The D-Pad allows you to switch between different skills to solve the many puzzles that are scattered around the country. For example, if you tap the D-pad to the right or left, you can activate the wolf’s senses. Here you can see (in some matters) smells left by key characters, as well as areas on the map where Link can dig up objects buried underground with his paws (directional cross down) or, as is often the matter, dig under fences and buildings to move forward. If all else fails and you still come across a secret, take a walk until you hear Midna’s laughter on the Wiimote speaker. As annoying as it may sound (make sure you turn down the speaker of your Wiimote once or twice–you have been warned), midna’s laughter means a point of interest to her. By pressing up, Midna plunges into a higher plane, at this point you can stay with her and press the “A” key to jump to higher heights and reach otherwise inaccessible areas.

On the way, between the Twilight levels or right after, Link will have to go through a dungeon to advance the story, and Zelda fans will definitely not be disappointed. I’ll try to minimize spoilers here, since dungeons are really the meat of the game and offer the same familiar puzzles that the series is known for. The fact is that even if you want to throw your frustrated Wiimote around the room – and believe me, they will – if you think about it enough, even the most complex puzzles can be solved without the help of a guide. There will be many times when you give up and call it a night, and then call, be struck by common sense, and the solution was developed exactly for you. I had to watch TV in a zombie state for 45 minutes to figure out how to grab the boss’s key in the Forest temple, only to realize how ridiculously simple the puzzle was. Needless to say, I felt like an foolish afterwards.

Apart from the widescreen mode and the progressive swiping, there is another reason why you should seriously consider recording the Wii version through the GameCube game: the extraordinary controls. The Wiimote is absolutely fantastic, intuitive and more accurate than an analog stick could ever be. Hitting targets with your hero bow will become second nature in due course, and while the Wiimote is not a slash for a slash, a simple shake of the stick will result in a barrage of sword blows. Even more handling the Nunchuck-Wiimote combo comes when Link learns additional techniques on how to stun enemies with his shield. Push the nunchuk forward and Link does the same with his shield, especially useful for flipping projectiles and stopping dead enemies. On the other hand, as precise and brilliant as the control system is, it is not flawless. Where, as in Ocarina (and I assume also in the next GameCube version of TP) Link pulled out his sword and immediately split it, in Twilight Princess there is a significant delay between shaking the Wiimote and equipping his weapon by Link, which often leads to a lost heart when you rush into a densely populated area ready to strike, just to wait for the Wiimote to recognize the gesture and the animation will continue. Capturing objects can be equally frustrating, as Link often rolls instead of grabbing the object in question, although this is not a fault of the Wiimote.

Horse riding plays a much bigger role than in previous titles, as you not only explore the vast plains of Hyrule on Epona, but also use enemies in action. With the Wiimote, Link can now swing his sword in all directions, a handy feature that is well implemented and becomes the fulcrum in more than a few story-specific sequences. A special thing that comes to mind is to play with a leprechaun on an endless and incredibly narrow stone bridge. Both start at one end of the bridge and then run towards each other at breakneck speed. You need to strike at the right moment, otherwise Link will be thrown off his horse and dive into the depths. And this is just one of many examples that I could give you.

Twilight Princess is an extraordinary looking game, but redesigned as a GameCube port for the Wii, it also suffers from a number of bugs due to the outdated hardware of the cube; expect a lot of blurry textures and high-resolution landscapes. Sometimes the game can seem downright vile, although its excellent art direction more than compensates for its visual shortcomings. And if you managed to grab a component cable to give the game that attractive shine in 480p, you should feel happy. The difference between composite and component is unprecedented and works wonders to eliminate the muddy, washed-out look that composite cables prefer.

Ultimately, Twilight Princess is a brilliant and almost perfect addition to the series and a simple contender for the game of the year, although it will face tough competition. While it’s easy to get caught up in the fact that the Wii just isn’t as powerful as the 360 or PlayStation 3, games like Twilight Princess are great examples of why all the computing power in the world doesn’t necessarily make for a better game. The recent from Link can proudly come to the podium, as one of the best starting games of all time and simply the most epic Zelda adventure.

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