The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Some games are magic. You can’t even call them games. I call them big and great adventures. You can really live them, instead of playing. Live the game, well ain’t that something. They interrupt your social live, throw your thoughts upside down. When the adventure is done, you get left behind. You’re blank. It’s an emotional experience. The true meaning of games, one could say. To get emotionally involved. And not just on the surface. These games cut deeper than the average game. The Legend of Zelda is such a series. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is that game.
Forget all you know about The Wind Waker. Forget the boyish fellow with his unique style. Nintendo chooses to show an adult Link. Though I really enjoyed the atmosphere of The Wind Waker, I can only encourage this choice. Link has grown up, and so did the series, in a way. Nintendo adds a dark and strange touch to the well known story between good and evil. Twilight Princess has one of the most intriguing storytelling known to the series, there’s no doubt. After a while, you can really get sucked in the storyline. Don’t expect weird violent scenes though. It’s a family game as usual. There’s just a bit of a curious touch that you don’t immediately expect from a Zelda game.
You begin the game as a brave but simple young lad. Not at all concerned with the outside danger in the world. The danger, as you know it from stories, has been suppressed by heroes, long before you. Tales, only known in the hearts and heads of the innocent people. You haven’t got the slightest clue that you’re gonna be the next hero, chosen by the gods. But you will soon enough. The universal darkness always lives. I’m not telling anything else about the plot. It’s something you have to find out yourself. I myself was very surprised about the story in more than one way.
Or maybe I do have to mention something. It would be a pretty incomplete review if I didn’t. The prologue has some very strange moments going on. Pretty soon, by some reason I don’t want to mention, you are turned into a wolf. Then, you get into contact with Midna. You don’t know much about her, but she helps you out. This change has some great potentials. With Midna, you can get to places unreachable before.
The dialogues aren’t spoken. That’s a tradition of course. A missed opportunity some say. I don’t agree on that one. What’s wrong with written dialogues? You need a great share of imagination. Nintendo knows that. It helps you create your own fantasy. Rather good written dialogues than bad voiceovers.
Artistic realisation in games. I can’t name that much games that have it. You can say Ico is art, yes. Okami is probably very arty. If you close one eye you can call even Killer 7 art. A little wacky arty farty art, but that’s not the point. I hereby give The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess the title of masterwork in artistic realisation in video games. And that’s not a title given easily. The Wind Waker was great in graphical style. The Twilight Princess is great in the designs of well, everything. There’s a gigantic world out there, just waiting to be explored. Hyrule never looked more like a fairytale extravaganza. I saw great landscapes of fields, miles and miles. Lakes that reached great depths. I drove my horse on gigantic bridges with the gates of a city towering above me. Without loading screens or fog. Beautifully styled with a lot of details.
Hyrule is a huge world. Curious gamers can easily play over 70 hours. Gamers that focus on the story are 40 hours underway. A game that stays interesting after 70 hours is a masterpiece. These days, games hardly last ten hours. Twilight Princess only gets started after ten hours. I’m not saying the other developers are lazy, but you can’t help noticing reality. There’s a lot going on in Hyrule. And I mean a lot. After you finished the story, you really want to reveal al the treasures of this world. The Wii-mote is a genius invention. You can see it, you can feel it. After playing Twilight Princess you know it. There’s a goldmine in there. A mountain of possibilities. Granted, not all these possibilities are shown in Twilight Princess. Don’t forget this game was intentionally meant for Gamecube. You do get an idea of what we can expect in 3 years. I’m hoping the new entry in the series will be released then. Today, you can feel how naturally the controls are. This is easy and simple, surprisingly simple.
It doesn’t take long before I split the first enemies with my sword. Just move the Wii-mote up and down, simple as that. This sounds like an action that will get you tired after a while. That’s really not the case. I can honestly say I never got a tired feeling in my arm. You smash enemies with your shield by moving the nunchuck forwards. All very naturally, of course.
Pointing with a bow or a slingshot! I looked forward to this. And what a magnificent feeling it is. The Wii-mote makes the same noise as the bow on your screen. First, you await the monster’s move. Then, you strike with a precision only seen in PC shooters. You hear the arrow flying from your Wii-mote to the screen. Brilliant. Just brilliant.
Enough of all these adventures? Why not relax a little and go fishing? Rent a boat or just sit at the shore of a river. Doesn’t matter as long as you got your fishing materials. Before you know it, you have been fishing more than an hour. The fishing is as you and I imagined it would be. Throw your fishing rod in the water with the Wii-mote and collect your fish by turning the nunchuck. Afterwards, you can see the fish you caught in a big aquarium.
Aah, good times. Good times you do miss when you own a Gamecube. Neutrally speaking, the Gamecube version is better of course. It has the same graphics. Basically, it’s the same game on a different console. The controls are perfectly worked out. Maybe even better than on the Wii. They were already perfected with The Wind Waker. There isn’t a more beautiful way to put the Gamecube to sleep. This is the best ever created on the cube and one of the best games ever to come out this generation. Know more superlatives? Let me know will you?
Got both consoles? There’s no doubt about it then. Twilight Princess for the Wii offers just that little more invention and fun. Bought a Nintendo Wii without Twilight Princess? You should really, really, really, be ashamed of yourself. Go buy it damned! Don’t let me come down there.