“Review”: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Next up on my review-list is a newer game then F-zero GX, but still not new enough to be smoking hot. I haven’t played this in awhile, which means I can only really comment on what I remember thinking about the game. Which means I won’t get into small details.

So, the newest Legend of Zelda. Actually, I could end the review right here, because I’ve already summed it up. It’s just another Zelda-game which doesn’t do too much differently from it’s other incarnations. The big pencil-strokes are very predictable: Ganondorf is evil, Zelda is your standard kidnapped princess, and you are the Hero who goes off and fixes the world, and meets a dark gnome who turns out to be the “Twilight Princess” the game’s named after. It’s the smaller strokes that impresses the more. The friend that turns out having lost her memory which you have to find things that are connected to her to make her regain it. The Zora prince who’s mother got executed and who’s health conditions are grave. The Gorons who refuse to face anyone as their leader have gone nuts which they see as dishonouring to them. The kids who chase the monkey deep into the forest to regain whatever-it-was. It’s the small stories that makes the game interesting from a story/world-perspective.

The gameplay, then. It’s Zelda. You run around finding dungeons where you got to solve puzzles in small rooms and do some light-weight fighting to beat down monsters and beat up a boss with a tool you’ve gotten in the same dungeon and barely ever use the tool again. Which means you’ll be dragging around twenty weapons where you only need a few of them. Items such as the boomerang, slingshot and bow all fill the same function and works the same, so only a few of them are actually needed. You get three kinds of bombs where it would be more handy to have one which you upgrade, and you get a handful of melee-weapons although you get your sword from the get-go. Why couldn’t they just make upgrades for the same item instead of making one similar?

But Zelda’s main focus doesn’t lie in it’s weapons, but in it’s dungeons, which are very well-designed, even if it’s not as good as Ocarina of Time. One main difference is that the bosses tends to be a lot further away from the entrance of the dungeon this time, without the kind of short-cut Wind Waker had, which means you have to run through big parts of the dungeon if you would fail a boss battle. Which you won’t do, either, because the difficulty on the bosses as been set really low. What makes me say that is a combination of using the same tricks as the older games, they don’t do too much to keep you busy avoiding stuff to let you focus on damaging them, and they don’t take a lot of damage before turning in. Something like three hits tends to be enough. And this goes through pretty much every monster there is, which doesn’t motivate you to find all those pieces of hearts for the sake of your very survival.

After all this criticism, it would be nice to end with something positive. The controllers are precise and makes it easy to play instead of cursing the controller – even though it’s stuck with some of the Wiimote’s teething troubles, like having troubles reacting to some movements. Some of the dungeons doesn’t feel like dungeons at all (such as the Yeti’s, the City in the Skies and the Temple of Time). I also like that the text-based dialog is left intact. Perhaps that’s because I’m used to reading the subtitles while watching movies which makes me feel so comfortable with it, perhaps it’s because I can understand one piece of dialogue before going on to the next and not missing anything, but it’s a strong move of not falling for the “we want all dialogue made by voice-actors”-movement.

Sentence: The newest Zelda on both good and bad.

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2 Responses to “Review”: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

  1. tobbas says:

    I can see that you’r not familiar with the zelda franchise since you spell Ganondorf “Genondorf” ;p (I have only played The Legend of zelda 1/2, Link from the past, Ocarina of Time and majoras mask and also phantom hourglass so I can not comment on your review although….)

    “I also like that the text-based dialog is left intact.”

    OBJECTION!!!!!!!

    This clearly contradicts one of your statements in your previouse blogg article “1st person and immersion”.

    Since almost every Zelda game is in a different time there is almost always a different Link in the games. They don’t have to keep the shitty textbased speach just because they couldn’t make voices in the past.
    I think it’s cheap of nintendo to never add any voices to their games other then IT’S A ME , MARIO, HERE WE GO.
    They are a bunch of racists against blind people.

  2. johannessmidelov says:

    I guess what you find contradicting is
    “The character you play tend to be a blank paper, who has nothing to say and doesn’t feel a thing. And at the times it does speak, it feels very awkward. I believe this is because the character has no model, so it doesn’t do any body-gestures, which makes all speech a voice coming from nowhere which is just confusing.”, because that’s the closest I found in the article to contradict text-based dialogue, although I do not suggest spoken dialogue in this quote, My points about the advantages of text-based dialogue still stands (reading at your own pace etc.).

    “Genondorf” is clearly a dispel, and I’ll fix it right away.

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