Warning: The following member-review may contain spoilers, read at your own risk. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
.. honestly, this is a game I could never imagine myself playing. Waiting for so long, what, two years or so? I originally thought I was going to be saving the land of Hyrule (again) on my Cube, but no, not this time. I nabbed this game with my newly acquired Nintendo Wii. As Game Revolution's original reviewer stated, this game has alot to live up to - such a long release (always being pushed back) to becoming a launch title for the new Nintendo. Well, here's my view on it.
It's the best game I've ever played.
And I'm not just saying that 'cuz I'm a Zelda fan, it really is that good. And the Wii-mote control scheme actually works well. See, I'll just cut to the chase: combat/controls works like this, you have the Wii-mote in one hand, and the nunchuck attachment in the other. Using the analog stick on the nunchuck, you can move Link around, and with the other two buttons you can target enemies and look around freely. With the Wii-mote, Link can perform actions via the A-button, cancel actions with the B button/trigger (as well as fire ranged items), and do other things like bringing up maps, switching items and whatnot.
As for combat, it works with simple motions of the Wii-mote and nunchuck. No, you don't have to do massively exhaggerated movements like the Wii-commercials and trailers, but you can if you want to, I guess. But anyway, shake the Wii-mote left and right, Link will bust out horizontal slashes, move it foward and he can attack with stabs. Target an enemy and press A, Link will bust out the iconic jumping slash. Link can also hop around his enemies and do backflips, just like the previous games. Shake the nunchuck side to side, and hey, Link does the whirling blade. The shield also seems to automatically be raised when you lock onto a target, which is pretty handy. The Wii-mote itself also just feels, really relaxing, it's strange, but I like it. I originally thought combat would put strain on my wrist, but it doesn't. Which is great.
Speaking of Link, you're not exactly Link. You can name yourself Link, and despite looking exactly like him, you're not him. The game is s'posed to be set -years- after Ocarina of Time, but before The Wind Waker, but yeah. You're a new incarnation of Link, a farm boy at that, and already an adult, probably seventeen to nineteen years of age. Because of this new introduction, this already explains why Link is good at the stuff he does. He is strong and fit because of his hard work and because he has a swordsman master type-guy, he is good with a sword (again, because of his training with the master guy), and he is good at horseback riding because of his work and the fact he already has a horse named Epona (which you can also rename if you wish).
Anyway, something bad happens, this bad thing is the Twilight realm, slowly spreading and corrupting Hyrule. The children of Link's town are also kidnapped and taken away, so it's up to Link to go and save them, which also leads onto his inevitable task to journey across Hyrule, stop the Twilight, and save the land from evil. Again. That's pretty much the story, again, it's quite similar to Ocarina of Time, and contains many elements from Ocarina of Time: such as re-gaining the Goron's trust, unfreezing the Zora's etc. Sure, there's loads of new stuff, but there's also alot of stuff players may feel is just the same, but suprisingly it works to a great extent.
Hyrule field though, there's definately a massive change there. It is huge. At first you may think it's quite small, but in reality it is massive, and the usage of Epona is pretty much required to get from one location to another. It really is a great feeling to ride Epona out onto Hyrule field for the first time.
Continuing to speak of the same stuff, many items from the previous games return, such as the slingshot to the boomerang (although the boomerang has been modified to become the Gale Boomerang), bombs, iron boots, to the Hero's Bow. Twilight Princess makes use of the Wii's point and click scheme in regards to using these items, for example, when you equip your Hero's Bow you will point your Wii-mote at the screen, and freely aim using it (you're also providied a big red targeter to help you aim), and the free aiming is pretty good, certainly much faster than analog sticks, and even helps with precision aiming.
Same thing as each game, Twilight Princess once again features temples. Each temple is a necessity to move further into the game, and each temple contains a key item to the game, as well as a boss. Each temple also has clever puzzles, just like the old games. Eventually use of the acquired item in the temple will be required to finish these puzzles, and to even defeat the boss in the end. It's the way it rolls, might sound the same as before, but it's great nevertheless.
One of the biggest changes in the gameplay is Link can transform, but unlike Majora's Mask, not at free will. When Link enters the realm of the Twilight, he turns into a mystical-looking wolf, and his new ally (whom he meets close to the beginning of the game), a strange, small magical creature known as 'Midna' rides Link upon his back (although in the world of light, Midna hides within Link's shadow). As a wolf, Link pretty much fights in the same style in regards to controls, but he bites and whatnot. He also moves faster than Human-Link, and Midna can help him in combat and to perform action jumps in certain locations. Wolf-Link can also dig, to access hidden items or hidden areas, as well as use his Wolf senses to see the things Human-Link cannot normally see. The downside is, Wolf-Link can't use any of his items at all.
One of the problems with Twilight Princess on the Wii, and I think this may be its biggest problem, is the camera. On a regular Cube controller, the C-stick would be much easier to move the camera about, however in the Wii version we do not have this, so to move the camera we have to be constantly pressing the lock on button (Z) to move the camera behind us, and if an enemy is nearby, we may lock onto them instead. It takes a little getting used to, and can be frustrating.
While it's not really an issue, some enemies can be extremly easy, and same with bosses (once you figure out how to beat them). Link also seems to take little damage. Perhaps though, this is merely a way for the player to compensate for using the Wii-mote controller scheme, as it is quite a learning curve.
What I find a silly debate to er, debate about, is the game's graphics. Many people comment that the graphics are bad, while people comment "it's not the graphics that matter". In my opinion, the graphics and animation are very good. Sure it isn't as good as the PS3 or X-Box 360, which are consoles purely built for graphics, but Zelda has its own good graphics. I really do like the animations of Link, and the graphics are dark and realistic-appearing. It's very cool, and has its own unique style (although people claim it is similar to the game Fable). Either way, the graphics satisfy me.
The music, while it can honestly be repetitive at times, is good. I do enjoy the remixed themes such as the "get item" music, as well as the Hyrule theme. The music sounds similar to Ocarina of Time, just remixed to a more orchestrated feel (even though really, it's not -that- orchestrated). What is also cool is how sound comes from the Wii-mote, such as sword slashes, to Midna gigging. It's a funny and unique experience.
So overall, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a must have title for any Wii owner, considering it's also a launch title, it's definately must have (it should be your first proper game, really). The adventure is apparently fourty plus hours in length (Wikipedia claims it took game testers an average of seventy hours to complete), and the land is really massive, so that's no suprise there. While the game seems to be 'samey', there's alot to do, and the story is great. The graphics and animation are nice, and the Wii-mote controller scheme works. Aside from the small fussy details such as the camera issues and combat being a bit easy-ish, this is indeed the best, and biggest Zelda adventure to date. I herby declare this game as my number one game. I salute you, Nintendo.