This is my first review and DISCLAIMER:
I'm writing it when I'm tired and in a bad mood. Expect typos and sarcasm. This is your only warning.Graphics:
Let's just get this out of the way, shall we? They're Gamecube (henceforth, GC) graphics. Thus, they are not "next-gen." For those who hadn't heard this, it should explain why Twilight Princess (henceforth, TP)'s graphics aren't as smooth as Rayman Raving Rabbids are. This really shouldn't be a legitimate complaint unless one hasn't heard that TP was made for the GC.
Anyway, considering the fact that TP's graphics were technically outdated upon arrival, the game is eye-candy. It simply is gorgeous.
Not so much in the "Wow Mom! Look at the incredible framerate, smoothness, and water effects!" sense, but more along the lines of "Wow, what an amazing use of different shades of brown and green!" Seriously though, the artistic design is excellent. I'll probably never forget my first foray into the Twilight Realm and all it's cell-shaded glory...it was a wow-moment for me.
The characters all look pretty good as well. Link looks like a fruit on occasion due to his smile, but at least he's a pretty, artisticall-well-done fruit.
Here's the question everyone is asking: is it worth it for the Wiimote controller? My response: yes...assuming you don't already have a GC and have a passionate hatred for the Wii already. Honestly, the controls aren't anything to write home about. They're standard Zelda efficiency, feeling and working just fine. Some people love them, others hate them; most, however, just use it and enjoy the differences. There's no real wrong way to go...sorry haters!
I hear a lot about how some dislike the little sword-swing motion. Some complain that it isn't one-to-one and that it feels like a cheap little gimmick. So what? It's a neat, cheap little gimmick and I for one enjoy it. Also, unless you have either a) extremely fat wrists, or b) a wrist condition, you will NOT have trouble playing for long periods of time. I played the game over 24 hours in 3 days and had no problems.
Fin.Story and Gameplay Experience (yes, I'm combining them. read to see why):
These two areas correspond so well, I can put them in one neat little section and use the same adjectives for both (for the most part).
For me, Zelda games' gameplay experiences are DEPENDENT upon having a story that I will like and be emotionally interested in. TP succeeds really well in both departments for about 3/4 of the game and then fails miserably near the end.
I unapologically believe that the game suffers horribly near the end of the game. The story lags, feels stale, and either a) ceases to motivate you, or b) motivates you so much that you wish you could skip the several crappy end-game dungeons to see what happens. Both reponses happened to people I know well, while no in-between happened.
The big problem is that the game literally revolves around the dungeons. With 7ish dungeons that end up feeling very formulaic, you have a problem...especially when the last few are SIGNIFICANTLY easier than previous ones and you never use half your items after their original dungeon homes.
The first 3/4 of the game shines brilliantly, however. You can clearly tell the developers spent a lot more time on it as there is little formula and the dungeons still feel original.
I also hated what the developers decided to do with one of the games most important characters. I don't want to spoil anything, but I'll just say that one of the coolest early characters ends up being a whiny emo kid. I felt like Tingle sent his annoying kid brother in while he was off making his own weird Japanese ruppee game or something.
While we're on the subject of characters, however, Midna is probably the most welcome addition to the game. I would LOVE to see her in another one, although I highly doubt she'll make a reappearance. It'd be a little too convenient, and all the best sidekicks from Zelda games are one-timers, right?
Lastly, let's talk about minigames, sidequests, and town interactivity. Or let's not as I'm getting very tired and sum it up quickly: there aren't enough unless you're a huge bug/heart/rupee-collecting fiend. I for one prefer sidequests over random field-searching for bugs, but that's just a preference (thus the word choice of "prefer")
All in all, I'll sum this up bluntly: the first 3/4 of the game is a welcome addition to the Zelda universe. The last 1/4, however, just feels half-assed.
There's not much for me to say here. It's quality background music and FX, just nothing terribly memorable. The only thing I'll always remember is Midna's horribly annoying screech that came through the awful Wiimote speaker. Why does it have to sound so tinny
? Cue the girly "ew
Fin.Overall Grade (aka, the section everyone skips to):
I have to give a Zelda game two separate grades. The following is TP compared to ALL games I have played:
A- "Fabulous. Not quite Revolutionary
, but one of the best games of the genre." - GR
The following is TP compared to other Zelda games (which is what it should be compared to in my opinion). I justify this grade with GR's own grading scale, which I quote after the grade:
C- "Below average in most aspects. A half-assed attempt by the designers."
I enjoyed TP, its just the end-game slide that seemed to happen along with the HIGHLY formulaic dungeons grated on my nerves. As such, its a great game for the genre in general to look up to, just not what I expect from the quality people at Nintendo.
To make those two grades collide into one beautiful little letter grade people can look up and then flame, I just put them together and produced the following almighty final grade:B-
Thanks for reading/skimming/flaming/trolling...please comment. Each one is appreciated and, in the case of trolls, laughed at.