The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Published by Nintendo, Developed by Nintendo

Genres: Fantasy / Action / Adventure

US release date: Nov 26th, 2006 | EU release date: -

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess review

A little disappointing, but still amazing.

Andrew Gray wrote this game review.

Review written by
Andrew Gray

A few months back, I was the first person to review a game here on Wii's World, and it just so happened that the first game I reviewed was The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. At the time, anticipation for Twilight Princess was absolutely huge, especially since almost nothing was revealed about it. Theories on the Internet and otherwise ran rampant and the hype was almost the highest any game could have gotten to.

Now here we are, almost six months after Twilight Princess was released on both the Wii and the Gamecube to numerous critical and consumer acclaims from almost everyone... almost. While nearly everyone loved the more mature storyline and classic Zelda gameplay, some of us, including myself, weren't so satisfied.

Two timelines? I always knew those guys at Nintendo were on something!

For the most part, Twilight Princess' storyline is a lot more satisfying than Wind Waker's was. Essentially, the game takes place 100 years or so after Ocarina of Time and involves the tale of a new Link, who much like his predecessors is thrust into the role of protector and hero of the land of Hyrule. What makes this tale somewhat different from before however, is the method in which this happens. Initially, Link is thrust blindly into the ever expanding Twilight Realm, a purgatory of sorts which would make great source material for surrealistic art. Much like the Dark World in A Link to the Past, our hero cannot stay human in this realm. Rather than become a cute bunny however, Link becomes a ferocious wolf, with a cunning little imp named Midna who decides to help him out, although the reason behind this doesn't become clear until near the end of the game. In addition, while Ganon and Zelda make their customary appearances in the game, they don't quite appear in the manner you would expect.

Now while this sounds much better than the typical Zelda story you would encounter, the story is also in some ways one of the game's biggest weaknesses.

While I was drawn in by the story and by proxy Hyrule at first, after the fourth dungeon or so, the story starts to become weak. After expelling the Twilight Realm three times from the land and hearing that Zant, the game's main villain can 'put it back whenever he wants to', you would think that he would show a bit more initiative. No, actually, if it weren't for the dungeons, you'd think that Hyrule was almost completely peaceful after the Water Temple. There's almost no sense of urgency similar to what happened in Ocarina of Time and to a larger extent Majora's Mask (Ocarina: Zora's frozen solid, Gorons imprisoned, Kakariko in ruins. Majora: Moon crashing into the earth among other things) and because of which you don't feel much of an obligation to help the citizens of Hyrule save for the fact that you would be robbed of more game.

In addition, Midna is simply too good of a character. While this may not sound like a valid criticism, the fact that Midna talks and is filled with expression and personality makes you realize just how one-dimensional almost any of the other characters are; Zelda plays the noble princess role almost to a fault and Ganon almost never appears at all until the end. A few more scenes to flesh out his developments with Zant would have really helped matters more.

Finally, many of us were expecting to find out what had happened to the friends Link had made in Ocarina of Time and their fates. Unfortunately, the information is sketchy at best. While the Gorons and Zoras are perfectly fine (for the moment), nothing is said of the fates regarding the Kokiri or Gerudos, and Kakariko village remains a shadow of it's former self. Trust me when I say that the 'official' reviews lie about how this is like a 'love letter for OoT fans'.

Remote or Controller?

Now as far as the game actually plays, I honestly have to say that as far as the Gamecube version goes it honestly isn't that different from Wind Waker or the Gamecube version of OoT or MM. However, the overall gameplay is given some new life with the Wii remote. For the most part, it's a lot easier and more responsive with most of Link's tools and items, especially the Bow. However, the nod has to be given to the Gamecube in regards to swordplay, as it's far easier and more responsive to fight with the Gamecube controller.

The adventuring aspect, again, is basically the same as it was nine years ago which is both a good and bad thing. Players go from place to place, go into dungeons, fight bosses and earn new items. The sidequests actually are kind of lame. There's no new sword to get, no trading item subquest, and far too much rupee collecting. Heart containers are still fun to find, and this time around finding Golden Bugs (not Skullutas, actual bugs) is what will get you the most rupees. Finally, Poe collecting has been expanded to a quest of epic proportions, involving the capture of a whopping 60 Poes. Ultimately however, the quest is also pointless as it rewards you with nothing but rupees, more easily found getting Golden Bugs.

The remaining few aspects of the game involve Link's Wolf form. This is something that was obviously tweaked to perfection, as Link's Wolf form at times feels better to control than his human. Although Wolf Link can't use items, he can use his sense of smell to detect nearly invisible items and places to dig. This is actually used in several puzzles and is quite fun to experiment with.

Riding on Epona is mostly a lot of fun, especially since Link now has the ability to attack while on Horseback. This leads to quite a few cool moments, among which is a joust with an enemy and an escort to Kakariko village. Unfortunately however, very quickly Epona is pushed into the background as Midna gives you the ability to teleport almost anywhere instantaneously. She seems kind of like a little bell or whistle to excite the American fans really.

Like Dungeons and Dragons... except without the stupid dice throwing and statistics

For the most part, the dungeons in Twilight Princess never disappoint. The first three are definitely worthy of the legacy that their Ocarina of Time counterparts started; the fourth dungeon might possibly be my favorite in the game and the sixth and seventh dungeons are great too. Still, not every dungeon in the game is good; the eighth dungeon seemed a little lackluster in its design and the fifth dungeon especially seems like a throwaway due to its length and overall difficulty. Still, these are much better than nearly any of those in Wind Waker and provide a good challenge. The Sky Temple will walk away with you if nothing else, that much is for sure.

The bosses aren't quite so hit or miss. While most of the bosses are in fact quite easy if you know what item can defeat them, that's an argument that essentially can be used for any Zelda game (save Majora maybe). The overall enormity and design of these bosses though cannot be ignored, and even if they are easy for you, you'll still love the overall epic feel of these fights. Unfortunately, this cannot be argued for the final boss. Ganon is for the most part, the same as he was all those years ago on N64, with many of his patterns and attacks recycled from earlier games. I was expecting something a little more than another 'light ball back and forth' and 'prettied up version of Wind Waker's final fight'.

Midi Music is so ten years ago!

As for the sound quality of the game, there's not much to be said about anything save the music. Despite fan outcries, Zelda and its characters remain voiceless (although Midna's grunts give you a good guess as to what she would sound like) and I honestly prefer it this way. While the Japanese are utter masters at finding voices for animated characters in games and television shows, the Americans utterly SUCK at such a thing. For those of you who've had to suffer through the dubs that are done for certain RPG games on Playstation 2 (.hack//GU, Final Fantasy 12 anyone?) you can understand where I'm coming from. Seriously, would you want to listen to ear wrenching voices possibly as bad as whoever said 'Excuuuuse me Princess!'? Honestly, for now Zelda is better voiceless.

The sound effects are basically the same as in any other Zelda game and really don't make up that much of the game. However, the music plays quite a significant role. Most music is entirely new and for the most part sounds wonderful in whatever context it's used. Koji Kondo has still got what it takes, and this is especially evident with the catchy new Twilight Princess theme. In fact, it's catchy enough that Midna herself can be heard humming it at one point in the game!

This does not make the music perfect though. As those of us who have listened to the remixed tracks over on ZREO can attest to, Zelda desperately needs to change its tunes over to a full orchestra rather than the Midi music that refuses to die. Head over to ZREO for yourself; after listening, I honestly don't need to make a comment if you hear it for yourself.

Take this! It's dangerous outside!

Despite the fact that Twilight Princess isn't everything the hype machine made it out to be and is a little disappointing to us hardcore fans, if you're looking for a good game and haven't tried it, by all means do so! Zelda is still better than almost ninety percent of the entire line of software produced in the industry and you won't regret purchasing it. Have fun in Hyrule!

94%

Gameplay: Gameplay score: 9

Graphics: Graphics score: 10

Sound: Sound score: 9

Lifespan: Lifespan score: 10

User comments

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wiiman said:

The graphics are better than you think.

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Alexander said:

I liked it a lot, but it didn't have the same sense of friendliness between the characters as OOT did.

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LoZer said:

I played oot but I didn't like it much, I wasn't into link much back then. But TP, it brings the best of the best out of link and it is a blast! Oh yea I started liking zelda games when I played legend of zelda wind waker, it was a great game because of its simplicity.

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whhhaaaat said:

Why does everyone talk about how great the newer Zelda games are, when it's so obvious that they've had backward progression, starting with the best and ending with the worst. Hopefully twilight princess has broken that trend.

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joey_j said:

It's better than any Zelda game I've ever played!

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Gonzo said:

I love this game. But, I need help. When you are a wolf instead of Link, when you have to get the shield and sword for Midna. I got the shield but how do you get the sword? Every time I go in front of the house Rusl's wife gets scared and I can't go inside. How do I get the sword? Someone help me!

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PHiRE said:

Go around the side of the house and dig your way in.

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dog said:

Oh my gosh this zelda game is 1. Amazing - more than my old favourites oot and zww. I didn't speak to family for 3 weeks, I hate them. Thanks to my beasty control I don't have to speak to my single (and depressed) mother, top marks.

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Gonzo said:

Thanks PHiRE!

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zach said:

Every zelda game is different and good in its own way. You really cannot compare them, they are all classics. But it's a different story when it comes to metroid.

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k man said:

This game had a lot of excitement coming out, and it has done an amazing job of following up on the promise that it would be the best game since OOT.

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Bob Dole said:

I have zelda tw but when you get stuck in it you get too angry that it gets boring. Now I only play need for speed carbon and wiisports. By the way I'm in goron mines in zelda tw.

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TheKid said:

Zww gave me bad gas and made me cry. But this was amazing! The review was dead on. But I'm stuck on 51 poe sold. BUY PLAY AND LOVE THIS GAME (and yes it broke the backwards progression trend).

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Silent Xenocide said:

I think Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Windwaker were better.

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wiiman said:

Zelda tp and ocarina are the best games of zelda. Out of those 2 probably tp.

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Jason Pilcher said:

How can you think they were better? Yeah, Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker were awesome, but compared to this they're like Tetris, old and outdated. Fun, but old and outdated.

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BrothaZ said:

What kind of pot are you on, silent xenocide? It was great!

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Fox Fan said:

There are so many awesome Zelda games but I thought Ocarina of Time was the best. No offense to those who think Twilight Princess was the best.

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Gaming-Nerd said:

Look the graphics were about as good as you are going to see on a Wii, they didn't try to improve that so much as the other systems. The sound between characters could have been improved though. The review was great, but I think you should lower your standards as far as graphics go, because there hasn't been much better on the Wii yet. Other than that though, I agree with everything.

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Robotron said:

Does anyone else think it's annoying that when you complete the game, you can't play afterwards?! If you go back on the file it just goes back to before you have killed the end boss, so what's that about Nintendo?!

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zelda sword77 said:

I don't get this, how do you get past that puzzle with the rock guys that jump to platforms when you need to get the master sword? If you know how to get past them please tell me.

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Cool said:

The game is great. The graphics are much better than the review gave!

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Gonzo said:

Great gaming, great graphics, great everything. The only bad thing is that when I save it and then play again it doesn't go where I saved it.

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Nik said:

You need to position the statues where they were when you first met them. It is difficult, I got to give you that. Just keep at it and you'll get it.

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prom said:

The game is just perfect:) magic!

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Jason Pilcher said:

Zelda Sword77, you have to get to two statues to stand where they originally were. Come on, if you could beat LakeBed Temple you can do that.

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ShadowLink92 said:

While Twilight Princess is amazing, the overall feel of the game just isn't as good as in Ocarina of Time, and several of the puzzles are taken almost directly out of Ocarina. As for the voices, think about it; Nintendo has the capability to add voices, but that would take a lot out of the game. You're complaining that there aren't any, but if there were then much more people would be complaining that the voices aren't right. The characters sound like you want them to; adding voices would take away from the game.

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Gonzo said:

I like this game, it's amazing, but challenging which makes this the perfect game for any wii-owner.

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HyruleKing said:

This Zelda I think is the best with graphics.

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mr hat said:

It's overrated more than being shot.

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Gonzo said:

I'm stuck again, remember when you have to get the four monkeys? I have three of them. The last one is in the room with the monster under the tiles. I got past that but where do you get the key for door where the monkey is in it?

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kiki said:

How do I get past the hawk? The cat keeps on telling me to scare the guy, but I don't know how to. I just got this last night, and I've never played anything like this before. But it is so cool!

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Wiipaw said:

Kiki, how could you? Her name is Midna, and she is NOT a cat.

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Gonzo said:

Forget it I don't need the help. I got past it. As for kiki, You have to go on the side of the house where the lady works and jump up with Midna, then jump on the thing that the man is standing on and then you'll scare him and you can go in the house and get the shield. The game is hard and challenging and I still get stuck sometimes. Like everywhere I go there's a challenge waiting for me.

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soon2BAWiiowner said:

I played this game at my friend's house. It is the best game in the world. It might even be better than Gears of War. No it is better. If you play this game and don't like it you need help. My Wii will be arriving next week that's the first game I picked.

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haro said:

It's a good game but I still think oot has a happier feeling to it.

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Gonzo said:

It's challenging, almost everywhere I go something hard comes to me but the next time I play it I always figure out a way to beat it. Well, really it's my mom that helps me sometimes. She's really smart.

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wiifan said:

I have this game and it is the best one to date. I think the people in the game interact with you really well and of course the puzzles are amazingly thought out. One complaint though, they made it too easy.

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dark link302 said:

Ocarina of time was great, one of the best, but I agree with Jason Pilcher. Totally outdated. Zelda TP rules (and is the best).

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dark link302 said:

Four words :this game is the best.

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ShadowLink92 said:

Wiipaw, kiki wasn't talking about Midna. The cat in Ordon tells you to scare the man. You shouldn't call yourself a Zelda gamer if you don't remember things like that.

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Gonzo said:

Definitely an A+ game.

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privatepetexxx said:

Voices would ruin it because then none of the characters could call you by YOUR name that you enter at the start. As for graphics, IT IS a gamecube game remember. So if you think this looks good, wait for the Wii zelda. TP is clearly better than OOT. You only have to reverse the horse to know that! I love this game.

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The Angle said:

It's the best game all over the world. And the graphics were very wonderful! But I need help. I'm in the "wind temple" in the sky and I can't come to the boss, but I've got the key. Can you tell me the way to the boss?

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okiedokie said:

Classics throughout, but this game really makes a huge statement about the new generation of interactive gameplay. A Great game that married well with a Fun controller.

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Sal said:

Amazing Game!

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OFG said:

Don't complain too much about lack of voice acting in an LOZ game. It could potentially ruin the series. They don't have voices for a reason and I like it that way. It's left up to your imagination like a book, and it's better that way!

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Sean said:

Better than OOT. Better even than Link to the Past. If you don't have a Wii or Gamecube, this game alone is worth the cost of getting a new console. It's the only game I've ever beaten and been so enthralled by that I immediately played through it again. GO BUY THIS GAME!

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Calaban said:

Zelda 2: The Adventures of Link rules all other LOZ's combined. Not really. I still like A Link to the Past a lot. Wind Waker was good, but really easy, with the sailing killing a lot of time. My Favorite is a tie now, between OOT and TP. TP edging it out because I'm still playing it. I could never get into Majora's Mask. I may try it again after I finish TP. Unless Metroid is out by then. If you don't have them but your tv is capable, get the Component video cable. 480p is great. You see more Jaggies but it is crystal clear with no blurred edges. The colors are also much richer. Got mine for 24.99.

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Gonzo said:

This game is ULTRA LONG!

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Wii-Fan said:

Love this game! Who could not like the controls of the game and the new items, they ROCK. The game is the best for the Wii.

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Tango said:

Best game ever. It has a great storyline, the graphics are amazing and Link is hotter than ever! Fighting on horseback is one of my favorite qualities about the game. The dungeons are hard, and the bosses are fun to fight, though I think they could have been more of a challenge! All in all, I'd have to say this is my favourite of all the Legend of Zelda games. If you haven't bought it yet, I suggest you run off to your nearest game store and get your hands on this masterpiece.

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