or maybe I flatter myself thinking that everyone has been squirming in their seats for this review . . .
yeah flatter, definitely flatter.
So I promised a level by level review, but after spending a while writing that I realized it would be impossible to do that without ruining the game. I hate to break promises but I hate spoilers even more. So this will be a rather long review because there is so much in the game and it’s Zelda, so my heart has always belonged to this game.
Let me begin by saying that scenic wise, they nailed it. The characters were amazing. The addition of Midna gave the game a new dimension. Definitely approve of her over Navi (Ocarina of Time), despite the fact that Midna’s giggle is way creepy as opposed to the “Hey! Listen!” (btw that still makes me want to strangle someone every time I think of it.) I loved the way Zelda was presented and I even liked how they extended that extra female role in the game with Iilia (girl from Link’s hometown). The storyline was genius and I loved the addition of the Twilight Realm.
Oh the Twilight Realm, it’s gorgeous guys. I was skeptical when I heard about the whole transforming into wolf thing. We all know that kind of stuff can be severely abused and RUIN a game (Sonic anyone?) I ended up loving the wolf though. They managed to do it in good moderation and the transformation looked uber cool. It also didn’t happen every time the sun went down (Thank God.) Not to mention I thought the whole Midna and Wolf interaction was priceless. It was great seeing the Wolf look annoyed when Midna lands on his back. I never got tired of that small repetitive scene. All the other cut scenes, amazing. I loved the art.
The weapons are the typical: the Master Sword (of course) the hookshot (with the addition of a double hookshot), bow & arrow, bombs, boomerang, and the slingshot. New additions are the dominion rod and the ball & chain (introduced to replace the hammer). Love the dominion rod, HATE the ball & chain. Never add a weapon that makes the hero of the story look awkward, they are alway supposed to look cool. End of story. I understand the want to mix it up, but geez, don’t replace a staple in the game, come up with something new.
I also was really upset that they totally threw musical instruments out of the game. As a wolf you can howl, but only at specific points in the game. I felt they cheated by adding some warping things that pretty much required no work at all. Even in calling Epona all you do is blow on a piece of grass, and that can only be found in select spots. I’d also like to point out I was extremely upset when I realized how LITTLE you use Epona in the game. Maybe it comes from having to rely so heavily on her in Ocarina of Time, but losing the Epona effect basically made you lose the whole picture of Hyrule Field. Not to mention I realized that by riding Epona I managed to miss things that I would notice better on foot. That drove me crazy. She is still an essential part of the game, but she might as well be something you find in a vase and then lose at the end of the dungeon or that particular segment of the game.
I’ll admit that my biggest complaint on the game though was it really was completely forgettable. If I could have just skipped to the ending I probably wouldn’t have missed anything. The dungeons weren’t memorable at all. That was another problem with reviewing it by levels, after I left a dungeon, I pretty much completely forgot everything about it. This is extremely frustrating considering most Zelda games I can quickly list off the impressive things about the dungeons or at least tell you which ones were the most frustrating. The most interesting dungeons in the games were the last few and they were short, really short. I was shocked at how short they were. I realized that I probably could have gone through the last three dungeons in an hour, maybe less.
The main boss in the Twilight Realm is one of the most annoying, most pansyish bosses I have ever seen. They managed to make the epitome of an emo in this guy. He wasn’t scary, he wasn’t intimidating, really I figured that Zelda probably could have saved herself just by slapping the guy. Maybe she would have to go with the Sheik slap, but either way the dude would go down.
This game mostly just left me scratching my head. Granted it wasn’t made for the Wii, but I still figured that they would follow up Ocarina of Time with something mind blowing. Zelda is a game that usually inspires, this just felt like a regular game. Despite all the graphics it wasn’t as memorable as the Phantom Hourglass which graphics weren’t the major pull in the game.
Tiny annoyances, sometimes you want to hit Link because you know you are telling him to do something and he just won’t do it. I found myself yelling at the game (which I rarely do with Zelda) because Link was just being stupid. Maybe I’ll figure out that it was my fault and then I can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it was my own incompetence and not Link’s that frustrated my so in the game. I got a bit frustrated with the hook shot a few times. Oh, and I was mad when they introduced the moving bombs and you NEVER USE THEM! I think I ranted for a while because I had to ditch all of my regular bombs to buy them but I ASSUMED that because they were new I’d need them. I was WRONG, not only that but they were the exact OPPOSITE of what I needed in the next dungeon. Therefore I had to leave the place, and then go the whole way back which involved a short kind of scene where you have to maneuver something in order to get there. Ugh, I wanted to hit something. So that was my rant part of the game, I guess I always have one of those =/
To sum it all up, and this hurts because I’m a die hard Zelda fan. In my college dorm I had a large . . . what do you call it . . . wall sticker thing of Link. Brad gave it to me for my birthday and I absolutely love it. I still have it wrapped up somewhere . . .
Anyway . . . it’s really not a game I tell people “Oh my gosh you HAVE to play this”, I don’t even know if I’d push my brothers (who are also big on Zelda games) to play it. In all of the Zelda games there was always this gradual progression, they always added something, not only to their gameplay, but to videogames in general. Not to mention all of them had a replay value for me. Sadly, I just want to retire this one in the videogames library and I get the feeling if I ever feel like reliving a videogame experience my hand will always pass this game up. It’s depressing because I was psyched when I realized I could download Ocarina of Time onto the Wii, and I always returns to Zelda games to revel in that particular high they give me. Twilight Princess just fell flat . . .
Sorry guys, it just didn’t move me. Gorgeous cut scenes, amazing landscape, it was a pretty picture with no depth.
Well, if anyone is curious, games I’m playing now:
Prince of Persia, Okami, just finished playing Resident Evil 5 but playing mercenary mode (that’ll be a joint review with Brad and I)
I’m planning on replaying a few old games so I can give a solid review on them (Secret of Mana and Mario Bros 2 anyone?)
Slán go fóill