The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
- November 20, 2006 00:00 AM PST
First off, let me to begin by stating that after 20-plus hours of playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, I have not beaten the game. In fact, I'm going to guesstimate that I have another 10 to 20 hours of the main story and countless hours of side quests left. Why the broad range? Well, as we all know, the Zelda series is well-known for its unexpected plot twists and unfolding story arcs, which, at any time, may send you on a wild goose chase from the shores of Lake Hylia to the distant planes of the Gerudo Desert.
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It's important to note that Twilight Princess is bigger than Wind Waker. From the start of Link's epic adventure in Faron Forest to the highest peaks of Death Mountain where the Gorons dwell, the legend never seems to end. And that's a good thing because this is one Zelda game you'll wish could go on forever.
PROTIP: Epona returns, more faithful and fun to ride than ever before.
Despite the Zelda pedigree, I had some initial misgivings about the game. I'd read the hype, seen the screens and footage, even took it for a quick spin at E3 but still, the doubt persisted: was this just Wind Waker with fancier graphics and a kooky control scheme? And when you come down to it, the answer is...well, yes. At its core, Twilight Princess isn't anything new. We've all seen the grassy fields of Hyrule and experienced the somewhat frustrating dungeon filled puzzles before. But, there is something that sets Twilight Princess apart from the other Zelda game. Something sincere. Something different. It's hard to put into words, so why try? You'll see what I'm talking about once you start to play.
The story, like most Zelda games, involves the land of Hyrule, which is on the brink of chaos. A darkness known as the Twilight has begun to creep over the land, turning the people of Hyrule into spirits and it's your job to help series stalwart Link restore light to the land.
PROTIP: Boss battles are epic in Twilight Princess and make full use of the items acquired in said dungeon.
As series vets can expect, the game starts off slowly, introducing characters, familiarizing you with the core gameplay mechanics, and on the Wii, learning the new control scheme. Expect at least an hour or more before you'll be completely comfortable with the controls. Compared with more responsive Wii games, such as Wii Sports, the Wii remote functionality in Twilight Princess feels slapped on and somewhat flawed, but eventually, the freedom of having the nunchuk in one hand and the Wii remote in the other will feel like second nature.
Let me do a quick and dirty primer on the controls: the nunchuk's analog stick moves Link around, the Z button auto-locks onto enemies or targets and the C button lets you free look around. Shaking the attachment also executes Link's spin attacks. The Wii remote is used for item selection, menu navigation, and weapon aiming. It also controls Link's sword: you equip it by swiping the Wii-mote, then slash away.
PROTIP: When in wolf form, hold the B button on the back of the Wii remote for a devastating one-hit area-of-effect (aoe) maneuver.