Zelda Twilight Princess

29 08 2010

by NiceDino

AngryPanda said I would write something about Metroid at some point anyway, which I will eventually. But for now I´d like to be unpredictable. So here is a text about how awesome Zelda Twilight Princess is.

My first Zelda-Game ever was ZELDA – A LINK TO THE PAST, which was released in 1992 for the Super Nintendo. This game was also the first action-adventure I´ve ever played, which caused a serious problem. Every other action-adventure I played thereafter I automatically compared to this one. Only few games were capable of living up to that level of quality.

Even the other games of the Zelda series had a hard time trying to do that. „Ocarina of Time“ (1998) almost succeeded. It really is an outstanding game, but in my humble opinion it can´t keep up with „A Link to the Past“. Then „Majoras Mask“ (2000) was released, which many people refer to as „the black sheep“ of the Zelda franchise, followed by „Windwaker“ (2003).

While I personally share the opinion of „Majoras Mask“ being the weakest Link of the Zelda games, I thought of „Windwaker“ as a slightly better part. A step forward. However both games are without doubt overshadowed by it´s great predecessor „Ocarina of Time“, which I think is because they are both very much shorter.

„Majoras Mask“ as well as „Windwaker“ are approximately about half the play-time of „Ocarina of Time“, which of course isn´t very much. And since I already thought of „Ocarina of Time“ as, at least a little bit, inferior to „A Link to the Past“, they couldn´t keep up with the Super NES Zelda at all.

Only „Twilight Princess“ (2006) managed to do what almost seemed impossible to me at this point: To be a better Zelda game than „A Link to the past“.

But what is it that makes „Twilight Princess“ so damn good?

1. Quantity

The first thing which crosses my mind is the incredible amount of playtime this game has to offer. You should at least expect that it will take you fifty hours to complete it. And this is only the main plot – without side quests. This is really a large amount of content. In this case „Twilight Princess“ beats „A Link to the Past“ and „Ocarina of Time“ with ease and „Majoras Mask“ as well as „Windwaker“ to an extend it is almost beyond comprehension. I myself completed TP in approximately seventy hours. Of course I could have been quicker if  I had wanted to, but I didn´t. I even played the side quests – all of them – and I can´t stand side quests, but I couldn´t resist. That´s how good this game is. The version I played was the Wii-version by the way. So everything I say is about this version of the game.

2. Sidekick

In „A Link to the Past“ Link didn´t have a sidekick. In „Ocarina of Time“ and „Majoras Mask“ he had an annoying one. The one in „Ocarina of Time“ was called Navi. Her persistent >>LISTEN<< makes me shiver to this day. A whole generation of gamers was traumatized by this little brat. Navi can be refered to as „the JarJar Binks of the Zelda series“. Nobody likes her. NOBODY.

In „Windwaker“ on the other hand, Link had a traveling companion who was relatively cool and not annoying at all. The „King of the Red Lions“. The only problem was that he was a boat. I´m totally serious about this. He was very useful though, since „Windwaker“ took place in an island world, but he couldn´t accompany you into any of the dungeons since those were on land.

So, what we had until now was the following: 1 x no sidekick, 2 x an annoying sidekick and 1 x a relatively cool sidekick, who couldn´t accompany you to any of the important locations of the game. Then there was „Twilight Princess“ and Midna.

Midna is just perfect. She is small, handy, cute and useful and as such everything a sidekick should be. Furthermore she has a personality (not like Navi), which is why I like her so much. She looks like a cross between Pikachu and the Lord of Darkness and that is very hard to top. In one moment she is so cute you can barely stand it, in the next she is so awesome you can´t believe it. Although she likes to tease Link, which she does very frequently, you just can´t be angry at her. The fact that Midna has a personality isn´t a coincidence by the way, since she is –  SPOILER ALERT – an essential part of the story and even the eponym of this Zelda game.

3. Links wolf-transformation

That´s right! We got a transforming Link now! Isn´t that awesome? To be fair Link could transform in many of the older games too. But never into a wolf. This is just cool. Besides, in prior games these different forms were only useful in special locations, while the wolf can be useful all the time, throughout the entire game.

Because of that the wolf really becomes Link alter ego, his constant companion you learn to like just as much as the original character. And it is just cute when Midna rides on the back of Wolf-Link. I can´t get enough of that sight.

4. The inhabitants of Hyrule

Are very friendly and sympathetic and first and foremost better integrated into the game than they were in other installations of the series I have played before. „A Link to the Past“ was almost as good. I will never forget the little boy who was playing on his whistle while sitting on a clearing. The animals of the forest were gathering around him to listen to his play and everything was delightfully corny. The Boy was turned into a tree by Ganon’s evil magic. A very tragic turn of events. I would have completed this game for the single purpose to turn that kid back into his human form.

„Twilight Princess“ even manages it to top this kind of involvement which is, in the first instance, due to Midna and the children of Links hometown. The protagonists are that likeable you want to help them really bad. It´s not like this kind of intention would be the only reason to play this excellent game, but the additional emotional motivation is definitely a bonus.

5. Hyrule itself

Is larger and of greater variety than any Hyrule before. I admit, compared to „Ocarina of Time“ it doesn´t make that much of a difference. This Hyrule was also very big. But it just can´t compete with „Twilight Princess“. At least not all the way. „Twilight Princess“ has at least one more variety of landscape than any other of the mentioned Zelda games. It includes deep forests, vast plains, a dusty dessert, the Hylia Lake, a rocky mountain area, a snowy high mountain area, a city in the clouds and a floating fortress in a different dimension. To make it brief: Everything you could possibly desire.

Well, this are my reason why I like „Twilight Princess“ more than any other Zelda game I know. Of course all of them are great games, but „Twilight Princess“ is my personal favorite. If someone does prefer another part of the series, he can mention it of course if he likes to. I promise I won´t be mad at him.

Conclusion

Any one who hasn´t played this game yet is nothing but a sad fool. Only people who dislike action-adventures in the style of Zelda a great deal should stay away from this game. As far as all others are concerned: PLAY IT!

Thanks for reading

NiceDino ^^


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