“A sword wields no strength unless the hand that holds it has courage. You may be destined to become the hero of legend… but your current power would disgrace the proud green of the hero’s tunic you wear. You must use your courage to seek power… and find it you must. Only then will you become the hero for whom this world despairs.”
– The Hero’s Shade
I love this game. I love it so much. I love the story, the characters, the gameplay, the visuals, the areas, the music, heck, I love everything! The only video game port that I actually have is a Wii, so, as you can imagine, I don’t really “get out” very much in the video game world. Before I picked up The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the best games that I had been playing were Super Mario Galaxy 2 (which, don’t get me wrong, is a great game), and Wii Sports (also a great game).
When I started playing, it wasn’t anything remarkable. I mostly liked it as much as I did because it was a new gaming experience. Nowadays, I’m a pretty huge Zelda geek. But, when I first picked up Twilight Princess, and started to play, I barely even knew the series existed. In fact, I got all the way to the Forest Temple, but then got stuck. I tried to solve the puzzles inside the temple, but I just couldn’t. I gave up, and shelved the game for nearly a year. Then, I came back with a guide from IGN. I then made it, from there, on a steady track to the end of the game. Using a guide only in dungeons, and only as a quick hint to keep me going.
I really hated using it, but the dungeons in Twilight Princess are merciless, and it was my first Zelda game, so I didn’t have any experience with Zelda dungeons. One of the coolest things of Hyrule Castle was that I deliberately used only one hint, for something that actually didn’t matter. Everything else I solved on my own, which I felt was a really cool thing to see, as it showed how good I had become at the puzzling aspects of the game. Recently, I started the game again on a casual relationship, and found out just how easy and fun the Forest Temple was, and how the puzzles were actually really just second nature for the common Zelda player. (my review on the Forest Temple coming soon)
The story in this game is top notch. You are constantly immersed in the invasion of Hyrule by the Twili, led by Zant. Everything makes sense, and there is never a dull moment. I remember being left hanging on the edge of a cliffhanger for months, after the TV that I had hooked up to my Wii was taken by a family member for the beginning of a sports season. You get to flip between the gameplay mechanics of both a Hylian (Hyrule’s equivalent to a human), and a Sacred Wolf. Originally, I hated those sections, but, later in the game, when the game mechanic of changing back and forth from a Hylian to a Wolf at will was introduced, I realized that it was actually pretty awesome.
The combat system was ridiculously fun, and intuitive, as you just needed to swing the Wii Remote in different manners to execute different strikes. The motion controls were very casual, and I liked them a lot, especially how they were used in conjunction with the projectile shooting, like the Slingshot and Hero’s Bow. There were also seven hidden skills, which you found throughout the world. These made the game and the combat experience much more varied and interesting. Items played a big part in the game as well. While playing through Skyward Sword, I was realizing that I have all of the items on my wheel, but even when confronted with a large enemy, I would hesitate, or let them come to me, or even just run. While playing through Twilight Princess, I was finding that even when confronted with multiple Darknuts, I would seriously just charge them without a thought. I really had a deep-seated trust in my abilities and items. Twilight Princess Link is a total bada#s.
The other minor characters were awesome, though I feel like some didn’t get enough time to shine. Ashei and Auru, of the Resistance, for example. I feel like Rusl, Shad, Telma, Colin, (not including Minda or Zelda, because I don’t consider them minor) and others definitely were awesome. Shad actually ended up being one of my favorite characters in the game. Adding onto the awesomeness of the characters, the visuals in the game were absolutely stunning. One of the coolest things in the game was just standing near the top of the Zora’s Domain, and watch the sun rise over Hyrule Castle.
Whenever a storm came over me when I was riding through Hyrule Field, I would just stop, and dismount. The atmosphere was amazing. The dungeons, while extremely puzzling, so much so that you’ll find yourself banging your head against the wall when you finally figure it out, are expertly crafted, and there are awesome events that happen in the game, like sumo wrestling training, Colin’s kidnapping, Telma and Ilia’s escort mission, and the assault on the Bulblin’s fortress outside of the Arbiter’s Grounds. These events were insanely fun, and punctuated the always superb storyline of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. This game is a work of art, and the best that I’ve ever played. 10 out 10.
With a superb storyline, inspiring characters, awesome gameplay and controls, stunning visuals and expertly crafted design, Twilight Princess is a true work of art, and I feel honored to have played it.