Since I live in a perpetual timewarp and am unable to play/listen/watch/read anything recent, I typically spend my time playing catch-up, going through all the last-gen video games and movies that have been out on DVD for at least 3 years. That being said, I recently completed The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Nintendo Wii. Instead of writing a typical review, I thought it would be more fun to type up my thoughts during my playthrough of the game.
- Ordon Village – Oh great, another Zelda game that starts out using a sleepy village as a tutorial. I got to do all kinds of exciting things like talking to people, walking around, getting lost, learning how to herd goats, learning how to catch goats, and fishing. Fishing was the most annoying thing in the game. The motion controls really fuck it up and make it nearly impossible. I had to read three walkthoughs before I found one that actually explained how to physically manage the controls. Other than the two required fishing parts of the game, I never fished again. What a waste of time. When do I get the sword, anyway?
- The Realm of Twilight – I was all set to enter the first dungeon when the game psyched me out and turned Link into a wolf instead. A wolf? Are you fucking serious? Immediately my PTSD incurred from Okami sent me into a blind rage, and I trashed everything in my house. So this Zelda game is mimicking a “popular” Zelda-clone/ripoff? I guess things really have come full circle, huh? Anyway, as a wolf I roamed around the murky sewers for a really long time. In order to see things like ghosts or follow odors, you have to use “wolf senses.” Naturally, this involves the majority of the screen getting really fucking dark, like Shigurui dark, and makes it difficult to see anything. Also, the wolf controls are super touchy, so falling down happens A LOT. By the way, I still haven’t gotten the sword.
- Some Bullshit Part 1 – Wolf Link escapes from the sewers, talks to Zelda, does some bullshit, and eventually returns to the World of Light. Only then was I able to turn back into human Link. Being freed from the bullshit wolf nonsense was a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, I still didn’t have the fucking sword yet. Eventually, after wandering around the forest for a few more hours I did get it, but it took way too fucking long.
- Forest Temple – Playing as human Link (thank god) I got to herd monkeys, find the boomerang, blow some shit around with wind power, and so forth. The boss was an annoying piece of shit that was hard to hit without precision. Unfortunately, the precision required is too much for the Wiimote’s clunky motion controls. Most of the time I kept on missing the boss when I tried to aim at him. I wound up mashing the buttons a lot, and that with a combination of luck brought me to victory.
- Kakariko Village – Oh thank you Jesus, I got to turn back into the wolf. One of the really
funannoying parts of this game is having to find hidden insects and kill them to collect mystical tears. You have to do this in wolf form in order to progress to the next area. I was overjoyed at the excessive amount of time it took me to complete this task. I was also profoundly happy to save my game and quit halfway through this mission, only on my next playthrough to find that I had to start collecting all the bugs over again from the beginning. Great job, save feature!
- Goron Mines – Standard fire/lava temple. The wooden shield burned up immediately, so I was supposed to go back and buy a metal shield. I could have done that, but I said “fuck it” and went on ahead. I beat the dungeon without too much hassle. It was fairly straight-forward, and had some cool parts like walking on the walls and ceiling.
- Lake Hylia/Lakebed Temple – Oh good, more bug killing/tear collecting! After that I got to partake in the most frustrating Zelda dungeon of all time. There is this central column that spurts water, and the goal is to maneuver it around to open up various locked doors. It’s a giant singular puzzle. On paper it sounds cool, but in practice it was really fucking hard to figure out. It wasn’t fun going back and forth, it was just tedious. The boss in this level is underwater, so naturally it moves quickly and Link moves in slow-motion. Great fun (not).
- Some Bullshit Part 2 – I got the Master Sword after solving a tile puzzle that belongs in some other game. That was followed up by some bug catching, ghost hunting, and re-navigating the sewers from before. Best of all, there is a return to the forest and a long, boring, frustrating chase with some sadistic, anorexic kid with a flute. I couldn’t wait for this shit to end so I could move on with the game. At least I wasn’t being forced into wolf-form any longer.
- Arbiter’s Grounds – I thought, “Oh cool, an ancient Egyptian setting” upon first seeing this dungeon. The dungeon itself wasn’t all that difficult to navigate. By this time I was actually having some fun, which seemed pretty rare for this game. The best part of any Zelda dungeon is the acquisition of a new (and coincidentally immediately useful) item. This dungeon features the most retarded special item ever concocted. It’s the Spinner. Link stands on a disc that hooks into the wall and spins him around. Lame.
- Snowpeak Ruins – Every Zelda game requires a “snow level.” This one was better than most. It was labyrinthine, but not so fucking dense that it required a walkthrough to figure out. It had some fun moments which included firing cannons. It also garnered a cool (but relatively useless) weapon, a giant Ball and Chain. The boss was stupid, but overall this was one of the more fun and innovative dungeons.
- Temple of Time – This was by far the most fun of all the dungeons. It had the right amount of difficulty in terms of fighting and puzzle solving, and it was not so long as to overstay its welcome. Also, the special item was really awesome, although pretty useless once the dungeon was completed. It was cool, though.
- Some Bullshit Part 3 – I had to go around the entire world of Hyrule moving statues, talking to people, collecting shit, and howling at the moon in wolf-form. Clearly this served no other purpose than to pad the length of the game. Fucking boring and useless. I couldn’t wait to move past this shit.
- City in the Sky – WAY. TOO. FUCKING. LONG. This dungeon was seriously a 5 hour epic struggle to complete. Since most video games clock in at 10-12 hours, this single dungeon took half as long as any other non-rpg in your game library. There were annoying pitfalls that I dropped into constantly. The dungeon forced me to retrace my steps a billion times. The puzzles were completely obtuse. The mini-boss and final boss fights were atrociously boring. The special item, the double hookshot, was really badass. I hope they bring it forward to future Zelda games. However, it was introduced to Twilight Princess far too late.
- Palace of Twilight – By this time I’m not playing for fun anymore, I’m playing to finish this fucking game. This dungeon was really short but exponentially annoying. There were these fucking cloudy black areas that force you back into wolf-form. After slogging through them, you grab a special item and go back all the while avoiding a giant floating hand who is looking to bitchslap Link out of existence. Well, on the positive side, this dungeon was extremely short.
- Hyrule Castle – Thank you god, the final part of the game. The castle itself is extraneous. I didn’t explore half of it. I blew through it in the most linear way possible so I could face off with the final boss, Ganon. Ganon has four different forms to battle (of course he does) and each one is more annoying than the last. The second form he has is a big ass pig who teleports around the room. It’s annoying as shit, and he’s really fucking hard to hit. The third form he is a human on horseback. Link and Zelda chase him on a horse. You can’t hit him until Zelda stuns him with a Light Arrow. Of course, Zelda is a horrible shot, and this takes forever. Eventually I got through all that bullshit, gave Ganon the death blow, and finished this fucking game.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a very difficult game to review. The practical side of me wants to give it a horrible review, but the nostalgic side of me wants to give it a good review. The biggest problem is that you can’t review any Zelda game in a vacuum. You inevitably end up comparing it to its predecessors. It certainly isn’t the best Zelda game ever made, but it isn’t the worst either. I suppose that compared to other dungeon-crawling adventure games, it fares much better. It is leaps and bounds better than that piece of shit Okami. If you’re a long time fan of the Zelda series, you should give this one a try. If you’re a more casual player, then skip it, there are better Zelda games.
Compared to other Zelda games: Average
Compared to other adventure games: Good
Here’s a list of how I would rank the Zelda games I’ve played in order from best to worst:
- A Link to the Past (SNES)
- Majora’s Mask (N64)
- Ocarina of Time (N64)
- Twilight Princess (Wii)
- The Wind Waker (Gamecube)
- The Legend of Zelda (NES)
- Link’s Awakening (Gameboy)
- The Adventure of Link (NES)