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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review - Wii

9.5
Gameplay: 9 stars 9
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 7 stars 7
Innovation: 8 stars 8
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Introduction


Calling Twilight Princess anything other than the most anticipated launch title in history would be a misnomer. Without a Mario title at launch, Nintendo rested their hopes on a small boy from the forest. With the hopes of not only a new console, but a new style of gameplay resting on his shoulders, if there was anyone who could make up for the lack of Mario at launch, it would be Link.

Twilight Princess opens with Link awakening in a tree house, a throwback (and only one of many small nods and winks at previous Zelda titles) to Ocarina of Time. In the village of Ordon south of Hyrule, in the Faron wood, Link works as a ranch hand and herder when not training under Rusl in the art of the sword that is. Link is older in Twilight Princess than he has been in most titles, with Link well into his teenage years by now, and even has a love interest in the form of Ilia, daughter of the village mayor. Outside of Ordon, things are not so peaceful. In the kingdom of Hyrule, shadow beasts have appeared and, led by Zant, they storm the castle, forcing Princess Zelda's surrender

Twilight Princess starts slowly, perhaps a little too slowly. The first hour is spent herding cattle, finding a lost baby basket, feeding a cat and fishing. There's even a little swordplay to show off for the local children. Before long, trouble strikes. As usual, Link rushes off to the rescue and finds himself embroiled in a plot far more extensive than he could have imagined.

Soon he will meet a princess, rescue children, meet ancient spirits and fend off beasts from the realm of shadows and, in the process, become a beast himself. Cursed by the shadow creatures, Link becomes a wolf, a curse that eventually becomes a blessing as he uses the dark magic to undo the evil, aided by the mysterious shadow being Midna, who becomes his companion. The relationship between Link and Midna changes during the game, beginning out with Midna's almost dismissive attitude towards Link, growing into appreciation and finally, well, that would be telling.

The story in Twilight Princess doesn't rely upon lengthy dialogue exchanges to unfold. Rather, it uses immaculately animated cut scenes, where body language tells more than text, and lets the player piece bits of information together, rather than spoon feeding the plot, scene by scene.

Upon finishing the game, I was left feeling as if some things were unexplained. Looking back, the game closes nicely, and any loops or plot holes in the game can be explained if you pay attention. It's the kind of story telling that lets the player fill in the blanks, making it a more personal story, instead of playing out like an elaborate play. But that's not to say it doesn't play. It does, and how.

Gameplay


The controls take a little getting used to. The ... (continued next page)