Community Review: The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess

So I started playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess last weekend.

I have opinions.

I'd like to preface those opinions by stating that I think Melbourne-based studio Tantalus did a solid job of remastering the game, polishing it and making it palatable for gamers in the year 2016.

But I can't believe how poorly this game has aged, particularly when you compare it to Wind Waker.

When I played the Wind Waker HD remaster, I was honestly astonished by how modern it was. In a lot of ways it's still the best looking video game ever made. It flows beautifully, the art direction is stellar, the animation is gorgeous. Twilight Princess is the exact opposite. The moment Link started running with that strange, stilted animation, where his arms and legs move but the rest of his body remains perfectly rigid — I almost had to turn it off then and there.

It's just such a strange game in a lot of ways. With the benefit of hindsight we can see just how much of a reaction it was to Wind Waker, to how badly the audience wanted a 'mature' Zelda. But that all seems so pathetic in hindsight, that we wanted a game like this instead of Wind Waker — a game busting with imagination and creativity and colour. Twilight Princess is very much a product of its time. Wind Waker is timeless.

Anyone else playing the remaster? How are you finding it so far?


Comments

    I really shouldn't of read this, now I'm going to notice the run animation.

    I am really liking it so far. The pacing is a little slow at the start, but it is just such a big game. I tried replaying it on my wii a few years back, and the murky graphics really put me off. But now i feel I'm right back in the zone!

    I still can't get over the fact that the version I played was flipped. I never realised.

      flipped?

        The Wii version was mirrored from the original Game Cube version to make Link right handed to work with the Wiimote. The whole game is flipped (except the text obviously), every dungeon and field and forest and ....

        Link is a lefty in the GC version which he has always been, and the game was flipped for the Wii because most people are right handed and to use the sword with the wii mote in the right hand made more sense, so the mirrored it.

    The intro is overly long and boring, and Hyrule Field manages to somehow be even worse than the one from OoT ("Let's make it bigger, and even more boring, with nothing to do!"), but there are so many endearing elements, so much that reminds me of why I've called TP my favourite Zelda for so long. Midna is a standout character, Zant's design is wonderful, the sword combat is at its best (and I appreciate the "puzzle" element to some of the wolf combat, though it falls flat), and the dungeons remain superb (that said, I remember liking the boss battle of the desert temple a lot more my first time). There's so much interesting stuff in there that I feel gets lost in the necessary comparisons to OoT.

    Whatever, I liked Skyward Sword (third place, after Link Between Worlds), so I'm clearly broken and wrong. :P

      " broken and wrong" hahahah

      Yes you are

        If it helps reinforce your opinion, OoT is my least favourite Zelda game (that I've played).

    I've been playing it on Wii, just finished the Goron temple and back in K village. I'm really enjoying it, more than when I tried to play it in 2006. Weird, but glad I kept my copy of it.

    I think the GC version was clearly affected by the fact the game was to become an 'Intro to Motion Controls by Nintendo, age 5' - the rote and banal opening is the biggest culprit.

    I was playing the opening with a 5 year old over the weekend and others who game with young children will also attest to this - to navigate a 3D space when you start a new game is asking a hell of a lot at first.

    I then played the intro later in 'Wii' mode and it was like Zelda Souls during those early Wolf Link parts. Yikes.

    This weird school of thought has surrounded Zelda as a franchise in recent years about how 'it's not really as good as it's given credit for' but TP on its own? It's definitely suffering from split personality.

    did anyone else purchase the Amiibos like a sucker? I always told myself I wouldn't buy into Nintendos new peripherals but I really wanted those extra Arrows, Hearts and Hardmode *sigh* you win this round Nintendo.

    I've played about 6 hours so far, and this is pretty much my take on it: Twilight Princess HD is like comfort food. I remembered basically nothing of the game before jumping in, but playing it through I find myself thinking "oh yeah, that's right" a lot. As much as it is a product of its time, it's a callback to when I was 16 and things were just simpler. I guess my liking it is as much a product of the memory of it as much as it is for the actual game itself.

    12 hours in, finished water temple last night.

    As someone who played the original on Wii with motion controls, I am really enjoying using the controller this time around (the flipped landscape keeps it interesting too). This is one of my least played Zelda's, so i'm enjoying my return.

    That said, I agree with Mark though. It hasn't aged nearly as well as Wind Waker, and that stupid janky horse...goddam. How much suck can you program into one asset?? The clipping and sensitivity make it feel like you're driving a 3 wheeled lead brick. Go home Epona, you're drunk!

    While I barely remember any of the game from my original playthrough, my subconscious must be remembering something because I keep travelling in the wrong direction when going somewhere because I must be remembering the mirrored Wii layout!

    It's a nice enough game but it hasn't aged well, and it's nice to be able to finally play it in HD and with normal controls.

    I finally finished Wind Waker HD on Saturday, my second attempt at it after my daughter (2yrs old at the time) pulled the power on my WiiU a couple years ago half way through the game that I stupidly hadn't saved. I gave it a rest at the time and picked it up again about a month ago, playing through it when I had time on weekends and making sure I saved :)

    So as soon as I finished Wind Waker, I popped in The Twilight Princess disc having never played it before, I do own it on the Wii but it's in my pile of shame like Skyward Sword, anyway, while I haven't had much time to really give it a good crack (I haven't even left Ordon Village yet), my initial reaction is that I feel like I'm playing a game that came out before Wind Waker. Actually, it doesn't even feel like I'm a Zelda game yet. I wouldn't say I'm not enjoying it so far but it hasn't grabbed me as much from the get-go like other Zelda games have.

    My GF started playing this on Saturday and is 10ish hours in. Apart from the Zelda series she’s never really got into games (except iPad puzzle games).

    It always amuses me how she’s going to take a Zelda game.

    She couldn’t put down Ocarina of Time, Beat A Link Between Worlds in a weekend; stalled in Majora’s Mask and Skyward Sword about halfway through (she found them too fiddly); and hated (and I mean hated) Wind Waker. She found the sailing boring and the whole style ‘too kiddy’.

    The thing I have to constantly remind myself is she’s in a vacuum with these games. She doesn’t know their history or read about them on review sites. Her knowledge of Zelda starts with her booting up the game.

    She is really digging Twilight Princess. I sort of see where she’s coming from. It feels and plays like a logical next step for the Zelda series. She loves all the puzzles and temples and particularly loves that the main gimmick (Wolf Link) is mostly ignorable, apart from the sections where you’re forced to play as him.

    It really just goes to show how much our perspectives and existing experience goes to defining how we view games.

    "The moment Link started running with that strange, stilted animation, where his arms and legs move but the rest of his body remains perfectly rigid ..." When I read this something clicked in my mind -- that animation style is how Link runs in Wind Waker but because he's super deformed and cartoony it looks normal but now I suspect that Twilight Princess was originally going to be in the same graphical style as Wind Waker, Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass but then later on Nintendo chased the Ocarina of Time nostalgia ( under pressure from fans) and made it realistic but didn't get around to changing the skeletal animation.

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