The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review - 20/09/2007

In the build up to Phantom hourglass, we take a look back on Link's best journey to date. But is it still the best game on Wii?

When Nintendo launched the Gamecube, way back in 2001, there was one game on everyone’s mind. Ocarina of Time 2. The spiritual successor of the critically acclaimed game was showed as a tech demo at E3 the previous year. Many people frothed at the mouth at the thought of a realistic Link and Ganondorf, and so eagerly awaited the new game. When news was released about ‘The Wind Waker’ many fans were disappointed. The game’s cartoony graphics led some to immediately doubt Miyamoto and not bother with the essentially better sequel. People craved for the real Link, and their prayers were answered when Nintendo announced Twilight Princess.

The story is an astounding accomplishment, featuring one of the most interesting characters in the Zelda franchise. The story of Midna is a heartrending one, which can’t be seen until you reflect on the games proceedings. It is as epic as a Hollywood movie, but doesn’t go over the top. It just tells a story, and tells it well. You don’t sit through piles of FMVs either; your actions carry the story.

It was heralded as the true sequel to Ocarina of Time, but the game excels above it in every way. The first thing to get across about it is that it is a Gamecube game. Wii controls were grafted on to help sales of the console and so the graphics are last-gen. This isn’t apparent in the game, as it is one of the most gorgeous Nintendo games ever made, and feels very-much next generation. It definitely includes some amazing art direction, and the game in turn pushes Zelda in a fantastic new direction. Bosses seem a part of the world and reflect the area they inhabit, while all the people seem like they have lived in Hyrule along with many avid fans. The first disappointment is the lack of voice acting however, which has been seen in various Gamecube releases. This does keep the game from being a truly next gen Zelda.

If you have played a Zelda game before, you will know the formula inside out. This hasn’t changed much, and you’ll know what items will come where. Although people may complain that the franchise hasn’t evolved, the game throws a whole new way to play into the mix. The Wii remote gives a sense of freshness that’s much needed in a franchise like this. It is used in many ways, but will normally be used as your sword. This feels very natural, and allows Link to attack while running. Other uses, like precision aiming for the bow, are welcomed and run very smoothly. Although, if your Remote isn’t pointed at the screen, an annoying ‘Point your remote at the screen’ message will appear, halting the gameplay. This minor gripe aside, the remote works excellently.

Aside from looking amazing, being hugely innovative and answering fans' wishes, Twilight Princess is fun! It is a hugely enjoyable journey, which is brilliant on nearly all of its levels. It makes the player feel a part of this huge world, and get emotionally attached to it and its characters. It doesn’t go over the top with high def visuals and mega flashy action. It just does an incredible job of immersing anyone who comes in contact with it. It is undoubtedly still the best game on Wii, with no other game reaching the heights that this journey does. It is the blueprint for the perfect game, and takes Nintendo to new heights of video game design.

- Sam Atkins



Nintendo EAD
Gamecube - Wii