The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is the first game I purchased for my Nintendo Wii, oh these four months ago. Since getting it, it has become something of an obsession for me. I have spent (almost) every spare moment (and some moments I really couldn't spare) immersed in the world of Link, Zelda, Epona, and Midna. Well last night, during my 50th hour, Gandondorf, the King of Theives, laid dead on the ground, felled from a fatal blow delivered by the light-charged Master Sword. Long have I wished to share my feelings on this game, but I didn't want to rush to judgment based on an impartial sampling of the game. I wanted to make sure I had played all the way through before I rendered a verdict. Well, now that verdict is in: Twilight Princess is the best game I have ever played.
I know that many out there will cluck their tongues at me for making a statement like that. Sure, the Wii doesn't pack the graphical or aural fireworks of the 360 or PS3, and this is basically a GameCube game only slightly upgraded for Nintendo's next-gen wonder. But even considering all this, Twilight Princess is still the greatest gaming experience I have ever played.
Starting off in Ordan Village, you must figure out everything that needs to be done. You will need to find items (fishing rod, slingshot, wooden sword, etc.) and each item that you find will lead you to the next. This is a pattern that will continue for the entirety of the game.
I won't go into too much detail about how the game runs, what order things are accomplished, or what to do in order to defeat big bosses. I want to just focus on a few of my favorite aspects of the game, and maybe point out the few areas I feel could have been improved.
First of all, I want to focus on the puzzles in this game. I've long felt that the creators of the Zelda franchise games, from the NES to the Wii, have had a knack for crafting puzzles that keep gamers of any age engaged. The puzzles are varied, complicated and challenging without ever (or rarely) becoming frustrating. The later you get into the game, the more complicated the puzzles become, and the more satisfying it becomes to solve each one.
There were five or six points in the first 15-25 hours of the game where I found myself thinking, "I may have just done the coolest thing I've ever done on a video game!" I loved riding my horse across Hyrule Field, while firing slingshot seeds at other mounted enemies. Hitching a ride on the giant pterodactyl creature to get up and down the river was amazing. Walking all around the Death Mountain dungeon with the Iron Boots- simply amazing. Sumo-wrestling the Goron Chief showed that Link's size is never to be a negative. But the thrills and novel gaming functions didn't stop here.
Riding the Spinner in the Gerudo Desert Temple was dizzying and stunning. Snowboarding down the snow-capped mountains was a blast. Really- there were too many great moments to list. Rest assured, at every turn there is something fun, something challenging, and something unlike any game you've ever played before.
That being said, there were a few things about this game that bothered me. Many of the main bosses in the dungeons were easy to beat, some ridiculously so. I also feel like some of the dungeons themselves were over all too quickly (Hyrule Castle comes right to mind) while some took more time than was warranted (City in the Sky anyone?) I also wish that more had been done to help with side-quests. I feel like there is so much I missed (larger wallet, extra heart containers, and Magic Armor are a few examples) and no real way to know how to find these things.
Speaking of heart containers: What's the deal with having to find five pieces to make a complete heart?! For time out of mind, you only needed four pieces, now they spring this five stuff on us. What's that all about?!
Still though, all things being equal, I will stand by my assertion that The Legend of Zelda:Twilight Princess is the greatest experience a game has ever offered me. I guess now its time for me to sign up for Xbox Live and find the next greatest experience.