Zelda: Twilight Princess Reviews & Impressions (Spoiler-Free)

croaker, I only had to play it twice because I got one of the bad Wiis and you can't transfer save games from console to console. You only have to actually do it once.

croaker wrote:

Turning in his gamer card

That might be your problem. The controls for this game are based heavily on Ocarina, and there's really not a lot of introduction at the beginning of the game (see the fishing problems).

Z targeting uses the button on the Nunchuck. When you hold it down while close to an enemy (walking or on horseback), it should zoom the camera in and cause you to focus on that enemy (or the wagon, in this case). While you are holding the Z button, any B button attacks (like arrows or boomerang), will automatically fly at that target, without needing you to aim it. This is different from Z clicking with the boomerang to hit multiple targets. Also, you can swing your sword from horseback, and even spin attack, and it's much more effective at unhorsing the goblins.

I never noticed the birds dropping bombs, I made it through on the first run. I guess I'm just lucky/good

Well, I think I understand part of your difficulty now.

Just like how in normal sword combat you can lock on to nearby enemies with the Z trigger, the same thing can be used to auto-target with your ranged weapons (whether you are on horseback or not).

So while you are on horseback just charge up close enough to an enemy that you get that rotating yellow cursor above them and hold down Z. You will lock on to them, and not only will your movement be altered to help you close the distance with them much easier (this will help with killing them with your sword) but once you are locked on, hitting the B button to fire your arrows or boomerang will skip the cursor aiming part and just fire the weapon at them. You should note that if either you or the enemy is moving erratically, your arrows won't be extremely accurate. However, it is still faster to fire a few arrows off this way than to switch to the first person aiming mode.

A few more notes about Z targeting, though. First, you will be able to lock on to the wagon with your boomerang the same way when it is on fire (ie, just get close to it and hit Z, then hit B to throw it, rather than hitting B, aiming, then throwing). Second, you can sometimes lock on a bit before the yellow cursors show up, so it doesn't hurt to try tapping the Z button to see if you get a lock. Finally, if you hit Z and lock on to a monster that you didn't want to target, quickly release and then repress the Z button to cycle through all nearby targets.

This would have made the earlier horse combat bit a lot easier too, because once you lock on to an enemy it is a lot easier to get the horse in close for a few good sword hits.

(Also, I think that the bit where they implied that you had to use the bow and arrow was only regarding the second jousting event, since the goblin had armor on his sides to protect him from your sword.)

Thanks for all your help. After 3 or so more tries, I managed to get through the causeway and into the final field area! Once there, it took a long time, but I was able to get the gate unlocked and the wagon through safely. I think what really turned the corner (so to speak) was the suggestions not to bother with arrows and to use the boomerang on the birds while mostly keeping on top of the fire smothering. As long as the bird was removed in time, the wagon was able to take the right path.

It still shouldn't have taken days of trying for me to get through this, though. I'm not sure whether it's me or the game design that's at fault here, although I suspect it's mostly the former.

I'm going to do a very weird thing for me and post in a thread I haven't read and don't plan to for awhile. I may be repeating what other people say, and I won't know it for awhile... this is a write-only post.

I've played it for about two hours on the Gamecube (not the Wii), and my single strongest impression: I really, really miss the cel-shaded graphics. I absolutely loved the look of Wind Waker. There were a few vocal people who didn't, and I think Nintendo paid too much attention to them. This new Zelda game looks like sh*t in comparison.

Gamecube games are tiny; they have to be, as there's not much room on the disk. WW was a brilliant design. It used what the GC is good at, pushing lots of polys (it's surprisingly powerful in that sense), and avoiding what it was bad at, heavy texturing. Characters and sets mostly used vibrant colors rather than textures. They looked great, animated well, and were tremendous fun to fight.

This new Zelda is exactly backwards. It's heavily dependent on textures. But there's not much room for textures on the disk, so to do a large gameworld well, they're just not very good. There's no room for good ones. This game accentuates the console's weaknesses, rather than playing to its strengths.

It may still be a very good game, but I don't know about that yet. Normally, I'm not one to Female Doggo about graphics. I'm much more focused on gameplay. But this looks so awful in comparison with Wind Waker that I'm finding it quite distracting. I keep hearing the same music and themes and sounds from WW, and each time it throws me back into that world... and the comparison is jarring.

I'm sure I'll get past it, eventually, but...they got it right last time. The spot they really blew it in WW was in having you spend too much time sailing... it was otherwise excellent. They avoided that here, but I don't think it was a good tradeoff.

I won't read this thread until I've had a few more days with the game. I will eventually read any replies, but it'll be awhile. If you want me to see something sooner, please drop me a PM.

Just entered a sandy area with an baddie encampment. Proceeded to have epic fights with many, many bad guys. Throughly enjoying this game.

Ok, I finished the Gamecube version of the game... it took me about 45 hours, and I didn't do much in the way of sidequests. Did a couple, but mostly played straight through.

This game is awesome. The textures are a little weak, but now I understand why... the gameworld is gigantic. I am in awe that they managed to fit that much stuff onto a tiny Gamecube disk. That's 45 hours of very solid gameplay, with no tedium, no bullsh*t, just playing. There's probably another fifteen hours of extra stuff at least, but unlike certain recent games(*cough*FF12*cough*), you don't have to kill random pointless monsters if you don't want to. You can play pretty much straight through, and it's possible (though difficult) to beat the game without getting very many of the extra heart containers. I think I finished with 13 (of the traditional 20 possible) hearts.

In some ways, it's exactly the same game as all the other Zeldas, but polished to an extraordinary sheen. This is, as far as I'm concerned, Miyamoto's masterwork; there is no need for any further Zelda games. They've filed off absolutely everything extraneous, and what's left is just pure fun. The boss battles are interesting and varied, and range from easy to extremely difficult. There are new items in addition to many of the old favorites, one of which is particularly fun. Sadly, it doesn't get a lot of use other than the dungeon where you get it.

Basically, they kept everything that was cool in Wind Waker, particularly the good swordfighting, and built on it. I do miss the cel-shaded graphics, but given the story he was telling this time, it would have been hard to get the look correct. It's a little more mature than most of the other Zeldas have been, and cel-shading would have detracted from the occasional gravity of the story.

I really don't have any substantial criticisms. I wouldn't have minded seeing the story developed a bit more (I always like a good story), and I would have enjoyed running around the gameworld after the game was 'over' to see how it had changed... but I'm sure they didn't have room for it. I still can't freaking believe they got all that onto just one disk. They must have packed that thing tighter than Chrono Trigger. (which has been my example of space optimization since, geeze, almost forever now. )

Twilight Princess may be the purest distillation of fun of any game I've played.

Minor spoiler for the person who was wondering about how important fishing is:

Spoiler wrote:

[color=white]Not very. You have to catch two fish during the game. I'd guess total required time of actual fishing is, geeze, five minutes or less? You have some setup time, because you have to figure out where to throw in your hook, but I doubt it's more than 20 total minutes, start to finish, for both catches. And there's a bonus item you can get by fishing in the right spot, but you don't need it to finish.[/color]

Game Over. Return of G.. oh wait! It lives. Is this the twilight princess catch-all? Slightly depressing that it's four pages long when the codblops thread is.. what, 30 pages long? Dang. The times, they are a' changing.

Upon hearing the rumor/confirmation that the WiiU is *not * going to be backward-disc-compatible with the Gamecube/Wii, plans to get a non-U-Wii have stepped up a notch for me. I hope/assume they'll start getting pretty dang cheap when the WiiU hits and Twilight Princess, along with Metroid Prime 3, as well as Blaster Master: Overdrive are at the top of the pops for my want-to-play list.

Is there any reason to get one version (Gamecube vs. Wii) over the other? I've heard some people say that the Gamecube version is the superior version, as the waggle stuff in the Wii version makes everything a bit easier/forgiving out of respect for the less precise control. To no surprise, I've also heard the reverse.

Also, I have to slam my head down in slight shock that this game is nearly... Five. Freaking. Years. Old. It seems like only a couple of years ago I was excited about this game. I probably shouldn't look up SiN Episodes, as that seems like about four years ago that I was looking forward to playing it.

Three things:

1. I can't say for sure but the difficulty business seems like nonsense. Zelda games are not challenging, I doubt that'd change either way. It's all about the experience. The only time I remember being frustrated by the controls was during the tutorial, the fishing part in particular.

2. Some people find the Wii Remote + Nunchuk combination uncomfortable. I love it, myself. Once you get a Wii, see if you're okay with the controllers.

3. The GC version is going to cost you about twice as much as the Wii version, which just had a price drop. It's out of print and the price is driven up by fanboys that hate motion controls on principle.

Shocking fourth point: if you've been away from the franchise a while and never had a Gamecube, I'd suggest you check out LoZ: Wind Waker as well. People bash Zelda games for being formulaic, and some are, but this was a nice change of pace. Same can be said for Majora's Mask, available on the Wii's Virtual Console. I think those two combined with Twilight Princess make up the essential Zelda experience.

The Wii U is going to be backward compatible with all Wii games and peripherals, but not with Gamecube games.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Three things:

1. I can't say for sure but the difficulty business seems like nonsense. Zelda games are not challenging, I doubt that'd change either way. It's all about the experience. The only time I remember being frustrated by the controls was during the tutorial, the fishing part in particular.
2. Some people find the Wii Remote + Nunchuk combination uncomfortable. I love it, myself. Once you get a Wii, see if you're okay with the controllers.
3. The GC version is going to cost you about twice as much as the Wii version, which just had a price drop. It's out of print and the price is driven up by fanboys that hate motion controls on principle.
Shocking fourth point: if you've been away from the franchise a while and never had a Gamecube, I'd suggest you check out LoZ: Wind Waker as well. People bash Zelda games for being formulaic, and some are, but this was a nice change of pace. Same can be said for Majora's Mask, available on the Wii's Virtual Console. I think those two combined with Twilight Princess make up the essential Zelda experience.

Excellent, thanks for the info. I did indeed play & love Wind Waker, but I've never played Majora's Mask. I bummed a N64 off of a friend of a friend to play Ocarina of Time, but got pissed during the Water Temple and never ended up finishing the thing.

LouZiffer wrote:

The Wii U is going to be backward compatible with all Wii games and peripherals, but not with Gamecube games.

I think I got my wires crossed somewhere. I thought that the WiiU wouldn't play Wii discs. That's nice to hear that this isn't the case. Is the information out there on whether or not the WiiU going to be able to play DVDs?

Puce Moose wrote:

Is the information out there on whether or not the WiiU going to be able to play DVDs?

I don't believe it's been specified, but if I had to bet I'd say no, because Wii U games are going to come on proprietary 25GB discs. That's not to say it couldn't play both, but it seems like such a non-issue to Nintendo that I'd not be surprised to see it left out again.

I've only played the Wii version of Twilight Princess, but I assume the Gamecube versions controls just like Wind Waker. Judging by that, I'd say, for me personally, you can't go wrong either way, but I'd probably give the edge to the Wii version. The motion control stuff doesn't really add much to the experience, except during the fishing, but it never detracts from the experience either. However, being able to simply aim at the screen with the pointer is just so much nicer than moving a reticule with a stick.

I love the hell out of Twilight Princess. Although I love Ocarina of Time and don't think there's really much of anything you can do to make it better (except for updating the graphics and putting it on a system with a separate screen with an inventory screen you can simply touch), I think Twilight Princess is actually the overall better game. It feels like it has almost everything Ocarina of Time does, done just as well, and then has a bunch of extra stuff on top of it. I mean, yetis and double hookshots! That's awesome every single day!

I liked Twilight Princess overall, but I like Wind Waker the best of all the Zeldas. Just such a nice atmosphere. Between Gamecue and Wii version, the differentiation is control. Zelda Wii is very forgiving on controls - easy peasy to do the spin attack, so it renders the combat more of a puzzle game. Shooting with the pointer is always nice. Makes me wonder why most traditional gamers can't get used to it.

I prefer Twilight Princess on the GameCube because I didn't feel that the waggle to attack was either comfortable or responsive. Your milage might vary.

And to answer a question from earlier that might not have been answered elsewhere: the WiiU will be compatible with all Wii peripherals and games, but it will not play DVDs. Nintendo doesn't want to pay the necessary royalty fees for a feature they don't think most people will use.

Back when the wii came out and twilight princess was being played, a lot of people believed that large sweeping motions were needed to make a sword swing. It's just not the case, think of a small quick wrist flick as a button press and you basically are doing the same thing. It never got in my way at all.

Count me in as another that really loved Wind Waker. That's the Zelda I liked best of all of them. And I remember thinking at the time that the cel shading would stay fresh and awesome looking forever, and it does. WW looks just as good right now as it did when it shipped, and Twilight Princess looked kinda crappy even back then. The textures were pretty terrible. It must look extremely crude by now.

WW was, admittedly, kinda small and short. But I think cel shading is cool, and I thought it was cool back then, and I have reserved a pfaugh for all the critics at the time.

To you, sirs and ladies: pfaugh!

Oh, and on Wii or GC version for Twilight Princess: I played the GC version and liked it fine. I didn't have a Wii at the time. But it sounds like you'll be able to play it longer if you buy the Wii version. Plus, it's cheaper.

Today, I decided to try to get out of the gaming funk responsible for me only playing through 3 games this year. Unfortunately, most of the games on my pile aren't really suitable for playing in front of my children. So I asked the kids what they would like to play through with daddy, and Twilight Princess is the game they pulled off the shelf. The Legend of Zelda was on their mind (and mine) after showing them footage of the new Ocarina of Time 3D yesterday.

I originally played through Twilight Princess back in December '06, and it was my second favorite game of the year behind Oblivion. However, it has been sitting untouched on the shelf ever since I completed it.

My first impression 5 years later is that the visuals did not hold up nearly as well as Wind Waker's stylized look. Also, I had forgotten about how incredibly slow the first couple hours of the game are. Beyond that, it is still a great game to play when you are running around the world exploring as Link. I still don't care for the choice of mapping the sword to waggle, but I still really like the pointer controls for shooting the slingshot.

lancejt wrote:

Back when the wii came out and twilight princess was being played, a lot of people believed that large sweeping motions were needed to make a sword swing. It's just not the case, think of a small quick wrist flick as a button press and you basically are doing the same thing. It never got in my way at all.

I actually might have liked it better if it had been bigger arm sweeps. Constantly flicking my wrists to attack wore my hands out pretty quickly. I had the same problem with Okami using a waggle to attack.

That said, the pointer controls in the Wii version of Twilight Princess make using the hookshot, and bow and arrow a lot easier. And since it is just $20 new these days with the Nintendo Select line, it's hard to discourage people from getting it that way.

And yes, Wind Waker is awesome. Majora's Mask is still the best of the lot, and is also sadly neglected, but Wind Waker is probably my second favorite.

Not sure if it matters, but you can manually control the camera on GameCube Twilight Princess using the nipple stick, but on the Wii version you can only center the camera behind link with the Z button.

ClockworkHouse:

You can command the sword swings in Twilight Princess with either a wrist flick, an elbow swing, or a whole arm swing. Which one you choose to use is entirely up to you; the controller does not discriminate between those inputs.

With this knowledge, you should like Twilight Princess better, like you said you would.

Well the main point there is that the end result is not a mapping of the motion you made. It is simply hitting an event that causes the standard sword to swing as though you had simply hit a button. That's why I went with the wrist flick method, is the most analogous to pressing a button.

In the new game, sword swings are carried out in the fashion that you actually move the remote. So we'll see exactly what play style is acceptable from that point.

lancejt:

I've already got a notion of how it goes from Red Steel 2. Directional combat is fantastic; especially if, like Red Steel 2, Zelda has settings that require you to swing it a good, hefty way to register a "strong" attack. The natural fatigue of swinging a remote balances against the power of the attack - a novel way to restrict attack options.

That said, few "hardcore" gamer enjoyed this sort of gameplay. I'm not sure whether it's because it was too complex to understand, or because their physiques or dexterities were not up to the task.

I put 100 hours into Twilight Princess......yes, 100. And I never quite beat the challenge thingy. I'm sure many hours of that were spent compulsively cutting every patch of grass in every area. Love this game.

LarryC wrote:

That said, few "hardcore" gamer enjoyed this sort of gameplay. I'm not sure whether it's because it was too complex to understand, or because their physiques or dexterities were not up to the task.

You keep saying this in any thread that motion controls come up. Do you seriously believe that the reason gamers don't like motion controls is because they are either too stupid or physically unable to use them, or is this just a poor attempt at trolling? Red Steel 2 takes much less dexterity than Guitar Hero/Rock Band, and both of them sold extremely well to gamers.

Why do you have so much trouble believing that many gamers simply don't like this control method because they don't find it to be any fun as implemented by current games?

I'm hoping that the "Nintendo polish" can make Skyward Sword a compelling and enjoyable use of the Wiimote+. However, I have my concerns about the game's controls. Considering how poor a job the sensors in the nunchuck do at distinguishing between thrusts (shield bash) and shakes (spin attack) in Twilight Princess, I have real concerns about their plans to use it for shield control in Skyward Sword.

Jasonofindy:

Most gamers I've spoken to who didn't like motion controls were... ...performing it suboptimally in one manner or another. So yes, I do believe it. It's not a matter of stupidity. Kinesthetic intelligence is only one aspect of human intelligence, and being poor in one aspect does not readily translate to other aspects. For instance, one could be good at Rock Band, but suck at Wii Sports.

This is only "bad trolling" if you take it personally, somehow. I will never be good at sandbox games. You can say that to me and I won't mind one bit.

If most of the intended audience can't use the input correctly then it's a flaw in the input not in the audience.

Interesting that this thread was necro'd earlier this year. I finally took the shrink wrap off a week ago, after having it for years. I didn't finish Wind Waker until last year, and I didn't want to dive right in to another Zelda game. Now all the Skyward Sword talk has me thinking Zelda.

My first impression was that, as some have said, the graphics are quite dated. I guess the WW team made a fantastic decision with the cel-shaded graphics, because they looked great to me upon release and again last year. I was really shocked by TP's graphics, because I remember them being touted when it first came out.

Otherwise, the game starts just as painfully slowly as other Zelda games, but halfway through the Forest Temple, things started to click for me. I finished that dungeon last night and am about 6 hours in. It hasn't overtaken Wind Waker in my esteem yet, but there's most of the game left to go.

I'm trying to tackle this one again, before I allow myself Skyward Sword. I stalled out in the Goron temple, Gamecube version, back in the day when Oblivion was blowing my mind (why would I play Zelda when I can play dress-up and go wherever I want to go?), but I'm on the Wii version now and again able to see the merits in Zelda. I'm twelve hours in, actually like the way it looks, have no problems with the controls, and am enjoying the Miyazaki-esque touches here and there. Big thumbs up for that baby who takes over the running of the store in Kakariko Village.

The nice thing about the speechlessness in Zelda is that I can play with the sound down, or be relatively uneffected by my wife's interruptions, as she seems wholly unable to recognize video game dialogue as something that might actually require my attention, and interjects without hesitation as she sees fit, bless her heart.