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Twilight Princess

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

November 19, 2006
Developer:
Publisher:
Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review:  November 1, 2012
Format Reviewed:   Wii
Language / Country of Origin:   English / USA
Online Capability:  None.
Prequels: The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap.
Sequels: The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
Equipment Needed: None needed.
Maintenance Required:  None required.

Review:

Plot:  
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess follows the adventures of Link, our young protagonist, a goat herder in Ordon Village in land of the Hyrule.  A dark force is descending over the land, pulling people into the twilight realm, an alternate reality.  One day Link witnesses some monsters storm into his village and kidnap some children (his friends, Ilia and Colin).  He pursues the beasts to get his friends back and falls into the twilight – where he is turned into a wolf and jailed in a castle.  Link is eventually released from his imprisonment by Midna, a twilight creature, who agrees to help him defeat the dark forces of the twilight realm and restore the light to Hyrule.

As with all other Zelda titles, most of the game’s combat revolves around using a sword and shield, with various other items (including a bow and arrow, boomerang, bombs, and a clawshot/hookshot).  Unique to this title, Link can travel and battle enemies on horseback as well as on foot.  Link also appears in two forms consistently throughout the game: his normal human self and as a wolf in the twilight realm.  The WiiMote and Nunchuk add in some additional functionality.  Motion sensors in the controllers let players swing the remotes like a sword to combat enemies.  Z-targeting allows players to lock on enemies and fire attacks without having to manually aim.  The game also uses the WiiMote’s built-in speaker to notify players of nearby cues or clues.

Cultural / Historical Value: 
Twilight Princess was the first Zelda title released on the Wii.  It changed how gamers interacted with the Zelda series, by incorporating the Wii motion controls.  This was also the first Zelda title to utilize horseback combat, allowing Link to ride his horse, Epona, and fight enemies at the same time.  Like most titles in the Zelda series, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was released to both critical acclaim and commercial success.  The game was nominated for and received a lot of videogame awards.  Several videogame websites and publications (such as 1up.com and Game Informer) gave the game perfect scores, citing the title’s creative storyline, beautiful art and animation (including its cinematic cut scenes), interesting gameplay, and moving soundtrack.  Koji Kondo, the composer responsible for the music in most Zelda titles, was also featured in Twilight Princess.

Teaching / Learning Characteristics: 
This game was the first Zelda title released on the Wii and forced Zelda fans to experience the series in a new light – by learning how to use the WiiMote and Nunchuk.  Overall, like most Zelda titles, Twilight Princess is filled with challenging puzzles that can help develop gamers’ problem solving skills.  For game designers, Twilight Princess can serve as a good example of a high-quality engaging game with a strong story, solid gameplay, rich graphics and a beautiful soundtrack.  It also is illustrative of the capability of the Wii.

Replay Value:  
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a very long game, taking most players between 50-70 hours to complete.  That being said, not very many players will want to play the game all the way through multiple times.  However, there are many side quests and challenges to undertake or treasures to discover (e.g. finding all of Agitha’s insects, locating all of the Poe Souls, or obtaining all of Link’s heart containers) that make the game last even longer.  In addition, there are several minigames that players can entertain themselves with – like fishing or archery.  The game therefore has a lot of added depth by allowing players to freely explore the land of Hyrule and beyond.

Likely Audiences:
Zelda fans will of course appreciate Twilight Princess, as it stays true to The Legend of Zelda canon – with deep storylines, artistic graphics and a sweeping soundtrack.  People who have a soft heart for fantasy titles should also give this game a look.  In general, anyone who likes challenging adventure games may want to pick up this title.  This is not for people who want a simple game that can be picked up and tossed away, as many of the quests take a lot of time and several challenges are not easy to solve.  Further, those who are not fond of the Wii motion controllers may want to pass on the Wii version of Twilight Princess, as the game thoroughly integrates the WiiMote and Nunchuk.

Overall Score:
95/100

Other Reviews:
1up.com
Gamerankings
Gamespot
Metacritic
MobyGames

 

About the Author:
Shannon L. Farrell, MLIS, MS
is an Assistant Professor and Liaison Librarian at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins.  Having been an avid gamer for the last 25 years, she has a great interest in incorporating videogames into library and educational environments.  She has conducted research on the topic, examining current use of videogames in libraries and the resources available for collection development purposes.  Shannon is a member of the ALA Games and Gaming Round Table.  Since she plays videogames on a daily basis, Shannon is a regular contributor and editor of reviews for VideoGameCat.  She also maintains the VideoGameCat Twitter (@thevideogamecat) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/thevideogamecat) accounts.

Awards

Award Giver Category Verdict
Golden Joystick Awards 2004Most Wanted for 2005 Award Winner
Golden Joystick Awards 2005One to Watch Award Winner
Golden Joystick Awards 2006One to Watch Award Nominee
Spike Video Game Awards 2006Critic's Choice Winner
Spike Video Game Awards 2007Best Wii Game Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2007ACTION AND ADVENTURE Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2007Action/Adventure Game of the Year Nominee
Game Developers Choice Awards 2007Best Game Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2007Console Game of the Year Nominee
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2007Gameplay Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2007Nintendo Game of the Year Winner
GAME British Academy Video Game Awards 2007Original Score Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2007Outstanding Achievement in Game Design Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2007Outstanding Achievement in Game Play Engineering Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2007Outstanding Achievement in Story and Character Development Winner
Interactive Achievement Awards 2007Overall Game of the Year Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2007Soundtrack of the Year Runner Up
Golden Joystick Awards 2007Ultimate Game of the Year Runner Up
Game Developers Choice Awards 2007Writing Winner

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