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  #41 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 11-03-2009, 08:13 PM
Earth Earth is a male Earth is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

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Originally Posted by Zeldablue777 View Post
If your comparing Zelda to Oblivion then that's crap. They're completely different genres and from what I can tell, Zelda seems to be a more pick-up-and-play more indepth, classic and pure experience anyways.
Comparing Zelda to Oblivion is fair game. They are not completely different genres. They are both fantasy games with an emphasis on dungeons. Zelda is not more in-depth than Oblivion. Every character in Oblivion actually had a life to live, almost every plant could be picked; the amount of detail is staggering. I'd also argue that Oblivion is more pick up and play considering that the entire world is unlocked from the start, and the enemies the game only change when you get stronger. More classic? Fewer years than you think separate Zelda and Elder Scrolls. A more "pure" experience as well? I have no idea what that means, but I'm sure Oblivion exceeds Zelda at that, too.

I'm a Zelda fan, but like MYK1217 said, that doesn't mean I have to worship every installment. Oblivion blows TP away in every aspect. Does that make me hate Zelda? No.

Twilight Princess was not that good. Nintendo dropped the ball with it. I think that because the early trailers looked much better than what I got. I think that qualifies as a fail.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:28 PM
Zeldablue777 Zeldablue777 is a female United States Zeldablue777 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

I've been disappointed with every Zelda game after OoT, that doesn't stop me from loving them. =/ Someone's flaw could be considered a strength to others. Maybe we should go through the series?
LoZ- brand new ideas, created overworld and dungeon concept. Had many items and puzzles Loooved.
AoL- Dropped puzzles and items, level up system, hard, new magic attacks. Hated.
ALttP- Same thing LoZ did with more colors and fancy things. Love love looooved.
LA- Same thing as ALttP, dropped Zelda and Hyrule, new control system. Love and Hate.
OoT- Same thing as ALttP, more colors and fancy things. LOOOOVE!
MM- Dropped Hyrule and Zelda, new mechanics, time limit. HATE then LOOOOVE!
OoX- Same thing LA did. Liked
TWW- Same thing as OoT. New graphics engine and setting, easy. HATE and LOOOVE!
FSA- ALttP again, but 4 player, stage based, even easier. Hate. (I like it)
TMC- ALttP again...with shrinking gimmick. Like.
TP- Same thing as OoT, with more fancy things, wolf mechanic, easy. Love and hate
PH- Back to LoZ. Stylus control, easy, repeating dungeon. Like and hate.

That's how I've measured the fanbases reaction to most Zeldas. After MM and TWW, fans were pretty annoyed and wanted a long, traditional adventure, but there were plenty who didn't want that. For that reason TP is an amazing success and a failure to some.
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Old 11-03-2009, 08:32 PM
Double A Double A is a male New Zealand Double A is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

Watch. In the future, the general reaction to TP (edit: for the better) will not change as it has done for MM and WW. Quote me on this or something.
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Last Edited by Double A; 11-04-2009 at 05:26 PM. Reason:
  #44 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 11-03-2009, 08:46 PM
Zeldablue777 Zeldablue777 is a female United States Zeldablue777 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

Lol kay. Does that mean people will NEVER get sick of crying about TP? You're telling me people won't want to move on and talk about the next addition? They'd rather flood the boards with "LOL! I JUST RATED TP A 6.5!" and "WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE TP? I TINK IT SUX!" After Z-Wii Zelda's release?

I highly doubt it. We'll be onto the next, killing or defending the new rookie.
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  #45 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 11-03-2009, 08:59 PM
MYK1217 United_States MYK1217 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeldablue777 View Post
I've been disappointed with every Zelda game after OoT, that doesn't stop me from loving them. =/ Someone's flaw could be considered a strength to others. Maybe we should go through the series?
LoZ- brand new ideas, created overworld and dungeon concept. Had many items and puzzles Loooved.
AoL- Dropped puzzles and items, level up system, hard, new magic attacks. Hated.
ALttP- Same thing LoZ did with more colors and fancy things. Love love looooved.
LA- Same thing as ALttP, dropped Zelda and Hyrule, new control system. Love and Hate.
OoT- Same thing as ALttP, more colors and fancy things. LOOOOVE!
MM- Dropped Hyrule and Zelda, new mechanics, time limit. HATE then LOOOOVE!
OoX- Same thing LA did. Liked
TWW- Same thing as OoT. New graphics engine and setting, easy. HATE and LOOOVE!
FSA- ALttP again, but 4 player, stage based, even easier. Hate. (I like it)
TMC- ALttP again...with shrinking gimmick. Like.
TP- Same thing as OoT, with more fancy things, wolf mechanic, easy. Love and hate
PH- Back to LoZ. Stylus control, easy, repeating dungeon. Like and hate.

That's how I've measured the fanbases reaction to most Zeldas. After MM and TWW, fans were pretty annoyed and wanted a long, traditional adventure, but there were plenty who didn't want that. For that reason TP is an amazing success and a failure to some.
Thank you! That's all I really want to say. Some fans would rather see Zelda remain the same. Others, like myself, would like to see something unique with each new game.

LoZ - It's the first game. Can't really speak for the first game of the series because, well, it was the first game of the series.

AoL - What you said. Not so much about puzzles. Side scrolling. Completely different from first one.

ALttP - Really the beginning of Zelda as we know it today.

LA - Different setting.

OoT - 3D, need I say more?

MM - Time system, Masks with different abilities, including transformation into different races

OoX - Honestly, these are the only Zelda games I haven't gotten the chance to play due to no more Game Boy

FSA - Multiplayer, four Links

WW - Cel-shading (first video game ever to do that), sailing, wind control

MC - Not much here, unfortunately, except for shrinking ability, which would have been better in a 3D game, IMO.

PH - DS touch screen sontrol

ST - Looks like the train in the unique aspect of that game

ZWii - Wii Motion Plus appears to be the unique aspect of that game

There's something unique about each Zelda game (again, can't speak for OoX cause I never played them). The only thing really unique about TP is the ability to transform into a wolf. But it's really nothing too special. In MM you got to transform into THREE different species, and they were all fun to use.

The reason I didn't like TP as much as other Zelda games is just because there wasn't a whole lot I found unique about it. I guess if you want to include the Wii controls in the Wii version, you can say that.

To be honest, it's hard for me to put my finger on it, so i'm sorry if my reasoning kinda blows. I just felt like there was something missing from TP.
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  #46 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 11-03-2009, 09:08 PM
Zeldablue777 Zeldablue777 is a female United States Zeldablue777 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

TP is like a Jack of all trades but a master of none. It offered a billion new things, but none of those things were the primary emphasis. It's not a good thing, but it's not always bad either. I mean, who wants to be the master of train conducting? It's not a good theme, though I'm positive ST will have many redeeming factors...outside of the overworld. =/
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:34 PM
Link92 Link92 is a male United States Link92 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

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Originally Posted by Earth View Post
Twilight Princess was not that good. Nintendo dropped the ball with it. I think that because the early trailers looked much better than what I got. I think that qualifies as a fail.
I guess that all depends on what you're measuring. If TP failed you as a fan, eh, your loss, I guess.

But 30 awards and near perfect scores as well as selling 5.84 million copies among both versions definitely qualifies it as a commercial and critical success.
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  #48 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 11-03-2009, 11:14 PM
Fulcon Fulcon is a male United States Fulcon is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

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Originally Posted by Link92 View Post
The only things I have been stating as facts were facts.

FACT: TP's overworld has many enemies and overworld puzzles, more than any previous 3D Zelda title.

FACT: TP's horseback riding is more fluid than that of OoT and offers more options.

FACT: Sword combat in TP contains more variety than any previous Zelda game.
#1: And it STILL wasn't enough.

#2: I gave it credit for this (or didn't mention it because I thought it went without saying) so what's your point?

#3: Enemies are too easy for this ot matter a whole lot, save for the Darknuts and those blasted armored lizard men.



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Since when has any Zelda dungeon contained more than two or three different puzzles in a single room?
Never. But a guy can dream.


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Because killing enemies in a Zelda game is fun. It'd be a pretty piss-poor Zelda game if common foot soldiers could kill you, and you'd be a pretty sucky player.
Not in this game it ain't. It's to easy. Enemies are so much not a threat that I can just walk right past them and it wouldn't matter at all. The only thing I absolutely have to engage is the boss's/minibosses/Darknuts.



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No. I call opinions wrong when the support for these opinions is comprised of incorrect statements. I'm sure you recall my hot sauce vs ice cream comparison. If you say that, in your opinion, ice cream sucks because it's too hot, despite the fact that you constantly put hot sauce on your food, your opinion is worthless because you used completely idiotic/wrong support for your opinion.
This comparison is idiotic and not valid.

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People say TP has "no soul" while completely choosing to forget Link's relationship with the village children, Midna's character development, Zant's craziness, etc, and at the same time claiming that all of OoT's characters were full of emotion and reason to sympathize with them.
Ummmm...I never said anything about TP having no soul. So there.



Quote:
No, as I said before, I use facts to explain why somebody is wrong. That, or I simply point out the hypocrisy and bias in a person's complaints.
The problem with your so called facts is that I have an opinion. If 120+ enemies left me thinking that there wern't enough enemies to fight, then 120+ ain't enough to fight. And if I think the monsters are pathetically easy save for a few, then I think the monsters save for a few were pathetically easy.

Incidentally, the largest concentration of harmless monsters is in Hyrule Field.

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And it's a fact that TP's gameplay offers more variety and diversity as well as functionality than previous titles.
And it's my opinion that it's still boring. Capishe?


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Who engages enemies in Zelda because they're a threat? You engage them in combat because it's fun.
Me. It's so easy that it's not fun, so that' s why I don't engage them.


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Your loss. I explore every conceivable area because it's fun.
It's not fun for me because there's no real rewards! The grottos are always a single room with a chest and three enemies and when you get to some obscure place there's no SceneryPorn to make you feel like this was even a little accomplishment. What's the point? I mean, if you like pointless exploring, go ahead.




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And you're not going to "convince" everyone that wolf form is NOT a pleasure to transform into, because many people like it. You're not just stating your opinions as fact anymore, you're telling people what their opinions should be.
Ummm...what? You arn't making any sense any more. You're doing that EXACT SAME THING with your 'TP had more enemies in HF than OoT did' and other crap.



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You're comparing 4 different mask transformations to one single wolf transformation. Not a fair comparison at all.
Yup, and if Wolf was as fun as even one of those, it would've been a complete sucess. But (IMO you hypocrite) it wasn't.


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Being forced to use the Dark Energy Field to kill the Shadow Beasts adds a lot of challenge, to the contrary. It takes time to load, time in which the Shadow Beasts will interrupt you by attacking. This is quite challenging early on.
It takes two seconds to charge, the shadow beasts AI is so bad they don't attack you for several seconds at a time, even when you're right in front of them and it's a simple matter to only partly charge your field to get one if it's away from the main group to nail it first, and then you partly charge your field to nail the last two. Dark Energy Field==Cheap.




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This is an opinion I can defend, even though I don't even remotely agree with it. Do you see the difference between how you're stating your opinion here than everywhere else in your posts?
Nope, probably because there isn't a difference.



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Zelda's gameplay is, for the most part, about how well the combat functions. You can't deny with subjectivity that TP's gameplay is more polished and refined than earlier titles while being about on par with WW, although movement is much easier in TP because child Link (WW) has very short legs, making movement a bit slower.
Correct, but as movement and combat get easier and more refined, I expect my enemies to get tougher to prevent me from getting bored.

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This polish and refinement comes into play extremely well during projectile aiming with the Wii pointer. It's literally control perfection.
While I have played on the Wii, it was before I got the bow and arrow so I wasn't able to experience it. I gave it a point anyway.

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And gameplay is what real video game critics look at first, unlike Zelda fans, who mostly ignore it.
But in my review, gameplay is where it FAILED.



Quote:
No, you completely ignored my previous posts where I DID cite flaws in TP. Namely the lack of useful sidequest and exploration rewards, enemies and bosses not doing enough damage, and Zelda and Ganon not getting enough screen time. However, these flaws do not make me any less confident in my rating of this game being a 10/10. I don't consider a 10/10 to be a perfect game, merely a game of my absolute highest recommendation.
Yes, which is why I don't think you take any of the flaws in TP very seriously. And I disagree with you.

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And the rewards flaws do not make exploration any less fun in my opinion.
But it does in mine.




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No it's not necessary. It's just a sign of nitpicking. If a flaw is truly a serious flaw, it would be painfully obvious at first glance. If you have to "hunt" for flaws, that means they're not serious enough because, if they were, you wouldn't have to go out of your way to look for them.
Those flaws are egregious. A truly perfect game would be able to hold up against critism wether it was leveled at it the day it was released, or three years after it's release. TP held up at the day of it's release, but not so much after we've had the chance to disect it.


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You're using the wrong words. The enemies in Twilight Princess are more than prominent. You're just not making fun use of them. And if they weren't enough for you, I can't believe you were satisfied with them in OoT, WW, and MM, which all had far fewer enemies than TP.
The ones in Hyrule field, in the late game espescially, are harmless. In OoT, you had the slight control bugginess to help their challenge rating. In WW, they could seriously hurt you and there were LOT'S of them (much more than in TP) and in MM, the field around it gave me the feeling of a crowded area. The field was small, but the amount of enemies was large, ergo: Satisfaction.



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I've played the game for about 2 minutes. However, in my experience, a game being a sidescroller alone makes it more difficult.
And I've beated several dungeons: LA had FANTASTIC AI.



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1.) No, it was released in 1998.

2.) It had plenty of enemies in dungeons and plenty of NPCs in towns, as well as quite a few Stalchildren at night, even though night lasted for only about 2 minutes. If they were capable of all that, there is NO excuse for OoT's lack of overworld content during the latter half of the game. No excuse whatsoever.
#1: Really? Hmmm.

#2: The field itself was very small, but it wasn't constrained. Thinking back, there wasn't a whole lot of enemies in Hyrule Field in OoT, but that was remedied by how rediculously small it was.



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According to your high standards. I have yet to play any video game with a greater level of overworld size, content, and exploration factor.
Any game at all, have you? Have you played Oblivion or Fallout? Those met and surpassed my standards. Give them a ring.



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You wouldn't know if it was your first playthrough, which you're not taking into consideration. Seriously, why are we even talking about this? It means nothing.
Yes, I am. And I'd turn around at any loud noise if it was behind me unless I was absolutely sure what it was (an Alien vs Predator game reflex).


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The test ensures that any character with any kind of power or interesting trait is classified as a Mary Sue. It also doesn't in any way measure HOW that character uses those traits, so it cannot identify a Mary Sue character.
You know, the test itself is aware of it's objectivity, but generally speaking, it's a good standard to follow. And since I'm of the opinion that Midna uses these traits BADLY...



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I disagree. Many characters talk about him and the hero.
In the main plot or are they just side characters? Are they the really important ones or can they be forgotten at a moments notice?


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Right, because it's not as if Ganondorf has anything better to do than randomly sit on a throne for no reason at all. He clearly knew about Link and Midna because as soon as they left after Zelda's sacrifice, he swooped in and took the Castle.
He would know about MIDNA, but she could've been alone for all he knew. And besides, King's usual sit on their thrones with nothing to do. It's a Kingly thing to do.


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Faron tells you about it after you gain your tunic, Zelda tells you about it in both cutscenes in which you meet her as a wolf, the Sages mention it after Arbiter's Grounds, and I could go on.
...and then Ganondorf shows off his piece. That's it.

Does it ever show Link with HIS piece (the one that I'm supposing he already has) glowing? Does it go into Ganondorf's desire to have the wish of the Godesses? No.



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Because I highly doubt so many soldiers like King Bulbin and the Shadow Beasts would get their asses handed to them by Link without telling their leader who did it. And Ganon had guards all over Hyrule Castle, including King Bulblin, who he trusted enough to give the key to the Castle, hoping he would be able to defeat Link. And Ganondorf knows as well as any important Hyrulean character that there are three pieces of the Triforce.
Okay, fine...but he still only talks to Midna, and acts like Link's not there.


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You needed to kill Zant because of all the crap he put you through. The second half of the game basically goes:

Zant stole your stuff. Go kick his ass and then kill his daddy, Ganon.
Why didn't Link kill Daddy Ganon first? Zant would've been helpless.



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My facts proved that TP's overworld, which you considered in your first post was empty, is not actually empty. They also proved that TP has more gameplay options than many other games in the series.
It's close enough to empty to be considered empty. And most of those gameplay options? Boring.




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Fans are not critics by any professional measure of the word. They're whiny, complaining dip****s who will never be happy no matter what concession you make.
And you paraphrase Yahtzee, who, for all intents and purposes, is the guy that taught me to take the 'Guantanamo Bay' approach to gaming (everything is **** until proven otherwise).



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Every flaw I've ever cited about OoT, MM, and WW (although I never really talk about WW) have absolutely nothing to do with technological limitations. They had the technology to put more enemies in the overworld of OoT, as shown in the first half of the game, etc.
Oh, they did, did they? Well OoT's Hyrule field was open and small enough that it didn't really matter, as you wern't spending ten minutes to cross it on horse back getting attacked by nothing but harmless voltures.

MM's field was small enough that the enemies that were in it were enough and WW's ocean was chock full of enemies. It's islands were also filled with fun puzzles.
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  #49 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 11-03-2009, 11:23 PM
Iron_Knuckle_ Iron_Knuckle_ is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

I actually agree that most of Midna's dialogue was annoying. A little recognition in a video game never hurt anyone. But as usual most of the "flaws" are just minor nitpicks. The overworld was fine, Zelda is never going to be a difficult series (except at the very beginning, I guess).
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:33 PM
Zeldablue777 Zeldablue777 is a female United States Zeldablue777 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

Quote:

And I've beated several dungeons: LA had FANTASTIC AI.
Not alwaaays. I swear some of the enemies would get stuck in walls. Those mimics in the Dream Shrine....those were killers. Dying within a dream within a dream is not cool.

I think TP had the best array of enemies, and didn't go insane with the same lowly enemy. Chuchus. *shudders* Aerolfos are awesome, I'd love to see their return.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:42 PM
Fulcon Fulcon is a male United States Fulcon is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Knuckle_ View Post
I actually agree that most of Midna's dialogue was annoying. A little recognition in a video game never hurt anyone. But as usual most of the "flaws" are just minor nitpicks. The overworld was fine, Zelda is never going to be a difficult series (except at the very beginning, I guess).
Personally, I think that 'Zelda being easy" needs to change. Into the realm of more difficult. I want enemies that make me have to think to beat them, dang it!

And the over world, even with it's 120+ enemies, IMO, wasn't full enough. And would it kill Ninento to make more than single-room grottos?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeldablue777 View Post
Not alwaaays. I swear some of the enemies would get stuck in walls. Those mimics in the Dream Shrine....those were killers. Dying within a dream within a dream is not cool.

I think TP had the best array of enemies, and didn't go insane with the same lowly enemy. Chuchus. *shudders* Aerolfos are awesome, I'd love to see their return.
I haven't gotten to the dream shrine myself, though thanks for the warning. Incidentally, the getting stuck in the walls is not something I ever noticed, though I haven't beaten the game, the bug can't that prominant, can it?

As for TP, I was kinda hoping that after I beat the temple of time I'd see Darknuts on the field looking for you, thus making Ganon/Zant look intelligent.
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Old 11-03-2009, 11:50 PM
Zeldablue777 Zeldablue777 is a female United States Zeldablue777 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

...On the overworld. =/ Well, in one of the grottos you'll find some bigger enemies. I fell into a Skulltula grotto once, and it freaked me out so bad...since it was really dark. I believe it's near the top of Lanayru's field...near the river.

I would've loved Darknuts on the overworld, but you and I know Darknuts aren't overworld enemies. Not even in the original Zelda.

Oh and by the way.

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After 35 hours or so of caffeine-fueled anarchy, I'm finally ready to write my review. I've had the pleasure of reviewing the last three Zelda titles over the past eight or so years, and even though my favorite incarnation remains A Link to the Past on the SNES, I'm thoroughly satisfied with what The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has managed to achieve. We all know that the game started out life as a GameCube project, and this much is still evident in the final Wii product. While it might not have the graphical grunt behind it offered by the likes of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, there's no doubt in my mind that Nintendo has once again crafted a video game that will be remembered for years to come. Link's back and his adventure on the new shiny Wii hardware is nothing short of an instant classic.

There will be no spoilers written here, but if you truly only need to know whether the game rocks hard, just take a look at the score and be safe in the knowledge that it does. Up until now, I had previously only played through until the end of the second dungeon. But after running a critical path through the entire game, there's no doubt that this is the longest Zelda game ever made. I can easily see the playtime rising to the 60-hour mark if you try to accomplish everything that the game has to offer -- and trust me, you'll want to. Given the epic size of the game, it's important to note that there's very little redundancy. You'll not find yourself being forced to do a lot of unnecessary running or riding (remember sailing around in Wind Waker?) thanks to the excellent warping system, and on the whole, the game feels very refined.

Life for Link begins in his small rural hometown of Ordon. Spending his days as a ram wrangler, things begin to get a little weird when strange monsters are spotted on the borders of the village. Link is tasked with taking a journey to the main city in Hyrule to consult with the folks there about the recent troubles. As you'd expect, a series of events begin to unfold that lead Link on a fantastical journey as he starts to uncover a sinister plot taking place in an alternate Twilight dimension. Will Princess Zelda know what to do? Who is the evil King of the Twilight and what does he want? And is Link destined to become the savior of the free peoples of Hyrule? It's up to you to take control and find the answers to these questions in your own sweet time.


So essentially, what you're playing is a port of the GameCube version of Twilight Princess that's been retooled for the Wii. The biggest difference is of course the addition of the new motion-sensitive control scheme. I'm happy to report that the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk do an incredibly admirable job of making the game a lot of fun to play. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that this is a preferable method of controlling the game than a regular joypad. Movement, exploration and combat are highly accurate and if you fail or die, it's not the system's fault, but rather your own. I know this has been the biggest concern for many Zelda lovers and gamers in general, but I can't overstate this enough -- the Wii makes for a superb Zelda gaming experience.

The lands of Hyrule are split up into a number of different provinces. Each province gradually becomes unlocked after you hit certain milestones in the game. It might be by the completion of one of the nine dungeons, and there's always a ton of stuff to see and do. There are lots and lots of NPCs to interact with -- some will give out much-needed hints, and others might open up new mini-game challenges. The Twilight dynamic of the game is a nice twist on the proceedings, too. When sent into the Twilight zones, Link transforms into wolf form and this in itself opens up new abilities, combat moves and methods of progression. For example, Link can talk to animals while in wolf form, whereas before he could not. There are many memorable characters in the game, but easily the best of these is the spooky little imp-like individual, Midna. Her story is a mystery initially, but she proves to be an invaluable helper and hint-giver throughout the game, making for a new dynamic over and beyond the previous games in the series. There are a lot of series' staples found in Twilight Princess as well as some great new additions. Fans of the series will feel right at home with the combat system (Z-targeting is an absolute must) and the traditional mythology of dungeon crawling, money and item gathering, and item usage. It wouldn't be a true Zelda game without some of the classic themed dungeons, so all those players out there who got stuck in Ocarina's notorious Water Temple should start quaking in their boots!

The item and inventory system is well-executed, as is the in-game map system. Up to four items can be selected and mapped to the Wii Remote's B-button and D-pad at any one time, while the up direction on the D-pad is reserved for communication with Midna only. Link starts out with very little in terms of items and weapons, but it won't be long before sword and shield are at your command, along with some decent stop-gap secondary weapons like the slingshot, Gale Boomerang and the Hero's Bow. The game eases you into combat slowly, and makes sure you have a firm grasp of the Z-targeting system along with dodging, back-flipping and rolling around. Later in the game, you'll be facing off against some pretty hardcore mid-bosses and big bosses, but you'll never be put in the position of not being able to beat them -- it just might take a little time to figure out the best course of attack.

Horse riding plays a greater role in Twilight Princess than previous games, and Epona's representation is handled well. The controls are decent and fighting and maneuvering are well-implemented. There's never a shortage of areas to explore, and questing to find every single collectable item or power-up is a huge undertaking. You'll be able to collect fragmented heart containers (you'll need five pieces to form one full heart container this time) along with special hidden glowing bugs, fish and all manner of other stuff, too. The scope is truly magnificent. Speaking of fish, there's essentially an entire full-length game dedicated to catching crazy numbers of different and unique fish. This sometimes comes across as more of a Remote-enabling gimmick than anything else, but completists will love taking some time out for a spot of virtual haddock-reeling. You might even get a surprise reward or two for your piscine-based tomfoolery.


Twilight Princess is a great-looking game. On one hand, it has its graphical problems stemming from the GameCube development cycle (blurry textures, comparatively low-res characters, etc.), but the artistic direction more than makes up for these issues. I ended up playing through about 75 percent of the game using the standard composite cables that ship with the Wii, until I managed to snag some component cables towards the end. The difference in quality, clarity and imagery between the quite frankly subpar composite signal and the sexy 480p component signal was night and day. A sharper, more vibrant image enhanced the game experience significantly, so if you have the means, I highly recommend using component input.

I was delighted to hear that the musical score and sound effects were of the same high standard as Wind Waker, with new implementations on classic Zelda themes adding greatly to the nostalgia factor. The sound is pumped out in sweet Pro Logic II via the stereo cables and again, if you've got the means, it'll sound much better than just regular stereo.

In the end, there's no way that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess disappoints. It's an excellent addition (and homage to Ocarina) to the franchise, and you'll have an enormous amount of fun playing it from start to finish. Get over the fact that the Wii's hardware is simply not as powerful as the other next-gen machines and get into the fact that Twilight Princess is one of the best games you'll play this year. If you've been on the fence in any capacity, then please rest assured that you'll not be disappointed. I'm looking forward to checking out the GameCube version later next month, but I'm having a hard time imagining it being any better than the Wii interpretation. Nintendo's flagship game has finally arrived and you better damned well appreciate it. It's ultimately fantastic. 10/10
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It's important to note that Twilight Princess is bigger than Wind Waker. From the start of Link's epic adventure in Faron Forest to the highest peaks of Death Mountain where the Gorons dwell, the legend never seems to end. And that's a good thing because this is one Zelda game you'll wish could go on forever.

Second Guessing

PROTIP: Epona returns, more faithful and fun to ride than ever before.
Despite the Zelda pedigree, I had some initial misgivings about the game. I'd read the hype, seen the screens and footage, even took it for a quick spin at E3 but still, the doubt persisted: was this just Wind Waker with fancier graphics and a kooky control scheme? And when you come down to it, the answer is...well, yes. At its core, Twilight Princess isn't anything new. We've all seen the grassy fields of Hyrule and experienced the somewhat frustrating dungeon filled puzzles before. But, there is something that sets Twilight Princess apart from the other Zelda game. Something sincere. Something different. It's hard to put into words, so why try? You'll see what I'm talking about once you start to play.

The story, like most Zelda games, involves the land of Hyrule, which is on the brink of chaos. A darkness known as the Twilight has begun to creep over the land, turning the people of Hyrule into spirits and it's your job to help series stalwart Link restore light to the land.


PROTIP: Boss battles are epic in Twilight Princess and make full use of the items acquired in said dungeon.
As series vets can expect, the game starts off slowly, introducing characters, familiarizing you with the core gameplay mechanics, and on the Wii, learning the new control scheme. Expect at least an hour or more before you'll be completely comfortable with the controls. Compared with more responsive Wii games, such as Wii Sports, the Wii remote functionality in Twilight Princess feels slapped on and somewhat flawed, but eventually, the freedom of having the nunchuk in one hand and the Wii remote in the other will feel like second nature.

Let me do a quick and dirty primer on the controls: the nunchuk's analog stick moves Link around, the Z button auto-locks onto enemies or targets and the C button lets you free look around. Shaking the attachment also executes Link's spin attacks. The Wii remote is used for item selection, menu navigation, and weapon aiming. It also controls Link's sword: you equip it by swiping the Wii-mote, then slash away.


PROTIP: When in wolf form, hold the B button on the back of the Wii remote for a devastating one-hit area-of-effect (aoe) maneuver.
The Best Looking Zelda Game Ever

PROTIP: Midna will offer all sorts of advice, whether you are in the Twilight or Light realm.
From an artistic standpoint, the graphics in Twilight Princess are the best we've seen from any Zelda adventure. Similar to The Matrix, the realms of light and Twilight are clearly distinguished by drastic color changes, which perfectly sets the overall mood. And as to be expected from a Zelda game, the character design is superb. Link is appropriately heroic and the familiar green tunic and cap will instantly transport gamers back in time to the days of the original NES game. The supporting cast is fleshed out by some truly memorable characters, including, of all things, a tribe of monkeys who lend Link a helping hand...or is that paw?

But the real surprise is Princess Zelda, who is portrayed in a brand new and wholly unexpected light. No longer is she the damsel in distressmuch like the series itself, she's matured and grown up. The visuals are, sadly, nothing compared to some of the titles emerging on the Xbox 360 or PS3, and if you're playing on a high-definition wide-screen display, the component cables are a must, but regardless, the visual style and artistic direction is top notch.

Not much has changed in the sound department, however. The haunting score and useful audio cues are all familiar stuff. The only difference is the integration of the speaker on the Wii-mote. It'll act as a secondary sound source that aurally adds to your experience. It's somewhat gimmicky and the sound quality is horrible, but its fun nonetheless.

Take Me Back to the Good Old Days

PROTIP: With the bow and arrow equipped, hold the B button to aim and fire. Once bombs are acquired, combine the two for an arrow of doom.
But enough about the controls and how it looks: at the end of the day, what matters most is that Twilight Princess is still a Zelda title, through and through. The most amazing thing about the Zelda series is that, while they all share a core foundation of gameplay mechanics and design sensibilities, each proceeding title has added something new that makes it unique and compelling. Twilight Princess retains the trademark Zelda touches: there are hidden secrets to uncover, rupees to collect, and chickens to harass.

Also present is the delightful sense of humor, the epic feel of adventure, and the deep and engaging storytelling that brings to mind the genius of Hayao Miyazaki and hey-day Disney. But Twilight Princess is its own game, easily stepping out of the large and imposing shadow thrown by the previous pinnacle of Zelda-dom, The Ocarina of Time. The unique controls have much to do with this but even without it, the game would standout for its seamless blend of action and storytelling. It's a potent brew, crafted from a formula that Nintendo has been perfecting for years, and while the flavor is familiar, it somehow manages to feel new and refreshing at the same time.

Undeniably an Epic Adventure
From start to finish, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an extraordinary addition to the legendary series. The key to Twilight Princess' genius lies in its ability to evoke, and fulfill, a feeling of nostalgia, to return you to the bygone days when you first played a Zelda game. Whether it was the classic 2-D overhead adventures, or the later forays into the brave new world of 3-D that first got you hooked, Twilight Princess brings back all those fond memories, then creates some of its own. If there is one Wii game to own at launch, this is it, but we're guessing we didn't need to tell you that.


PROTIP: The fishing in Twilight Princess could be a game in its own. To fish, let the hook sink, watch the bobber, and snap back on the Wii remote when you get a bite.
After Windwaker, the Zelda franchise makes a welcome return to the realistically detailed graphics of past games. 10/10
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Review Rating: 10/10 User Rating: 9.32/10
The Zelda series has long been legendary both in name and in quality; many seasoned gamers consider it to be one of the very best franchises video gaming has to offer. But the series' latest iteration, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, is legendary for a third, unique reason: the path it took from its very first unveiling in trailer form at E3 2004 to its final landing on store shelves was uncommonly long, twisted, and full of what can be kindly described as "bumps in the road."

Multiple delays tied to bids for more development time to make a better overall product are only part of what this game went through on its way to retail. After finding a secure place in many a Nintendo fan's heart as the ailing GameCube's final hurrah, Nintendo turned expectations upside down at last year's E3 by announcing that not only was Twilight Princess no longer exclusive to the GameCube, it was also to be the next-generation Wii's flagship launch title -- and would hit store shelves sooner than the original GameCube version, to boot.

Immediately following that announcement, Nintendo would face a veritable gamer-blizzard of worry over the final product and feelings of betrayal on the part of GameCube owners who had only kept their purple (or black, or platinum) cubes for the sole purpose of playing the latest Zelda adventure. Would the wacky new motion-sensing, remote-controlled Wii be a comfortable, natural home for such an ambitious game that had already spent years in development for a traditional console? And how could Nintendo betray GameCube owners by announcing the game just for them originally, yet releasing the Wii version three weeks beforehand?

Well, I don't have an answer for the latter question about you GameCube faithfuls; you pretty much got screwed. But that first question, about whether or not the Wii would make a comfy fit for such an ambitious game originally designed for a very different console? If you couldn't guess from the review score, I'll put it for you here in very simple terms: you have absolutely nothing to worry about. From the moment you first slide the game disc into your Wii and pick up the Wii Remote to the final moment of the ending credits, Twilight Princess is a wholly unforgettable experience that feels like it was designed from the ground up for Nintendo's "new-gen" console. It is not without its flaws, but any issues I have with the game stem from the game experience itself and not with any hiccups in one version compared to the other. In fact, once you've played the Wii version of Link's latest outing, I reckon you will find (as I did) that playing the GameCube version feels immediately dull and unintuitive by comparison.

This is mainly because Twilight Princess for the Wii has been designed to take complete advantage of the system's novel control interface that, once you've gotten used to things and overcome the control scheme's fairly quick learning curve, allows for an unbelievably fluid, streamlined gameplay experience. In many ways, the game's controls will be familiar to players already accustomed to the series' past 3D outings. The A button is your main, context-sensitive action button and will be used to perform many different actions based on where you are and what you're doing. You can assign up to three different items to three of the directions on the remote's directional pad, with "up" still being used to call for in-game help from Link's traveling companion (the impish and wholly cool Midna, in this case). The remote's rear-facing B button uses whatever item you have currently set to it. Finally, the nunchuk attachment's analog stick moves Link around, while its Z button is used for - what else? - targeting, and the C button is used for the all-important first-person view mode. It's a lot to take in at first, yes, but after your first hour or two of gameplay you'll likely feel right at home.

One of the biggest reasons Nintendo was able to make a control scheme like this work is because they had no need for an attack button. Yes, as you've undoubtedly heard (or experienced) by now, to activate Link's basic sword attacks you must "shake" the remote and/or nunchuk. Now, are you listening? I'm only going to say this once: please don't let anyone fool you into thinking this is any kind of huge, arm-exhausting endeavor. It isn't. It won't be long before you learn that getting the remote to register an attack takes little more than a slight wiggle of the wrist, and after that, the constant remote-shaking you'll be doing becomes a second-nature reflex free of all but the slightest conscious thought. Honestly, it ends up proving to be a lot more intuitive and precise than constantly mashing on the same attack button, and frees up your fingers for other tasks, such as fluidly switching between items, repositioning the camera, or targeting a foe. Simply put: it works really, really well.

Yet, that's only half of the superior control aspect that I believe makes the Wii version of Twilight Princess the clear winner over its GameCube cousin. The other half? The Wii Remote's aiming/pointing mechanism, which is used in Twilight Princess to aim all of Link's point-and-shoot items, and in my opinion is such a wonderful innovation that it should forever replace the traditional analog stick as the primary aiming method in any future Wii title in which anything needs to be aimed anywhere. That's a lofty statement, to be sure, but it's one I fully stand by. It works like this: you set an aiming item -- for this example, let's say the tried-and-true bow and arrow -- to the B button. Holding the B button thereafter will make Link draw an arrow and pull it back, ready to let it fly. Then you use the Wii Remote to aim anywhere on the screen, let go of the B button, and watch the arrow soar right to its destination. I don't believe there are any words I can use to accurately describe how much more intuitive and, in the end, accurate this is than using an analog stick to line up your target. There's no additional component to it; you set your arrow (or other aiming item) and just aim by pointing the remote anywhere in Link's field of vision. Once you get over the initial adjustment of using this new aiming interface (which doesn't take long), you'll be picking off your targets without a second thought because you're actually aiming at what you want to shoot at, rather than relying on minute thumb movements to make your aim true. The remote works wonderfully in this regard and I never encountered any technical errors with the aiming mechanism. I'll just say this: I messed around with the GameCube version of Twilight after finishing the Wii version, and I was left with a feeling of disbelief that there was ever a time that I played 3D Zelda games with anything other than the Wii Remote. At least for this game, the traditional GameCube controller just cannot compare.

Much ado has been made about the Wii version's lack of a manually controllable camera. After having played through the game's entirety and searched every single last one of its many elusive corners, all I can say is, "so what?" The camera control, in any case, is assigned to the Z (targeting) button, so that when you press it when no enemies are nearby, the camera re-centers itself behind Link, giving you an instantaneous view of what lies ahead of him. Yes, it's true that there were a few times I wanted to get a better view of a particular place in the game world and could not because the game would automatically target (and shift the focus towards) a nearby enemy until I defeated it. These instances, however, were altogether uncommon in the 70 or so hours I spent with the game, enough so that I don't consider it an issue worthy of knocking the Wii version for not having a manually controllable camera. Honestly, the game's camera is smart enough on its own anyway that ninety-nine percent of the time, the limited control you have over its functions never becomes an issue.

One of the other major components of Twilight Princess' gameplay revolves around Link's new ability to transform into a wolf. It won't be long into your adventure before you get your first taste of Link's lupine side, and while this component adds something new and never-before-seen to the roster of Zelda gameplay experiences, it does not come off as being particularly memorable and playing as Wolf Link does, in fact, come off as feeling significantly limited and restricting compared to his tried-and-true human form. This is not helped by the fact that the game's narrative is front-ended with a lot of scenarios in which you are forced to play as Wolf Link until you can meet certain objectives. This contributed to the feeling that, by the time I had the option to switch back and forth between both forms at will in the second segment of the game, I was tired of the wolf form and seldom wanted to use it any more than was absolutely necessary. It becomes less useful and feels more tacked-on as the game progresses anyway; while the wolf can move faster than human Link and has the unique abilities to use heightened senses to follow scents and dig into the ground for items and secret passageways, Link is a much stronger and more versatile warrior in his human form (he can't use any items as a wolf) and the wolf's sensing and digging abilities are only needed occasionally. The tacked-on feeling only grows when you consider that the Twilight's story never clearly defines why Link can even turn into a wolf, and where that element came from in the first place. It can be summed up like this: if you've really got a hard-on for playing as a wolf in your video games, go play Okami -- it does the whole playing-as-a-wolf thing much better.

Besides, you're not playing the newest Zelda game because you heard Link can go lupine this time around, are you? No, you're playing it because it's the latest installment in a series known for breathtaking, involving, high-quality gaming experiences, and it is in this area that Twilight unsurprisingly succeeds immensely. Link's latest quest is a long, sprawling one: your journey will take you through no less than nine dungeons, the first seven of which are massive and all of which rank among the best dungeon designs this series has ever seen (though I am not ready to admit they all outrank the best of Ocarina of Time's dungeons). There is plenty of required (story) and side content to pad out the playing time between dungeons too, so you'll be spending lots of time outside of dungeons and exploring the varied geography of Hyrule, from the sprawling Hyrule Field (which is many times larger than the Ocarina of Time version and is just littered with secrets), to the deep valleys of Zora's Domain and the lofty, snowy mountain peaks of, uh, Snowpeak -- and beyond.

But to be honest, there is a staggering - and at times off-putting - sense of familiarity here if you're a veteran of Ocarina of Time. Throughout much of the Twilight experience, you may likely find yourself unable to shake a feeling of "been there, done that" -- a pervasive feeling, to be sure, but it is there. Much of the game's first "segment" (the first three dungeons and the subsequent objective-altering plot twist) often mirrors - sometimes to an outright scary degree - the front end of Ocarina's quest. You'll start out in a sleepy forest village and, later, learn the ropes in a woods-based tutorial dungeon, then move on to Kakariko Village and the fiery Death Mountain whose Goron residents are being plagued by - surprise! - intermittent earthquakes, and finally come to the aid of the aquatic Zora people, whose aquatic kingdom has been frozen - the exact same plight their ancestors suffered a century ago, and the exact same crisis another Link delivered them from in Ocarina of Time. Even the special items you'll find in Twilight's first three dungeons don't stray far from what you first got in Ocarina. Now, I understand Nintendo took a lot of (undeserved, in my opinion) heat for straying so far from the expected formula with The Wind Waker, and knew that all eyes would be on them to repeat the success of Ocarina after revealing Twilight to be another adventure starring an older, more mature Link and a darker, edgier look. But Twilight sometimes sticks so close to the trail that Ocarina blazed that it has a difficult time standing out on its own, a problem I felt never plagued The Wind Waker. Indeed, at times the game feels more like an unofficial "Ocarina of Time 2" than a Twilight Princess, and the strict adherence to such a formula can get frustrating, especially for those of us who feel that the different direction Nintendo went in with The Wind Waker was nothing short of genius. As a result, to me Twilight just ended up feeling less risky and, ironically, less ambitious in comparison.

Most thankfully, these feelings of gripping familiarity are much less common in the game's second segment (the second set of four dungeons and the finale), as Link explores more exotic locations and acquires some unique items that aren't immediate throwbacks (or aren't related at all) to Ocarina. But it is my opinion that even if Nintendo's clear reliance on the Ocarina formula as a whole doesn't make the Twilight experience worse per sť, it does contribute to its being a little more predictable and having somewhat less of a "wow!" factor than some of Link's other adventures.

As I briefly mentioned above, the Zelda series staple of an almost overwhelming amount of side quests and optional content to pursue is in full effect here. There are plenty of Pieces of Heart to find to max out Link's life meter, of course -- more now than ever before, in fact, because it now takes five pieces to make a full Heart Container. There are also the requisite upgradeable bomb bags, quivers, etc. to find and/or earn, and you will of course want to track down all four Empty Bottles and the like. But there's so much more than that. You'll also be searching for Golden Bugs all around Hyrule for a freaky bug-collecting girl, doing plenty of fishing for "fun" and prizes, doing good deeds for various Hyrulians, searching for Poe (ghost) souls using the wolf form's heightened senses, and more... and no good deed in Twilight Princess goes unrewarded. As with most Zelda games, it's often very, very difficult to get from point A to point B, even when you have a good idea of exactly what you want to do or where you want to go, because there is just so much off the beaten path that piques one's interest and demands investigation -- and before you know it, you'll be waist-deep in a sidequest or optional mini-dungeon or what-have-you that will suck away just a couple more hours of your time before getting back to (oh yeah!) the quest at hand.

Link's previous GameCube adventure, The Wind Waker, drew a lot of ire from longtime series fans for having a staggeringly low level of difficulty. Finishing the game without so much as a thought of possibly dying was a complaint constantly levied at the game, and often attributed to the game's "kiddy" aesthetic, what with its adorable, wide-eyed pre-teen Link and cel-shaded art style. One would hope, then, that Twilight Princess, with its significantly darker undertones (arguably the darkest the series has ever seen) and more realistic, mature visual style, would have a difficulty level suitable for more mature players too. Unfortunately, one's hopes would be dashed -- Twilight Princess starts out hand-holdingly easy and, in terms of enemy difficulty and the fear of ever actually dying, just gets easier all the way to the end as Link gets stronger and enemies, well, don't. It's not just a possibility you'll get through the game without a single death, it's downright likely. It's frustrating because it can serve to pull you out of the game experience, especially during the game's epic boss battles. Sure, those bosses always look huge and imposing and are usually faced down in epic, multi-segmented struggles that appear to have the odds heavily stacked against Link. But even those boss encounters, cool as they are, lose a lot of their gravity when you find that Link only takes minimal damage from even the most painful-looking hits -- and as Link's life meter grows throughout the game, the likelihood that you'll ever get a game over becomes even smaller, and that's not even taking into account the many different sources of life replenishment you can take into battle. Even the game's climatic, multi-stage final battle poses little threat to our green-clad hero.

It should be noted, however, that the series' token puzzle elements are in full effect here, and that Twilight's many dungeons will often leave you just the right amount of stumped to press you on, but never confuse you so much that you'll get frustrated, having no idea what you're supposed to do. (There is thankfully nothing like Ocarina of Time's dreaded Water Temple to be found here.) So, yes, while Twilight's fantastic dungeon-based puzzles will leave you scratching your head more than once, the "action" part of the game is once again far too easy, often to the point where it's frustrating. Please, Nintendo, if you're going to make a Zelda game to cater to a more mature audience, jack up the difficulty level while you're at it, okay?

Twilight Princess' narrative is an interesting topic to discuss. While this is definitely the most story-driven Zelda game to date, with more in-game cutscenes and character development than you likely have come to expect from the series, the story itself really isn't as big a deal as all the pre-release fervor would have you believe. In the end, it's pretty standard Zelda fare compared to The Wind Waker, which was a whole lot more ambitious in terms of what it did to established series staples. It can also be frustrating at times, too, as Nintendo once again jacks up continuity despite pushing this as a direct sequel to Ocarina (albeit 100 years later). A lot of plot and world design elements here (especially a certain dungeon) seem to come out of left field when you try to consider the connection between the two games, and all told, Ocarina and especially The Wind Waker just told more engaging tales in my view. But as long as you don't go into Twilight with your story expectations too lofty, you'll enjoy what you find here. It should be noted that Twilight benefits from an absolutely fantastic English script and some of the best character development the series has ever seen. The developers have taken a page from The Wind Waker and once again use facial expressions to great effect here, once again making Link as human and emotionally resonant as he can be without having any lines of dialogue. Link actually comes off as a human interested in saving his world and the people he loves and not just an avatar for the player to control. Oh, and his new companion, Midna? She's one of the most wonderful, immediately endearing characters this series has seen to date. Bravo, Nintendo, for giving Link a companion many times better than a certain fairy "helper" he once had...

Twilight Princess' soundtrack is one of the best the series has yet seen. Though it does, at times, suffer from the fact that Nintendo refuses to use great synth for its game soundtracks and doesn't even attempt to go for an orchestrated sound (which it really should), the music here is consistently great and is several times better than Ocarina's. The main overworld theme, which purists will be disappointed to find doesn't draw very much from the series' main theme, is suitably heroic, catchy, and is long and varied enough so that it never gets tiresome. As expected, a lot of familiar tunes show up here once again but in remixed form, and that's nice. Twilight also cuts down on the series' recent over-use of ambient sound, so that night-time field exploration and many of the dungeons are often accompanied by music. It's minimal, but in my experience minimal music is oftentimes better than no music, and it's proven to great effect here. The game's soundtrack is also once again context sensitive, with appropriate shifts in the soundtrack occurring according to the time of day, your proximity to an enemy, and more.

The series' tradition of fantastic sound effects is upheld to great effect here. If you know what previous 3D Zeldas have sounded like, you have a pretty accurate idea of how Twilight sounds as well. Of particular note is Link's voice track -- he's never sounded more "hardcore" than he does now. The menacing grunt that accompanies his sword-impaling finishing move never gets old, and altogether gives off the empowering impression that this is one man you don't want to mess with. Other characters, of course, also have a wide range of grunts, moans, shrieks, etc. in lieu of actual voice acting. This is the way it's been since Ocarina, and it works once again here, especially when you consider what potentially-bad voice acting could have done to the game.

From a graphical standpoint, Twilight Princess is at once impressive and humble at the same time. As you're likely already aware, Twilight, despite being ported to the Wii, was originally developed for the GameCube and, as such, looks like a GameCube game. In past-generation context, then, the game looks fantastic; the purple cube was never a slouch in the graphical department and Twilight is one of its finest-looking games. Twilight does fail to impress, though, when held up against current-generation standards, especially if you've been playing a lot of Xbox 360 games recently. But the ultimate question really is, "does it matter?" No, it really doesn't. This is because the visual direction here -- the world design, character designs, the visual experience of the game -- is absolutely top-notch. Much like the PS2's Shadow of the Colossus, there is a lot of ingenious visual design at work here that is limited only by the processing power of its native console. Thus, Twilight is a game you will certainly enjoy looking at as you take in the game world and appreciate the character the developers have given the game itself. Sure, like Colossus, you'll sometimes wonder what it could have looked like if the developers had had more processing power to work with. But you'll realize that it doesn't really matter pretty quickly as you're drawn into an altogether fantastic game whose quality has nothing to do with the number of polygons it pushes.

And that is what Twilight Princess ultimately is: an altogether fantastic game. It's a token Zelda experience through and through, and many gamers will be quick to tell you how special an experience that is. It isn't necessarily the most unique or ambitious title in the series, it doesn't defy series convention like The Wind Waker did (to wonderful effect), and it does retread some trails blazed by its spiritual predecessor, Ocarina of Time. But the Wii version of Twilight Princess blazes a trail of its own with its revolutionary control scheme that allows for a much more intuitive, fluid gameplay experience than its traditionally-controlled predecessors ever did, and there is no denying that, no matter which platform you play it on, Twilight is certainly the most vast, expansive Zelda game ever, not only in terms of the length of its quest but also the size of its world, and the seemingly endless amount of things to do in it. It is not perfect or even the best game in the series in my eyes, but no game that ever earns a 10 does so by being perfect or the best there ever was. It does so by standing out as an exceptional gaming experience that you will recall fondly years down the road, and in that respect, Twilight Princess carries on the Zelda series' torch proudly.
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When developing the original Legend of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto stated that he wanted this game to be the "anti-Mario," to be an experience which offered open-ended gameplay that allowed players to choose their own path, an idea that differed greatly from the goal-based, segmented chunks of play that Super Mario Bros. featured.

In the same way, Link is also the anti-Mario in regards to his public presence. Unlike the red-capped plumber, who is constantly in the limelight and sees almost one title released per month, Link's appearances are far fewer. The scarcity of Zelda games turns players into kids waiting outside Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, waiting desperately to catch a glimpse of a red top hat, or in this case, a green elvish cap.

Since Zelda is doled out in bite-sized bits rather than regular servings, it's only natural that an extra one-year delay turned fans' eager anticipation into rabid frothing. Since Twilight Princess will be debuting in both Wii and GameCube editions, whether or not that extra year proved worth it will be clearly shown in the difference between the two editions of the game.

visuals



The first obvious thing about the original Twilight Princess E3 trailer was the dramatic stylistic difference between this game and the cel-shaded Wind Waker. Although a few overtones have changed since earlier renditions, the same feeling is present: a gritty, dank world in which dust clings to Link's boots and menacing creatures wander the darkness.

The graphics have not been upgraded in the transition from GameCube to Wii, but they're pretty impressive by GameCube standards. Facial animations are particularly notable, giving a detailed rundown of what each character is feeling at any given time.

Much like A Link to the Past, Twilight Princess features a Light World and a Twilight one. At times the Light World appears bleak and gray, but the Twilight Hyrule with its constant amber hue and flowing bits of darkness amplifies the feeling tenfold.

audio



The voice acting in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is generally limited to "Ha," "Yah!" and "Hey!" Since Link traditionally says nothing, this isn't a huge problem in his case, and Midna's somewhat extended lines help enhance her otherworldly nature. The voices will either be annoying or adequate depending on how married one is to the concept of fully-voiced video games.

A couple of small shortcomings keep the game's score from hitting a grand slam. Nearly every rearrangement of classic Zelda tunes comes off as incredible, but the newer compositions don't fare quite as well. The Overworld themes set a standard for this contrast. The daytime theme is both complex and diverse with a full complement of instrumentation, while the music that accompanies the night sounds as if it were coming directly from an N64. This occasional simplicity was probably intentional, considering the link this game has with Ocarina of Time and the juxtaposition between Light and Twilight; but it shatters the immersion at times.

The Wii Remote's built-in speaker is used extensively throughout the quest. The draw and release of the bowstring, the ring of a drawn sword and the familiar "I found a secret!" chime are all piped through the remote rather than the TV. It's been said before, and bears repeating, that the fidelity of the speaker isn't the best around, but it still lends a feeling of being in the game that is completely new.

gameplay



What has primarily changed about Zelda in its Wii transition is not the core feeling, but rather the physical experience. Although swinging the remote doesn't directly translate to Link's onscreen swordplay, instead it replaces the traditional B button sword swing. Despite this novelty, it is aiming the special weapons where the greatest improvement has been made. No longer is the analog stick necessary to target with the Hero's Bow or slingshot, instead the player can now actually aim with hand movements that are precisely represented on the TV. This makes portions of the game significantly more intuitive.

However, don't think that this is just the same old Zelda with new trappings. The most obvious change is the addition of Midna. As Link is trapped in the Twilight Realm, transformed into a wolf by its twisted magic, the impish girl, who lives in Link's shadow in the world of light, agrees to help the hero in exchange for a favor: help her recover a series of magical artifacts. From this point on, the game might as well have been called The Legend of Midna, since Link's new companion quickly takes over nearly every aspect of the game, even managing to steal the spotlight from series heroine Zelda in more than one respect.

Midna's creation was reportedly inspired when Miyamoto pointed out how boring it is to watch a wolf run around by itself. Thus, Midna was added as something to look at while Link in is his lupine form. Playing as the wolf is quite a bit different from a human Link. No special weapons or items can be used, but the wolf has enhanced senses and Midna's capable assistance make up for the lack to an extent. The designers made great use of the wolf's unique abilities in the later dungeons, where Link can switch freely between forms.

A new sidekick isn't the only thing Link has going for him. Several new special weapons are included in Twilight Princess, including some which might become fan favorites, such as the delightfully destructive Ball and Chain and the Spinner, which twirls like a top and can latch into grooves along assorted walls. While some earlier temples will have a tangibly familiar ring to them, the later levels become incredibly fresh with these additions.

multiplayer

N/A

overall



It goes without saying that Twilight Princess was heavily inspired by Ocarina of Time, both visually and in plot (the events supposedly occur mere decades after the N64 game). What's really impressive about Twilight Princess is how freely portions of the game can flow into one another. As in most previous Zelda adventures, the player is free to roam around the world without any specific urgency. Even more amazing is how the Overworld has become something of a dungeon with its unraveling mysteries around every turn.

The controls work. It isn't hard to adjust to physically swinging the remote or pointing at the appropriate onscreen target; in fact, it's fairly easy. But most importantly, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is immersive and addictive. Once the quest has begun, it will be near-impossible to put the controllers down until Link and Midna have saved the day. The main quest can be rushed, and the game ended far too soon, but part of the experience, as always, is in taking in the entirety of the game world by searching every nook and cranny. This freedom of exploration, whether waving both arms around or hammering on a button, is the essence of Zelda.

10/10
etc etc. those are reviews.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:45 AM
Double A Double A is a male New Zealand Double A is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

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Originally Posted by Zeldablue777 View Post
Lol kay. Does that mean people will NEVER get sick of crying about TP? You're telling me people won't want to move on and talk about the next addition? They'd rather flood the boards with "LOL! I JUST RATED TP A 6.5!" and "WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE TP? I TINK IT SUX!" After Z-Wii Zelda's release?

I highly doubt it. We'll be onto the next, killing or defending the new rookie.
I know people will REACT to ZWii, but I'm just saying that the general attitude towards TP won't change.

Just you wait, the "rookie" will get more praise and less hate than TP.
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:21 AM
mclennon_27 mclennon_27 is a male United States mclennon_27 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

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Originally Posted by Double A View Post
Watch. In the future, the general reaction to TP will not change as it has done for MM and WW. Quote me on this or something.
i couldnt agree more
everytime i play WW and MM i like them more and more
but ive played TP some 4 times now and each time i find myself dreading it

i dont understand why people are so shocked others didnt love TP
every zelda game has had flaws, its just TP were more obvious and worse
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:59 AM
i am error i am error is a male i am error is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

No Zelda 3D game has had an overworld teeming with difficult enemies, or anything close to that. At no point in any 3D game have I been in danger of losing all my health in the overworld. The enemies aren't really there to be a real threat, simply to flesh out the environment a bit and provide players with something to slash at.

Ocarina of Time has nothing but peahats you'll rarely come across and those dinky stalfos and some spiders hopping around. Majora's Mask has a field full of ... chuchus. Wind Waker makes a marginal effort with a couple harder enemies, like the boat cannons, but you rarely encounter any of them. This is evidenced by the fact that during those long sailing journeys, I can leave the game unpaused and go off to: prepare a meal / pee / go to the grocery / read and memorize the entirety of The Oddysey, without losing any hearts. So I don't quite understand how TP often gets singled out for this criticism.

I guess TP could have broken the mold from other 3D games by offering a more challenging overworld. But that'll probably come when Nintendo uses more powerful hardware that can better simulate the 2D overworlds (dense and mazelike rather than wide-open, with swarms of enemies).
Last Edited by i am error; 11-04-2009 at 02:59 AM. Reason:
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:24 AM
Metropalis Metropalis is a male New Zealand Metropalis is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

very very very cruel review cut this awesome game some respect out of 10 i give it a 10 but thats just me but still this rating is cruel it is at least a 4/5 (using your rating system)
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Finished: LOZ - Alttp - Oot - MM - WW - TP - PH - ST
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:39 AM
MYK1217 United_States MYK1217 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

Do you have to call it "cruel"? Can't you just say "I don't agree with your rating. I think it's a 4/5," and preferrably give reasoning for it? Why do you people keep trying to tell people they're wrong for being critical? Let people have their opinions. We're not telling you you're supposed to dislike this game. So stop telling us we're supposed to warship it.

Also good point, i am error (and i like your name, classic Zelda II reference). OOT's overworld wasn't much. But nonetheless, TP should have given you more enemies to fight and actually make them threatening. I want to have that thrill back.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:56 AM
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

Quote:
And I've beated several dungeons: LA had FANTASTIC AI.
Here's a tip: LA means Link's Awakening. AoL is Adventure of Link.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:15 PM
Link92 Link92 is a male United States Link92 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
#1: And it STILL wasn't enough.
Your loss, I guess.

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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
#2: I gave it credit for this (or didn't mention it because I thought it went without saying) so what's your point?
I wasn't arguing against you here. I was explaining the difference between fact and pure preferential opinion, which is different from fact-supported opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
#3: Enemies are too easy for this ot matter a whole lot, save for the Darknuts and those blasted armored lizard men.
I have agreed with you almost every time about the enemies not being enough of a threat, but I feel that's completely outweighed by the fun factor of fighting them.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
Not in this game it ain't. It's to easy. Enemies are so much not a threat that I can just walk right past them and it wouldn't matter at all. The only thing I absolutely have to engage is the boss's/minibosses/Darknuts.
Do you fight overworld enemies in Zelda because you 100% have to, or because you want to? For me, it's definitely the latter.

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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
This comparison is idiotic and not valid.
No it isn't idiotic. It's an example of the hypocrisy of many fans who make certain complaints about Twilight Princess while completely ignoring those same flaws when reviewing older games.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
Ummmm...I never said anything about TP having no soul. So there.
I wasn't talking about you. I said "People say," meaning I wasn't talking about you, but many other people who I've heard make that complaint on GameFAQs, for example.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
The problem with your so called facts is that I have an opinion. If 120+ enemies left me thinking that there wern't enough enemies to fight, then 120+ ain't enough to fight.
And yet you seem to place previous games on a pedestal even though their overworlds have far fewer enemies and puzzles.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
It's not fun for me because there's no real rewards! The grottos are always a single room with a chest and three enemies and when you get to some obscure place there's no SceneryPorn to make you feel like this was even a little accomplishment. What's the point? I mean, if you like pointless exploring, go ahead.
Your loss, I guess.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
Ummm...what? You arn't making any sense any more. You're doing that EXACT SAME THING with your 'TP had more enemies in HF than OoT did' and other crap.
You're the one not making any sense. TP having more in its overworld than OoT and MM is not an opinion, it's a fact. Wolf form being enjoyable or not is purely subjective.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
Yup, and if Wolf was as fun as even one of those, it would've been a complete sucess. But (IMO you hypocrite) it wasn't.
How am I a hypocrite? I never once argued against your opinion of wolf Link not being an enjoyable gameplay mechanic, I merely stated that it was very enjoyable for many others.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
It takes two seconds to charge, the shadow beasts AI is so bad they don't attack you for several seconds at a time, even when you're right in front of them and it's a simple matter to only partly charge your field to get one if it's away from the main group to nail it first, and then you partly charge your field to nail the last two. Dark Energy Field==Cheap.
Just because the Shadow Beasts didn't take the time to attack you doesn't mean they don't attack. Whenever I play, they always take the opportunity to try and stop my Dark Energy Field.

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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
Correct, but as movement and combat get easier and more refined, I expect my enemies to get tougher to prevent me from getting bored.
Fair enough, and I have already said a million times that I agree with the fact that the enemies aren't challenging enough. What is it about this that you don't understand?


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
But in my review, gameplay is where it FAILED.
Which is what makes no sense. It has a more technologically advanced and refined gameplay mechanic than most other games in the series.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
Yes, which is why I don't think you take any of the flaws in TP very seriously. And I disagree with you.
That's fine, but I do take them seriously. It's only because I feel TP's pros far outweigh its cons, which is why I give it a 10/10.

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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
But it does in mine.
Okay, then. I never once argued that this point was objective.

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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
Those flaws are egregious. A truly perfect game would be able to hold up against critism wether it was leveled at it the day it was released, or three years after it's release. TP held up at the day of it's release, but not so much after we've had the chance to disect it.
Don't include everyone else in your general census. Most people liked TP and considered it a great game, as the 30+ awards will testify. Dissecting the game in recent history has shown that it is better than the haters will admit, not that it is worse than the ravers will admit. This is because haters are in full force as soon as the game is released and complaints decrease as the game's existence goes on.

And there is no perfect game. None whatsoever.

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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
The ones in Hyrule field, in the late game espescially, are harmless. In OoT, you had the slight control bugginess to help their challenge rating.
That's not real difficulty, that's poor gameplay design. Clunky controls are not what should make a game more challenging. It is a game flaw if controls limit your ability to play the game effectively, not a strength. A game being difficult is not enough to call it a good challenge. Whether the difficulty is "good" or not depends on where that difficulty comes from.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
And I've beated several dungeons: LA had FANTASTIC AI.
"Beated?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
#2: The field itself was very small, but it wasn't constrained. Thinking back, there wasn't a whole lot of enemies in Hyrule Field in OoT, but that was remedied by how rediculously small it was.
No it wasn't remedied. OoT's field was large for the technology at the time. The amount of enemies in it during the latter half of the game, however, had nothing to do with technological limitations, because if all those Stalchildren could attack you at night as child Link, they had the technology to put some Lizalfos in Hyrule Field during the second half.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
You know, the test itself is aware of it's objectivity, but generally speaking, it's a good standard to follow.
No it's not a good standard to follow because even the most well-liked canon characters are classified as Mary Sues the second they become interesting characters. The test adds up Mary Sue points simply for having a character be good at something. Hell, if you run YOURSELF through that test, you can be labeled as a Mary Sue/Marty Stu, as this page will testify, including everything wrong with the test.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...BugsMe/MarySue

The term "Mary Sue" automatically gets thrown around every time a character is given plot relevance or becomes competent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
In the main plot or are they just side characters? Are they the really important ones or can they be forgotten at a moments notice?
Renado, Midna, Zant, Faron, Ordon, Lanayru, Eldin, the Sages, Zelda, Colin, Beth, Talo, the Gorons, Ralis, Impaz, Rusl, etc are pretty important characters, if you ask me.

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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
Does it ever show Link with HIS piece (the one that I'm supposing he already has) glowing?
Yes, during the scene in which he becomes a wolf.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
Okay, fine...but he still only talks to Midna, and acts like Link's not there.
He talks directly to Link when he possesses Zelda and gets ready for the final sword duel, as well as telling off Link and Zelda afterward.


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Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
Why didn't Link kill Daddy Ganon first? Zant would've been helpless.
It would be a pretty anticlimactic Zelda game if Ganon dies BEFORE his right hand man.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulcon View Post
And you paraphrase Yahtzee, who, for all intents and purposes, is the guy that taught me to take the 'Guantanamo Bay' approach to gaming (everything is **** until proven otherwise).
I don't follow that belief at all. I consider a game to be good until proven ****. If you follow Yahtzee's belief, that means you look for game flaws before you even try to enjoy the game. Just because I use one quote doesn't mean I agree with everything he says. The fact that he says this is the very reason why I don't watch or read his reviews.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:18 PM
MYK1217 United_States MYK1217 is offline
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Re: Fulcon's Review of Twilight Princess (there's good in there somewhere)

I've just come to accept that people have different preferences with Zelda. It's like steak. Some like medium-rare, some like medium-well. It depends on how you like your Zelda. You two just like it in different ways. This arguement will never end unless you accept that.
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