†Last week was one of the most exciting I remember, gaming wise. Three next generation consoles were revealed, that doesnít happen but every 4 years, but even 3 new consoles couldnít eclipse the presence of a highly anticipated game. The Legend of Zelda Ė Twilight Princess is (yes, I dare to say) the game that has caused the most hype and speculation in the series. Zelda forums have gone wild since last yearís E3 when the first teaser was shown, theorizing, discussing, wondering, analizingÖ I donít remember this happening when The Wind Waker was revealed, at least not at the same level. This was, obviously, because of the cel-shaded graphics. But thatís another story.
I intend to write my impressions here, where should I start? I think Iíll go ahead and confess that, after I saw the trailer, I went home and jumped on the bed until I vomited. I was so excited that after watching the gameplay videos available at IGN and Gamespot, I proceeded to rip the parrotís head off (much to my wifeís grandmaís sorrow. She will thank me one day. Or not.). But why am I in such a hyped (and dangerous) state? Let me list the reasons why I think this game will be my wifeís reason to leave me:
- Starting from the name, Twilight Princess promises to deliver something more than an important item to use the whole game.
- Horseback action. We had horseback archery in OoT, now Link will be able to slash with his sword while riding (Epona, by the way) across Hyrule. In the playable demo at E3, we see Link giving chase to a bad guy, while some others tried to make the hero fail, only to be the target for Linkís blade. I also saw Link sipping potion from a bottle while on Epona. What other items will he be able to use that way?
- Gameplay mechanics and combat. Throughout the demo, I noticed tons of context sensitive actions that could be performed pressing the right button at the right time, giving the game a RE4 feel. Early in the demo, Link has to stop a goat thatís running from the stables, you have to time your reaction so you achieve it. Also, in combat, I saw up to two actions to pick from via icons at the bottom of the screen. New moves have been added as well. Link can use his shield to hit or push enemies out of balance in order to make them drop their guard. And for the melancholic, the downward thrust is back for a cool an effective way to finish off enemies for good.
- New or improved items. Weíve only seen the boomerang, but thatís enough to get a glimpse on how items evolve in the Zelda saga. The upgrade for the boomerang in WW was the ability to lock on up to five targets. This time thereís a wind magic boost to the weapon. Also, as seen on the boss battle, the boomerang can pick items and carry them to interact with other targets. Thatís pretty cool and adds new elements to battles, as well as makes you strategize a bit more.
- Transportation. Weíve seen Link ride a horse and a huge boar and row a canoe. In an interview, Miyamoto implied the possibility of controlling other animals, even winged animals. OMFG!!1! and stuff.
- Deep, improved story and enveloping, obscure atmosphere. Weíve only got a bit of the first, but it looks promising. Link is asked to attend the Hyrule Summit in representation of his people. This stresses the adult Link side. Bad guys attack and kidnap Linkís friend. Then they proudly display her, tied to a spear. This hints for a crude and almost/even a cruel atmosphere where you will have to struggle in order to survive. I wouldnít be surprised if shocking events took place during the game, like Epona being killed or something.
- The music we listen to in the trailer is gorgeous. I love it. It starts by inspiring feelings of sadness and impotence, then it gets powerful, dramatic and desperating when Link turns into a wolf (Iíll get to that in a minute) and later. Then we listen Zeldaís LullabyÖ The soundtrack for the Zelda games have always been fantastic, and I donít expect less from this one. Although itís been said that it wonít feature orchestrated music, I donít have a single complaint about the WW soundtrack, if you get what I mean.
- Challenging. Thatís what Twilight Princess looks from here. They say there will be more puzzles, of the difficult type. And in general, thatís what the trailer and playable demo make me thing. Seems like this will be the most difficult Zelda yet.
- Graphics are a welcomed boost, but Iím more interested in how the game performs. The level of detail is amazing, though. Just look at the forest scenes, look at the trees, the leaves. Look at the cloudsí shadows, the particles floating around, the rain and fogÖ
- And then, of course, thereís the whole wolf thing. Iím gonna have to learn how to take my big foot into my even bigger mouth; I was sure that this Link turning into a wolf thing was nothing but silly conclusions. I donít know if you feel it, but in the wolf scenes thereís this strange feeling. Like when you were turned into a Deku scrub in MM. Who didnít feel helpless? I think thatís what weíll feel at first but, as in MM, you will get used to it, and even learn to love its animal abilities.
Thatís what I can think of right now.
This new Zelda feels different somehow, but thatís not necessarily a bad thing, in fact, changing is what keeps The Legend of Zelda alive and fresh (as I said in my last article). Even Miyamoto said it himself.
Yes, Twilight Princess is making me go crazy. Parrots of the world, tremble in fear.