With the stunning release of the Link’s Awakening trailer for the Switch, it seems as there’s no better time than to chronicle an older/newer title; A younger entry to the soon-to-be formally Gameboy title, Twilight Princess was my first venture this year, soon in 20XX to be known as the year of the backlog.
Story-Time; When the Wii first came out, Twilight Princess was one of the first games released with it, a lot like Breath of the Wild for the Switch. There was also a big problem at the time with stock, as Nintendo didn’t anticipate the demand the Wii would create, leading people to snatch them off the shelves the moment units became available in stores. I grabbed mine somewhat of the same way, a last system found in a shopping center near where Spiderman 3 was playing. i made it about halfway through that feature before i walked out & loaded up the *new* console and began my new journey into Hyrule. Previously, I’d made it just out of the Water Temple before becoming distracted and eventually moving onto something different, thus shelving the game till this year, 2019. Having finally finished it about 2 weeks back, there’s a decent bit to reflect on.
Being one of the first Wii titles, there is a lot of emphasis thrown on the motion control aspect. Whether it’s swinging the sword or locking onto a particular part of the ceiling with the Clawshots, players must utilize the Wii Controller & Nunchuck through the entire experience, which is cool & interactive, but sometimes it felt like a hassle when in a fact-paced battle; Everything is fine & dandy up until your sensor bar is in an awkward place. I imagine this was fixed in the HD-version released onto the Wii U, but why buy another copy when I own one already? So, minor rant/criticism there.
The game itself is a beautiful foray into one of the realistic-looking titles the series had up to that time. Yes, Hyrule is still populated with all sorts of funny-looking characters & multiple different races still inhabit the lands, but after Windwaker’s cartoonish cell-shading, many wanted something a little more cleaned up. Twilight brought that, but with it came some of the creepier designs for enemies; Enter Zant, the “ruler” of the Twilight Realm and invader into ours. On the flipside, our hero, somewhat against his will, was paired with Midna, an imp with a grudge & sass for days. Her aim was to take down Zant, and while not willingly at first, help Link free Zelda & all of Hyrule from Zant’s twilight curse.
The story itself marked, I believe in my playing experiences, the second time a princess actually came along for the journey, with Windwaker being the first (I’m not counting Sheik, since she wasn’t around the entire time). ***Spoiler***, Midna is Zelda’s equivilant in the Twilight Realm, she just happens to be stuck in our world till she gains enough power to fight in hers. I love how this started to become the trend, less with “we must save the princess” to “Oh damn, ya’ll picked the wrong fight with the royal hierarchy”, and it is refreshing, especially with what we’re seeing more out of our society today. We gave Zelda a stake in the fight, the mark of the hero, and young female gamers someone to idolize in their playing experience as someone strong & not to be counted out. Terra was also a strong example of this, even after she discovered her own origins.
Clocking out at about 25 hours or so with side-quests/leaving the game on pause, Twilight Princess was remarkable in its experiences. I loved both the cinematic fight on the bridge with the Ogre, the fight in the skies late in the game with the Dragon boss, and Very, VERRRRY close to topping Windwaker’s finale was the multi-part face off with Ganondorf. Yeah, Zant too, who ended up being way more goofy than his appearance suggests, with his fight requiring every tool I ever discovered in the game’s various temples. Nintendo took full advantage of all the power their new system had to offer with much of the artistic direction utilized. Ganondorf’s duel was one of the finest fights I’ve ever been on the receiving end of, but I don’t think it would have been nearly as great without the strong build-up to it. That’s what makes gaming today closer to what we see on the silver screen, and it’s amazing with how far we’ve come in a few short years in the medium.
With Twilight Princess laid to rest inside my memories, I can see clearly where all the love for the title comes from. An excellent addition to the franchise, it is one title that is certainly sore to skip when it comes to getting a real feel for the evolution of the series as well as its recurring set of faces. As previously stated, an HD version exists on the Wii U, so if you haven’t gotten the chance yet, pick up a copy from your neighborhood retro-game shop and get ready for a journey. Alternatively, you can wait to see if the Switch also gets a port…. Link’s Awakening might be the “awakening” of other things to come.
Years to Date in Playing: 2007 to 2019
Hours in – 27:31
And for those that didn’t catch yesterday’s Nintendo Direct;
That’s all for this week’s trip back to the past, see you next time when the backlog is dealt yet another blow!
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Thank you for tuning into your world, for this… is 20XX.