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Nintendo Wii Review: The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess

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Before anything can be said about The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess there are a few points that we need to be discuss. First and foremost, the game is a port of the GameCube version so set your expectations at that level. Second, the game exists on the Wii solely to push product. Nintendo needed a name that guaranteed people were going to overlook the uncertainties of the Wii’s philosophy and that name was Zelda. Unfortunately, as an introduction to Wii gaming, The Twilight Princess is a failure.

Motion controls are bland and often consist of little more then just waving the Wii Remote side to side to swing your sword. One would think that you’d at least be able to swing up and down to do a vertical slice attack, but sadly that’s just not the case. All motion controls act exactly like a button press, nothing more, and were most likely chosen because there simply aren’t enough buttons, not because they were a good idea.

There are a couple of interesting uses of motion control such as using a forward thrust of the Nunchuk to perform a shield bash, but even that is pretty touchy and often you’ll end up doing a spin attack instead.

Aiming, the only truly effective use of the Wii Remote, is smooth and surprisingly responsive. The only downside is that if you’re not pointing at the screen you’ll just sort of be left there, open for attack, unlike with the analog stick where you’re guaranteed to be on screen, centered and ready to fire. In the end it’s really a trade off and comes down to personal preference.

Having played both the GC and Wii versions of Twilight Princess, it’s really hard to say which controls feel better as the classic control scheme feels more familiar and natural, while the Wii scheme gives you a slightly easier time aiming.

Obviously, since the game is just a port it’s foolish to expect full integration of the Wii’s abilities, but there are so few additions that the game that it often doesn’t feel like it justifies its own existence. Fortunately once you get into the heart of the adventure you’ll completely forget about the lack of true Wii-ness in the title and just become captivated with the incredible world director Eiji Aonuma and his team have created.

In many ways, The Twilight Princess feels like the series has returned the master sword. Gone is the cutesy art style of The Wind Waker, gone is the overtly queer Tingle born into the series by Majora’s Mask, and back is the awesome sense of adventure and excitement you felt the first felt so many years ago. Not since the stellar Ocarina of Time, has a Zelda game felt this complete, this consuming. The only thing missing is a “Hey, listen!”

As you leave your humble beginnings as a lowly stable boy and progress on your way to becoming a true Hero of Hyrule, one thing becomes immensely apparent – it’s not the journey but the destination that counts.

For the better part of eight hours you’ll be stuck doing annoying fetch quests in a rather lame attempt to introduce you to both the story and the new game play mechanics. It’s hands down the slowest opening of any Zelda game and even the Twilight realm, while visually stunning, is a particularly boring experience.

The first time you enter the realm it’s kind of cool. The staunch brown earth tones and bloom provokes feelings of hopelessness and depression. You feel the desperation and fear of the trapped souls, but you’re also filled with a strong desire to over come the darkness and return light to the damned realm.

Sounds really fun and exciting now doesn’t it? Too bad the game play in the twilight realm consists of little more then glorified fetch quests. All you really do is run around killing bugs that are highlighted on your map. That’s it. The few puzzles that need to be solved in the realm are also ridiculously easy and provide little entertainment.

Game play as human Link remains pretty much the same as it was in every previous Zelda game. But is that really anything to complain about? Zelda has rarely been known as a series that reinvents the wheel. It success comes from taking the same base and then building upon it to make it look like something else. The story for example, while unique, still follows the traditional Zelda form. The same is true for the games many puzzles. You’ve seen most of them before, but the fact is they were fun and completing them again is hardly going to detract from the experience.

About eight hours into the game you gain the ability to switch between Link and Wolf-Link at will. Suddenly everything changes. No longer can simply lighting a torch solve puzzles. Instead you’ll need to rely on the joint abilities of your human and wolf forms to find the proper solutions and complete the games last few dungeons. Even the final series of battles with Ganondorf require the use of both forms.

Musically The twilight Princess is nothing if not nostalgic. In addition to the traditional scores heard in every Zelda game, it also includes classic Ocarina songs such as Zelda’s Lullaby as tunes the wolf can howl to call upon the spirit of a long dead great warrior. This warrior grants you secret hidden skills that make fighting all the more complex and exciting.

There was initially some concern about the darker tone the series has taken and more importantly the Teen rating it received. In some ways they were right. The game does feature some harsher elements such as the Prince of Zora dealing with his mother’s execution at the hands of the Twilight King, Zant. Though the execution is not shown the ramifications of it are seen and discussed numerous times throughout the middle of the game.

When you take the time to really examine the story it does become apparent that any elements added to the game that brought it up to a Teen rating were done so in the interest of presenting a better story and not in the interest of shock attention. No smash your brains out, kill your parents, overly moody, hard rock, Warrior Within stuff going on here.

When all is said and done after nearly 20 hours of gaming, you’re left feeling a sense of true success. The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess could easily be considered one of the finest games ever produced were it not for the horribly slow opening and tacked on controls that make getting to that ending so hard. It’s a great game, but not the greatest game.

The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Animated Blood and Fantasy Violence. This game can also be found on: GameCube.

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About Jason Westhaver

  • unknown

    wat r u on about? first off its not just a port, if anything its the original and the gamecube is the port. althought i can agree with the motion sensing not being used to its full abilities, its still brilliant! and 20 hours to complete???? unless ur super quick, its a 40+ hour plus game.

    ur review has left me thinking if ive played the same game as you.

  • http://www.njiska.com Jason “Njiska” Westhaver

    Hello Mr. unknown. I’m the author of this peice and clearly i know more about the game then you do. The Wii version is the port. The game was designed for release on the Game cube in 2005 but was delayed by more then a year so that the game could be ported to the Wii. Also in case you didn’t notice the Wii version of the game is flipped, making Link right handed. In the GC version, as well as all previous Zelda games, Link is Left handed.

    Also it’s spelled your.

  • diangna;iogn

    Umm…Ive played the game, I know it well, but I think your review is crap. You make it out to be a more boring expansion pack of the origional zeld areleased in 87. It isn’t as innovative as the console it’s pushing, but it holds it’s own as zelda game, with PLENTY of new and reworked things from past games. It wont be remembered as the ‘greatest game of all time’, as Ocarina is, but its a damn great game, and deserves MUCH more credit than your giving it.

  • Ryan

    The post seems really negative and almost as if he wanted to sound ‘ooh look at me, i made up problems so people think i am good at reviewing’.

  • Will

    I’m afraid that although the Wii controls, are by definition, tacked on, that shouldn’t affect the score. Would Super Mario Bros not be absolutely sensational if it was released at the dawn of the Super NES, with no graphics updates, and tacked on shoulder button controls for the view positioning? Of course it would. As for graphics, they are the best of the last generation, even beating Resident Evil 4 and Metroid Prime 2, and I strongly suggest that you play this Zelda with an RGB cable or a Component cable, as the graphics really come into their own with superior cables, rather than the cheap Composite one. As for the other negative vibe of the review, the fact that it is very similar to Ocarina/Majora/Wind Waker, Miyamoto himself actually said that it would without a doubt be the last Zelda of its kind, therefore not designed to be a Zelda Revolution, but the final evolution before the revolution. It has to be similar. The game was delayed to make it better, yet reviewers like you seem to knock the score down on circumstance, due to it being released in a world with Xbox 360 making the Gamecube look old (although not that old when compared to a lot of 360 stuff), and it necessarily pandering to the past. Also, I think that you are plainly wrong in your evaluation of the slow opening. It’s a wonderful way of setting a more realistic tone for the adventure, and helps it feel more substantial than Ocarina. This game was supposed to be Gamecube’s finest hour. Remember E3 2005, where Nintendo showed the game off, in an elaborate virtual world. Circumstance (it being delayed to a post Oblivion time and being released with a console where it didn’t utilise an amazing new control scheme) have stopped this game reaching San Andreas, Super Mario Bros 3 or Halo 2 popularity, although they really shouldn’t have, but hey, if something like a Victorian Charles Dickens novel was released today, circumstance would inevitably lead to it being a critical “4 star fella”, instead of a five, due to people like you, and Jeff Gerstmann. But you know what; why should that be surprising? You are game reviewers, you have failed at leading successful lives, you are not rich, you are not famous, you are not held in kind regard (or any sort of regard) by the intelligentsia. You’re intelligent but not amazing, and that analysis can be seen as a reason behind you attacking the apparently boring dark world, were depressing tones are set in, in an artful brilliance, because those sections are fleeting: as a wolf you hunt down those creatures who have stolen the light and warped the real world, and you must experience that mood by having to scour the area, by a hunting quest, which you deem as Banjo-Kazooie esque collect ‘em up rubbish. But, you are not geniuses by any measure although you present your opinions as such, for a medium which is still, essentially child based. Don’t you dare contradict that, you know it’s the truth, and the Wii is the tool for the medium to become something bigger, if only prominent western developers would jump on board the Nintendo ship, which isn’t essential for Nintendo to win, but would improve the Wii and DS greatly. Anyway, I’ve gone off topic here, but at least acknowledge my opinion and know this: Zelda Twilight Princess is, if Ocarina was once, the greatest game ever made, and it is a very successful game comercially, but not, in general a five star fellow, although I think it should be. I hope you have taken my opinion into account, and at least don’t dismiss me as some silly “fanboy”. I compel you, play through Twilight Princess again, as I plan to, as I have watched others play it and seen things that I had forgotten, and realised that the fleeting Twilight Realm sections are often forgotten by reviewers, making the game seem empty to them, as seen in an N-Philes review(I think).
    Will, a Briton, and Nintendo fan, who has watched their rise to the top of the gaming world again, and would like to see it consolidated, before the successful software, of the not hugely successful hardware Xbox 360, and to a lesser extent, PSP, undermine the mountain that Nintendo is on, something which you United States people (America is a pair of continents, not a country)have complete power to prevent, by dedicating games like Half Life, Tony Hawks and GTA to the Wii, at a time when Nitendo’s new masterpiece has fallen foul to poor timing of release, as had it been exclusive to Gamecube, idiots coud not detract from its score with complaints of tacked on Wii controls, and outdated graphics, which aren’t complained of for graphically inferior PS2 modern day releases, like FF XII, just because they are’nt also on PS3(see my point?.)

  • Will

    I hope that the above message is not treated as a personal attack, Mr Reviewer, I was merely stating that you game reviewers may not be geniuses so I think you should be open to resoning, as you are not exactly world renowned philosophers who are very rarely wrong. I’m not suggesting I am, but that others, may often be right, as opposed to reviewers, as not everybody sees the genius in games like Zelda, and to suppose that reviewers are all of excellent intellectual calibre is not a good supposition. The idiots reference in my long post does not refer to individuals, so I see no reason to distort my entirely legitimate post as silly “flaming” as Internet junkies say, and I shall be rightly aggrieved if your moderators deem it as such.
    Will, 16 year old Briton and Nintendo fan.

  • Will

    Last comment, I swear. Sorry, a couple of grammar and spelling mistakes in my post and defence of post. Please take my opinion into account, you reviewers may well be wrong, not saying that I’m definitely not, but I think my opinion is worthy of your note, and that as a game reviewer, you are not entitled to suppose yourself to be always right, when that job/hobby/whatever does not require a graduation with honours on the PPE course at Oxford University. I know I sound very arrogant, but please don’t be silly and remove my posts.

  • Will

    Cross my heart and hope to die: this IS my last post, unless a discussion is started about my mini essay! Mr Reviewer, please don’t say things like: “ur” is spelt “your”, it’s not really very clever, because the good chap (or lass) knows it’s not spelt like that, he or she is just trying to save time. I’ve looked over my mini essy and it’s defence, and the other defence, (I wrote all that because I was worried that a moderator would delete them due to personal attacks or something) and they do seem a little arrogant, but please just respond maturely to them, if I am an arrogant fool, then take the moral highground, it’s all yours, I’m off to do some homework. If my fears are well founded then gimme a break, I’m only sixteen, if you are too, then good god, you’re political, what does Red Tory mean, in England, a lot of people don’t know much about Canada, and although we (most likley) first coined the word “Tory” I have no clue what the term “Red Tory” means, I’m guessing it means near-centre politics, due to your us of the word “centralist”. Is that even a word?!?!!!!?!? :)
    Are you sure Red is an applicable prefix to Tory, ya know Red is Soviet! That’s left wing to the extreme. It’s communism, damn it!

    Will, 16, Briton (English) Nintendo fan, and future initiator of Make Britain A Continent campaign (we aren’t very European, we’re far more North American) because if Oceania/Australasia can be a continent, so can we!

  • http://www.njiska.com Jason “Njiska” Westhaver

    Thanks for taking the time to make an intelligent post will. Albeit it a little uneducated one.

    First of all I am a game reviewer by choice, not because I failed. This is not my full time job, it’s a hobby. As such I feel no pressure to be critical for the sake of reputation.

    I gave Zelda a 4/5 largely for the opening 8 hours of play, not for the delay or even the tacked on Wii controls. Although the difficultly of preforming the sheild bash instead of the spin attack was a factor.

    You make various references to lots of games in your article, but the fact is i don’t review a game against it’s brethern, i review it on it’s own merits.

    Looking at it’s merits I see the twilight realms sections as borring. They’re shunning to look at, but the fact is hunting down bugs premarked on the map isn’t fun. It’s a fetch quest, not a hunting quest. If it was a hunting quest they would’ve made use of your ability to track scents. That would make for true hunting experience. Instead it’s just too easy to be compelling. Hunting Poes was far more entertaining.

    This is not just my opinion. I have discussed it at length with many of my friends and associates, including the die hard Nintendo fans. But the general feeling matched with my own. They were borring and the game didn’t really start to be strong until after the Lakebed temple. At which point the game became amazing.

    Remember in the end a review is just an opinion. I’m not 100% right, there’s no way that any review is. What i can tell you however is that i am confident in my opinion and it is based on nothing more then the merits of the game itself. Not on history, not on loyalty, not on anything but the game itself.

    Orcarina was a 5 start game, The Twilight Princes is not. It is a very good game, but it’s not 5 star caliber.

    If you’d like to debate this point further i would be more then happy to.

    Oh one last thing. Do try to read an authour bio before you make comments about their nationality. I’m no American, i’m a Canadian. A member of the Commonwealth of Nations and a country that is still loyal to the crown.

    I apologize for any spelling or gramatical errors as i’m in the middle of weloming guests as i write this.

  • http://www.njiska.com Jason “Njiska” Westhaver

    Will i only made fun of his spelling of ur because his comment was incredible poor. Unlike your essay. lol.

    Actually the term Red Tory means a member or support of the conservative party of Canada who allies more with the British way of doing things then the US way. The term Tory was first coined by the Britons and it was carried over here.

    Centralist is most likely not a word, but like most things to do with politics it sounds good and get’s the point across.

    I will never tear apart anyone for trying to present an opinion properly.

  • http://www.njiska.com Jason “Njiska” Westhaver

    And yes between Top Gear, my friend in Manchester and my friend in Guernsey i know that the UK does not consider itself part of Europe. No need for a lesson on that. :)

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com/ Ken Edwards

    diangna;iogn – this game *was* quite boring for the better part of 8-10 hrs. (if not more, depending on how you played). The hours at the very begging were especially hair-pulling moments.

    It was quite grating.

  • Will

    Okay, each to their own I guess…
    But I found this game to be at least on par with Ocarina of Time, which is just about as big a compliment a game can get. I know you’re Canadian, the US thing in my massive post was not about the reviewer, but was my point that although Nintendo have a very good chance of winning this, more US supports would lead gaming back to the glory days of the SNES with full Nintendo support, as apart from Silicon Knights I don’t know any Canadian developers, and they left Nintendo and frankly aren’t that prevalent. About the hunting thing, yes I do seem to be making the game seem better than it is, but what I mean is, it’s kind of supposed to be odd feeling, its part of the deliberate emotion of this Zelda, and as for the Nunchuk motion controls, I’ve barely played it on Wii, I have the Gamecube version, so if what you say is the case, then I have the better version. Excellent…
    Also, I really wasn’t attacking USA people, as I think it may have been interpreted as, it’s just that they really shouldn’t call themselves “American”, it’s utterly nonsensical, and I know you’re Canadian, and by the way, you’re coins are very similar to ours, they’re just slightly thinner, and don’t smell so metally, I’ve actually received a Canadian five pence coin, or whatever it was, as change, because without holding it and weighing it, it looks exactly like a five pence coin of England, and also, Top Gear rules, it heartens me greatly to see that Canadians know of it’s greatness, and when I said I hope a moderator doesn’t remove my post, I didn’t mean you, Mr Reviewer, and when you say loyal to the crown, does that mean that you technically have to go to war if the UK is in trouble? I guess the crown doesn’t push many people around these days, so it’s more like “I’ve got your back Queenie, if France ever starts again.” Oh wait, tons of Canadians are French, what would happen in an Anglo-Franco war?

    Thank you for taking my opinion seriously, but I have to say, I thought that one way it was like Ocarina ties in with one of your points:the game feels different after the third dungeon, though maybe not better or worse, just less detailed and more actiony.

    Finally:Red Tory? I’m gonna call the Conservative party that now.

    But if Super Mario Galaxy doesn’t get five stars from every reviewer on the planet, then I think that the Nintendo fans, including me, will actually start a Revolution and take over all game websites. Just hope that EAD Tokyo know that if they do a poor job in timing the releas of SMG, when it has become kind of irrelevant, just like with Z:TP, they may start of a Third World War.

    Will, the debating, British Nintendo fan, who is going to watch the Simpsons now, the best thing to come out of the USA.

  • Will

    By the way,
    I didn’t mean that you have failed in life, but that games reviewers whose actual jobs are that have failed to become the next super rich or super intelligent super star like Bill Gates or Stephen Hawking. I’m not bashing game reviewers, as I see myself as one in the future, in fact I’ve got a games website now, http://www.nintendocrazy.co.uk, which won’t be good till at the earliest, the Autumn, so check back then, but the collective game reviewing community can certainly have room for error, and may find many who could offer a good revision to their review. I did sound a little sharp, but I didn’t mean it like that, what I mean is, it’s not the same as a book review by a university graduate in Literature, where you wouldn’t even contempolate them getting it wrong. The only person I would like to personally give a talking to is Jeff Gerstmann. 4 stars is the next lowest from perfect (don’t say do the maths, I know 4 stars is 80%) but 8.8 and 8.9 for games that if they were realised one year earlier would have been hailed as game of the decade-it’s ridiculous, 8.8 and 8.9 are far, far too low, if his comments actually made any sense (believe me, if you want me to, I could flatten them one by one) they still merit a good 9.2 or 9.3, at least. Anyway, can you westeners get your developers to support the Wii, because I hope for a flawless victory, a perfect for Nintendo, but it doesn’t look that good yet, and seeing as the most advanced game on it is a Sonic game that isn’t even by sonic team, though is very good, which is also an almost indie game with poor production values, like the name, the multiplayer and the sound track, makes it apparent that all of you developers on that massive island should get down and get some Wii going on, as Nintendo has only released a GC port and games that aren’t supposed to have good graphics, and Japanese non-Nintendo developers seem to be making silly stuff, like Dewy’s adventure instead of MGS Wii.

    New Super Mario Bros-very good game, but I hope to see it sell more as 9 million is knida weak for a 2d mario game, even Mario 2 sold 10 million, and hopefully Zelda will sell more, seeing as more Wii s are getting out there.

  • Will

    Again, I didn’t mean YOU failed in life, I didn’t imagine that this is your actual job, but for people who it is their full time job, well to be honest, they could have done better…!
    It’s just that many reviews do seem to be fundamentally wrong, yours is alright but Gerstmann’s is ridiculous! I expected to play it after reading that review and find a mess of a Zelda game where it was consistently boring and uninspired, but I found what is now my favourite, albeit poorly timed Zelda game. The death of the Cube and its limited cube release and the fact that the Wii is hard to find, made this game’s sales less than legendary, still very good, but it should have been markedly the best selling Zelda, not the second or whatever. Still, it certainly could be, and if you add the sales figures for the two versions in USA in 2007, you will see that it is kicking arse. It’s just that-do you remeber e3 2005, this game was bigger than 360 and PS3! It had more high profility than Halo 2 and GTA SA and Mario 3 combined. The game could have done a lot better and I feel that because the actual general what you are doing gameplay of Zelda is not the stuff that makes it legendary, and circumstance was hugley against this game, with even the developers realising that Nintendo had moved on to Wii and DS, reviews have lowered unfairly.

    I like Canada actually. I wanna go there. My mate did. That’s probably how that 5 Pence coin got in the tills in my school. Sorry, not mate, buddy!

  • JMG

    I found the controls to be remarkably intuitive and easy to pick up. Also, the game is called “Twilight Princess,” not, “The Twilight Princess.”

  • Will

    Yes, but remember, the Zelda Wii controls don’t represent the extent of Wii’s capabilities. To use my slightly crude example: if Super Mario Bros came out on the SNES using the new invention-shoulder buttons, it would be like Twilight Princess on Wii. It seems obvious that the Wii controls offer slightly more fun, given an almost comdey value in playing it, and better aiming on the horse, but the game was designed for Gamecube and non-kinaesthetic gaming, and your finding the controls easy to pick up comes from the games lineage of Ocarina of Time, which isn’t very different controls, therefore: IMAGINE A ZELDA SPECIFIC FOR WII!!!!

    When I was 14 and I used to spend a long time pondering the controls in games like Pikmin and Zelda, and the lost opportunity of the Gamecube shoulder buttons, I realised that the brilliance of the lock on system of Ocarina is that it solved the riddle of how to do combat with Super Mario 64 style controls rather than Goldeneye style-the Wii’s superior controls negate that need, with two independent motion sensing, and one pointing controllers, complete with shoulder button, face button and d-pad, as well as extra buttons shoved on to take advantage of the free space without impeding the controller’s all inclusive design (as in lots of people are included in playing it, like old fogeys)so a truly wonderful Zelda game could be created with free and expressive combat, with enemies that had the same freedom with the sword. Nunchuk shield manouvering would allow for immersive combat to be made inthe world’s most fitting game for such an improvement. Lock on simply wouldn’t be needed, and the Z button could just be used as a toggle button to change Link’s reaction to the analogue stick, like in current Zeldas when there are no enemies. Also, pointing could be used in tandem with general moving to allow for almost real existence in the game…it’s fun to speculate!

    Will.

  • http://www.njiska.com Jason “Njiska” Westhaver

    Ok Will why don’t we try to stay on topic do the other readers don’t have a 5 mile long page to look at. :)

    In regards to the Wii controls, personally i prefer the GC version, but the fact is many people won’t care.

    As far as Ocarina, I consider it to be one of the best games ever made (not the best, that honour in my mind belongs to SMB 3) but the fact is Twilight Princess doesn’t start to feel like Ocarina until after the Twilight Realm ends.

    As for Super Mario Galaxy, you’ve made the fatal flaw of almost all review critics. You have given a game a score without even playing it. Sure Mario Galaxy may look good to you, but people said that about Super Mairo Sunshine before they actually played it. After they did opinions changed.

  • Will

    Yeah I did go of topic there…but how many readers are actually getting affected by my posts’ randomness. I agree that Twilight Princess doesn’t feel like Ocarina that much in the beginning, but the wolf sections and the later differences made this game even better in my opinion, although that could be subject to change, I’m like that, and although Twilight Princess was supposed to be like Ocarina, it’s good it had some differences. Wow, totally agree with you about Mario 3, very, very subtle level design, so good in fact that I think Mario World can’t hold a candle to it, although Mario World does have deeper although more basic merits, such as the level of skill that can be employed in things like using koopas to get to the other side of a level in Star Road. It’s interesting that you bring up Mario 3, becuase, as it is arguably the most successful game ever, getting bought by almost 20 million people without being included with the NES, it had a great deal more luck than the circumstancial factor of its release time. Think about it: Mario 3 was released at the end of the lifespan of the then most successful video game machine. It was he culmination of a hugely important franchise of that machine, had a movie made to hype it, launched around the time of all the Mario merchandise, tv shows etc, and as evidence of its sales-it was damn,damn good, so good that before video games had evolved and game magazines were big and the internet was a big hype machine, it sold more than the biggest game of the later, generally more lucrative era of hype, GTA Sand Andreas, although there were more PS2 sold even then than there were for the NES ever. Mario 3 was revolutionary and had a perfect feel that was destroyed with the addition of save capabilities in the SNES/GBA versions. It was released in the best possible circumstance. Twilight Princess par contre, was released as a game that was supposed to be the old Nintendo going off with a bang before the Wii revolution, giving the Gamcube the last laugh, but ended up being released for that revolutonary system, that it was never conceived for, giving the general public a poor impression of the machine’s power, while it was released on the old machine in very limited amounts and is now very hard to find, a terrible problem when viewed with the fact that the new machine is under great shortages. See what I mean? That stuff I was saying about circumstance-if Mario 3 was released now, I can see many less than five star scores appearing for it, and far inferior sales. Circumstance. It’s why reviews of Mario 3 on GBA are like 92%, despite the fact that back in the day, it was the pinncale of greatness. It’s why Twilight Princess has suffered from great loss of potential due to poor timing and loss of hype.
    Not very well explained, I admit, but you know what I mean.

    Now, as for Super Mario Galaxy, after the ultimate failure of Sunshine, Nintendo have tried to bring it back to gamplay basics, and although I highly doubt they intend this, the game could have an ethereal, philosophical feel to it. Being in a huge level, consisting of many planetoids, seeing that as you run up and around them, there is no up or down, it’s all perspective, reaching the edge of the level, maybe the game will try to simulate nothingness or explore the deepest mysteries of what I like to call cosmo-physics, but I doubt it!
    I’m just sure that it’ll turn out to be an amazing game, with revolutionary themes setting in with you interacting with the world while jumping, perhaps with 2 player, with the overall fun feel of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat added in to the world of 3d Mario, whilst allowing lapsed gamers on non gamers to get into the action due to the globe running allowing for a no 3-d sickness camera (Hideo Kojima suffers from 3-d sickness) and the simple setup of the nunchuk stick moving mario, the pointer interacting and the big button jumping psychologically imploring non gamers to give it a try as they enjoy running around globes or flying through space, with themes of adventure tied with action style gaming, using the pointer lightgun style to collect stars like an on rails shooter…
    The game could just be another brilliant platformer, or it could be utterly sensational like Mario 64, but remember, Nintendo have clearly acknowledged the faults of Super M Sunshine, as the theme allows for unlimited ideas, so no repeating bosses and missions, and this game has used Mario not as a tool to make a complex follow up to SM 64 but to challenge video games and present something that could be the ultimate game, with Mario existing in space allowing for any sort of planet, anyt sort of gravity, any gameplay, races, puzzles, escaping from black holes, falling into the drift of space, exploring huge planets, hopping between tiny ones, this throws away the idea of stacked architecture that SM 64 perefected, a hole in one for game evolution, and concentrates on 3-d object navigation. Of course, I could well be dissapointed, and the game could have horribly childish cutscenes like SMS, with no pretense to be artful and ingenius like in 64,Mario 3, Mario 1 and Mario World, like SMS, but it could blow away my expectations, with levels of genius on par with the almighty mario 3.
    The game has huge potential which SMS never had, and I’m not giving it a score yet but it has been said to have extremely impressive near perfect gameplay, from actually quite reserved revierwers like Matt Casamassina, and that’s just one level. Also, Miyamoto is heavily involved, and the pointing is said to be so good that it evoked jealousy from the twilight princess team who made the pointing in that.

    It will either be the best game ever, or at least as good as a nice cup of tea, I’m sure of it.

    Will.

  • Will

    God, I write too much. And while it my be six o’clock over your part of the world, it’s 2300 hours over here! That’s probably why my English is a bit dodgy in that last post.

    Will. And I actually don’t like tea that much, but most people in Britain have to have it, from burly builders up north having their “brews”, to posh people drinnking their posh tea, it’s to Britain as Mario is to Nintendo.

  • Andrew Ogier

    I’m British and I don’t drink tea. :D.
    I also agree with Jason’s review, and think that 4 out of 5 stars was justified.

    I think you’re taking his score out of context.

    It’s not an indication that the Wii is a bad system at all (which is what most of your topics seem to be implying that Jason’s marking was a reflection of)… infact it’s the other way round. Zelda TP just a plain port of a last generation game (Which was a fantastic game with a slow start) with tacked on wiimote support and widescreen, whereas the Wii is capable of so much more…and therefore a virtually straight port does not really make the grade as a 5 star game – especially when the game had a few niggles to begin with.

    When we review games, we not only take the game on in it’s own right, but we also have to judge our score based upon other titles on that particular system.

    For example, your Super Mario Bros on SNES analogy. On the NES, the game was an absolute masterpiece and an icon of videogame brilliance. in the ’80s – not to mention a definite 5 out of 5 star rating.

    In the 90’s however, the goalposts had been moved considerably. While the gameplay would still be as fun and fresh in the following decade, the graphics and sound wouldn’t be compared to other games on the system, so on it’s presentation it’d be inferior to it’s peers, therefore maybe be only rated a 4 out of 5 stars instead, as other games would far supercede it’s technical merits.

    Simply speaking, it’s still a great game (that’s what 4 out of 5 means), but the Wiimote controls weren’t utilised properly, it didn’t look as good as other games on the Wii, and had no notable additions or improvements to the gameplay over the last gen version.

    If I was the one reviewing it, I’d be giving it the same score because of the exact same reasons Jason did.

  • Will

    It’s not that I don’t understand what you mean, and I do know loads about this game and that it is a last generation port, but I can’t agree that Super Mario Bros has ever been less than amazing. When I actually got the NES version, instead of the gbc deluxe version, the game just blew me away, and this is while I was playing Metroid Prime 2 and such! Your post highlights my point: if Twilight Princess had arrived earlier, so wasn’t on Wii, and didn’t look inferior to the system it was on technologically wise, it seems that many people would have given it five stars, except for the thing about niggles, but I just found the opening section a quality start to a great adventure game, and I was glad to spend hours taking the game at it’s slowest, experiencing absolutely everything it has, swo the slow beginning is certainly not something that I found bad, it seemed natural, and well paced. But reviewing games based on their own systems, well, I think GTA S A is better than any PS3 games, and if Sony randomly decided to put in on PS3, I don’t see why the score would have to suffer, for eexample, anybody new to it would enjoy it just as much, and what you and other critics are basically saying is that because the game was available for a new system because Shigeru Miyamoto thought it would be good to have it on Wii (although the rest of the team didn’t at first)it’s a worse game. How can you attack it for the Wiimote controls, because they are functional, and that is what the goal was, they were making an alternate version to the cube release. The game may feel like a 4 star game because of its e3 showing for the Wii, a game that had had its hype removed and its graphics outdated, put on a system that it didn’t leverage, but if the feel makes it worse (for example, did Mario 3 feel like a five star game when it was released on GBA to most reviewers-no, because they’d already played it! I predicted that Twilight Princess would not get five star ratings from most when it was revealed for Wii, because it was released on a system where it would be attacked graphically, and for a time, had poor controls, but even so, I didn’t think that the grade reflected the sytem, it’s just very unfair to say that “whereas the Wii is capable of so much more…and therefore a virtually straight port does not really make the grade as a 5 star game” because that is grading the game down due to it not being released excluively for Cube! Anyway, I’m one of the many people who don’t yet own a nexgen console. Yes the many. 360, Wii and PS3 combined don’t even amount to the sales of even the PSP, and for all the people who don’t have nexgen systems, (probably not you lot!) I think that the game is some of the best graphics you can get, and I don’t think that because technologically superior games are being developed on 360 and PS3, to some extent Wii, the game should suffer for it. As for the niggles thing…the game may not be as legendary as Ocarina, but I assure you, a lot of people who pick up Ocaarina now get bored. I’m not attacking the game, I think these people are idiots, but Twilight Princess to the general crowd, addicts them far more, and they get enveloped in the slow opening, whereas in Ocarina, I know people who give up in the Deku tree, so to say the game had niggles, for most people Ocarina did too!

    Whether or not you agree with me, by now you should know what I mean, and that no notable additions for the Wii version were made, because it was also a contemporary Gamecube release, and attacking the game based on its lack of nex gen improvemnts means that the game would be better in your eyes if not released on the Wii at all. I knew reviewers would do that, but I never undrstood the logic.

    As for Super Mario Bros, I find it better than most games on the SNES, and find that the artistic merit has endured longer than SMW. SMB feels like a more polished game to me, given its inherent simplicity it is perfectly contained, and as you know, the more complex things are, the harder it is to make them perfect. Shigsy even said that SMW was never really finished and he hoped it could have been better.

    Will.
    (also Jason’s score was more based on the “niggles”, but I honestly believe that if it were finished in 2005, there’d be game headlines to the effect of “360 pales in comprisoion to this Gamecube masterpiece”, whether or not you agree with that, it’s obvious there would have been such hype, and just compare the showings: at E3 2005 people played it in the most impressive booth ever, and many said that it seemed to be the best Zelda game. In Eastbourne in 2005 in England, when I went up to play it, people were saying things like: “what d’ya reckon it’ll get in the magazines? 98%?” They’d seen tiny portions of the game and were amazed. E3 2006, Wii hype, remember that GC Zelda? Yes we wannit. Here it is on Wii. Cue previews about dodgy Wii controls. They turn out to work well. Graphics are attacked for not being improved. Game showed next to other games, with no special treatment. Cue the loss of Twilight Princess’ reputation of “this could be the best thing ever.” I knew it was done then, reviewers would never give 5 stars to a port with no improvemtns, and I saw it coming. It just highlights how reviews essentially don’t work, because all games are is entertainment software,
    and their context affects their status. The thing is, I actually saw it coming and I thought: so the extra year really has lost the game’s hype.

    END OF RANT.

  • Will

    Go on Intelligent Gamers blog, that kind of backs up what I mean about reviews not working, and it’s an interesting blog!

  • jonathan

    How can you take a guy seriously when they don’t check their article for a) grammar; b) spelling; c) cogent sense.
    How is this a port of the GC version when the Wii version was released first?

    All in all, this article is the cherry-on-top in terms of sad wastes of time he calls “reviews”. What a wank.

  • jonathan

    ps: I am not entirely convinced this guy has even played this game. Are you?

  • http://www.njiska.com Jason “Njiska” Westhaver

    Hello Jonathan, Blame the spelling and grammer on my editor, it’s his job to catch it.

    As for it being a port of the GC version, do a little research. It was Indevelopment on the GC for years, many years before the Wii’s Hardware was finished. That fact alone means the Wii version is the port. Also If you pay attention the GC version has the proper layout for Hyrule, the Wii version is mirror.

    You’re welcome to critique and debate my review as much as you like, but try to have a point you can back up. Stating the Wii version was released first as a basis for it being the base and not the port does nothing to help your case.

  • Will

    Wow, I’ve just checked this post out over a year since I crammed it full of great rants. There are a couple of replies to my post. Excellent.

    And I do wish Jonathan hadn’t undermined the point I was making about the way in which the reviews criticise this game in a manner they wouldn’t have done should it have been released only for Gamecube with Wii controls an optional extra on the disc. Nobody’s disputing that it is a GC port, I for one, however, am disputing how that merits a lower score. The game is as good if not better than Ocarina of Time in most respects and as such deserves 5 stars.

    I can’t believe I’ve bothered typing this. If anybody does actually read this can you post a comment because I’d be interested to know!