Monday, December 22, 2008
Last night, at around 2 AM, the ending cutscene of Twilight Princess concluded, and the words "The End" boldly, yet still somehow subtly, displayed on the left side of my screen. I dropped the Wiimote and nunchuck, satisfied.
It took me, as I've said several times, about 2 years to finish that game, and I finally did it. Total play time (which does count game pauses, sadly, so this is somewhat inflated) was over 41 hours. God damn. I mean, you have to figure about 2 hours for every dungeon, and there are, what, 12? 14? of them. Plus all the shit in between them -- all the running around, talking to people, cutscenes, minigames, and general being fucking lost, which comes with most games. I didn't get all the pieces of heart. Nor did I get the third armor type, which, from what I understand, allows Rupees to be subtracted instead of hearts when Link takes damage. So there's easily another 5 hours to be played if one were going for perfection, but, ya know, fuck that. I think I died less than 10 times the whole game, though I'm not sure. Maybe less than 5.
Is the game hard? Well, that depends on what you would consider "hard." The game challenges you to think differently, but none of the puzzles are painfully over your head (coughOcarana'sWaterTemplecough). The game does a great job of consistently allowing the player to feel like they're accomplishing something. Progress is always made. It's really an excellent feeling, and one that doesn't occur all that often in gaming experiences. Though Nintendo is, I'd say, one of the best developers that can pull it off. But if you're one of those gamers that can't really grasp lateral thinking or any form thereof, Twilight Princess might make your brain cry a little. Just a little, though.
Comparing it to Ocarina of Time is...well...it's something I wouldn't really feel comfortable doing. But what the hell, I'll do it anyway. This game does some things better, and some things worse. The places this story goes are definitely more interesting. The items are more diverse. And the size of everything is monumental compared to Ocarina. But Ocarina has all the elements of classic Zelda games perfectly in place, whereas Twilight Princess simply does not. Towns and people from the earlier games are here, but it's all so very new that the nostalgia that Ocarina's same towns and people had is either lost or overlooked.
Also, you don't have to turn into a fucking dog in Ocarina. I don't think there's a single person that really liked those parts. Sure, they were fascinating and had some nifty puzzle elements in them (dominated primarily with the "sense" ability), but I never really looked forward to the next part of the game where I might have to be a dog. Or wolf. Wait, no, "Sacred Beast" is the term the game uses. Whatever.
It's a great game though, and if you own a Wii and actually use it to play games (something I'm not sure people know it's designed to do -- there are better dust-gathering paperweights out there) you should have this game. It's easily one of the best games on the system, which, considering it was a launch title, is pretty fucking awesome.
Now where's my beer; I earned it. Also, I need to do more of these bets because they force me to finish games.