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    dkirschner's The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess (Wii)

    [December 6, 2018 09:52:45 PM]
    Finished! Sort of...I got frustrated and watched cut scenes for the last few dungeons. But finished! Okay so, overall, this was a game that felt like work to play. I occasionally lost myself in a couple of the great dungeons, but more of my time felt spent in tedium. A couple immediate factors leading to this feeling:

    1. Poor instruction and instructional timing for some new items. I remember when I unlocked the water bombs. I saw a lake, dove down, was excited to see destructible rocks, went to select the bombs and...they were grayed out. Why? Hmm. Maybe you don't actually place the bombs while in the water, but drop them from shore and the special thing about these bombs is that they explode in water. I could drop them from the shore, but they blew up long before reaching the rock. Hmm. I later saw on a walkthrough that you have to put the iron boots on first to use water bombs. That doesn't make sense to me. Why can't Link use bombs while swimming, or while standing on the bottom of a lake in normal shoes?

    Another one that happened tonight was using the dominion rod to make the statue use its sword in the Temple of Time. The game doesn't tell you you can do this, and soon after gaining control of the statue, it got seemingly stuck between a gate and a ledge. I couldn't move it. I did everything I could think of and, not wanting to save and exit (more on that soon), I consulted the walkthrough, which said you have to use the rod on the statue a second time to make it attack. Why would I think to use the rod on the statue a second time?! I already control the statue. The game doesn't tell you these hot tips that are necessary to your progression and saw me wasting a lot of time trying to figure out something that I should have been told.

    Yet another one tonight is when I learned (again from a walkthrough) that you can use the claw to pick up shells of a particular enemy type. I missed doing it in a room to get the Big Key for the Temple of Time and, long story short (explained below) quit in frustration. There is no reason for me to assume the claw would bring that object to me when it has never brought an object to me in 20 hours of play with the claw. The claw grapples to environmental objects like grates and moss for platforming purposes. I've tried to grapple other things that would seem to make sense and it never does it. I missed that key, escorted the statue all the way down 8 floors of a dungeon, opened the path to the dungeon boss, and came up against...a locked door that required a Big Key. I turned the game off, made food, and turned it back on after I ate.

    2. But what happens in Twilight Princess when you're in the Temple of Time dungeon and you save and quit after you've escorted the statue? Why, aside from the statue and the gates you happened to smash with it, the dungeon resets itself! All the enemies respawn, the traps reset, you have to re-do puzzles. At a game I was already lukewarm toward, I faced the prospect of having to trek back up 8 floors of a dungeon (and then back down) to get a key from a chest that I couldn't figure out how to open earlier. And that solution happens to be yet another item usage and/or bad (timing of) information that is inconsistent with its usage in the entire game up to that point.

    I'm done ranting. There is a lot I enjoyed about the game aside from what I talked about last time. Some of the later dungeons were excellent, with my favorite being the desert one. The puzzles got more challenging, and the more items you acquire, the more creative you can be with thinking about solutions. In the last dungeon, I used like 6 items. Shoutout to the spinner, a rotating disc you ride around like Marty McFly on a hoverboard. The spinner is one reason the desert dungeon stood out; it's a joy to use.

    One final thing I gathered from playing Twilight Princess is how influential Zelda games are in other adventure games. For example, a couple years ago I played Darksiders, which I really enjoyed (till it bugged out on me and I couldn't finish). But, wow, Darksiders is a Zelda clone!

    I'm glad I played this, though I could have stopped 10 hours earlier. Watching cut scenes didn't add a whole lot until the very end when All Is Revealed. The story is s-l-o-w and the dialogue is written at like a first grade level, not that exciting at all. Come for the neat use of the Wiimote and the charming world.
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    [November 30, 2018 09:40:03 AM]
    So I bought a Wii U! Now I can play the backlog of Wii and Wii U games I've accumulated over the years. Twilight Princess is first. I did my Zelda research and this one is placed above Skyward Sword (the next in the series) on almost every list. Then Breath of the Wild is apparently one of the best games ever made, and so I figured I would do Twilight Princess (it's appropriate to celebrate my Wii U acquisition with a Wii launch title) as representative of that generation of Zelda games, and then play Breath of the Wild later on. Also, dare I admit that besides the original Legend of Zelda on Nintendo, I've never played a Zelda game except for a few hours of Wind Waker, which I didn't like.

    Since Twilight Princess is essentially my first Zelda game in 25 years, it took me some time to get used to the flow of the game, and many things that regular Zelda players probably take for granted, I had to learn to make sense of. For example, the game alternates between sort of like "overworld" and dungeon parts, and there seem to be series staples such as the compass, the heart fragments, that iconic chime sound when you discover a secret, and so on. Also somewhere in every overworld/dungeon sequence, Link gets a new toy, whether it's bombs he can use under water, heavy boots, or a grappling hook. You'll use that new item heavily in the associated dungeon, the design of which revolves around the use of the new item, and then use it some later and largely for secrets or revisiting old areas to find new paths.

    So yes, it took me some time to get used to the flow of the game. Another thing that has taken considerable effort is the controls. Maybe it's because I haven't played a Wii in a long time, and maybe it's because there are so many different actions you can perform and so many different buttons, but I've got busy hands and arms playing Twilight Princess. It is extremely cool to use your sword by making a slashing motion with the Wii controller, to use your shield bash by thrusting the nunchuck forward, and to do a special attack by waving the nunchunk wildly about. You can do all this while holding Z to lock on to enemies, or you can hold Z and press B to use whatever other equipped weapon you have (bow, grappling hook, slingshot, bow with bombs, etc.). It only gets old when the Z targeting doesn't work quite right or when the camera decides to be wonky, which happens a lot. It's also sometimes difficult to play with a cat on your lap who is easily startled by sudden movements. But, the more I play, the more I reinforce that 1 is map, 2 is equipment menu, - is the inventory wheel, + is...I don't remember what + is. That A sometimes cancels and sometimes selects, and sometimes attacks, that B sometimes cancels and sometimes attacks. But when all else fails, just flail wildly.

    The game's tone is kid-friendly dark. But just when I'm getting turned off by the cutesy sweetness of the game, I'll face a new disgusting looking boss or (what I'm currently doing) witnessing the current main bad guy who looks like a Lovecraftian horror nearly kill Midna, and now I, turned into a wolf, am trying to sneak into Hyrule Castle to get Zelda to help me and Midna. But the whole time, Midna is on my back, half sliding off, gasping for breath like she's dying. Kid-friendly dark, but damn, there is great character art and the weight of Midna dying on your back is heavy.

    I like these faster, more tense moments of the game better than exploring the dungeons. The dungeons are full of respawning enemies, which can largely be ignored, and all manner of little platforming and other puzzles. I generally dislike the platforming, thanks to the aforementioned wonky camera and lack of precision movement. Last play session, I kept dying in an area because Link kept slipping off a rock, or while attacking a bird, Link would thrust forward and fall off, or Link's grappling hook would attach to vines but the game wouldn't transition from grapple to climbing and so I'd have to let go and start over. The puzzles rarely make you feel all that clever for having solved, but I hope that with more items in my inventory, I can be more creative in approaching puzzles. However, this game is from 2006, so I sort of doubt it. I will say that the grappling hook has been my favorite new tool because you can use it on different kinds of objects and it improves your mobility. One cool moment from my last play session was seeing grappling hook sites high above the center of the water temple, grappling up there and finding a treasure chest on a chandelier, surveying the area and seeing a grappling hook site where a lever should have been, and then getting myself over there, activating the switch, and moving the staircase to its proper position to allow the water to flow to the center of the temple, raising the water level, and allowing me access to the door to the dungeon's boss. That was the most satisfying part of the water temple. But, can we please do away with water levels? Unless you have made Abzu or Subnautica, just don't do it.

    More later! Based on time to beat, I should be a little over halfway through, but have uncovered most of the map. So hopefully there are some story twists and the game picks up pace.
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    dkirschner's The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess (Wii)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Monday 19 November, 2018

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 6 December, 2018

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Really fun, engrossing, charming. Reminds me of Okami. --------- Frustrating at times.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

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    See info on The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess

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