Thursday, August 23, 2007

Twilight Princess Redux

I already wrote about this game, but since I picked it up again, I thought I'd share some further thoughts. Of course, I'm referring to Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

As I said before, some of the new additions really help make up for the fact that the game plays almost identically to previous iterations plus a facelift. The addition of a giant ball-and-chain weapon, a staff that lets you control statutes, and a floating gear/skateboard are clever yet fun.

One of the things I appreciate is a couple of dungeons that are, well, different. One of the "dungeons" you run around in is an old mansion up in the mountains where a yeti couple live in two of the rooms. It's a nice change from your palette swapped, "underwater dungeon, swamp dungeon, mountain dungeon," etc.

However, most of them seem to follow the same old pattern that just isn't forgivable anymore. Most of these structures were supposed to be functional installations at one point or another. Why do their floor plans and security systems seem so crazy, then? Why did you hide keys all over the place, and how has that giant monster survived being in the deepest room of the dungeon if it's been locked for 1000 years?

Even the non-dungeon aspects seem to violate reason. There's no reason at this point that they can't provide a world that seems populated. Yet, the world of Zelda is filled with distractions and shops which are situated in places that seem, well, a tad inconvenient for the casual user. For example, who opens a fishing hole in a location you can only reach by jumping off a waterfall?

I'm still having fun playing this game, but Nintendo really needs to get its act together in terms of game design next time around. The plot devices are starting to wear (will Zelda and Link fight Ganondorf into eternity?), and the general design of the world seems way too unnatural. There's no excuse for this anymore.

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