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Games, technology, music, silliness. Oh and ninjas. Lots of ninjas.

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Location: Oslo, Norway

I am Andreas. Day time programmer and technical consultant. Night time musician and game developer.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wii Zelda opinions

So i managed to get a copy of Zelda Twilight Princess before christmas, which is frankly a bit insane. Out goes Wii Sports, cue lots of sleep deprivation and heated debates over controls.

I'll TRY to keep it short. There are enough reviews out there to give you the nitty on everything else you might be interested in.
  • It's far, far better than Wind Waker
  • I thought Wind Waker was a thermonuclear warhead of joy
  • It is an incredibly attractive GameCube game, though not as timeless as Wind Waker; I still prefer the cel shaded art style to this.
  • It feels like a real sequel to Ocarina of time.
  • It is much, much better than Ocarina of time.
  • The controls start out feeling stupid, but become rather pleasurable after a while
  • The Wii remote for aiming is amazing
  • The Wii remote for fishing kind of sucks
  • The fishing kind of sucks overall actually
  • Probably the darkest Zelda to date. There are horrible things going on here.
  • Probably the most violent one as well.
  • There are boobies.
  • Epona is a very unwieldy horse compared to the horsie you got in Shadow of the colossus.
  • I thought of Shadow of the colossus quite often actually, which is probably a good thing
  • I've played the game for stretches of at least 3 hours at a time. I have not felt tired or fatigued.
  • My wrists did hurt somewhat at the very beginning as i was getting to grips with things.
  • The music is fantastic, MIDI and all.
  • There are MOMENTS to be found here. So many in fact i wish there was some kind of MGS-ish demo-theatre so you could easily rewatch cutscenes. There are some scenes that are j-horror creepy.
All in all, pure pleasure, as Zelda should be. To me Zelda was never about any challenge, it is about going on an adventure and seeing the end of an epic turn of events, and thoroughly enjoying yourself along the line. TP embodies this fully.

I want to discuss the controls a bit. In between Veronica Mars episodes (damn you Alice) i've been debating with myself wether i enjoy them or they feel tacked on. All that debate ended with the shield bash attack. To elaborate, up until you acquire the shield bash, remote shaking for regular attacks and nunhuck shaking for spin attack is a weak proxy of button presses. It gets tiresome, and really puts you in a position where you'd rather just run past enemies than fight them. The shield attack adds some more for you to do, with a forward push of the nunchuck pushing your enemy off balance. Suddenly, for me at least, something just clicked into place, and playing became my new objective.

I'll just put it this way; up until this point i had been half-assedly shaking the remote and nunchuck around, occationally cursing the nunchuck for not picking up my shaking when i needed the spin attack the most. AFTER this point, i do little "slashes" with the remote. Instead of shaking the nunchuck i do a quick circle in the air with it, a "spin". When i do the shield bash i do a firm forward push. After i started doing the motions as though i was pretending to be doing approximations of their gameplay representations, i never once had a problem with unresponsive controls. I started being able to much more precise fighting, and getting into a fight with something that can block and counter you became something i wanted to do.

When you take the controls "seriously" there is an implied consequence to your actions. What used to be a jab at a button just to hack at something and watch some fireworks becomes a conscious action.

I realize most won't want to do this. "Play". But in the end isn't video games an approximation of play? Childish exess? Let's just say i have a total blast pretending to be sword fighting moblins, and if my neighbors look through their window and catch the 6'4 skinhead next door waving his arms around like a retard, so be it. I'm having more fun with this than i've had with anything for ages.

Zelda, 13 hours clocked in and i don't feel like i've even started yet. It's like christmas every time i boot it up.

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