Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Playing Zelda (In No Particular Order): Twilight Princess

The Legend of Zelda is the greatest gaming series ever. Join me as I play through every last one of them in no particular order, and write mildly thoughtful ramblings on each. This week: the unexpectedly controversial Twilight Princess.

Twilight Princess is either the worst Zelda game or the best Zelda game, depending on who you ask and on what day of the week. Even more than the formula-bending Majora’s Mask and the cel-shaded Wind Waker, Twilight Princess has become the most polarizing entry in Gaming’s Greatest Series. Which is a pretty strange thing, when you think about it, because Twilight Princess was supposed to be the Zelda game for everyone.

It had a similar visual style to The Greatest Game of All, Ocarina of Time. Pre-release hype began gathering that it was dark! and Link was an adult! which is really cool! and the game was so dark! and adult! that it was going to earn a T rating! Enough with all those danged kiddie Zelda games with their cartoon graphics and big-headed children as protagonists! Twilight Princess was going to be the biggest! and the best! and most epic! See? It even says so right on the back of the box! During previews, sentences like “If Wii Sports is for the non-gamers, Twilight Princess is for the hardcore!” were thrown around. IGN’s review was littered with drool-o-riffic statements like “Ocarina, your time is up!” and “this new method of [motion] control obliterates the former one and there is no going back!” and “the greatest Zelda game ever created and one of the best launch titles in the history of launch titles!” The game won approximately a billion Game of the Year awards (this was back when people didn’t arbitrarily hate Nintendo for “abandoning them” with their “casual games”) and was declared by a more than a few gaming outlets to be The Best Game Ever.

So…what happened?

Well, Twilight Princess is the first game I ever remember getting backlash. Now, Pre-release Backlash had always been around—the internet practically exploded with Nerd Rage when Wind Waker‘s cel-shaded graphical style was first revealed. But then people actually played it, and realized it was one of the greatest games ever. Twilight Princess, though, received a whole other type of backlash that wasn’t common at the time: It received a mountain of hype, won countless awards, was loved by players everywhere, and then suddenly critics and gamers alike went: “Hang on! Never mind. This game is actually a pile of garbage. Forget all that ‘best game ever’ stuff.”

So…what happened?

Read the whole thing over at Zelda Universe, and join in the surprisingly reasonable discussion!

1 comment:

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