I didn’t like Twilight Princess. Actually, that isn’t true, but if you’re a member of any forums I post on, you’d know that there were many, many aspects of TP that disappointed me, and this has led many to believe I actually hate the game. I definitely enjoyed it, but there was just something lacking. As I played through TP, I tried hard to convince myself it was the greatest thing ever. This was what I’d been waiting for for four years. The game wasn’t just supposed to be good, it was supposed to be groundbreaking. But about halfway through I realized that I was actually trying to convince myself that it was a good game, and I also realized this wasnât a good sign.
Don’t get me wrong, gameplay-wise, it was addicting. Music-wise, this MIDI is the closest thing we’ll ever get to orchestration, and the new Lake Hylia theme is a beautiful addition to the Zelda music hall of fame. But I just didn’t have that feeling. That feeling that I was battling my way through an epic adventure, the feeling that I was actually a part of something huge going on in that fictional world we call Hyrule, that feeling that an insignificant human being like myself was saving a world and fighting for an ideal. As I struck that final blow to Ganon and watched the last scene, I had that faint feeling of emotion and accomplishment, but I simply didn’t get that “I just beat a Zelda game” feeling. As I sat and watched the credits roll, I tried again. I tried to reflect on the adventure, but I simply couldn’t, because that feeling was non-existent. The credits ended, and I got up and sat down at the computer and did some homework. I didn’t get that “moment” after you turn of your system where you sit down on your bed and stare at the ceiling and smile, realizing your life just improved because you finished that game. The only question at that point that was in my mind, was simply “why?” Over the next week I thought long and hard about this, and a few things came to mind. I’m not going to attempt to convince you that you shouldn’t like TP anymore, I’m just trying to relate my own personal thoughts on the game.
We love the underdog. From famous stories like The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, we see heroes from small beginnings rising up to save their world from destruction. From Zelda’s creation, Link has always been that underdog. A child who’s never really wielded a sword, never really done anything heroic, wasn’t born into a family of heroes. As Shakespeare eloquently put it in Twelfth Night, “Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” The average human obviously hopes for the latter. We all have the fervent hope in our mundane lives that perhaps at some point something will make us great, allow us do be in the history books as someone who changed the world. It’s part of the concept of immersion, which TML defined in one of his previous articles. Link has always traditionally been that average child without training and without heroic strength that has been thrust into a great adventure to save the world. TP, however, changes this mechanic completely. He starts with previous sword training, he’s much older, he’s not so innocent, and he’s already prepared for what lies in store. He’s already a “Manly man,” an Indiana Jones type hero. We simply don’t relate to this. We look up too it, which is why we so enjoy movies like Indiana Jones in the first place, but this seemingly small issue subtracts a whole lot of the immersion element from the game.
And the third and final blow to the “Zelda feel” of the game was the complete lack of character-developing side-quests. Some of the absolute most memorable moments in Ocarina of Time were those few that didn’t even have to do with the main story. Rescuing Epona from Lon-Lon, meeting Malon, handing out masks to some of the more eccentric secondary characters, all of these things made that game truly great. I don’t think I even have to argue that the same holds true for Majora’s Mask. In fact, that game would be virtually worthless without its side-plots. After beating Twilight Princess, I was extremely disappointed when I realized the deepest side-quests were collecting poes for a golden statue and getting bugs for a strangely creepy little girl. Sure, I enjoyed them, but they were definitely just collection challenges, they didn’t have story or depth too them.
Again, I’m definitely not trying to convince you to feel negatively about the game, and I’m not going to turn into some sort of nerd-raging cynic who spends his time on forums ranting about how much TP sucked. I enjoyed the game, and by gaming standards it was very well done. I just thought it lacked a lot of the feel and heart of older Zelda games. I’m sure you all have this image of me smugly searching through the game trying to find reasons it was horrible just so I can write a controversial article, but frankly, I tried hard to enjoy the game. It was only after I beat it that I realized I didn’t enjoy it too much, and only after that did I start looking for the reasons that I didn’t like it. That said, I’m definitely looking forward to the next major Zelda game. Nintendo has already stated that they’ll be going in a different direction, and I’m looking forward to a fresh concept applied to the series. My only hope is that for the next one they put as much work into writing and creativity that they put into game-play and graphics.Follow This Entry | Leave a Response | Trackback | Read Other Posts by leinator
48 Messages from the Gossip Stones about “I Didn’t Like Twilight Princess”
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