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The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii) Review

Review for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

When we reviewed Ocarina of Time we rated it as the greatest videogame of all time; this is better. Nintendo have spent a decade trying to create a title of this splendour and brilliance and finally they have cracked it. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is the single greatest videogame experience of all time, and no we haven't got caught up in the hype. Those of you that have followed our coverage of Zelda will know full well that we severely disliked the E3 code of this game and had some major concerns about how it would turn out. So we didn't approach this game expecting it to be brilliant. In this spoiler free review we'll whet your appetite for the adventure that lies before you. It don't come much better than this folks...

From the very start of the game things look good. The sweeping camera shots on the opening sequence to the game as Link rides majestically across the gaming world atop Epona is not just reminiscent of Ocarina of Time, it surpasses it. If the N64 classic was epic, this title is in a whole new species of epic...ness. It is at this point that we look for a better thesaurus. You start off in a small little village on the edge of Hyrule, you don't have a sword or a shield or anything of any real note and you spend your time herding goats and carrying out errands for the friendly, laid back and often hilarious townsfolk. It really is the ideal lifestyle. Perfect blue skies, lush green grass, goats galore and a gorgeous fresh blue lake. Amazingly enough this little utopia doesn't last for long. After you've worked out the basics of sword combat with your wooden sword, played about annoying chickens, herded some goats and summoned eagles it is time for things to go wrong. And boy do they go wrong...

The premise of the whole game lies in the word 'twilight', and if you don't want to know why skip on until the end of this paragraph. There are dark forces at work in Hyrule, which are sucking away the light and casting the world into darkness, reducing people to spirits and generally disrupting your idillic goat-herding lifestyle. Whilst everyone else is almost destroyed by this twilight force you possess the power to survive it, problem is you turn into a wolf when you enter the realm. The first time you become your wolf-like self is a really surreal moment and certainly rates highly as one of the coolest moments in the history of Zelda. After just seconds in your new body a strange looking creature starts laughing at you and talking to you. This is Midna, one of the most pivotal characters in the game, but more than that we won't be saying here. Midna helps you out and shows you the ropes of the twilight realm and acts in a similar way to Navi by telling you what to do and by getting annoyed when you don't do it quickly Midna eventually leads you out of the dungeons you are trapped in to show you a huge castle shrouded in twilight. This is Hyrule, destroyed by evil, overcome by danger and darkness. No prizes for guessing who the twilight princess is then, and it is up to you to return her kingdom back to its former glory.

Screenshot for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

But unlike previous titles in the story there is far more to Twilight Princess that save the girl from inevitable danger from the bad guys by solving puzzles and swinging around your sword. This game is genuinely dark and has a great plot that will keep you playing to find out more. The whole game is glued together by a number of very well choreographed and thought out cut-scenes, which help to propel the story along and guide you through the twists and turns of the fascinating plot. Hero-ship by numbers this is not. The twilight realm is a very dark and disturbing place and during the game you will encounter some fascinating characters and discover a lot about Link too.

The game may have a revolutionary new control system, but it still relies on the basic mechanic mastered so spectacularly in Ocarina of Time. You strafe, you target, you lock on and you perform all the stunning sword-swinging moves that you've done for years now, but this time there is a crucial difference. The ability to swing about the Wii remote and nunchuck attachment provides a fantastic addition to the gameplay. When you get good at this game, which believe us takes time, you'll find yourself swinging your arms about like a pro and looking oh so very cool as you slay your foes in wonderfully cinematic and over the top fashion. Throughout the game you'll learn new moves to add to your repertoire and of course get new weapons that you can use to devastating effect. Things like the Gale Boomerang, the Slingshot, the Hookshot and some extra secret things that we won't reveal for you are all so much more fun to use thanks to the pointing system that the Wii remote allows. The sound that comes out of the controller when you swing your sword or fire off a projectile is brilliant fun and once again adds to the immersive element of the game. Within hours of play you'll find yourself galloping across Hyrule Field atop Epona firing off headshots with unerring accuracy. This is by far the best control system we've ever experienced in an adventure title.

Screenshot for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

The gameplay is mixed up in Twlight Princess, allowing you to experience a more vibrant and exciting Zelda game than ever before. Places like Castle Town and the various other stunning locales you will visit throughout your adventure are full of magic and surprise. Without ruining too much what we're describing here barely scratches the surface of this titles magnitude. It is huge. So, that's a lot of riding around on a horse and getting bored at holding down the analogue stick...right? Wrong. Nintendo really have thought of everything. As the game goes on it gets better and better as you get new powers and unlock new abilities. At the start you can't pick which form you take (wolf or human), but eventually you'll be able to switch between the two at will. This really spices up the action and makes for some real head-scratching puzzles. As a wolf Link can use your special wolfy sense to listen to spirits and find secrets, he'll jump whenever you tell him to and usefully can run ruddy fast. But what about all that running back and forth through massive environments? Well, thanks to Midna you can warp all over the map, enabling you to go from one side to the other with minimal tedious horse riding.

The game world centres around a number of temples, and it is within these temples that you'll find more dungeons, puzzles, enemies and evil bosses than you can shake a pointy stick at. We could complain that they are the same as those found in Ocarina of Time, as you do indeed go through a Forest Temple and Goron Temple, but these are so different so full of new surprises that they feel new whilst still retaining a nice sense familiarity. This is Zelda building upon itself to make a truly immersive, cohesive and deep world that goes a good way to explaining what Hyrule is all about. Believe us, some of the new weapons and enemies you come across will simply blow you away. As well as blowing you away though they will also kill you; lots.

Screenshot for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

We've seen more Game Over screens whilst playing this title than we have in any game in a long time; believe us when we say this is one tough cookie. Sometimes it isn't even the bosses that kill you, but amazingly obscure and often seemingly impossible environmental puzzles. It truly is a testament to the strength of the Wii remote that it hasn't been broken in our frustrated whacking of it against nearby walls. However, what is slightly worrying is when you do get to the boss battles, no matter how 'bad-arse' they look, for some reason a lot of them are very easy. So just when you are expecting the battle of you life the blighter falls over and dies in under ten minutes. The main challenge does indeed lie in the whole experience of getting through the game, rather than the admittedly impressive set-piece battles.

Which brings us rather nicely onto the the visuals and sound in the game. First up, this is a GameCube title that has been quickly shifted across to the Wii. Whilst the control elements have excelled during the transition, the visuals are at times a bit disappointing. Were this a GameCube title is would be awesome, but for a 'next-gen' offering it can look a bit ropey at times. The textures leave a lot to be desired and whilst the character models and animation are stunning and the whole visual look of the game has a lovely stylised look we can't help but feel that this is a GameCube game with a lick of paint...funny that. Whilst we criticise it to an extent, the visual effects and whole look of this game really are excellent. There is something magical and enchanting about some of the environments and Nintendo have really gone to town to make some of the enemies wonderfully detailed and spooky. Thankfully, the soundtrack refuses to disappoint. The epic landscapes open up to some fantastic musical scores that just add to the games grandeur and with the 16:9 widescreen thrown in you have a genuinely cinematic Wii experience. This is Zelda at its blinding best.

Screenshot for The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


By far and away the best Zelda gameplay to date, and possibly the best in any adventure game since the move to 3D. Intuitive, wonderfully good fun and genuinely exciting, Zelda is joy to play from start to finish. The game keeps on giving you new abilities and you're constantly learning in order to become a master of your sword. This is the complete adventure experience and has put down a new marker to the industry. Sublime.


It looks majestic, the characters are fantastically animated and the cut-scenes have a genuinely cinematic quality, but we can't help but remember what this game looked like on the GameCube and it doesn't look too much better now. Lovely it may be, but this is not next-generation by a long shot.


We love the music of Zelda, and Twilight Princess oozes with aural majesty. There are some epic musical scores chucked all over this game and the added bonus of the controller making noises all the time adds to what is a fantastically immersive experience.


Huge. After twelve hours you're just about getting into the meat of the title. And there is a lot of meat. This is an epic game that is well worth your cash. It just keeps on going and doing. Loads of side quests, so much to see and do and enjoy and no doubt the sort of title that will spend months in your Wii's lovely little disk slot. You won't see everything first time through either, you'll be back for more...

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 10 out of 10

Masterpiece - Platinum Award

About this score
Rated 10 out of 10

The best videogame of all time? Perhaps. With the release of this and Gears of War on the XBOX 360 the industry really is seeing a new dawn of gaming brilliance. We've been totally blown away by this title from start to finish, and that takes a lot. Yes, it's a GameCube port with knobs on and it may well echo a lot of what the N64 classic did, but as 'they' say, if it aint broke don't fix it. The story-line is fantastic, the adventure is epic and the gameplay is sublime. Playing through this game has given us countless hours of joy and no doubt we'll continue to revel in its excellence for months to come. Totally revolutionary gameplay is the real selling point here and it is because of this that Twilight Princess is one of the greatest titles of all time. Not since Super Mario 64 has a console launched with such a stunning title. A truly exceptional gaming experience.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (822 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

woot! u hardly see a 10 for final score for this website...its about time to. but what a game to five it to. i looked on amazon today and they have dispatched zelda so ill be expecting it tomorrow in the wii launch. great review

I have been waiting for this game since it was talked about many many many years ago....I cannot believe it is a matter of days before I can actually play it! My Wii is coming from Woolworths (tomorrow I hope!) but I am getting Zelda from Amazon with free delivery, me being a tight-wad! No Zelda until at least Tuesday next week!

I'm sure an ace review here Mr. T but I'm afraid I must abstain from reading it just now given how close it is now

Cubed3 Staff < Retro Editor :: Previews Editor >
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I can't wait for tommorrow.... Zelda will be amazing...

Shame about the right handed-ness though, I'll never get over that ^^;

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

Great review James and thanks for the lack of spoliers because every review I've seen contains spoilers.

To think it's so close with 10 hours to go.

It's got a 10. You know it has to be special, we've given out very few 10s in the past...

8am can't come quick enough. Nice one James.

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

The wait becomes oh so painful...Don't think I'll be getting mine until Saturday!

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Hey, I'm holding off on the Wii for a while, but intend to get the GC version of Zelda:TP for xmas. I guess we'll be getting a review of that soon, so can C3 also do a side by side comparison of the Wii and GC versions? I know the controls will be different, and the worlds will be flipped, but what I really want to know is how the graphics of the two versions compare, and if the game is different in any way. it didn't get an 11?

I think i'll die if i don't get this soon....can i come round your house?

Avoid Games Like the Plague, productivity++

this game is going to be the game ever because im getting it for gamecube.

peter rodriguez

10/10, that's total BS.


1"We're mentalist psychic Scots , which means we can read your mind. If you're lying, your head explodes and we laugh."

I wasn't expecting any less either. (Gamespot are a bunch of fucking idiots)

yeh 10 / 10? no game is perfect. you mentioned a couple of minors in the reveiw. best zelda though..?

10/10 doesn't mean perfect, it just means better than anything that scored 9/10 before Smilie If it was perfect it would get 10/10 across the board on all aspects, it didn't. Don't obsesses on the score guys...

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

Nice review there.

Perhaps the score would be more accurate if Cubed3 used percentages or decimals. :Smilie

Erm... yeh.

Thanks for the idea, but we used to implement that system but we removed it as it was too pointlessly accurate. Why score a game 8.6 and another 8.7? What difference does that 0.1 make? We'll stick with good old round numbers, less room for pointless debate and arguments :Smilie

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

I cant be bothered to get to the meat of the game. I can tell im going to be bored with the first 12 hours of this game. Thats a long time in a game to be bored for. I just feel dissapointed with this game at the moment. I guess it will pick it up when i give it a chance

10/10, How much real replay value does this game have? I dont see how it can be a 10.

Quite a bit, there are SO many side missions and things to explore, the gaming world is hugely expansive and diverse, so yeah, I don't see why people wouldn't want to come back in and play again. Zelda is all about the side-quests and about exploring and this game does it better than most/any.

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

Yeah, I can see it having replay value. I've only completed the first temple/dungeon so far but I already intend to revisit at some point to explore it more. I'm sure later on in the bigger areas there'll be even more to see.
Great review. =D

Can I please suggest that C3 change to a 5-star rating system and clearly point out the meaning of each number of stars: e.g. 1 star - a poor execution of a poor idea, 2 stars - seriously flawed, 3 stars - an average game with some major problems, but still somewhat enjoyable (perhaps one for rental), 4 stars - a very good game that just doesn't have that extra something, but a worthy purchase, 5 stars - a must own classic.

That would get past all this nonsense of 10/10 meaning perfect or how can you call it a 9.6 when such and such got 9.7. It's all bullshit built on the fruitless idea of quantifying something intangible.

Anyway, glad to see C3 liked the Wii version. I'll be happily having a last GC hurrah as I can't afford a Wii yet (not that there's any around). I'm sure I'll buy the Wii version when I manage to get the console though.

"This man has advanced communist views ... He dresses in a bohemian fashion both at his office and in his leisure hours."

I disagree, I found it boring and hyped. I bought it because everyone told me Zelda is the game to have, but it is not. The graphics are a bit on the childish side, the puzzels are either far too easy or far too difficult and there is no character speach anywhere, everything is on screen text-only like in 1991 or so. It's totally overhyped.

shut up moron!

"This man has advanced communist views ... He dresses in a bohemian fashion both at his office and in his leisure hours."

Clearly not the game for you, doesn't mean it is bad because it looks 'childlike' and has on screen dialogue rather than audio for sound. Seeing as all the gaming media has rated it very highly must mean that you're a bit in the minority. Shame you didn't enjoy it. Dr_R, all I'd say to that is we already came down from decimal points to 'out of 10', and 5 is a bit too small , especially when we're factoring in various different aspects before the final score in the breakdown as well. No doubt we will review..ahem...our review policy soon, but for now we'll stick with how it is. Cheers for the comment :Smilie

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

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