9 hours with Zelda TP on the Wii
Some guy of the kotaku staff got to play Zelda TP on the Wii for almost 9 hour (which is a record since I havent played a zelda game for more than an hour).
Here's some of the parts of this preview I think are the most relevant:
Twilight Princess is broken down into two basic worlds. The first is the normal Zelda land we all know, with Link looking like a young Rod Stewart as he frolics around the countryside to Hyrule. The second world is that of the Twilight Realm, a growing parallel existence of shadow where Link transforms into a wolf ridden by a witch named Midna. Here, living people appear as ghosts who don't even realize they are trapped in darkness.
The graphics of Twilight Princess are both beautiful and disappointing, looking a lot like a high end Gamecube title (or more likely, XBOX) with enhanced shaders. In the normal world, there are moments of brilliance in the glow of the vast horizon, but these touches are difficult to appreciate with Link's pixilated body constantly front and center. Artistic intention is obvious, but I can't help wishing that the jagged edges of Link's arms aren't more frightening than his sword. Some of the effect is from the proximity we sit to the LCD televisions - which are only a few feet away. From further distances, the image gains cohesiveness and the richness of an oil painting. I often find myself looking around the room to other monitors, admiring the neighbors' scenery more than my own. The Twilight Realm, however, has a much cleaner edge from close proximity. This is mostly due to a constant blur effect - but it's beautiful nonetheless. Highlights in the wolf's fur glow, and the sky shimmers like the Northern Lights - be they stagnant.
But how does the Wiimote fair? It's not horrible, and not stellar. You unsheathe the sword by moving the remote. Fighting with a sword, you have three basic attacks: you can swipe side to side by swinging horizontally. You can swing downward by swinging the remote up to down. Or you can thrust...by thrusting? No. You swing and hold the nunchuk directional pad forward. To me, this button combination takes a lot away from the basic sword control. As soon as simple attacks aren't one-to-one translations, I begin to miss the point. A jump attack or finishing blow is even less movement based, requiring you to lock on with the Z button from the nunchuk and press A. I want to leap into the air and descend from the heavens, smashing skulls into bits, projecting little brain pieces on fellow journalists, yelling "That's how the Markster brings it, BITCH! Don't fuck with Zelda!" Hell, I practiced it. But instead, it's Z button A button. The combat can still be fun, and the added visceral element will be a loss in the Gamecube version. But the sword attacks simply don't take full advantage of the Wii controls. Aiming projectiles takes practice, but can offer surprising accuracy. I find myself avoiding the slingshot or boomerang mostly because I'm playing with the Wiimote resting on my leg. When activating my weapon and aiming, I receive a full screen message telling me to aim the controller at the screen. This happens a ton, though I don't think it would be an issue if I were standing while playing because then I'd keep the Wiimote in the ready. We are set in highchairs, while I would prefer to rock Zelda hard and deep like Guitar Hero's 'More then a Feeling'.
Attacking with the wolf is the only major disappointment in battle. He has one primary lunging attack activated by any simple Wiimote movement. Because of this mono-directional fighting style, I often find myself on the wrong side of an enemy with little choice than to run and turn around. There are evil shadow creatures that the wolf encounters, requiring a different type of attack to kill. As I hold Z, a black circle grows on the ground, sparking with purple electricity. When the shadow creatures are all within the circle, I release Z and the wolf combo kills them all - a necessity as if one is left standing, its shrieking will resurrect the others...and generally annoy the hell out of the real you. But the wolf form offers more interesting features than combat. He has enhanced senses that are easily activated with the touch of the D-Pad. They allow him to see sparkling treasure in the ground (which he can dig up) as well as eavesdrop on ghosts. Something I'm sure will be exploited later in the game is his ability to howl - a real time musical interaction where you control the pitch. But is the howling controlled by the Wiimote? No, and it makes me crave a good Wind Waker port along with that lame conducting game that ended up being just a tech demo. Midna is less for battle and more for reaching high distances and long gaps. You hear her giggle in the Wiimote speaker at the appropriate times to call for her assistance. It's a great use of the speaker, as its presence dwells outside the general stereo sound interface. It's like she's right next to you, because she is. If you fail to solve certain puzzles, she eventually chimes in with hints. Without spoiling much, I will say Midna is an extremely fun, cynical and memorable character I will no longer want to see Zelda without. And her prior screenshot manifestation as that stupid arm protruding from the wolf's back is all but eliminated.
Horseback riding on Epona is smooth and natural. You can call your horse by blowing into a special whistle plant that grows sporadically throughout the world. Read that last sentence again to remember how beautifully ridiculous the entire game is. The horse gallops with the same basic running controls, but will continue to gallop automatically if you pull out the slingshot to attack an enemy. Yes, it's really freakin' cool, even if the first four hours don't offer much in horse battles. Sadly enough, fishing might be the most natural use of the Wiimote in the whole game. You cast as you normally would think to cast, and pull up immediately as the bobber goes under.
Sure, it's a Gamecube port. From what I understand, the Wii version's major differences are a wider aspect ratio and Wiimote incorporation. Twilight Princess doesn't utilize motion as well as some games built for the Wii from the ground up, which I find to be a disappointment.
So, basically, the graphics look like a high-end game from Xbox, which takes us to the far year of 2004 when the console's power reached its climax (Halo2, HL2, Doom3, etc...). Again, we knew that graphics wouldnt be the selling point of any Wii game since we got ahold of the console's tech specs. Even that, ninty could have upped the hardware a little bit more for the 250 bones we're giving away for it...
The controls are so-so depending on how you see it, since some of the greatest moves are just a combination of buttons like in any other controller. I seriously doubt the guy's remarks about TP not being that good with the Wiimote becos is just a GC port: after seeing the livemove video and considering the constant delays of the game, ninty obviously got more than enough time to solve these problems.
Well, thats all, if you want to read the original article you can find it right here
Sounds about right. Granted, he talked more about how the Wii-remote and the graphics more then the actual game.
I can't personally wait for it to come out. I can't believe its gonna be here (GCN version) within a month and a half. Its been a hell of a wait, but the promise of 100+ hours of gameplay that isnt all grinding or level treadmilling sounds awesome. I do think a lot of time will be used traveling though, but as SOTC showed, it will all be a part of the experience.
I think this zelda is going to disappoint me just as much as the other non-2d zelda's so i'd best stay away from it and stick to snes-zelda :)