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Volume 72, Issue 68, Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Life & Arts

Zelda brings the dark side with ‘Princess'

by CHRIS ELLIOTT 
The Daily Cougar

That pointy-eared, sword- and shield-wielding, monster-fighting dude in the green tunic made his console comeback appearance a little more than a week ago, and since the Nov. 19 launch of the Nintendo Wii and the release of Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a shocking wave of sudden loss of sight has swept the gaming community. That's because Link and the newest installment of the Legend of Zelda series kicks so much butt it will make you go blind.

After recovering from this short-term blindness, Wii console owners will get a chance to experience the most awesomely awesome game of awesomeness available anywhere.

It never gets old. Just like every other Legend of Zelda game, the Twilight Princess story line features Link as he attempts to single-handedly save Princess Zelda and her large, free-roaming Kingdom of Hyrule from some evil, power-hungry weirdo bent on world domination.

The combat scheme is the same as it was on the Nintendo 64's Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask and the GameCube's Wind Waker. The targeting system remains intact, allowing old-school fans to effortlessly jump into action, traversing through the many element-based dungeons in the game. Link's trusty steed Epona returns as the fastest thing on four legs. In many ways, the game's developers stuck with the concepts that made the prior installments so enjoyable, but the comparisons stop there. 

Twilight Princess utilizes the Wii's computing capabilities to provide mouth-dropping graphics and speed never before seen in a Legend of Zelda title. It is nearly impossible to distinguish between cut-scenes and the actual game play, and the loading time between dungeons and different sections of the open-ended Hyrule environment is unnoticeable. 

Developers also made the game work seamlessly with the Wii-mote and nun chuck controller. Swordplay, bow and arrow usage, and almost every thing else is done by the Wii-mote and its motion-sensing capabilities, and the nun chuck attachment is used for movement and the legendary hero's shield. Playing with a plastic sword has never been so fun. 

A third of the time, however, players will not be able to use any of Link's conventional weapons because he undergoes a change -- the main character walks on four legs, has razor sharp teeth and howls at the moon. 

Gamers will have the ability to play with the big, bad wolf version of Link in certain parts of the game. These stages are a different realm torn between the light and darkness where black monsters terrorize the countryside and the inhabitants of the planet simply become wandering spirits.

All this madness happens because the evil Twilight King overpowered the Hyrulian army and forced Princess Zelda to surrender rather than have the Twilight King slaughter her subjects every day. So she did the logical thing and had her loyal subjects turned into ghosts, unaware that their bodies had been lost.

The game allows players to go back and forth between the Twilight realm and the regular world through a helpful little character who goes by the name of Midna. She just so happens to be a creature of the Twilight and assists wolf Link by riding on his back, giving helpful hints and serving as a guide. As wolf Link, players are able to use the same fighting engine as they would when playing with the normal character; this makes for a familiar but distinctive gaming experience.

Twilight Princess has a darker feel and look to it than its predecessors, which should make it more appealing to older players. 

Send comments to dcshobiz@mail.uh.edu

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