The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Sniper)
Genre: Third-Person Action
From a technical standpoint, Twilight Princess is probably at the pinnacle of Gamecube-caliber visuals, so if you go into the experience expecting Xbox 360/PS3 graphics, you will be sorely disappointed. Where the game impresses is in the art style; every area has a unique color scheme, tone, ambiance, and coordinated texture styles. From start to end, every scene is an aethetic showcase. Nintendo did a good job matching the colorful playfulness of previous Zelda games while also introducing a shade of dark realism.
Twilight Princess maintains the Zelda aural status quo, what with its traditional jingles, sound effects, and heavy dabbling in the arena of the leitmotif. Unfortunately, this straight party-line approach means that, like most of the prior games in the series, audio is the weakpoint. Simple, predictable melodic structures are occasionally grating, and the continual sound effects playing out of the remote's tinny speaker drain the batteries and the patience after a time.
The game is structured exactly like all of the other Zelda games-- linear story progression, large hub/field areas, and dungeons filled with tricky, puzzle-like rooms. Even if most of the puzzles were harvested from the previous Zelda titles, Twilight Princess's dungeons are lessons in creativity to be sure, eliciting lots of smiles and "Oooh, so that's
how you beat the level!" reactions from the player. The controls feel tight, the "aiming with the remote" dynamic works surprisingly well, and the intuitive, fluid combat sequences are a joy.
Twilight Princess is a splendid game. From its stylistic visuals to rock solid gameplay to gripping story, it's a treat. Where it lets down however is that it takes the "been there done that" feeling to whole new levels. The musical score and the game's overall structure just feel antiquated, and I think Nintendo realizes that reintroducing originality into the franchise is a high risk, high reward undertaking-- they certainly didn't feel up to the task with this title. Even with these feelings, Twilight Princess is a very satisfying effort that should please just about all gamers.