Twilight Princess is the least authentic Zelda game

The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U) - Midna is still awesome

Twilight Princess – best or worst Zelda? (Image: Nintendo)

One reader argues that Zelda: Twilight Princess strayed too far from the original vision of the series and is vastly inferior to Breath Of The Wild.

I can bite my tongue when people say they don’t like The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, but when someone compares it unfavorably to my least favorite 3D game in the series, Twilight Princess (like it Reader Bronson has done in his Reader’s Feature last week), then I can’t help but try to defend it.

Breath Of The Wild isn’t my favorite Zelda game, but that’s really just out of nostalgia for other titles. It’s dynamite. Shrines sure make a change from dungeons, but they’re fantastically inventive. Gliding around is a delight, the physics engine is rock solid, it implements more modern amenities and tendencies into the series, and there’s so much to see and do. What really sets Breath Of The Wild apart is not only that you can discover its vast world, but also that you discover what you can do in it.

When you’re first rolling a boulder down a hill to take out some enemies, setting some grass on fire to create an updraft, or attaching a balloon to something to make it levitate, you’ll feel like you’re first person to be the one who ever finds out you can. The way the game chooses not to spell out the fact that you can do all these things rather than burying them under a mountain of tutorials is like this amazingly confident.

The great Dolly Parton once said, “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap,” and that’s basically the design ethos at work with all these little mechanics. They feel so organic, spontaneous, and understated, but that’s because Nintendo has taken painstaking efforts to implement them so seamlessly.

The breakable weapons piss people off, but you can see what the developers were trying to achieve there. No one will stumble upon a higher tier piece of gear early on and equip it for the next 20 hours, so you never lose the motivation to keep looking for new stuff or the resulting sense of reward you get when you find something. It also balances out the difficulty and encourages you to play combat more creatively. The story is quite a lot and the boss fights are of course rubbish, but when those things take up so little of the game I can’t get too excited about it.

Twilight Princess is another suggestion.

First of all, the dungeons are mostly fantastic, there are some real highlights of the series and while they don’t exactly match Breath Of The Wild in terms of puzzle genius, they certainly show up in spectacle terms. But they are not the whole game.

The dark tone, the story, the soundtrack, and those character models that come straight from the deepest depths of the uncanny valley are aspects that are cited for criticism, but ultimately they all come down to personal preference and whether some people liked it is valid. However, I feel like there are deeper issues with the game.

The overworld looks nice at times, but if you scratch beneath the surface, you quickly realize how little there really is to do or find. It’s just a sterile, inanimate funnel to the next town or dungeon and symptomatic of how linear the game is in general.

The wolf sections feel unfinished, Wolf Link doesn’t have enough moves making them repetitive. You just feel trapped playing as him, he’s so much less capable than human Link. Maybe that’s what the developers wanted, but why is this fun? Why does the game want to limit you like that? The opening also takes so long that the game doesn’t seem to want to open and play – however, the developers of Final Fantasy 13 were obviously taking notes at this point.

The lack of much side content was also a pity. By definition, this will always be less important than the main quest, but some of the most joyful moments in the series happen when you’re doing something entirely optional, and a lack of that in Twilight Princess contributed to the feeling that it might have been a little rushed.

The bottom line is that no game is perfect, but both do a lot right. Where they fundamentally differ is that while Twilight Princess insists you play through a number of stages that don’t work brilliantly to get to the good stuff, for 99% of Breath Of The Wild the game lets you do that play good parts, go where you want, and do what you want.

Breath Of The Wild isn’t just a Zelda game, it’s Zelda. It’s that original dream that Miyamoto had for the series in 1984; a fully non-linear counterpart to Mario with discovery, exploration and experimentation at the heart of the experience.

So it’s really sad when someone says they can’t accept Breath Of The Wild as part of the series. Breath Of The Wild is Miyamoto’s original vision, brought to life by his successors in the most expansive way Nintendo has ever created. Twilight Princess, good game or not, is probably the furthest the series has ever come from.

From Reader Charlie

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MORE : Twilight Princess is the best Zelda and Breath Of The Wild is the worst – Reader’s Feature

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Jaclyn Diaz

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