E3 Impression

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess




After getting a taste of how to use the Wiimote with the Duck Hunt game, I was led to the Twilight Princess booths, which along with Super Mario Galaxy had the largest lines in the entire Nintendo booth. Given a choice between the dungeon demo and the fishing demo, I went ahead and chose the dungeon demo.

This demo was the same one shown at the Nintendo Conference on Tuesday at the Kodak Theatre. Still, getting to actually play it was incredible. Controls consist of (in nunchuku configuration) - A being the generic action button, B brings out and swings the sword, a twirl of the nunchuku uses the spin-slash attack, a thrust of the Wiimote used a shield parry, the directional pad equips and uses items, and Z activates targeting. An interesting note is that for the first time, Z targeting can be directed with the Wiimote. When playing, you always have a Navi-like fairy on the screen which indicates where the Wiimote is pointing, and if you hit Z while pointing at an enemy, you'll automatically target that one first. As well, Z-targeting is automatic now in the sense that as long as you press the button, a new enemy will always be targeted until they're all defeated. No more having to repeatedly Z-target to switch between targets or move to the next. It's much more fluid now.

Learning to use the pointer to aim the bow or boomerang takes a little getting used to. Again, you need only use minor wrist movements to hone your aim until it's ready to fire. After you get used to it, though, it's easy to just hit the button, aim, and fire without even thinking about it. Similarly, once you get used to twirling the nunchuku to do a spin-slash, it becomes second nature just as in previous Zelda titles.

Controls aside, the demo was basically a primer for the new Zelda. Puzzles were standard fare, meaning hitting something with an item in your possession in order to continue on to the next area. There were plenty of enemies to fight and practice with. A new wrinkle in the puzzles was a magnetic platform that you had to run towards, jump underneath it, and then activate the iron boots - allowing you to stick to the magnet. Expanding upon this could make for some really interesting dungeons later on. As well, there was a simple boomerang puzzle designed to show how to use it in its new form. Four windmills were set in a box pattern before a door, with a large "Z" on the ground. Again using the Wiimote as pointer, you aim at one, lock it with B, then move on to the other targets (in a Z pattern), then release and watch as the cyclone the boomerang generates completes the puzzle and opens the door. Eventually the demo culminates in a boss who has an obvious weak point, but can't be defeated by attacking it otherwise.

As with the Wii itself, playing this demo has cemented my desire for the game. I simply cannot wait until I can get my hands on the final Wii-enhanced version when the Wii launches in Q4 of this year. The Twilight is the dawn of a new age.

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