Friday, May 24, 2013

Replaying Twilight Princess: re-discoveries

I waited with baited breath for Nintendo's Twilight Princess to come out. Got a Gamecube just so I could play it, even. Then the developers delayed the release date so it could come out simultaneously on Wii, and... well... it wasn't pretty. I might have been cut from a soap opera for being too melodramatic.

It's probably the only game I've ever pre-ordered. Yes, I'm a Zelda fan; my first game system actual ownership (as in not totally bummed off my older brother) was an N64 that we shared (half-mine was still legitimately MINE), and the Ocarina of Time subsequently became one of my all-time favorite games.

It still took me two years to actually finish Twilight Princess. I like video games, but as an adult, finding time to play means "hour here; two hours there." Plus I had to discover every little sidequest I could, and figure out every little curious riddle I could find, and explore each corner of the game three or four or twelve times. Because hey, if I'm going to wait years for a game to come out, then it's going to entertain me, darn it.

I'm here to steal your soul. Or
maybe your baby's crib.
Now I've turned on this old favorite once more, and discovered something: I'd completely and utterly forgotten about the opening scene the first time through, when Link gets asked to take something to Castle Town in the morning as a favor for another villager.


Then I get to the "plot" of the first day. Monkeys. Why'd it have to be monkeys?

Of course I know exactly where that darn monkey is. I mean, seriously, I played this game for two years. I don't need a walkthrough or a guide or any help whatsoever. Didn't you just see me save the basket with an eagle long before I talked to the guy who told me I could call eagles with grass? I got this.

Hours of wandering around later, after collecting rupees and buying extra oil and drinking bee larva to make an empty bottle to buy more extra oil...

Right. Hidden key. Caves. Right, I remembered that. Hey, whaddya know, I've got a map. Guess I could have bothered to look at it earlier.

But despite the frustration of trying to remember what I was doing, I did remember how much I loved the game. Sure, the graphics are good. No, not top-of-the-line, but remember how far I am behind the gaming curve? They're very pretty, and the world is detailed. But more to the point, I don't have to spend weeks leveling up.

I hate leveling up. I hate grinding.

The Zelda games and the Mario games have this in common, and it's why I'm a fan of both: you don't have to run around picking up XP by killing things. Every time you defeat a monster, it's because it's directly in your path to your goal (or killing it is your goal). There's a point.

In other words, I can actually play the game instead of wasting time wandering around in the outfield trying to get enough stuff/experience/levels to play the game.

I'm looking forward to rediscovering new things I've forgotten. So here's to old favorites.

What's one of your all-time favorite games? What really made it fun to play?


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  2. Funny monkey. I like to looking how they play and live.