Why Twilight Princess is my favorite Zelda game
I mentioned a while back that Twilight Princess is my favorite Legend of Zelda game thus far, and that it’s also the only game in the entire series that I’ve ever actually finished.
No, I get it; I’m in the minority here. While Twilight Princess was fairly well-received, it certainly doesn’t top Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker or A Link to the Past on most people’s favorite games lists. Still, it holds a special place in my heart regardless, and here are some of the reasons why that is:
Motion Controls Still Felt Innovative
The Wii’s motion controls were a short-lived phenomenon, but when the console first launched, they felt new and exciting. Twilight Princess was a launch title, and it was one of the first two motion-controlled titles I ever played (Wii Sports being the other). While it’s easy to look back and scoff — especially after Skyward Sword refined the 1:1 swordplay thing — shooting Link’s bow via Wiimote back in 2006 was magical.
Twilight Princess not only allowed mounted combat, it encouraged it, adding in sequences where you’d have to chase down Bulblins across the fields of Hyrule whilst on the back of your beloved steed Epona. Sure, Ocarina of Time allowed you to fire your bow while mounted, but Twilight Princess had the whole swordplay mechanic as well, and it felt really good.
The Twilight Realm
Twilight Princess takes place across two realms, and you eventually get to switch back and forth between them at will. The Twilight Realm was a realm of shadow, adding a slightly darker tone to the game. I really enjoyed that.
Also, you became a wolf in the Twilight Realm. It was awesome.
Hyrule Castle in the Rain
In retrospect, it probably shouldn't have impressed me as much as it did, but the Twilight Princess version of Hyrule Castle was incredibly memorable for me. The atmosphere was perfect, with the grey sky and pouring rain over the castle grounds and this weird sense of foreboding inside the castle proper, which was filled with secret passages, armored knights, and skull-wearing Lizalfos. Oh, and the Twilight Realm included swarms of ghoul rats, which were creepy as hell.
Dat Boss Fight
The multi-stage battle at the end of Twilight Princess is one of my favorite boss fights of all time. It begins with a standoff against a mind-controlled Zelda, proceeds to an epic battle against Ganon in Dark Beast form (bearing a nasty scar from his run-in with the Ancient Sages), transitions into a mounted chase, and culminates in a swordfight with ol’ Ganondorf himself.
I can’t comment on the final boss fights in other Zelda titles, since, as I already mentioned, I never finished any of the others, but the final battle in Twilight Princess is just plain epic.
Midna Is Exponentially Less Annoying than Navi
Okay, I admit that I’m only pointing this out to annoy the Ocarina of Time crowd. You can’t deny the truthfulness of this statement, though.
Now, one of the fantastic things about the Zelda series is the sense of comradery among fans. See, some franchises cause all-out flame wars over which installment is superior (I’m looking at you, Call of Duty), but Zelda fans are usually completely okay with acknowledging that their favorite game may not be someone else’s.
Twilight Princess may be my favorite Zelda game ever made so far (and The Wind Waker is rapidly becoming my number two), but I’m curious to hear what you think the best one is. Leave a comment explaining the reasons behind your own pick.