Originally slated to appear only on the Gamecube, Twilight Princess was instead ported to the Wii in time for launch, bringing with it slightly improved graphics and a different control scheme. Whichever system it is on, Twilight Princess is a fine entry to the Zelda series and a must-play for any Wii-owner.
Taking place in a newer, more mature Hyrule, Twilight Princess is darker than its predecessors. Another realm known as the Twilight is covering the land, and it is up to Link and the imp Midna (who is actually one of the most engaging characters in the franchise) to find a solution and rescue Zelda.
The game is generally similar to the other 3D Zeldas, in that you traverse an overworld, explore dungeons, aquire various items, and then defeat the boss of the temple using the newly acquired treasure. It differs from the previous games in that every single aspect is honed to a razor's edge. The overworld is larger, the dungeons are more detailed and clever, the items are more fun to use, and the boss encounters are huge and epic.
Graphically, Twilight Princess shows its origins as a Gamecube title but still manages to look incredibly good. Characters and environments are exquisitely detailed and move with fluidity. The enemies are fearsome, and some are more than a little creepy. Water sloshes convincingly, while lava flows glow ominously. The Wii version boasts some better textures and a 16:9 mode to boot. The sound takes a backseat to the graphics, but is still high quality. Like the rest of the game, the arrangements are more mature, but Nintendo's incomprehensible preference for MIDIs detracts from them. I hope the score of the next game is recorded live, as it would greatly enhance things. Sound effects are loud and clear, and do a great job. The use of the Wiimote speaker for some of them helps bring you into the game, but may get annoying after a while.
The control is the biggest change to the series formula. You still control Link with the analong stick on the nunchuk, but you swing the remote in order to attack with your sword, or as Link's alternate Twilight Form. You also use the remote to aim Link's bow and arrow, which is intuitive and will make aiming with an analog stick a chore forever afterwards. For the most part these controls work surprisingly well, but long playing sessions may make your arm a bit tired.
Twilight Princess is grander than previous games in every respect, and its length is no different. I clocked over 60 hours my first time through, which is unheard of for a Zelda game. The land is so large and the dungeons so complex that only the game's linearity prevents the playtime from soaring even higher.
Offering a darker, more mature, and more advanced take on the Zelda franchise, Twilight Princess is a treat for older gamers while still accessible to newcomers. Recommended.