This article is about 6 years too late but I'm going to write it anyway because I think The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess is one of the stronger games in the post-Ocarina console Zeldas.
NB I have only played Ocarina, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. I never got a Wii so the last two were played on the Gamecube. I did dabble in the oracle games and Link's Awakening but I think it's a stretch comparing those games to the console ones.
Ocarina of Time was a game that blew my 7 year old mind back in the day. It set the standards of what a game should be and what Zelda should be. Hence I was a little disappointed when the Wind Waker made it to the Gamecube. I disregarded my friend's, my family's and various magazine's support of purchasing a Xbox or PS2 in favour of Nintendo's console because I had so much fun with Zelda and Smash. I was also older and expecting a more "mature" Zelda with realistic graphics and epic huge monsters.
This was the reason I prefer Twilight Princess over Wind Waker. It was what my teenage self had wanted and instead it got Wind Waker.
The cartoon aesthetic, although was very pretty and will age much better than Twilight Princess did not encompass the epic and adventurous nature introduced by Ocarina. It was more colourful, whimsical and fantasy compared to high fantasy and eerily dark of Twilight Princess.
Midna is another reason why I love Twilight Princess. It wasn't because she turned out to be smoking hot in the end or that I found her chibi form attractive. It was because I hated her design when I first saw it. I hated how she controlled a wolf Link who was confused and uncomfortable as I was when controlling the canine (one of the few times I empathised with a main character through control and story).
And again through the story and gameplay I gradually grew to like Midna as Link did especially when she was attacked by Zant and the possibility that she was just using me/ Link to get all the pieces of the mask.
The themes of light and dark in Twilight Princess is supported by the scenery and appearance of Hyrule. The wash of bleakness that covers Hyrule making it look like a blurry water colour painting contrasts with the Twilight Portal.
The appearance of the Portal makes it seem alien due to it's linear design and two colour decoration compared to the blur of colour and detail seen in Hyrule.
The blurriness of the textures in Hyrule I'd like to think of as the consequence of the Twilight realm corrupting Hyrule and the absence of Zelda from Hyrule.
Finally it feels like a homage to Ocarina but differs enough to not feel like a remake or carbon copy. Twilight Princess references familiar areas despite not looking similar making it seem more connected to Ocarina than Majora or Wind Waker, it heavily features Gorons and Zoras like Ocarina did and feels like a natural sequel to Ocarina. You obtain the slingshot first in the forest village but you also go to a city in the sky and snowboard down mountains.
Wind Waker took a drastic step and suffered from it in the minds of narrow minded gamers but Twilight Princess played it safe and experimented enough to keep it fresh.
Twilight Princess was the last game I completed for the Gamecube and was the perfect send off for the system personally. It was the game I bought the system for and I am glad I got closure for my decision.
PS Fuck the wolf sections of Twilight Princess
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