The Twilight Days of the Wii - Applesteak Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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The Twilight Days of the Wii

In less than a week I’ll be playing Wii U, and I am excited. Excitement like this doesn’t happen often, but I can remember it happening once before. Exactly 6 years ago, I was eagerly awaiting the release of the Wii. I had read all about Nintendo’s new system in the most recent issues of Nintendo Power, and ate up every morsel of information I could find on the internet. Thanks to a friend who worked at Wal-Mart there was a good chance I would be getting one at midnight the day of its release, November 19th 2006. He called from the store to let me know he got one and that in between period while he drove home seemed to last forever. I had to resist tearing the box to shreds when I first got my hands on it. I carefully unpacked the console, plugged it in, and put Wii Sports in the disc drive. It was time. I would finally get to play the first all motion controlled console.


Ever since that day my Wii has always been my favorite console. I got my Xbox 360 as a gift from my parents, and bought my PS3 with my own money to play Uncharted 2. I love those consoles as well, but neither of them gave me that same feeling of excitement. My first console was a Super Nintendo and I have had every Nintendo console since. I have branched out since then, but I’m still a Nintendo kid at heart. The thoughts of new Zelda, Mario, Metroid, or Kirby games captivate me in a way that no other console can, and as I think about the Wii U my mind wanders back to the Wii release. After about a month I had a small collection of Wii games, but there was one that was extra special to me, one that represented the boundless possibilities that this new system offered.


The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess


This is it. The game that infamously brought grown men to tears and was the number one reason 14-year old me wanted a Wii. When I swung the controller, Link would swing his sword. He would fire arrows wherever I pointed. In my mind at the time, I might as well have been Link. It would be five more years until Skyward Sword showed me what the tech was really capable of, but at the time Twilight Princess was set to be the best Zelda game yet.


It wouldn’t be hard to argue that it was. With my final time landing somewhere in the ballpark of 50 hours, it was definitely the longest Zelda game to date. The graphics were beautiful, and the environments were giant. Do you remember seeing Lake Hylia for the first time? I do, it was stunning. Riding Epona was more satisfying than ever thanks to sprawling plains and the thrilling horseback combat. Who could forget the bridge duel with King Bulblin? When Link raised his sword in victory I raised my Wii Remote along with him.  The game was reminiscent of my personal favorite, Ocarina of Time, but a wealth of new gear helped set it apart. Zora Armor, Gale Boomerang, and the Double Clawshot were all interesting twists on existing items, while new items like the Ball and Chain and Spinner offered all new experiences that I will never forget. The battle against the Stallord is still one of my favorites in the entire series. Perhaps most importantly, each dungeon felt like its own character, showing you things you wouldn’t see anywhere else in the world. I walked up magnetic walls in a volcano, helped a Yeti make soup for his wife, and traveled to the past to explore an ancient temple. With these memories in mind, I put Twilight Princess in my Wii for the first time in 3 years to take another look.


Link was standing in the middle of a giant field when the file loaded. Having recently played Skyward Sword I had no trouble getting used to the movement again. I ran over to a nearby chasm and saw some enemies on the other side. I crossed a bridge and engaged them in combat. After a few swings of my remote, I finished off the final enemy with a shake of the Nunchuk, which executed the Great Spin. Even up against Skyward Sword, Twilight Princess’ sword combat still feels great. I used my Horse Call to summon Epona and began riding around the field. I pulled out my bow for some target practice. A few minutes of practice helped me shake off the rust and soon I was picking off far away enemies with ease. I tried out some horseback combat against boar mounted Bulblins before warping around to a few of my favorite areas. I took a swim in Lake Hylia, walked around the walls of Death Mountain, and went back to Link’s house in Ordon Village. I could spend all day talking about the memories I still have of all of these places, but I will restrain myself for now.


Six years later, Twilight Princess doesn’t feel like it has aged at all. Some muddy textures remind you it wasn’t developed on HD tech, but everything else looks and feels great. Without a doubt one of the greatest launch games ever, Twilight Princess still stands amongst the best games on the Nintendo Wii.


At the time of the Wii’s release I was a high school freshman living in a new house away far away from civilization. We had moved the summer before because my parents enjoyed the country, but to me it felt like torture. It was cold outside and my friends were an hour’s drive away. I was often depressed and didn’t feel like doing anything but lying around. The Wii was my savior in those days, allowing me to escape to Hyrule; a land where the possibilities were endless and I could forget about my problems for a while. Perhaps the Wii was just been the right thing at the right time. Right now I’m a 20-year-old college student happily living with friends in a small apartment.  Maybe the Wii U doesn’t have a chance of bringing out those same feelings in me, but I sincerely hope it can.

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