Lahiru K
19 May, 2006

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Preview

Wii Preview | We take Link for a spin, a stab, a throw...
The first thing we did once inside Nintendo's booth at E3 was make a beeline for the Legend of Zelda demo, the same demo that sent Ninty fanboys all over the globe into a frenzy when it made its debut at Nintendo's press conference. Now that we've had our time with the demo, it's only fair that we let our dedicated readers in on what all the commotion was about. Readers should take note that this isn't a preview of the game itself, but more of an impression of how the Wii controller works (or doesn't work) with the game.

Seeing as this was the game that introduced us to the Wii controller, it took some time to get our bearings with the control scheme. The first thing that struck us was how incredibly sensitive the Wii-mote was, especially when using it to look around the environments and aim with the bow. Even slight movements sent the camera whizzing around in circles as the reticule pushed up against the side of the screen. It didn't exactly leave the best first impressions, but once we got our heads around how the controller handled, the demo became a great deal more bearable.

You would move Link around the environment with the analogue stick on the nunchuku controller, with the Z button also on the nunchuku locking onto anything you pointed at with the Wii-mote. You would know what you were pointing at by the presence of a fairy that danced around on the screen in relation to where the Wii-mote was directed. You would think that having a rather large blue light constantly jittering across the screen would be distracting but we barely noticed it during our play through.

Reggie isn't the only one who can kick ass

Reggie isn't the only one who can kick ass
Sword attacks were handled with the A button on the Wii-mote, but when coupled with a circular motion with the nunchuku just as you attacked, Link would perform a spin attack. While this may be attributed to the fact that we had very little experience with the ins and outs of the control scheme, it took some effort and many attempts to actually get Link to pull this particular move off. Combat was in typical Zelda form, with a combination of Z locking, circle strafing and attacking needed to bring down your enemy. New controller features like jutting the Wii-mote forward to shield bash the enemy into a daze and stabbing down with the nunchuku to lay the finishing blow add a nice bit of physicality to an already tried and true system.

By holding down the corresponding d-pad button which contained the bow and arrows, the view would shift to an over the shoulder perspective and the Wii-mote's movement would allow the player to aim the direction of the arrows fire. The sensitivity of the Wii-mote's movement came into effect again as actually drawing a bead on one of our distant foes provided us with a bit of a challenge. Again, with some patience and practice, dropping enemies from a distance is destined to become second nature. The freshly revealed speaker effects of the Wii-mote should have come into effect, but the noise levels at the booth made it impossible to get a feel for how effective this new feature will turn out to be.

Prepare to look like a bit of an idiot

Prepare to look like a bit of an idiot
One other thing we noticed about the controller during our demo was the amount of effort needed to actually perform actions using the motion capabilities of the nunchuku controller. For example, when Link picked up a crate, we were able to toss is in front of us by performing a throwing motion with the nunchuku. The motion actually needed was quite violent. Repeated attempts to get Link to perform the action failed as it was only after really putting some effort into the throw that Link pulled it off. The contrast between the super sensitivity of the Wii-mote and the violent gestures needed for the nunchuku was a little off-putting, but given the violent nature of the target actions (throwing of a crate, sword spin attack); it may end up being a good thing. Also, it is unknown whether it's possible for the developers to adjust the sensitivity levels of both controllers, so time will tell if we should be getting worried or not.

We walked away from our time with the Zelda demo with mixed reactions. First of all, the game itself was shaping up to be everything we were hoping the next Zelda game to be. It looked absolutely gorgeous, with graphics that would be easily comparable with stunners like Resident Evil 4. However, Nintendo's message with the Wii was to simplify gaming, but our time with the game and the controller was anything but. It certainly wasn't a pick up and play experience, and even during our 15 minutes with the game, we were unable to really feel comfortable with the control scheme. As I mentioned earlier, this was the very first time we had managed to get our hands on the controller, so the controls could only get easier from here, but given our time with the game so far, we've got to say we're not 100% sold just yet.
As much as it surprises us to say it, the GameCube version of the game is looking like a more worthwhile buy at the moment.

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7 years ago
I guess the conroller will be a bit difficult at first, but I'm sure we'll get past that pretty quickly, especially once we own Wiis's ourselves. At least I won't need to worry about the controls in SSB:Brawl icon_biggrin.gif
7 years ago
yeah people have said it feels a bit dodgey with the Wii version of Zelda. As in you could definately tell it was made for Gamecube and not Wii.

So its (at the moment anyhow):
Wii version (Widescreen, 480p) or Gamecube version (better controls)

Other things that may come into play:
- can you use the gamecube control setup on the Wii version? this would thus make the Gamecube version redundant
- what extras do they come with, for eg: maybe only the Gamecube version will come in the hinted at 2 disc special casing, with the supposed advantage of the Wii version being the image and control rather than an extras disc
- whether or not they fix the controls for the wii version up, even then it may still seem like a last minute feature

Still im most likely going to buy just the Wii version
7 years ago
IMO, the GC version won't see the light of day, despite how long has been spent on it. Apparently, it wasn't even at E3 in any shape or form.
7 years ago
You reckon? I'm not sure about that. I think the Wii version might be able to use Gamecube controls, what are the ports on the console for, otherwise (aside from use when playing GCN games on the Wii).
7 years ago
I would rather play this game ala gamecube controller to be honest. If it's just tacked on, then it will be crap.

Hopefully they will give you the option to play with either on the Wii.
7 years ago
I hope so too, that would be really nice.
7 years ago
Yeah, I hope when you buy the Wii version you can play with the gamecube's controll as well, or a lot of people (myself included) are going to be very p!ssed off!
7 years ago
^that would actually be the more logical option
7 years ago
GCN controller support is definitely something we want, especially as we are so used to using in now.
7 years ago
This type of thing - taking a normal game and tacking some Wiimote function on top, is NOT what I want to see from the Wii, and certainly doesn't seem like what Nintendo was going for.

I'm sure a Wii Zelda developed for the Wii would be great, but this one? Eh, I'm not so sure. And if the Cube version gets a second disc full of extras and the Wii version gets nothing extra, theres no way I'm gonna buy the Wii version, even if it is the "new genration" of controls.
7 years ago
I guess extra features suck you in, eh. Some people will buy both versions. I don't think the gamecube version would have anything extra, it's just there for people who have a Gamecube and don't want to get a Wii. The Wii version definitely needs GCN controller support though, especially for people who are making the transmission from GCN to Wii (like me). I think I'll sell/trade my GCN when the Wii launches, but I'll keep the controllers, games and memory cards, as these can all be used with the Wii. I know I'll go back and play my GCN games again, even after the Wii launch, and the controllers will be handy as alternate inputs, like for use with SSB:B.
7 years ago
I've heard similar things about the Wii version of Zelda. However, at another gaming site (which will remain nameless) they actually got the chance to play it a second time, and for a longer period. They said, the controls feel a lot better now that they had a second time with it.

Either way though, I think GCN controller support is a must for this title. I've been debaiting about which one to get. I have the GCN version on pre-order now, so I might go change to Wii after a few more months. But the fact remains, Nintendo should do for Zelda what they are doing for Smash Bros.
7 years ago
This isn't exactly filling me with hope.

At the moment, it seems to be more a case of whether the controls on Wii games are STOMACHABLE, much less an improvement on regular controls. The game is considered a success if it's possible to pull off the same moves as you can with a regular controller, despite the fact that it's more awkward and takes longer to pull off said moves.

I mean, come on - shake the remote, or spin it in circles to pull off the same move you could by spinning the analog stick? That's not giving gamers anything new, that's just replacing simple controls with something that's not only NOT more intuitive, but has a far larger margin of error.

It seems to be that if a developer doesn't completely NAIL the sensitivity of the remote functions, then it has a horrifically detrimental effect on the game - something you wouldn't put up with for more than 10 minutes, much less the length of your average game.

Sure, the developer will save money by not having to program games in HD. But if they set the controller sensitivity just a MICROBE too high, it completely ruins the experience. That's a bit too large of a margin for error, in my opinion. Developers will have to spend thousands of dollars just playtesting their titles to make sure that the controls aren't too sensitive, or not sensitive enough.

Besides which, you can look at a video of an Xbox 360 game and tell its going to be awesomely fun to play. But with a Wii title, it's completely up in the air as to how fun it's actually going to be, as if the sensitivity is set too low, it might be impossible to extract ANY kind of enjoyment from, especially if they don't give you the option to fine-tune the controls. And considering these controls are meant to be simple for non-gamers, fine-tuning shouldn't even be necessary.

Sure, playing = believing. Sure, fine... But if Nintendo expects casual and nongamers to play games before they buy them, they've completely lost the plot.
7 years ago
Which is what? Are you referring to the GCN controller support? If so, I agree.
7 years ago
Nev wrote
Sure, playing = believing. Sure, fine... But if Nintendo expects casual and nongamers to play games before they buy them, they've completely lost the plot.
What you say is pretty true. I hope that a lot of games will at least have the option to adjust the sensitivity of the control, or maybe you could move the strip thing closer to lower it?

I think Nintendo are relying on people at least seeing an ad or an in-store demo of the controller being used so people get an idea of how the wiimote is used in a particular game, and that will sell it. Twilight princess seems to have had motion stuff shoehorned in, though I'd like to imagine it's fun to wave the controller around to do stuff...
7 years ago
There has been alot mooted about the controller's on the show floor, how they were all set to maximum sensitivity and all that. Also comments from Nintendo that each controller can be 'personalised' remembering preferred sensitivity settings, inverted camera etc makes me think that when Zelda becomes a personalised experience (as it always has done) interface problems will evaporate (albiet through familiarity with the Wiimote or the personal preference of a wavebird).
7 years ago
Yeah, the Wii contoller will surely have a sensetivity function along with it. Perhapes you can set it using the console hardware and fine-tune it in the indivisual games you want to make ajustments too.

Eg. Red Steel was supposed to have weaker sensetivity. So, you would put a higher rate on it. Zelda, a lower one. For games like Wii Sport, it was realistic (according to the press) so you would leave the setting alone. Something like that anyway.
7 years ago
This over/under sensitivity issue is a bit worrying but I'm sure this is what Nintendo meant by the everyone in family having a customisable Wii-mote.
As this would solve the too sensitive- not sensitive enough iisue.
7 years ago
Yeah, I'm hoping for a sensitivity adjuster of some sort, similar to that of PC games with mouse sensitivity. As for Zelda well...none of us (at least, not to my knowledge) have played it yet, so the real test will come when its released. I'm gonna guess that'll have GCN controller support: Nintendo surely wouldn't be stupid enough to omit it in favour of introducing their new controller.
7 years ago
admeister wrote
Which is what? Are you referring to the GCN controller support? If so, I agree.
I don't know about everyone else, but I gathered that the first 2nd 3rd and 4th time.

I do agree but christ, enough already.

As great as this motion sensing looks, I'm still not sold on it if all it's games are based around this feature. It's a good option to have, but games with your normal controls are essential and in this case both options would suit considering the significance of the game.
7 years ago
Rest easy - The Wii version has GCN controller support.

I think Nintendo have just added this in for people to have something new to do on their new system. This particular application is NOT SUPPOSED to be intuitive - this is a hardcore game and will have difficult controls for those not used to them (like FPS games etc).
7 years ago
^ should I look at getting a GCN controller then? Considering I don't have one and they won't be included.
7 years ago
the_cro wrote
^ should I look at getting a GCN controller then? Considering I don't have one and they won't be included.
Well yes, there is a whole Generation of Nintendo that is currently selling at cheapo prices that a GCN controller is needed for. I'm certainly buying some old GCN games at launch.
7 years ago
--alex-- wrote
Well yes, there is a whole Generation of Nintendo that is currently selling at cheapo prices that a GCN controller is needed for. I'm certainly buying some old GCN games at launch.
Not many places selling a GC games at a cheapo price that I've seen ... Big W no longer sells GC, Target has a few really old titles, Kmart ditto, EB has a good range but at a full price.

Edit: Toys'R'Us, have also sold out or selling out of GC.

It's all a bit of a shame really IMO because if the Wii becomes popular the backwards compatibility feature will be useless for many new gamers (unless they go to eBay)
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